Pitru Paksha 2019: Pitru Paksha, a 16 day lunar period in Hindu calendar begins on Friday, September 13 and concludes on Saturday, September 28. Pitru Paksha is a ritual performed for the dead ancestors. Hindus pay homage to their ancestors during this period.
Pitru Paksha is also known as Pitru Pakshya, Pitri Pokkho, Sola Shraddha, Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara Paksha. The word ‘Pitras’ means ‘Ancestors’ and ‘Paksha’ means ‘A particular time’. It is considered to be an inauspicious time. No good task is done during this period.
During the ceremony, the death rites that are performed is termed ‘Tarpan’ or ‘Shraddha‘. It is believed that performing the Pitru Dosha blesses the entire family. It is performed only by the male members of the family.
Pitru Paksha 2019 Dates
|13 September 2019||Friday||Purnima Shraddha|
|14 September 2019||Saturday||Pratipada Shraddha|
|15 September 2019||Sunday||Dwitiya Shraddha|
|16 September 2019||Monday||Tritiya Shraddha|
|17 September 2019||Tuesday||Chaturthi Shraddha|
|18 September 2019||Wednesday||Maha Bharani, Panchami Shraddha|
|19 September 2019||Thursday||Shashti Shraddha|
|20 September 2019||Friday||Saptami Shraddha|
|21 September 2019||Saturday||Ashtami Shraddha|
|22 September 2019||Sunday||Navami Shraddha|
|23 September 2019||Monday||Dashami Shraddha|
|24 September 2019||Tuesday||Ekadashi Shraddha|
|25 September 2019||Wednesday||Dwadashi Shraddha|
|26 September 2019||Thursday||Trayadoshi Shraddha|
|27 September 2019||Friday||Magha Shraddha|
|28 September 2019||Saturday||Sarva Pitra Amavasya|
Why do we perform Pitru Paksha?
We perform Pitru Paksha Puja because:
- It ensures that the ancestors go to heaven.
- It is believed that the live members of the family won’t be in peace if the ancestors are not resting in peace. The family will keep facing some of the other problems.
- Not performing the puja can make the women of the family not have children.
- It ensures that the ancestors rest in peace by clearing their sins.
What is the history of Pitru Paksha ritual?
According to mythology, the reason for performing Pitru Paksha relates to King Karna the son of the Sun God from Mahabharata. King Karna, was always deeply involved in charity and could never say no to anybody. After his death in the Mahabharat war, when he went to heaven, he was offered food made of gold.
He asked the Gods why such a great was offered food this way even after doing so much charity. He was told that this was because he only offered gold as a charity and not food. King Karna neither offered food and water to his ancestors nor the poor people. Realizing his mistake, King Karna wanted to correct it. The Gods thus decided to let Karna return to Earth for 15 days to feed the poor. This helped him to get rid of the problem. This period is called Pitru Paksha.
Who can perform Pitru Paksha ritual?
The son of the dead ancestor performs the Pitru Paksha. If the person has no son any other male member can perform the Puja. In cases where a person has more than one son, the eldest son performs the Puja.
Where do we perform Pitru Karma?
One can perform the Puja in a lake beside their house. They can also perform this Puja at the banks of a river. One can also visit Gaya or Varanasi to perform the Puja.
Ingredients required to perform this Pooja
The ingredients required to perform Pitru Paksha are:
- White rice, A bucket of water, Piece of Kush grass (with roots attached), and Black till for performing the Tarpan.
- Ghee, 5 pairs of Puri/Suhari and Sweet rice, Black Till, Camphor, 1 Diya, Wood, Mango leaves, Lota with water and prepared food to take outside for performing the Havan.
- Prepared meals, or 3 or 5 pairs of Suhari/Puri and sweet rice for performing the Bhojan.
How to perform Pitru Paksha in 2019?
The ceremony of Pitru Paksha consists of three parts. These are:
Method of offering Tarpan:
- Mix the black till and white rice into the bucket of water. After that plant the Kush grass on the southern side of you. Then tie the Kush grass into a knot.
- Join your hands together and allow the water to scoop down your palms.
- Face the east and offer the ‘Jal’ with hands to the sun and recite 3 times, “Om Sri Suriyaayaai Namah.”
- Face the south and offer Tarpan with hands to the deceased ancestor. Do it 3 times for each ancestor in the following way: (Call the name of deceased) and recite “Pitra Swaadhaa”.
- Offer Tarpan 3 times. Say “Sarva Pitra Swaadhaa”
Method of performing Havan:
- Face south with the Havan Kund in front of. Say “Om Namo Narayana Namah” seven times. Spend a few moments reflecting on the forefathers who are honoured with Pitra Havan.
- Set the fire and make ghee offerings to the forefathers. Recite the same mantras as the Tarpan.
- Mix the ghee, black till, puri and sweet rice together.
- Make the offerings like the Tarpan using this mixture.
- Take the prepared food for forefathers outside.
Method of performing Bhojan:
- At least three people should accompany you.
- Take the food and a lighting piece of stick or camphor to the back of your house.
- Place the fire down and the food and water down in a neat way.
- Pause for a while to seek the protection of these souls and then turn around and leave.
- You should not look at the food you have offered.
What are the rules for performing the Pitru Paksha ritual?
The rules for performing the Pitru Paksha are:
- The male performing the Puja should bathe before performing the Puja.
- The male performing the Puja should wear a Dhoti.
- He should wear a ‘Kush Grass’ ring.
- He should be bare-chested.
- The person performing the Puja should not have anything negative in his mind.
- Do not do anything ‘new’ during this time. Like engagement, wedding, buying property etc.
- Avoid eating non-vegetarian food, onion, garlic, jeera, mustard oil etc.
- Do not harm any living beings during this period.
What is the cost of performing Pitru Paksha?
The cost of performing Pitru Paksha starts from as low as Rs 25 and can go up to Rs 5000.
The pandit performs the puja for a group of people together at the lower budget and the size of the group decreases with the increase in the budget. The budget ranges from Rs 2500-5000 if a Pandit dedicates himself to perform your Puja. This includes the cost of ingredients and donations.