Pitra Paksha Shradh
Shrāddha Paksh, Mahālaya – Āhamāni Śrādh
The fortnight of ancestor worship
सर्वपितृ श्राद्ध Sarva Pitra Shradh Ends 30/9/2016
Introduction of Pitra Paksha Shradh :
श्राद्ध Meaning of Shradh reads,
“Feeding Brahmins in memory of deceased ancestors in the month of Bado” (Sindhi dictionary of 15 April 1910 “Jote” Office Hyderabad Sind).
श्राद्ध Meaning of Shradh in Sanskrit dictionary of Shri V. S. Apte-ji Poona, 28th December 1890 edition reads, “Faithful, believing. -द्धं 1. A funeral rite or ceremony performed in honour of the departed spirits of dead relatives; श्रद्धया दीयते यस्मात्तस्माच्छ्राज्रं निगद्यते it is of three kinds :- नित्य, नैमित्तिक and काम्य. -2. An obsequail oblation, a gift or offering at a Sraddha”. देवः, -देवता -1. “a deity presiding over funeral rites, -2. An epithet of Yama. -3. A Visvadeva q.v. -4. A Pitri or progenitor. – भुज्, भोक्तृ m. a deceased ancestor”.
श्रद्धा “श्राद्ध Śrad-dhā relating to a Sraddha ceremony, Cat.; n. a ceremony in honour and for the benefit of dead relatives observed with great strictness at various fixed periods and on occasions of rejoicing as well as mourning by the surviving relatives (these ceremonies are performed by the daily offering of the water and on stated occasions by the offering of Pindas or balls of rice and meal (see pinda) to three paternal and three maternal forefathers i.e. to father, grandfather and great grandfather; it should be borne in the mind that a Sraddha is not a funeral ceremony [antyeshti] but a supplement to such a ceremony; it is an act of reverential homage to a deceased person performed by relatives, and is moreover supposed to supply the dead with strengthening nutriment after the performance of the previous funeral ceremonies has endowed them with ethereal bodies; indeed until those antyeshti or ‘funeral rites’ have been performed, and until the succeeding first Srāddha has been celebrated the deceased relative is a prêta or restless, wandering ghost, and has no real body [only a lińga śarīra, q.v.]; it is not until the first Śrāddha has taken place that he attains a position among the Pitŗis or the Divine Fathers in their blissful abode called Pitŗi-loka, and the Sr is most desirable and efficatious when performed by a son”. (dictionary by M.W. in the edition of 1981 p.1056).
पितृ देवो भव – मातृ देवो भव
श्रद्धया दीयते तत् तिथि श्राद्धं प्रकीर्तितम् ।
देशकाले च पात्रे च श्रद्धया विधिना च यत् । पितृनुद्दिश्य विप्रेभ्यो श्राद्धमुदाह्रतम ॥ ब्रह्म पुराण
देश, काल और पात्र की योग्यता में श्रद्धा एवं विधिपूर्वक पितरों के उद्देश्य से जो अन्न, वस्त्र, द्रव्य ब्राह्मण को दिया जाता है उसे श्राद्ध कहते हैं ।
हिन्दू धर्म में पितृ पक्ष श्राद्ध एवं श्राद्ध कर्म का महत्त्व है । मृत्यु के बाद अगर किसी मनुष्य का विधिपूर्वक श्राद्ध और तर्पण कर प्रसन्न किया जाए तो मान्यतानुसार उन पितरों यानि पूर्वजों को पितृलोक मिलता है । इस लोक से मुक्ति मिलती है ।
Śŗāddham is a Hindu’s ritual. It is an important prayer, a respect in the honor of their ancestors every year. Pitras (ancestors are the foundation of ones life, and accordingly one is ‘rini’ towards them; hence, praying for their ‘moksha’ and observing Śhradh श्राद्ध with Śraddhā श्रद्धा is an integral part of śhradh feeding).
This year shradh paksha has started on 17th September and will end on 30th September 2016. Generally, it is a 15 days fortnight*, but sometimes, (i.e. tithi – any of the tithi in a paksha) may vary as per the duration of the Tithi comprising smaller fourteen “Hindu lunar day’s fortnight” or enlarged fortnight of the sixteen ‘lunar days’ period in which Hindus pray and perform the rituals of “Pitra Paksh Shradh”. As this period of Shrāddha Paksha is dedicated to departed ones, hence, certain pious things are offered in other paksha.
Next year, Shradh Paksha dates are from 6th to 19th September 2017. The year 2017 also will see a fortnight of fourteen days, instead of 15 days; because two tithis are in a ‘lunar day’ (lapse of one of the tithi will occur).
Pitrinam : Pitaras – Pitŗí – Pitru (Pitā, Paitāmaha, Prapitāmaha)
पितृ Pitra “(° tarau) father and mother, parents, RV. & c.(in the Veda N. of the Araņis [q.v.] and of heaven and earth); pl. (° taras) the father, forefathers, ancestors (esp.) the pitris or deceased ancestors (they are of 2 classes viz. the deceased father, grandfathers and great-grandfathers of any partic, person and the progenitors of mankind generally; in honour of both these classes rites called Srāddhas are performed and oblations called Piņdas [q.v.] are presented”.
पक्ष Paksha : “The half of anything. The half of a lunar month, a fortnight (comprising 15 days); there are two such pakshas, शुक्ल पक्ष: the bright or light half, and कृष्ण-तमिस्र पक्षः the dark half)”. “The half of a lunar month (the first half from new moon to full moon was called purva or apuryamana, later sukla or śuddha; the other half apara or apa-kshiyamana, later Krishna or tamisra; each fortnight consists of 15 Tithis or lunar days called prathamā, dvitiyā”.
ऋण Debt; as to the three kinds of debt ऋणं दा to pay off or discharge debt; अंत्यं ऋणं (पितृणं) the last debt to be paid to the Manes”.
पितृ ऋण, देव ऋण एवम् ऋषि ऋण Pitra (Manes), Deva (Gods) and Rishi (Sages) rina :
पितृणामनृमः “Every one that is born has three debts to pay off to sages, gods and the Manes”. Sanskrit dictionary of V.S.Apte-ji Poona, 28th December 1890 edition.
Vishnu Arpanam Sankalpam : Shraadh Sankalpa recitation for passed away takes place through Brahman; and the praying person dedicates prayers for the departed soul offering sankalapam to the Lord Vishnu. Food to cow, crow, dog is offered. Most of the people invite a Brahmin – Pandit (Hindu Priest) to their home for following the Shradh pooja. People believe in feeding food, donating food and other offerings.
Importance of Tithi of the passed away pitras : Lunar Calendar Panchāngam
Bhādrapada Krishna Paksh – Dark Fortnight (Param Āshwin – Asu)
Pratipadā – Ekam Tithi to Amāvasyā – Umās 17th to 30th September 2016
As per the Hindu lunar calendar, every year the period of Shraadham occurs during the Krishna Paksh (in the month of September and or October). One day prior to Pitŗa-Paksha, full Moon Purnimā – Shradh is also observed.
Panchāngam – Hindu Lunar Calendar :
Panchāng contains five different parts named as Tithi, Vaar, Nakshatra, Yog and Karan. The Chandramāsa – Hindu Lunar Month has two Fortnights.
1) Shukla Paksha : Brighter Fortnight in a month is termed as Shukla Paksha. These are also called as Sudi, Sahai, Sahayun.
2) Krishna Paksha – Dark Fortnight is called as Krishna Paksha. It is also named as Undhāi, Undhāyun, Badi and Vadi in Sanskrit, Sindhi language as well as other languages. Both Pakshas (fortnights) generally have the 15 days*.
The following are the shradh tithis (digits of the Moon) with different names :-
1) Pratipadā : Ekam – Parva (1st Tithi of the moon)
2) Dvtiyā : Beeja – Dooj (2nd Tithi)
3) Tritiyā : Teeja – Teej (3rd Tithi)
4) Chaturthi : Choth (4th Tithi)
5) Panchmi : Pāncham – Panjain (5th Tithi)
6) Shasthi : Chhath (6th Tithi)
7) Saptami : Sātam – Satain (7th Tithi)
8) Ashtami : Ātham – Athain (8th Tithi)
9) Navami : Navam – Nain (9th Tithi)
10) Dashmi : Dasam – Dashami – Dasain (10th Tithi)
11) Ekādashi : Gyāras – Agyāras (11th Tithi)
12) Dwādashi : Bāras (12th Tithi)
13) Triyodashi: Teras (13th Tithi)
14) Chaturdashi: Chodus (14th Tithi)
15) Amāvasyā : Umās – Amāvas (30th Tithi)
Shradh feeding Pooja of ‘Pitra Paksha Shradh’ and ‘Karam-Kanda Pooja’ from day 1st to the day 12th Shradh (Bārho, Pind-Daan, Tarpan, Havan); 11 and half month (Bārhāmāsi) Pooja as well as related Hindu prayer ceremony is conducted by Ishwar Maharaj – Pandit Ishwar Sharma, Hong Kong.
Ishwar Maharaj – Pandit Ishwar Sharma
Hindu Priest, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Address : P.O.Box 12637, Central, Hong Kong
E-mail: [email protected]
Hong Kong Mobile : 9498 7557