Shradh is a Sanskrit word that refers to anything that is done with utmost sincerity and faith. The 15 days lunar period is considered highly important for Hindus. People pay homage to their ancestors during this time period of 15 days. Conceptually, this is a time period when we feel heartfelt gratitude for our deceased parents and forefathers and, pray for them so that they can stay in peace. Poojas are performed and food is offered to priestly Brahmans.
This 15 days period plays an important role in the process of pacifying the departed souls. There are Hindu scriptures like ‘Garuda Purana’, Agni Puran, and Vayu Puran defines the significance of Shradh in great length.
Shradh Dates that you should follow through the days
|September 29, 2023||Friday||Purnima Shradh|
|September 29, 2023||Friday||Pratipada Shradh|
|September 30, 2023||Saturday||Dwitiya Shradh|
|October 1, 2023||Sunday||Tritiya Shradh|
|October 2, 2023||Monday||Chaturthi Shradh|
|October 2, 2023||Monday||Maha Bharani|
|October 3, 2023||Tuesday||Panchami Shraddha|
|October 4, 2023||Wednesday||Shashthi Shradh|
|October 5, 2023||Thursday||Saptami Shradh|
|October 6, 2023||Friday||Ashtami Shradh|
|October 7, 2023||Saturday||Navami Shradh|
|October 8, 2023||Sunday||Dashami Shradh|
|October 9, 2023||Monday||Ekadashi Shradh|
|October 10, 2023||Tuesday||Magha Shraddha|
|October 11, 2023||Wednesday||Dwadashi Shradh|
|October 12, 2023||Thursday||Trayodashi Shraddha|
|October 13, 2023||Friday||Chaturdashi Shradh|
|October 14, 2023||Saturday||Sarva Pitru Amavasya|
The last day of the Pitru Paksha shradh is Sarva Pitru Amavasya. It is popularly known as Mahalya Amavasya as well. This Amavasya is the most significant day of the Shraddha. The Shradh of Amavasya tithi is done for people who died on Amavasya Tithi, Purnima tithi, or Chaturdashi tithi.
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Moreover, if someone fails to perform any of the other Shradhs, then you can perform Amavasya Shradh for all the deceased souls of the family. Even if you don’t know the dates of death of your forefathers or you have forgotten them, then these Shradhs can be performed on the day of Amavasya. That is why the day is also known as Sarvapitra Moksha Amavasya.
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Dos and Don’ts of Shradh/Pitru paksha
We have scripted a list of dos and don’ts that will help you fulfill all the conditions of Shradh and will keep you prepared.
- Only cow milk should be used in the preparation of food for the pooja whether you need, milk, curd, or ghee. Also, make sure the cow who is providing you milk should not have given birth to a calf recently. A cow, who recently gave birth to a calf, should not be milked.
- Silver utensils should be preferred for the rituals. Using silverware for rituals and pooja is considered auspicious. It is believed that silver eradicates all evil forces. If not silver, consider bronze and copper as they are also considered auspicious.
- Use barley peas and mustard. According to Hindu beliefs, the usage of barley, Kaangani (a type of millet), peas, and mustard in the pooja and food is considered auspicious.
- Sesame. It is another food ingredient that is considered auspicious. It is believed that sesame seeds protect you from evil powers. Sesame seeds bring good luck and happiness into our lives.
- Kheer. A sweet meal that is prepared with milk, rice, ghee, and sugar should be served to Brahmans on this auspicious day. Kheer is a vital part of Hindu rituals.
- All Hindus must go vegetarian during this time period. Offer food to Brahmans. Priests are supposed to eat their meal in silence while remembering and praying for deceased souls. It is suggested to serve food and Prasad to needy people as well. A small portion of food is served to cows, crows, ants, and dogs separately.
- Meat, chicken, eggs rotten fruits, or grains should not be served to Brahmans as it is considered no less than their insult.
The time period is considered highly significant because according to Hindu beliefs, the pooja, prayers, and Prashad offered to deceased souls reach them almost instantly. It helps them to attain peace, and they bless their children.
Doing a shradh pooja is a long process and all the steps should be followed while performing it. Moreover, it is suggested to perform the pooja in the presence of a Brahman. Family members can only eat after the priest and ancestors (cow) are done.