Hindu festival in India: Shraddh Paksh: Pitri Paksh
Hindu Priest on Shraddh day
Shraddh Paksh Pitri Paksh in 2016
Shraddh Paksha (Pitri Paksha) starts from September 16, Friday in 2014. It will be ended with Mahalaya Shraddh on Saturday, September 30. Navratri will be starting from the next day October 01.
Please do not forget to view auspicious time (Muhurt) for Tarpan during this Pitri paksha and shopping suggested by Vedic astrologers in the bottom of this article.
Shraddh, Pitri paksha and Antyesti
Shraddh Paksha or Pitri Paksha holds a very important place in Hindu festivals in India. Gujrati people in India spell and pronounce Pitri Paksha as Pitru Paksha.
The word Shraddh is derived from word Shraddha in the Sanskrit language that means respect and faith. Shraddh is a ritualistic custom in the Hindu religion. It holds a very important place in Sanatan Dharma.
Paksha means here fortnight. the word meaning of Paksha in the Sanskrit language is a wing of a bird. Indian linguists imagined a lunar month with two fortnights as two wings of a bird. Hence, a fortnight is called Paksha.
Agni, Garud, Matsya and Vayu Purana, all these medieval Hindu scriptures depict significance of Shraddh. These Puranas also explain the procedure with who, when and whom. Garud Puran is the most important scripture about the topic where god Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, depicts the journey of Pretatma. Path of Garud Puran is almost customary in the third day after death (Tiya or uthavana) of a Hindu person. Lord Yama, god of death, himself depicted the importance and procedures of Shraddh.
Shraddh and Funeral rites are different from each other. Funeral rites (antyeshti) are Amangal (inauspicious) but Shraddh is Mangal (auspicious). A dead body (sthula sharira) of a person is burnt customarily in Hindu society. This is called funeral, the Antyeshti. Hindus believe that the Jeevatma (soul) cannot get out of the dead body without a vehicle, Linga-sharira (subtle body). Departed soul hovers around crematorium. This is referred as Pretatma (Ghost) who is invested in a subtle body. The Pretatma or Preta has no physical existence or body who can enjoy anything earthly and remains in continual uncomfortable and restless state.
The antyeshti or funeral rites, carried out for twelve days after death, is to provide peace to the restless soul, Pretatma. Hindus believe that this ritual also helps the Pret to get an intermediate body, between the Linga and Sthula Sharira. Though it is made of gross particles but it is different from a physical body. This intermediary body helps to proceed to his journey to Pitri Loka. The process is called gati (movement) according to Hindu belief.
Dasa Gaatra Pinda Dana Shraddh is Performed during ten days beginning from the day of death, Ekadashah on the eleventh day and Sapindan on the twelfth day.
Complete info about Shraddh Paksh / Pitru Paksh
Shraddh and Tarpan Karma:
There are various types of Shraddh performed in Sanatan Hindu religion. Those are as follows:
1. Nitya 2. Naimishik 3. Kramya 4. Vriddhi
5. Sapind 6. Parvan 7. Goshtha 8. Suddhyartha
9. Karmang 10. Daivik 11. Aupacharika 12. Samvatsarik Shraddh.
Samvatsarika (Annual) Shraddh is performed on the death anniversary every year.
The abode of the Pitris, (Ancestors) are called Pitri Loka. The Gujarati people spell and pronounce Pitri Loka as Pitru Loka.The word Pitri (Pitar) belongs to Indo-Latin group of languages that means father. The departed soul takes many months to reach Pitri Loka. Relatives of departed soul perform Shraddh to help him or her in the journey to Pitri Loka. The ceremony is called Pret Kriya. Hence a Shraddh is a Pitri-Yajnya or worship of departed ancestors. The son of a diseased person performs Shraddh for the attainment of salvation of his father or mother. He also performs it for immediate three generations of his ancestors.
The belief is so strong among the Hindus that they believe one can not attain salvation or even a place in heaven without a Shraddh performed by his son. Hence, there is a tremendous notion to have at least a son. Many Hindus used to marry a second time if they would not have a son with the first wife.
They believe that soul can not rest in peace and undergoes painful experiences without Shraddh. Hindus feel it duty help their ancestors attain salvation by performing Shraddh.
Tarpan and Ganga Snan on Mahalaya
Idea and philosophy behind Shradhh and Tarpan
Performer of Shraddh offers Kusha (sacred grass), Pushpa (flowers), Tandula (Rice) and Jaladhara (sprinkle of water). It is believed that performance of Shraddh and Tarpan (libations of water) relieves the hunger and thirst of the departed soul during its journey to the Pitri Loka. It is also told that Shraddh not only liberates the ancestors but it benefits the performers too.
(However, the idea is not supported by the Upanishads, the ultimate philosophical scriptures of the Hindus. Instead of popular belief, It is not supported by the theory of Karma).
Ancestors are pleased and bless with prosperity, wealth, and happiness to the performer. Mantras of the Sam Veda are chanted during Shraddh. It must be performed with faith and devotion. Shraddh and Tarpan show gratefulness of a person to his ancestors.
Non-performing is believed as ungratefulness.The sacred scriptures warn the non-performing son that he would lead a miserable life and suffer from poverty. Hindu Puranas are full of details about Shraddh, especially Agni Purana, Garuda Purana and Matsya Purana. It is Yama, the god of death in Hindu mythology, who explained the importance of Shraddh performed on Pitri Paksha (Pitru Paksha).
Durga Pooja, India
Shraddh Paksha: Pitri Paksha
Days between Ashwin Krishna Pratipada ( the Amavashyaday after full moon) to AshwinaAmavasya(no moon day) according to Hindu or Vedic calendar are called Shraddh Paksha or Pitri paksha (Pitru paksha). It is also called Kanagat. Pitri Paksha Shraddh reaches the ancestors immediately and provides their souls rest and peace according to Hindu mythology. The Shraddh Paksha falls between September 4 and September 18, In 2009.
In Pitri Paksha, Vasu Rudra and Agni (gods) act as intermediaries between the relatives performing the rituals of Shraddh and the ancestors and carry the food offered . it is believed that the ancestors bless those performing Shraddh. People failed to offer annual Shraddh perform it in Pitri Paksha. Pitri Paksha Shraddh is also offered to childless relatives, unknown ancestors and victims of accidental deaths. Ashwin Krishna Amavasya, the last day of the Shraddh Paksha is very significant for Hindu rituals. It is called Mahalaya Shraddh.
The customs and rituals during Pitri Paksha vary place to place and person to person. Some people observe specific customs like fasting on the day or being vegetarian. Abstaining from shaving and cutting hair is a popular ritual for these days.
Generally, a priest performs the rituals of Shraddh in a sacred place like a river bank. Though illogical, Hindus believe that Shraddh cleanses sinful acts of diseased. Departed souls are said to wander aimlessly on Earth if not received offerings of Shraddh.
Restrictions in Shraddh Paksha
Traditionally, the Hindus do not perform any auspicious activities during these days. They do not commence any business, do not engage or marry and do not buy anything long lasting such as gold, Jewelry or a house. They do not start building a house or go to a new house and even try not to travel during these days. Hindus have 16 Sanskar to be performed in their lives. These are restricted during Shraddha.
Some people believe that these days are inauspicious. However, this is a wrong notion. People worship Pitri (Pitar) in these days so these days cannot be inauspicious. Shopping is not restricted in Pitri Paksha opposite to popular belief. Sewing and using soap and oil is restricted only on the day of performing Shraddh.
Navaratra (Navaratri) begins with the end of Shraddh Paksha. The Hindus observe this for nine days. It is believed that Navaratra is among most auspicious days of the year.
Do you think Shraddh liberates departed soul?
Update: Shraddh Paksh is going on this time
Shraddh Paksha (Pitri Paksha) is going on nowadays. It will continue up to October 7, 2010, and Navratri will start from October 8.
Hindu people are paying homage to their ancestors this year like always. They will worship Devi Durga on Navratri.
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Auspicious dates and time for Tarpan and shopping in Shraddh Paksh, 2014
There are nine days in this Pitri Paksh that are considered to be very good by the Vedic astrologers. There will be Sarvarth Siddhi Yoga on the whole day of September 11, 2014, and will continue till Evening of 12th. This is the best Muhurt for doing anything. Raviyoga will be from 7 to 8 PM on 13th. Tripushkar Yoga will be starting from 6.49 PM on 14th September and will remain for half an hour. There will be Ravi Yoga after that.
September 15, 2014, will be an excellent day for both shopping and Tarpan. There will be Sarvarth Siddhi Yoga on the whole day along with Raviiyoga till 8.30 in the night. This Muhurt will be followed by Amrit Siddhi Yoga that will continue until next morning.
There will be Kumar Yoga on the 17th night from 12.40 till morning) It will be AM of 18th according to western system of calculating time.There will be Sarvarth Siddhi Yoga on the whole day and Amrit Siddhi Yoga with Pushya Nakshatra will be from 3.15 AM till sunrise (morning of 19th September 2014). Sarvarth Siddhi Yoga will continue from 5.32 to the next morning.
(According to Jaipur, India time, may vary with time zone.)
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