The Significance of Pitra Paksh

The 15-day period of Pitra Paksh is observed to pay homage to our loved ones who have passed on. Water oblations (Tarpan) is done daily and food is offered to Bhagawan and thereafter to our ancestors. Many would say that observing Pitra Paksh is unnecessary, however it is important to offer Tarpan, Pind dhaan and food.  Below is the katha of Karna, the eldest brother of Arjun who was known as “Dhaanveer” the one who donated generously.

As per Mahabharat, when Karna, Kunti’s first son died, he went to heaven and was offered gold and precious jewels, to which Karna asked Yamraj that he wishes to have food and water, and not these precious jewels. Hearing that Yamraj replied to Karna that he only donated gold and jewels to people all his life and never offered food and water in the name of his ancestors.

To this, Karna told Yamraj that he didn’t know about his ancestors because he was blessed by Suryadev, to his mother, and he has no clue of his ancestors. After this Karna was sent to earth for a period of 15 days so that he could perform Shradh for his ancestors and donate food and water. Since then, this period of 15 days is regarded as Pitra Paksh.

We go on donating and doing things lavishly in the name of our loved ones. Its not wrong to do that but let us not forget about doing the simple Tarpan, Pind Dhaan and food offerings during this time to benefit our ancestors.

Below is a simple procedure to offer Tarpan daily:

  1. Take a bath and put clean clothing (preferably white or brown; NOT blue or black), facing east.
  2.  Fill a basin with water/ milk/ jaw/ chandan/ rose water/ paan/ supari/ honey/ flowers/ sugar and white rice.
  3. Do daily Luxmi Narayan pooja or your normal daily routine pooja (offering surya jal, lamp lighting etc).
  4. The Basin

*** Keep 3 pieces of Kus knotted at the end across both palms forming a cup when making each offering. ***

4.1. Make one offering of water for each name below from the Dev Theerth facing the east. You will chant:


4.2. Make two offerings of water facing the north, via the Rishi Theerth and chant: AUM RISHIYAA THRIP YAN THAAM.

4.3. Now for your ancestors add black thil and more flowers into the basin.

You must offer 3 water oblations for each ancestor, via the Pitr Theerth, facing the south, and chant:

  1. Example: For your late father, whose name was Amar. With a firm mental picture of him chant: AUM (AMAR) THRIP YA THAAM; SWADHAA

(Offer 3 water handfuls to the right via Pitr theerth for Dad)

5.  Now do same for your other ancestors of your choice. Now offer 3 oblations to the south, with the following thought in mind:

“I make these 3 offerings to those people who are related or unrelated to me or to those who were related to me in my past lives. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you must be satisfied and find some contentment. This I wish for all of you”

  1. Dispose of basin of water where you have planted your kus to offer Tarpan in your yard.
  2. Do Shanti paat.

The above procedure was prescribed by a revered local Pundit Ji.

We take this opportunity to wish all observing Pitra Paksh. May you and your ancestors reap the blessings of all the oblations done. Pitra Paksh blessings to all.


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