Pitru Paksha Shraddha, Mahalaya Shraddha, Pitri Paksha Puja
Pitrs (Pitrus) refers to late ancestors from ones lineage, which is in Soul Form. Propitiation to them in the form of tarpans (offering water with appropriate mantra recitals) and shraardhas (either as Homam for Pitrs, or in the appearance of offerings with definite mantras) can invoke their Blessings. When Pitrs are pleased, the Devataas called Vasus (in charge of prosperity), Rudras (incharge of shelter and courage), and Aadityaas (in charge of well being) will be automatically delighted. There will be no shortage of any vital materials in the life of a person who Honors Pitrs properly.
Pitru Paksha 2017 will begin on Tuesday, 5 September and ends on Tuesday, 19 September
Pitrs should be pleased every month on Amaavasya day, once a year on the tithi of their demise, and during Mahaalaya Paksha. Honoring Pitrs during Pitru paksha can provide merits which are beyond human capability to explain. There is a belief that Pitru paksha is even more significant than the annual Shraadh of parents.
Period of Shradh (Tuesday, 5 September 2017 – Tuesday, 19 September 2017)
Pitr Paksha (Mahaalaya Pakshaa ) is about to commence from September 5 September, 2017. It is an influential period for propitiation of manes (ancestors). Pitrus are said to grace the households of their offspring with Divine consent from the other Planes of Existence and are coming up to bless any descendant who is willing to respect them in whatever little way they can.
Austerities during Pitr Paksha (relevant to those who have lost at least one parent) include:
1) Not taking non-veg food (in case of non-vegetarians).
2) Not having onion, garlic, outside foodstuff, processed foods, drumstick, etc (for pure vegetarians).
3) If possible avoid shaving for the complete fortnight till Mahalaya Amavasai.
4) Executing obesquities (shradh) on the tithi of the ancestor’s decease to the extent possible or at least presenting “anna dhaanam” (offering food) to poor persons/ priests as per one’s comfort. (On this day, you should not do shaving)
5) Abstaining from carnal interaction with members of opposite sexual category during the fortnight as a mark of admiration to Pitrs.
6) Performing recitals like Garuda Puraanam (depicting route of a soul), Nachiketa story from Upanishads (where Yama Gitaa is there – it contains Lord Yamaa’s explanation of the journey of a spirit which was first exposed to the devoted Nachiketaa), and Gangaa Avatarana episode from Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayan. These recitals are stated to grant happiness of Pitrs and thereby ensure their blessings upon us.