This year Pitru Paksha or Mahalaya Paksha starts from 17th September 2016 to 30th September 2016 and end on Mahalaya Amavasya day on 30th September 2016.Here are the Details day wise:
September 17th –Sat – Mahalaya Pitru Paksha begins – Prathama thithi shraddha
September 18th –Sun – Dwitiya thithi Shraddha
September 19th –Mon – Trithiya thithi Shraddha
September 20th –Tues – Chaturthi thithi Shraddha
September 21st –Wed – Panchami & Shasti thithi Shraddha
September 22nd –Thu – Saptami thithi Shraddha
September 23rd –Fri – Astami thithi Shraddha
September 24th -Sat – Navami thithi Shraddha
September 25th –Sun – Dasami thithi Shraddha
September 26th –Mon – Ekadasi – NO Shraddha will be done on this Day – Fasting Day
September 27th –Tue – Dwadasi thithi Shraddha — Yathi Mahalaya
September 28th –Wed – Trayodasi thithi Shraddha
September 29th –Thu – Chaturdasi thithi Shraddha
September 30th -Friday – Mahaalaya Amavasya – Most important day of Shraddha – FOR ALL
One Has to Read the above it informs how importance is Shraddha Karmas for the Pitrus already Departed and very inner depth Meaning & Information upon on the Soul.
Shraaddha and Tarpana
Shraaddha is the name of the ceremonies performed by Self or Relatives to help the Jeeva ( Soul ) who has departed off his physical body in death. A Jeeva who has cast off his physical sheath is called a Preta. The part of the Shraaddha performed to help him at this stage is called the Preta Kriya.
Benefits of Shraaddha And Tarpana of the Departed Souls
Gifts to deserving Brahmanas for the benefit of the PitrUs, in the proper time and place and with faith, are known as Shraaddha. Shraaddha gives satisfaction to the Pitrus by the offering of the sixteen Shraaddhas, the son helps his father to dwell in joy with the Pitrus. The son should perform the Sapindikarana rites for his father. Performance of Shraaddha and Tarpana relieves the hunger and thirst of the departed soul during its journey to the Pitru Loka ( world ).
Those who go to hell are extremely oppressed by hunger and thirst. Performance of Shraaddha and offerings of Rice and oblations to them, relieve their sufferings. Hence, performance of Shraaddha is indispensable. Those who dwell in heaven also get satisfaction, strength and nourishment.
Cremation is the best way of destroying a dead body. This is highly beneficial for the departed soul. If the body is not burnt; the Jiva is linked to the earth. The soul hovers round or hangs about the dead body on account of Moha or attachment to the physical body. Its journey to the celestial regions is interfered with. The vibrations set up by the recitation of Mantras and the offerings and oblations of water, bring solace and comfort to the departed soul. The Sapindikarana ceremony helps the Jeeva to pass from the Preta Loka to the Pitru Loka. He is then enrolled among the Pitrus or the ancestors. The son walks three times round the dead body of his father before fire is set to the pyre and sprinkles water once, reciting the Mantra: “Go away. Withdraw and depart from here.” The bones and Ashes are collected on the next day and immersed into a river. Those who can afford take them to Benares or Haridwar and immerse them into the Ganga River. It is believed that the soul whose mortal remains are consigned to the sacred River Ganga attains to the higher regions of spiritual light and splendour and in the end to salvation.
Immediately after death, the Jiva obtains the Ativahika body which is made up of fire, air and ether. Later on, it may have a Yatana Deha for suffering the tortures of hell if it had done great sins on the earth-plane, or a celestial body for enjoying the pleasures of heaven if it had done virtuous actions while living in the world. In the Yatana Deha, the air-element preponderates; while, in the celestial body, the element of fire is dominant. It takes one year for the Jiva to reach the Pitru Loka.
There are two classes of Pitrus, viz., the celestial Pitrus who are the lords of the Pitru Loka, and the human Pitrus who go there after death. Brahma is the paternal grandfather of all. Kasyapa and the other Prajapatis are also Pitrus, as they are the original progenitors. Pitru Loka or the Abode of the Pitrus is also called by the name Bhuvara Loka.
The word Pitrus primarily means the immediate ancestors, viz., father, mother, etc. Shraaddha Karma is performed for three generations of Pitrus, or to all Pitrus. Main Three Pindas are offered to the father, the grandfather and the great grandfather. Two Brahmins are fed first. Seven generations can mutually influence one another by the giving and receiving of food.
Here is a Useful Dwadasa Pitrugala List ( 4 Pages ) a detailed ones and everyone who is performing Mahalaya Shraddha during the Pitru Paksha must carry all the Details filled in before starting the Shraddha karma.
Origin Of The Pitrupaksha – A Story from the Mahabharata
The renowned hero of the Mahabharata, Daanavira Karna, when he left the mortal coil, ascended to the higher worlds and reached the region of the heroes. There, the fruit of his extraordinary charity while upon earth came to him multiplied thousandfold, but it came to him in the form of immense piles of gold and silver. Karna had done limitless charity of wealth, but had neglected to do Anna-Dana. Thus he found himself in the midst of wealth and plenty, but with no food to appease him. He prayed to Lord Yama. The Great Ruler responded to Karna’s prayer and granted him a respite for fourteen days to return to the earth-plane once again and make up for his former neglect. Karna came down from the Mrityu Loka, and for fourteen days, he fed the Brahmins and the poor, and made offerings of water, etc. He performed the prescribed rites also on the last day. On his return once again to the higher world, the effect of Karna’s observances during this fortnight removed all his wants there. The time of this occurrence was the dark fortnight of Asvayuja.
Due to the grace of Lord Yama, it came to be so ordained that such rites done at this particular period acquired the following unique merits. Offerings made at this time reached all departed souls, whether they were kins directly in the line of the offerer or not. Even those who died without progeny received these oblations given on this Pitrupaksha Amavasya day. All those who had failed to do deeds of charity and Anna-Dana and were thus denied these comforts in the Pitru Loka, benefited by these ceremonies. Those deceased whose date of death is not known and whose annual Shraaddha cannot be done, they also get these oblations of Pitrupaksha. Souls whose life was cut off by violent, accidental or unnatural death and to whom, therefore, offerings cannot reach in the ordinary course, to them, too, the Pitrupaksha offerings reach directly. All these the boon of Lord Yama made possible from the time the great Karna performed the Asvayuja-Paksha rites. The Hindus now observe this Paksha with great faith, with strict regulation, taking bath thrice, with partial fasting, etc. On the newmoon day, Sarvapitru Amavasya, the full rites are done and plenty of charity given.
Propitiation Of Departed Spirits
The day of Mahalaya Amavasya is a day of great significance and importance to all Hindus. It is the annual festival for propitiating the spirits of our ancestors, with devout prayers for peace. The Hindu Itihasas 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.
———- Hari Om ———-