Marathi Culture and Festivals

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Sarvpitri Amavasya / Bhadrapad Amavsya

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Wednesday September 20, 2017 All Day

By ABHIJEET (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Pitru means ancestors. Paksha is the fortnight time. Pitru Paksha is the 15 day lunar period dedicated to the ancestors. During this time people pay their homage to them by the offerings.

Shraddh is one of the most significant times to remember our ancestors and pray for the departed souls to rest in peace. As per the Hindu Calendar, during the time of Pitru Paksha, if you offer prayers and perform certain rituals for your ancestors, you will be blessed by them and their souls will rest in peace.

This is the time when we honor our deceased ancestors. This is also called a “dark fortnight” It is advised to perform” shardh” to our deceased ancestors, during this time to keep their souls gratified for years. It is also believed that whatever offering is made during this time, directly reaches to one’s forefathers.

Significance Of Shradh

As per the Holy Scripture ‘Srimad Bhagavad Gita’, the body is destructible but the soul remains immortal. The soul never takes birth neither it dies. The soul is immortal and ever existent. Hence neither air, water nor fire can destroy it.

The time of Shraadh liberates the soul from the cycle of life and death resulting in salvation. Hence, performing Shraddh during the time of Pitru Paksha is considered extremely important for the departed souls to rest in peace. Tarpan, during the time of Shradh, is equally necessary in order to get rid of Pitra Dosh (bad effects due to the non-performance of rituals of the departed souls).

Legend of Shradh

Shraddha in Pitru Paksha is the time to remember, thank and honor our ancestors. The relevance of Shradh can be best known from one of the greatest epic of all time Mahabharata.

Post the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, when everything ended, Karan (Danveer Karna, one of the greatest legends in the war of Mahabharata) died and reached heaven, he was offered food in the form of gold and silver. On this, he questioned Indra the reason for offering him such a food. Indra reverted by saying that Karna throughout his life donated his gold, diamond and silver. But he never donated any food in the name of his ancestors. Karna reverted that as he was not aware about his ancestors; hence, he could never do it. So Indra asked Karna to come back to earth, where he donated food, made Tarpan during the sixteen days.

It is believed that during the time of Shraddh, ancestors come to earth to bless their kin. Hence, during the time of Shraddh, it is important to make the Tarpan in order to get rid of Pitru Dosha.

As per the Hindu mythology, there are some important places in India for performing the rituals of Shraadh for the departed souls to stay in peace and be happy.

Holy Places for Shradh Rituals

It is believed that if you perform Shradh rituals at specified holy places, the departed souls stay happy and their souls get liberated.

The places that are best suitable to perform Shraadh rituals are mentioned below.

• Varanasi

• Prayaga

• Gaya

• Kedarnath

• Badrinath

• Rameswaram

• Nasik

• Kapal mochan Sesh Ambadi

During the time of Pitru Paksha, there are certain things which should be avoided while performing Tarpan.

It is advised to avoid follwing during pitru paksha:

1. Avoid buying any new clothes during the time of Pitru Paksha.

2. Any auspicious event like marriage or birth ceremony is completely prohibited during the time of Shraadh.

3. Try to avoid having a haircut during the sixteen days of Shradh.

It is advised that we refrain from starting a new project / major purchase or any other big celebration during this period.




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