Pitru Paksha 2020: Date, Timings and Significance of This Period
This year, the period of Pitru Paksha started on Bhadrapada Poornima i.e., September 2, onwards. The period in Hindu calendar is commonly known as Shradh Paksha. During this time, Hindu community members offer respect to their ancestors.
The Pitru Paksha is a 14-day long observation that commences in the Hindu month of Ashwin on the first day (Pratipada) and Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the Moon). This phase is considered unfavourable for carrying out auspicious rituals like marriage, tonsuring ceremony, naming ceremony, thread ceremony, house warming ceremony etc. as it is the time of the ascending of the Pitrus (souls of the deceased) from the Pitru Loka. The last day or the fourteenth day of Pitru Paksha is referred to as Chaturdashi Shradh, while the 15th day is Mahalaya Amavasya.
It is one of the most significant days of this important period. It is also essential to feed the poor or donate after making offerings to Brahmins. The people of the Hindu community perform Shradh and Tarpan rites to make their elderly ancestors happy.
Pitru Paksha Chaturdashi Shradh date
Pitru Paksha Chaturdashi Shradh this year will be observed on September 16.
Pitru Paksha Chaturdashi Shradh Tithi
The Chaturdashi Shradh Tithi starts on September 15 at 11:00 PM and ends on September 16 at 7:56 PM.
Pitru Paksha Chaturdashi Shradh significance
According to Hindu Mythology, during the 14 days of Bhadrapada maas, the souls of dead ancestors visit earth in the form of energy. As per Hindu beliefs, in Mahabharata, when Karna reached heaven after his death, he was greeted with luxuries and expensive gems but no one offered food.
Upon asking, Indra told Karna that as he donated jewellery and gold all his life on earth instead of offering food to his ancestors during Shradh, he was treated in heaven like so. On learning this, Karna requested Yamraja to send him back to earth so that he could perform shradh rituals in the memory of his ancestors. Yamraja granted his wish and sent Karna to earth for a fortnight. Karna, on return, was presented with lots of food. It signifies Brahmin bhoj as an effective ceremonial to achieve conclusion in life after death. Shradh for those who died on Chaturdashi Tithi should be performed on Amavasya, i.e. the following day.