Pitru Paksha Puja / Shradh Puja 2024 – Complete Guide

by Pandit Satish Guruji

Pitru Paksha Puja / Shradh Puja 2024 - Complete Guide

Pitru Paksha Puja / Shradh Puja 2024 - Complete Guide

Pitru Paksha is a 16 day period in Hindu calendar when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitrus). Pitru Paksha literally means “fortnight of the ancestors” and follows the fortnight immediately after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. It begins on the first day of the fortnight (Padyami) ending with the new moon day known as Pitru Amavasya. We owe a karmic debt to our ancestors. By dutifully performing ‘Pind daan’ during Shradha, we can pay homage to our Pitrus or ancestors. Pitra Paksha is a 16 day period in Hindu calendar where we pay homage to their ancestors. Book Pandit to perform Pitru Paksha Puja.

About Pitru Paksha

Pitrupaksha is derived from two Sanskrit terms – Sat (Truth) and Aadhar (Basis). The 16 days is also known as Shraddha, where an offering or devotion is made to the pitrus.

As per the ancient Indian history, when Karna passed away during the war of Mahabharat and his soul reached heaven, he didn’t get to eat regular food. Instead, he was given gold and jewels to eat. His soul got frustrated and he addressed this issue to Indra (Lord of Heaven) as to why is he not being served the actual food.

Lord Indra revealed the actual reason that he donated all these things to others throughout his life but never gave the same to his ancestors. Then Karna replied that he didn’t know of his ancestors and after hearing him out, Lord Indra allowed him to return back to Earth for the period of 16 days so that he can donate food to his ancestors. This 16-day period came to be known as Pitru Paksha.

According to ritual beliefs, individuals participate in the occasion, or if any of their family members are planning to celebrate it, they must not consume any non-vegetarian food for 16-days, referred to as Pitru Dosh.

Pitrupaksha 2024 Start & End Date

Pitrupaksha in 2024 will begin on 29th September 2024 and continue till 14th October 2024.

Pitru Paksha Calendar 2024

29 September 2024FridayPoornima Shraadh
30 September 2024SaturdayDvitya Shraadh
1 October 2024SundayTritiya Shraadh
2 October 2024MondayChaturthi Shraadh
3 October 2024TuesdayPanchami Shraadh
4 October 2024WednesdayShashti Shraadh
5 October 2024ThursdaySaptami Shraadh
6 October 2024FridayAstami Shraadh
7 October 2024SaturdayNavmi Shraadh
8 October 2024SundayDashmi Shraadh
9 October 2024MondayEkadashi Shraadh
11 October 2024WednesdayDwadashi Shraadh
12 October 2024ThursdayTriyodashi Shraadh
13 October 2024FridayChaturdashi Shraadh
14 October 2024SaturdaySarva Prit Amavasya

Pitru Paksha Puja Mantra

Pitru Puja Mantra is:

ॐ पितृगणाय विद्महे जगत धारिणी धीमहि तन्नो पितृो प्रचोदयात्.

ॐ देवताभ्य: पितृभ्यश्च महायोगिभ्य एव च। नम: स्वाहायै स्वधायै नित्यमेव नमो नम:.

ॐ आद्य-भूताय विद्महे सर्व-सेव्याय धीमहि।

Pitru Paksha Puja Rituals

Pitrupaksha is the beginning of a waning phase of the lunar cycle. During these 16 days, multiple rituals are done to offer respect to the dead members of the family through Shradh and Tarpan.

Puja rituals include Aasan Shuddhi, Shareer Shuddhi, Pavtrikaran, Ganga Ahvahan, Shikha Bandhan, Swastivachan, Shanti Paath , Sankalp, Dev Tarpan, Rishi Tarpan, Pitra Tarpan, Pind Daan, Panch grass rituals etc.

Importance of Pitrupaksha

According to traditional beliefs, the family’s unhappy souls usually return to earth to visit their loved ones until they attain Moksha. Therefore, to ensure that the deceased member’s soul has attained Moksha, the Pind Dann ritual is performed by the family members in which they satisfy the soul’s hunger and thirst. It is an act appeasing the soul that no longer exists in its physical form. All these prayers and rituals are done to free the soul and help them be released from the life, death, and birth cycle.

Apart from satisfying the souls, Pitrupaksha is also essential for the people who are deceased with Pitru dosh. It is the curse of dead members or ancestors on the family members, due to which they cannot complete their tasks or live life in an ideal manner.

To get rid of or eliminate Pitru dosh, family members or individuals offer food to crows during Shradha rituals. If the crow accepts that food, then ancestors are believed to be pleased. But, if they refuse the same, the souls are displeased, and individuals are still under Pitru dosh.

Puja Samagri for Performing Pitru Paksha Puja

The puja samagri (ritual materials) required for Pitru Paksha Puja or shradh puja at home are as follows:

  • A clean, white cloth
  • A pot of water
  • A handful of rice
  • A handful of sesame seeds
  • A handful of barley
  • A handful of kusha grass
  • A diya (lamp)
  • An incense stick
  • Flowers
  • Sweets
  • A picture of the ancestors

Pitrupaksha / Sharadh Vidhi

  • During Sharadh rituals, the eldest family member or son takes a bath in the holy water, gets dressed up with new clothes, and wears a ring made of Kush grass (a symbol used to invoke souls).
  • A chowki or low-heightened wooden table is covered with white cloth, and barely or black sesame seeds are spread on it with the photo of an ancestor placed on the same. All this setup is done in the south corner.
  • The dressed-up family member invites ancestors for Pind Daan and offers rice balls with goat’s milk, honey, and sugar.
  • The ritual is further followed by Tarpan, in which water and flour are mixed with black sesame seeds, barely Kush and all of these are offered to the ancestor’s soul.
  • Once all the rituals are done and food is offered, all these foods are served to the needy and poor while seeking ancestor’s blessings.

Remedies During Pitru Paksha

Many remedies can be done during Pitru Paksha or shradh puja procedure to help the ancestors and to bring good fortune to the living. Some of the most common remedies include:

  • Shraddha and Tarpan: Shraddha is a ritual offering of food and water to the ancestors, while Tarpan is a ritual offering of water to the ancestors. These rituals are performed to appease the ancestors and to help them attain moksha.
  • Fasting: Fasting is another common remedy that is done during Pitru Paksha. Fasting is done to show respect to the ancestors and to pray for their blessings.
  • Donation: Donation is also a common remedy that is done during Pitru Paksha. Donations can be made to temples, charities, or other organizations that help the poor and the needy.
  • Puja: Puja is a ritual worship of the ancestors. Puja can be performed at home or at a temple.
  • Mantra Japam: Mantra Japam is the repetition of mantras (sacred words) to the ancestors. Mantra Japam is done to appease the ancestors and to help them attain moksha.
  • Katha Kathan: Katha Kathan is listening of stories about the ancestors. Katha Kathan is done to learn about the ancestors and to pray for their blessings.

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