Mahalaya Paksha

Pitru Paksha

According to Lunar calendar, Pitrupaksha starts from Padyami (1st day) of Bahula Paksha (succeeding day) of Telugu month Bhadrapada generally falls in the calendar month  September and ends with Amavasya (no moon day). In Pitru Paksha, Pinda Pradhan can be done at home. We are providing the details of Kshetra Purohitas to be contacted in the Shrines who desire to perform the rituals  in holy shrines of Varanasi (Kashi), Gaya, Prayag Raj. Sri Kashi Gayatri Ashram in Varanasi offers accommodation and meals for Brahmins and non Brahmins as well as self-managed Pinda Pradnam and Tarpanam at the nearby magnificent Manikarnika Ghat in Kashi. The ashram has accommodation and meals for Brahmins and non-Brahmins with lift facility. The Ashram has contacts with other Ashrams and star hotels. So everyone will have a comfortable stay 

Sarma Pitru Amavasya Shradh

There are many facilities in Sonapura area to perform Pinda Pradhan and Tarpan at Kedareswar Ghat. Sri Shri Challa Lakshmana Sashtry and Sri Rajavarapu Viswanadha Sastry are the best  to perform the rituals. Accommodation is available at Shri Challa Lakshmana Sashtry House.  Apart from this, there is Sri Kashi Gayatri Sanatana Nityanna Dana Satram in Sonapura. There is no lift facility even though there are food and accommodation facilities. They are the assignors of the priests.We are attaching the visiting cards of the Purohits, Ashram and Choultry to contact those suitable to them. We are finishing the details of the Kshetra Purohits at Gaya and Prayag Raj.

The fifteen days span in which Hindus pay homage to their fathers and forefathers by offering food in the Telugu calendar is called Pitru Paksha or Mahalaya Paksha. The Pitru Paksha is called with different names depending on the region, but there is no change in the procedure. Pitru Paksha is considered inauspicious and the ceremony is performed with Shraddha and Tarpanam. The period of Sixteen days from Paurnima (full moon day)  to Amavasya (No moon day),  after Vinayaka Chaturdhi, which falls in the Telugu month of Bhadrapada or the month of September according to the English calendar is called Pitru Paksha. The period of 16 days is known as Mahalaya Paksha and Amavasya is called Pitru Amavasya or Mahalaya Amavasya. Pitra \ Paksha begins when the Sun enters Virgo according to Hindu mythology. During this time, it is believed that the souls leave Pitruloka and wander in the homes of their descendants until the Sun enters Scorpio.

Mahalaya Paksha occurs in Sarad Ruthu when sun moves from north to south. The northerners observe Mahalaya Paksha during Telugu month Asviyuja instead of Badrapada according to the solar calendar. The south direction of earth represents the ancestors in Hindu tradition. Therefore, the beginning of the period when the sun changes from north to south is said to be the period of the patriarchs. Lunar calendar Bhadrapada Bahula Paksha (16 days with full moon day) and Bahula Paksha (Ashwin Krishna pratipada to Ashwin amavasya) of  Ashviyuja according to Solar calendar considered to  be the sacred Pitru Paksha or Mahalaya Paksha as per legends and the parents along with ancestors have to be worshiped during the period. Hindus perform Shraddha rituals to their ancestors to satisfy them and seek their blessings on this fortnight.

It is said that the souls of three generations of deceased ancestors live in Pitruloka, the middle ground between earth and heaven as mentioned in Hindu mythology. The soul of the deceased after the death enters the (pithru loka) paternal world and the soul of the first generation of the clan attains salvation and unites with God. The soul of the person who is united in God is removed from Pinda and  Karma performed only to the souls of the three generations in Pitrloka. Shraddha rituals performed in Pitru Paksha will reduce the sorrow and suffering of the souls and bring happiness to them in the next birth.

There is a story in the legend Mahabharat.  Karna died in the Kurukshetra war and his soul reached heaven. The soul suffered from hunger and the food he touched immediately turned into gold due to his generosity. Karna went to Indra in heaven along with Surya and asked him the reason. Indra told Karna that he has not performed Karma to his ancestors though he was gifted gold throughout his life and cursed by his ancestors in getting dis-satisfaction of hunger. Karna said that he was not aware of the matter and did not make Pinda Pradhan. Karna was allowed to return to earth for 15 days and freed himself from the curse, offering food and water to his ancestors by performing  Karma in their memory. In some other legends, Lord Yama mentioned instead of Indra.                

In the Garuda Puran it is stated that there is no liberation for a childless being. Hindus believe that the souls of the parents and ancestors attain the salvation with the Shraddha ritual performed by the son. Legends say that family will develop with the blessings of household deities, Pancha Bhutas and ancestors. In Markandeya Puranam it is said that those who have satisfied their ancestors with Shraddha Karma will be blessed with health, wealth, knowledge and attain salvation. The last day of Sarva Pitru Amavasya in Mahalaya Paksha is considered as Tidhi of the deceased to perform Shraddha ritual is performed in the place of the previous forgotten or omitted Pinda Shraddha Puja. The shraddha ritual consists of archan and tarpan by reciting the names of the past three generations and clan of the lineage. Those perform Shraddha ritual get remember their family ties by learning and reciting the names of deceased parents, in-laws, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and others along with their clans.

Sarvapitru Amavasya, the most important of Pitrupaksha, is meant to perform Shraddha Karma to the deceased ancestors regardless of their Tidhi (day of death) and ancestors who were forgoted to perform Pinda Sraddha in the past. The Shraddha ritual performed at the sacred Gaya Shrine, considered to be the holy place on Amavasya during the Pitru Paksha period, is considered as fruitful. Shraddha rituals are performed here as a fair during Pitru Paksha.

In West Bengal, the Mahalaya Paksh begins on Durga Puja festival i.e. Ashviyuja Shudda Padyami, on the day Goddess Durga descended on earth. In Mahalaya Paksha, Bengali people wake up early in the morning and traditionally chant hymns from Devi Mahatya and worship the ancestors in homes and in temporary atriums. Thee worship of the ancestors and offering tarpan on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya, the souls of the ancestors roaming on earth without being able to reach heaven satisfy with the rituals and attain salvation.

Pitr-Paksha Rituals

By worship of the ancestors and offering tarpan on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya, the souls of the ancestors roaming on earth without being able to reach the heaven satisfy with the rituals and attain salvation. Issues related to money, health, relationship and career will be resolved with the blessings of ancestors performing Pinda Pradhan. Thus the performer of Sraddha Karma can get good luck and a prosperous life and the bad karma due to not doing Tarpan in the past will be removed. The sins committed by the ancestors are removed and helps to the performer of Sradha Karma to achieve success in everything.

Pinda pradhan ancestor souls Nirvan