Pitru Paksh: Significance & Important Tithis

‘Shraddh’ is an important ritual that is wholly dedicated to the ancestors and forefathers. It marks the dark fortnight in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapad which is termed as Pitru-Paksh. It is considered to be a sacred ceremony that Hindus perform to pay homage to the departed soul. Water and food are offered for the rigorous journey that the soul has to perform to reach their ultimate destination. As per different caste and family traditions, ‘Shraddh’ is being performed on the 3rd, 4th, 9th, 10th, 15th or 30th day after the death of the person. It also manifests to the regional diversity.

Who is eligible to perform the ‘Shraddh’ Ceremony?
In some part of India it is restricted for the eldest son of the deceased only. If the deceased has no son, then wife/husband or unmarried daughter may perform the ‘Shraddh’. Married daughters are eligible to perform ‘Shraddh’ on the fourth day, as their ‘Gotra’ has been changed after marriage.

According to our Hindu Calendar, fifteen days fortnight of Krishna Paksha i.e., dark lunar half of Ashwin month is dedicated to perform ‘Shraddh’ for our departed ancestors. It begins with the Purnima tithi, i.e., full Moon day of Bhadrapad month and ends on the Amavasya tithi, i.e., no Moon (or new Moon day) of Ashwin month. This fortnight is termed as ‘Pitri Paksh’ and people avoid perfroming any auspicious activities during these sixteen days. As per instructions of our ‘Shaastra’s there are different tithis exclusively dedicated for performing ‘Shraddh’ of different persons of the family.

This year ‘Shraddh’ is going to commence from 6 September 2017 and will continue till 20 September 2017. On 6 September it is Purnima tithi till 12.33 hours (noon) and ‘Shraddh’ can be performed for those people who died on this tithi of any month of the year. On the same day (on 6 September) it will be Prathama tithi after 12.33 pm and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those persons who expired on this tithi of any month of the year. On Dwitiya tithi i.e., 7 September ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those people who died on Dwitiya tithi of any month of the year after 11.52 am. Next day on 8 September it will be Tritiya tithi after 10.44 am and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those persons who expired on Tritiya tithi of any month of the year. Chaturthi tithi is on the 9 September after 09.13 am and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those people who died on Chaturthi tithi of any month of the year. Next day on 10 September it will be Panchami tithi after 07.25 am and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those persons who expired on Panchami tithi of any month of the year. This day is also termed as ‘Bharani Shraddh’. Next day on 11 September it will be Shashthi tithi till 27.15 am and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those people who died on Shashthti tithi of any month of the year. Next day on 12 September it will be Saptami tithi during entire day (till 25.02 am) and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those persons who expired on Saptami tithi of any month of the year. Next day on 13 September it will be Ashtami tithi till 22.48 pm and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those people who died on Ashtami tithi of any month of the year. Next day on 14 September it will be Navami tithi till 20.37 pm and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those persons who expired on Navami tithi of any month of the year.

Today ‘Shraddh’ can also be performed for those married ladies who died before their husband (Suhagan, in Hindi language). Next day on 15 September it will be Dashami tithi till 18.30 pm and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those people who died on Dashami tithi of any month of the year. Next day on 16 September it will be Ekadashi tithi till 16.31 pm and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those persons who expired on Ekadashi tithi of any month of the year. Next day on 17 September it will be Dwadashi tithi till 14.42 pm and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those people who died on Dwadashi and Trayodashi tithi of any month of the year. On this day ‘Shraddh’ may also be performed for saint and monk people. Next day on 18 September it will be Trayodashi tithi till 13.08 pm and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those persons who expired because of weapon (Shashtra), water (Jal), fire (Agni), poison (Vish), accidents (Apghaat) etc. It is called as ‘Magha Shraddh’ also. Next day on 19 September it will be Chaturdashi tithi till 11.53 am and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for those people who died on Chaturdashi and Amavasya tithi of any month of the year. It is called ‘SarvPitri Shraddh’. In West Bengal, it is known as ‘Mahalaya Parvan Shraddham’. Next day on 20 September Amavasya tithi will be there till 11.00 am and ‘Shraddh’ may be performed for maternal grandfather on this day.

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