Pitru Paksha 2019: Date, time, significance and relevance
New Delhi, September 11: Indian culture has always given a lot of importance to respecting our ancestors. In ancient scriptures, pitrus or pittas refer to ancestors and Paksha means a particular time or period. Hence the term Pitru Paksha means it is the time when we pay our respect by praying and offering food to our ancestors.
Pitru Paksha is a sixteen day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors. In South India according to the Amavsayant calendar it falls in the lunar month of Bhadrapada. In North India according to Purnimant calendar Pitru Paksha falls in the lunar month of Ashwin.
Both in South and North India, during this period Shraddha rituals are performed.
What is Pitru Paksha
The legend says that King Karna from Mahabharata was a king who performed a lot of charity. When he died, in the heaven, the gods gave him food made out of gold. Karna asked gods why he was given food made out of gold, they explained that during his lifetime, though he did lot of charity, he only gave gold and gems and food and water to the poor.
Karna realised his mistake and wanted to correct it. Gods sent him to earth for sixteen days to feed poor and needy.
It is these sixteen days which are known as Pitru Paksha. This period is considered inauspicious and no good task or new activity is undertaken. Entire family takes blessings by offering food and praying for their ancestors.
Pitru Paksha Dates
Pitru Paksha dates keep changing every years. This year Pitru Paksha begins from
13th September 2019 and ends on 28th September 2019.
The last day of Pitru Paksha is known as Sarvapitri Amavasya or Mahalaya Amavasya. Mahalaya amavasya is the most significant day of Pitru Paksha. Sarvapitri Amavasya falls on the last day that is 28th September, 2019, Saturday.
Pitru Paksha rituals vary from region to region and have different names like Shradham, Tarpanam, Sola Shraddha.
Why Pitru Paksha is relevant today
In our fast and materialistic lives we are slowly loosing our connect with the past. Pitru Paksha gives us the opportunity to remember our ancestors who have done a lot for us and because whom we exist.
It teaches us to respect them, also it instills the idea of charity in us as we provide food and water to the poor and needy.
If our ancestors are at peace only then can we live a peaceful and healthy life.