pitru paksha shraddh

Discussion in 'Festivals, Functions & Rituals' started by padmaiyangar, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. padmaiyangar

    padmaiyangar Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Members,

    This month being observed as pitru paksaha month When I informed my husband that I wanted to share with member regarding significance and obeservation of pitru praksha, he readily furnished the information . I am vey much thankful to him.

    The difference between shraddh performed on the death anniversary of a person and pitru paksha shraddh?

    The tarpan or arghya , are offered to ancestors, every new-moon day. Similarly, a shraddh is performed every year on the death anniversary of the dead relative. However, the shraddh performed during pitru paksha has a special effect. Lord yama, had ordained that the offerings made during pitru paksha should reach the souls of the ancestors immediately and directly.

    The pitru paksha shraddh is performed for all dead ancestors. The offerings are said to reach all the dead relatives of the person who performs the rites. Tarpana offered on the last day of the pitru paksha reach even those who died without having any children. Even those who did not offer food to the poor in their life time and those who did not perform any acts of charity and were thus denied any comfort in the pitru lok (house of the dead), receive benefits from the shraddh performed during pitru paksha. Also those whose date of death is not known and thus for whom the yearly shraddh cannot be performed, receive oblations offered during pitru paksh. Further, those who died a violent death also benefit from oblations offered during this fortnight.

    On the day of the shraddh, the souls of dead relatives are invoked. According to matsya puran, these souls are identified with vasu, rudra and adityas who are the shraddh deities. the food offered to the Brahmins on the day of the shraddh and the oblations offered to the sacrificial fire by uttering the name and gotra (clan name) of the dead relative, is transformed by the power of the mantras (sacred hymns) into food appropriate for their present bodies. agni, vasus and the rudras act as celestial messengers and take this food to the respective souls. The ancestors then bless the performer of the shraddh with health, wealth and prosperity.
    What customs should one observe during pitru paksha?

    The person performing the rites of pitru paksha should take bath three times a day. He should observe a partial fast and take only one meal during the day. He should not shave; cut his hair or nails during the fortnight.

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  2. subbutr

    subbutr Senior IL'ite

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    Yes our dear Padmaiyengar,
    Our purana's and epics have given us the parametres of conducting Pitru shrardh and it is a must for every one to conduct.

    In Shraddham- The pitrus will not take any food that is offered to them after the bhramins takes food which was put in a pit dugged to protect the remains of food offered to Pithrus.
    Actually, the thilas and water that were offered while performing the ceremony will alone reach the pitruloka, whereby it was taken by pithru devatha from the soil to pithruloka, as the pithrus are very thirsty and it will be cleared only through this holy water mingled with thila.

    Tarpana is important to all of us who have forgotten our roots. It creates the bond which should exist between our ancestors and us.
    Tradition regards Tarpana as a duty, which every child must perform for its parents. When we accept this responsibility we relinquish forgetfulness.
    Tarpana is an act of remembrance, which solidifies the link between the generations.
    By opening ourselves to our ancestral influences & forgiving our forebears their imperfections, we open ourselves to their accumulated wisdom, which can cement our culture together.
    Shradda where the gods are first invoked and then the pitras.
    Each offering is made in the name of a pitra.The food is then served to all those present.
    It is believed that by feeding the Brahmins, the manes are being fed.
    The remainder is offered to the fire and given to the crows to eat.
    It is believed that the pitras take the form of crows to eat the offerings made to them. The Brahmins are given gifts and money.
    The Brahmanda Purana has specified both the food and the utensils to be offered in shradha. It rates the pindas as most important. The food cooked during shradha should be saltless and free of all adulteration and impurities.
    According to the Matsya Purana, the manes, gratified by the offerings of food, bless their descendants with a long life, happiness, wealth, learning, progeny and
    Various kinds of shradha are mentioned in the Markandeya , like nitya or usual and naimitya or occasional, performed on death anniversaries.
    The Kamya Shradha is performed on one of the 15 days in the dark fortnight of Bhadra to pay homage as well as to fulfil a specific desire.
    Each of these 15 days signifies something different.
    For example, shradha is performed on the first day if one desires a beautiful wife, on the eighth day if one desires wealth, and on the fifteenth day if one wishes complete gratification. In addition, there are other days considered auspicious for performing shradha.
    The Hindu Itihasas (histories) say, that on the Mahalaya Amavasya, there is a conjunction of the sun and the moon and that the sun enters the sign Virgo (Kanya). On this day, the departed manes, i.e., our ancestors, leave their abode in the world of Yama and come down to the world of mortals and occupy the houses of their descendants.
    The fortnight preceding the new moon is specially consecrated for the propitiation of such departed spirits.
    The ceremonies performed in honour of the manes or ancestors during each day of this fortnight are considered to be equal to those performed at Gaya.
    The principle in all such rites is the worship of the departed souls and the satisfaction of their wishes so that they might be in peace during the rest of the year.
    It is these fourteen days that offerings made during this period benefit all the departed souls, whether they are connected to you or not.
    Charity in the form of food is important,The gift of food is the greatest gift.
    Hence give food in plenty, not only during the Mahalaya fortnight but all through the year.
    The ritual of Tarpana. Related to the Sanskrit word Trpti, which means satiation or satisfaction, Tarpana is a process of gratifying our ancestors.
    Tarpana works more deeply, reducing the emotional charges, which have accumulated in us as a result of the activities of our forebears.

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  3. Vasantheash

    Vasantheash New IL'ite

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    Hi Ms. Padma & Subbu, your posts were very information. Can you please provide us with the procedures of pitru pooja. Our grandparents never did this and hence our parents too don't know much about this pooja. Our reading the various post in this blog i wanted to know the procedures for this pooja so that i can guide my parents in doing this for the general well being of the entire family.

    Thanks & Waiting

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