The mourning period of Shradh will begin soon and it falls in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. The 15-day lunar period refers to a time when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors.
The specific time period is referred to as Pitru Paksha. It starts at the end of Ganesh Chaturthi. Pitru Paksha 2019 will start with Purnima Shradh on September 13 and will go on till Sarva Pitru Amavasya on September 28. A traditional Puja is organized to fulfill the wishes of one’s ancestors.
It is believed that during these days, one must pay respects to their ancestors even before worshipping god. This is a time to remember the members who have passed away and pay respect to them. It is also believed that during this time of Pitru Paksha the ancestors come to the earth and bless their family members.
The people of Hindu community prepare a special meal to be offered to the ancestral souls.
Shradh 2019 Pitru Paksha Calendar
13th September – Purnima Shradh
14th September – Pratipada Shradh
15th September – Dwitiya Shradh
17th September – Tritiya Shradh
18th September – Maha Bharani, Chaturthi Shradh
19th September – Panchami Shradh
20th September – Shashthi Shradh
21st September – Saptami Shradh
22nd September – Ashtami Shradh
23rd September – Navami Shradh
24th September – Dashami Shradh
25th September – Ekadashi Shradh
26th September – Magha Shradh, Dwadashi Shradh
27th September – Travodashi Shradh, Chaturdashi Shradh
28th September – Sarva Pitru Amavasya
Significance of Shradh
The significance of Shradh dates back to Mahabharta wherein the legends state after the war between Kauravas and Pandavas, Karna died on the field.
On reaching the gates of heaven, he was offered food in the form of gold and silver. He could not eat the jewelry pieces so he asked for food that he could actually consume. Lord Indra told Karna that throughout his life, he donated a lot to his people in terms of gold or silver but not in any form of food. So, Indra allowed him to go back to the Earth for 15 days so he could serve his ancestors better. This period during which Indra returned to the Earth is referred to as Shradh.
The last day of the Pitru Paksha is known as Sarvapitri Amavasya or Mahalaya Amavasya. It is the most important day of the mourning period. Also, on this day, those who do not know the exact date of the death anniversary of their ancestors pay homage on this particular day. It is said that performing the ritual of Shradh is said to give peace to the departed souls.