Pitru Paksha

In this article we will see both the reasons for celebrating pitru pakshas or shraddhs, from ancient perspective as well in context of its relevance and significance in modern day society. In the ancient texts, pitrus or pitras refer to ancestors and paksha means a particular time. So the term pitru paksha suggests it is the time when we offer prayers and food to the ancestors.


Shraddh Pitru PakshaMythology Relating to King Karna


Traditionally pitru paksha or shraddh is a custom that is followed by the Hindus on a regular basis. It is said that if you fail to offer water and food to the ancestors in the pitru paksha then in the afterlife you will also remain without food and water.


We all know of the king Karna from Mahabharata. He was the son of sun god. During his life he was considered to be very deeply involved in charity. He could not say no to anyone. When he died and went to heaven the gods would give him food made of gold. Karna asked the gods that he was such a famous king and would do so much charity then why was he given food made of gold. The king of the gods Indra told him that this was so as Karna in his life was only donating gold and gems.


He never offered food and water to the poor and neither to his ancestors. King Karna realised his mistake and he wanted to correct the same. The gods decided that Karna will be allowed to get back to earth for sixteen days and feed the poor and the needy. This would help him to get rid of the problem.


What is Pitru Paksha?


These sixteen days when king Karna was on Earth were called the pitru paksha. These days are considered very inauspicious and even today no new activity or a good task is done on these days. The Hindus offer prayers and food to the ancestors in this time. This ensures that the pitru dosha is done away with. It also ensures that the entire family is blessed. The pitru paksha is followed only by the male members of the family.


Pitru Paksha Dates 2015


The exact dates of the pitru paksha keep changing every year. In 2015 the pitru paksha starts from the 27th of September and ends on the 12th of October. The pitru paksha starts on a full moon day and ends on a no moon day also known as the poornima and amavasya respectively. The last day of the pitru paksha is the Mahalaya. We have an article that is dedicated to the Mahalaya and its significance.


Avoid New Activity During This Period


If you are planning to start any new activity then please avoid this period as it is not a good time. The manner and way in which pitru paksha rituals are performed differs from region to region.


On the shradh day many people keep fast for the ancestors to rest in peace. Many people do not cut their hair during the pitru paksha as it is considered a bad omen. Many people have different names for the pitru paksha. We are mentioning them so that you do not get confused to hear the other terms. These are


  • tarpanam
  • sola shradha
  • shradham


Why Please Ancestors?


You may ask why you should please the ancestors or whether there is life after death? If they are dead then why should we bother about them? Well when your ancestors are not resting in peace you too will not be able to be in peace. You will often face some problem or the other. There will be disputes in the family. Women will not be able to bear children. The family members will be meeting with unforeseen accidents and the list will just go on.


When the ancestors are resting in peace you can see that your home and family will be prospering. Just because the ancestors are dead we should not forget them. They should be prayed to and offered food and water. If the deceased do not have a son then the immediate family members can also do the shradha puja. This puja also cleans the sinful deeds of the deceased soul and ensures that they rest in peace.


The person who is performing the shradha puja during the pitru paksha must do it with complete dedication and with whole heart. You could also do it under guidance of a learned priest.


You must keep handy the list of your ancestors who have left for their heavenly abode. Try to keep the names of at least the previous seven generations. The puja must be offered to both the men as well as the women. After the puja food must be offered to the ancestors. We will deal in more details with the shradha puja done in pitru paksha in our next article.


Significance In Modern Day Concept


We always try to present all information and knowledge with relevance to changing society and the modern age as well. For those who have faith, the above should be more than enough reason to follow pitru paksha but for others there are reasons too, some of them being outlined as follows:


1. The society is becoming extremely materialistic and things like giving something to someone without a reasons, like food and clothing are getting scarce. Hence the celebration of pitru paksha should act to somehow awaken these habits in people.


2. Even if you do not think that the people who have left for their heavenly abode do not need anything, still the actual things you are offering are to the poor and the needy so in a way you are helping them out


3. It is always good to remain connected with the past and the ancestors and not completely forget them. This time at least acts as a special fortnight where you can do so and try and learn something about your ancestors and possibly draw a leaf from the book of their lives.


4. Apart from the ancestors who have departed, this also symbolizes taking care of the elders which is very important in modern day society where the aged people are not getting proper care and get isolated


So we do urge that you celebrate pitru paksha for at least one of the reasons mentioned above. We hope that by reading this article you will be able to understand better what pitru paksha is. Do try to follow the important points that we have mentioned in this article.


This will help you to get more peace and happiness for yourself and your family. Now that you know the importance of these days then do ensure that you do the puja this year and seek blessings of your ancestors. You will see the impact in your life over time for sure.


Dates of pitru

Related Posts

  • Sri Thallapaka Annamacharya, Thallapaka Sri Thallapaka Annamacharya, Thallapaka

    The 600th Annamacharya Jayanthi celebrations were completed in Rajampet on 22nd May 2008. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy unveiled the 108 feet statue of Sri Thallapaka Annamacharya located on Tirupati-Kadapa bypass road in Rajampet on May 22nd.

  • Krishna Pushkaram Ghats List Krishna Pushkaram Ghats List

    krishna pushkaram AP, Telangana Krishna Pushkara Ghats Places.

  • Instructions on how to write Raama Naamam or Likhita Japa Instructions on how to write Raama Naamam or Likhita Japa

    "Ra" is the agni beejam and "Ma" is the amrita beejam. "Ra" indicates the destroyer of ignorance in humans while "Ma" indicates the praana vaayu being nourished. Hence, the great composer, Thyagaraja Swami, a huge devotee of Lord Ram, often stressed on these beejams in his compositions.

  • Story Behind Sri Rama Navami Story Behind Sri Rama Navami

    Rama is the in-dweller in every body. He is the Source of Bliss (Atma-Rama) in every individual. His blessing, surging from that inner spring, confers peace and bliss. He is the very embodiment of Dharma, of all the codes of morality that hold mankind together in love and unity

  • significance ugadi / Gudipadawa significance ugadi / Gudipadawa

    The term Ugadi has its origin in the Sanskrit word Yugadi, that means starting of a new Yuga or period. This traditional festival is usually celebrated in the second half of March or in early April. People from all over Karnataka celebrate this festival with much enthusiasm and gaiety.The significance of Ugadi stems from mythological times when Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, began a series of wonderful creations, including that of the earth and all the life forms that live in it. The festival of Ugadi is celebrated to acknowledge that very day on which Lord Brahma started with the task.

  • Mauni Amavasya Mauni Amavasya

    According to North Indian calendar, Mauni Amavasya comes in the Magha month and also known as Maghi Amavasya. This Amavasya is also known as Mauna Amavasya and Mauni Amavas

  • Shani Trayodashi Shani Trayodashi

    Shani Trayodashi is the Trayodashi which falls on a Saturday known as Shani Trayodasi, Shani Jayanti or Shani Pradosham. Shani Jayanti Festival Puja Vidhi, Vrat Katha, Mantra Japa and Yagna Puja

  • Masik Kalashtami Masik Kalashtami

    Kalashtami, which is also known as Kala Ashtami, is observed every month during Ashtami Tithi of Krishna Paksha. Devotees of Lord Bhairav keep fast and worship Him on all Kalashtami days in the year.

  • Kuja - Manglik - Mangal Dosha Effect and Remedies Kuja - Manglik - Mangal Dosha Effect and Remedies

    A simple survey shows that as many as 90% of the people in the Universe will be under the influence of Kuja Dosha. Every one of us, at one time or the other, will hear about Kuja. The word is more prominently heard when horoscopes of the bride and bridegroom are studied before their marriage.

  • Lord Ganesha Sankashti or Sankatahara Chaturthi Pooja Procedure And Dates In 2016 Lord Ganesha Sankashti or Sankatahara Chaturthi Pooja Procedure And Dates In 2016

    Sankashti Chaturthi or Ganesh Sankatahara Chaturti, is dedicated to Hindu God Ganesh. Sankashti Chaturthi January 2016 date is January 27, Wednesday and the Chandrodaya or Moon rise time is 8:57 PM (IST).

Latest Posts

  • Temples
  • Sacred Places
  • Articles
  • Pancha Sabhai Sthalams / Sthalangal
    Pancha Sabhai Sthalangal refers to the temples of Lord Nataraja, a form of Lord Shiva where he performed the Cosmic Dance. Panc..
  • Pancha Bhoota Stalas
    Pancha Bhoota Stalam or Pancha Bhoota Stala refers to the five Shiva temples, dedicated to Shiva, the most powerful Hindu god a..
  • 18 Shakti Peethas / Asta Dasa Shakti Peethas
    Astadasha Shakthi Peetas Lord Brahma performed a yagna to please Shakti and Shiva. Goddess Shakti emerged, separating from Shiv..
  • Navagaraha Sthala or Temple
    Navagraha Suriyan (Sun), Chandran (Moon), Chevvai (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru (jupiter), Sukra (Venus), Sani (Saturn), Rahu (..


  • Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, Warangal
  • 10 Unique things you should do in Kolhapur
  • Sri Seetha Ramachandra Swamy Vaari Devasthanams, Bhadrachalam, Khammam, Telangana
  • Sri Brahmaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Devasthanam, Srisailam, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh
  • Maisigandi Maisamma Temple Kadthal,  Mahabubnagar, Telangana
  • Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple, Thiruvanaikaval, Trichy, Tamilnadu
  • Sri Lakshmi Tirupatamma Devasthanam, Penuganchiprolu, Andhra Pradesh
  • Sri Subrahmanyeswara Swamy Vari Devasthanam, Mopidevi, Andhra Pradesh
  • Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devastanams, Vijayawada
  • Sree Bhadrakali Devasthanam, Warangal
  • Sri Lakshmi Ganapathy Temple, Biccavolu
  • Ashok Vatika
  • The Lords Own Country, Dwarka
  • Simhachalam Temple
  • Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple