Pitru Paksha is a very important 15-day period in the Hindu calendar that is dedicated to the memory of the departed ancestors. It falls on the dark fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada. During this time, Hindus from all across India observe certain rituals, customs, and practices to pay their respects to their loved ones who have passed away.
The period of Pitru Paksha is considered to be one of the most sacred and revered times in India. It is believed that during this period, the souls of our departed ancestors visit us and our offerings are a way to appease them and honour their memories.
The rituals and customs observed during Pitru Paksha vary from region to region, but there are some general dos and Don’ts that everyone should follow while observing the period. For Pitru Paksha 2023, here are some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind:
- Observe celibacy: Celibacy is an important practice to be observed during Pitru Paksha. This is done as a way of showing respect to our ancestors and honouring their memories.
- Donate food: Donating food to the needy in honour of our ancestors is a way of paying tribute to them. This can be done in the form of donations to charities, or even just offering food to people who come to your door.
- Observe fasts: Fasting for one or more days during Pitru Paksha is extremely important. This helps to purify our bodies and souls, which will help us in our spiritual journey.
- Light a lamp: Lighting a lamp in honour of our ancestors offers them peace and allows us to remember them fondly.
- Pray for departed souls: Praying for the departed souls is another way of honouring them during this time. The prayers can be done either at home or in temples dedicated to departed ancestors.
- Perform Shradh ceremonies: Shradh ceremonies are an important ritual that needs to be performed during Pitru Paksha to appease the souls of our departed ancestors. It involves offering food, water, flowers, fruits, incense sticks, etc., and performing mantras for them in a specific order.
- Avoid negative thoughts: During this period, it is important not to indulge in negative thoughts as they can affect our inner peace. Remembering our ancestors fondly and appreciating their blessings should be the focus of this period rather than dwelling on negative emotions.
- Avoid cooking non-vegetarian food: Cooking non-vegetarian food at home or eating it outside is strictly prohibited during this period as it distracts us from remembering our departed ones.
- Avoid cutting nails and hair: Cutting nails and hair should be avoided during Pitru Paksha as it is believed that doing so will bring bad luck and negativity into one’s life.
- Avoid taking medicines or visiting doctors: Taking medicines or visiting doctors should also be avoided during this period as it can bring bad luck or attract negative energies into one’s life.
- Avoid going outside after sunset: Going outside after sunset should also be avoided as it is believed that it invites bad luck into one’s life.
- Avoid making new financial decisions: Taking new financial decisions or investments should be avoided during Pitru Paksha as it can lead to bad luck or failure in investments.
Pitru Paksha 2023 will begin on September 29 and end on 25 October 14, 2023. During this period, we all need to remember and pay tribute to our beloved ancestors by following these Dos and Don’ts mentioned above. May their souls rest in peace!