Pitru Paksha Shradh 2023: Significance, Date, Tithi, Legend and Worship Method

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Pitru Paksha Shradh 2023 is a ceremony in which devotees pay homage to their dead ancestors (‘pitras’) by performing various rituals so that their soul rests in peace. Offering food in the name of the ancestors is the most important ritual of the Shradh. As per the Hindu Calendar, this period lasts for 16 days during the Krishna Paksha or the time period between Purnima and Amavasya in the Hindu month of Ashwin or Bhadrapada. This Shradh is performed for three generations of ‘Pitras’. In 2023, the period of Pitru Paksha Shraddh begins on Friday, September 29 and ends on Saturday, October 14, 2023.

Significance of Pitru Paksha Shraddha 2023

As per the Brahma Purana, devotees should worship their ancestors before the Gods since it is believed that the Gods are extremely pleased by this act. The souls of the ancestors who do not receive a proper departure or Shradh after their death, wander aimlessly on the earth. Therefore, during the fortnight of Pitru Paksha Shraddha, various kinds of rituals are performed for the departed souls to give them peace. It is also believed that all the sins committed by the deceased ancestors are removed through this Shradh. Pitru Paksha Shraddh is also performed for the ancestors whose death dates have been forgotten. Thus, on this common day, the devotees can pay homage to all their ancestors by chanting their names.

 Rudrabhishek Puja of Lord Shiva in Haridwar is beneficial during Shraddha

Legend Behind Pitru Paksha Shradh

There are various mythological stories associated with Pitru Paksha Shradh. According to a legend, when King Karna was killed in the epic battle of Mahabharata, his soul ascended to Heaven. Interestingly, he was served gold there instead of food. Karna was confused, hence he sought help from Indra Dev. Lord Indra told him that he was being served with gold ornaments since he donated only these materials to the poor and needy during his entire lifetime. He never offered food to the souls of his ancestors. Karna replied that he wasn’t aware of this ritual of offering food to the dead ancestors. Therefore, Lord Indra agreed to send Karna to the Earth again for 15 days so that he could cook food and offer it to the poor in memory of his ancestors. This time period eventually came to be known as Pitru Paksha Shradh. 

Important Dates of Pitru Paksha Shradh 2023

  • September 29 – Purnima Shradh
  • September 30 – Pratipada Shradh
  • October 1 – Dwitiya Shradh 
  • October 2 – Tritiya Shradh
  • October 3 – Chaturthi Shradh
  • October 4 – Panchami Shradh
  • October 5 – Shasti Shradh
  • October 6 – Saptami Shradh
  • October 7 – Ashtami Shradh
  • October 8 – Navami Shradh (Avidhava Navami)
  • October 9 – Dashami Shradh
  • October 10 – Ekadashi Shradh
  • October 11 – Dwadashi Shradh
  • October 12 – Trayodashi Shradh
  • October 13 – Chaturdashi Shradh
  • October 14 – Mahalaya Amavasya Shradh 

Also Read: The Festival of Nine Days of Maa Durga Worship: Navratri

Pitru Paksha Shraddh 2023 Worship Method

  • The puja rituals of the Shradh are performed by the male member of the family, generally the elder son.
  • On Puja day, the Devotees should wake up and bathe early in the morning, wearing a dhoti and a ring prepared from Kusha grass.  
  • After this, the Pind Daan ritual is conducted by offering sesame seeds, barley, flour and rice in remembrance of the ancestors.
  • Then the Devotees seek the divine blessings of Lord Vishnu by offering another sacred grass named “Darbha grass”.
  • Then the customary ritual is done where a portion of the food prepared for the ancestors is offered to a crow, who’s believed to be the messenger of Lord Yamraj. If the crow eats the good, it is considered very auspicious.
  • Finally, food is offered to the Brahmins and Dakshina is offered to him for performing the ceremony.
  • Reading texts such as Garuda Purana, Agni Purana, etc. are considered to be very auspicious during Pitru Paksha Shradh. 

Things to Avoid during Pitru Paksha Shradh 

During the period Pitru Paksha Shradh 2023, devotees shouldn’t go for any new beginnings or business ventures since this period is considered inauspicious for doing new things in life. People should also try to avoid buying or wearing new clothes during this period. Shaving beards or hair and washing clothes are also prohibited during the Pitru Paksha Shradh period, especially on the last day ie. Mahalaya Amavasya. Devotees should also refrain from consuming onion, garlic and non-veg food items at this time. As per astronomical calculations, auspicious events such as child naming ceremony, marriage, moving into a new house etc should be planned either before this period of time or should be postponed till the end of Pitru Paksha. 

Also Read: Pitru Amavasya – Puja, Rituals and Benefits

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