Pitru Paksha Puja
Sunday, September 13th, 2020
Pitru Paksha is a 16-lunar day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitru’s), especially through Tarpana, Pinda Danam (Food offerings) and Shraaddha.According to Hindu mythology, a person born in this world has to pay back debts (Vrinam) to 1. God (Deva), 2. Sages (Rishi), 3. Mother (Matru), 4. Father (Pitru) among several other debts. Debts to Gods are paid by the way of daily pooja’s, yagnas, vrathas etc. Debts to Rishis are paid through Pada pooja, Thirtha Snana etc. Debts to parents are paid back through Tarpana, Pinda Danam, Go Danam, Bhu Danam etc.
As per the Shastras, the souls of three preceding generations of one’s ancestors (both mother’s and father’s side) reside in Pitru Loka, a realm between heaven and earth. Pitru pooja mainly involves doing Tarpana and Pinda Danam to three preceding generations of ancestors. Pitru pooja is also done for family members who have died before reaching their old age. Doing Pitru pooja makes sure the ancestors’ souls get mukthi.
As per Shastras, one has to do pooja’s to ancestors (Pitru’s) every day. If doing pooja everyday is not possible, then the pooja has to be done every month during Amavasya or Sankramanam. If it’s not possible to do pooja during Amavasya or Sankramanam, Pitru pooja has to be done on the death anniversary of the ancestors. If the pooja is not done on their death anniversary day, the pooja needs to be done during Pitru paksha – the 15 day period between Bhadrapada Bahula Padyami to Amavasya. If it’s not possible to do pooja during all the days of the Pitru paksha, the pooja needs to be done atleast on a single day during the Pitru paksha.
As part of the Pitru Paksha Pooja, Moksharchana will be done to Ganesha in the name of the ancestors’ (Pitru’s). Devotees interested to conduct Pitru paksha pooja are advised to utilize this opportunity.