Pitra paksh (Shraddh) dates and time duration for the year 2016
(Tithis are given on the left column and on the right column it is showing that when the tithi will start and when the tithi will end it will not
match solar day because it is based on Lunar calculations)
Poornima Shraddha Starting 16 Sept 2016 03:15 HRS IST
Ending 16 Sept 2016 23:34 HRS IST
Pratipada Shraddh Starting 16 Sept 2016 23:34 HRS IST
Ending 17Sept 2016 21:34 HRS IST
Dwitiya Shraddh Starting 17 Sept 2016 21:34 HRS IST
Ending 18 Sept 2016 18:21 HRS IST
Tritiya Shraddh Starting 18 Sept 2016 18:21 HRS IST
Ending 19 Sept 2016 15:06 HRS IST
Chaturthi Shraddh Starting 19 Sept 2016 15:06 HRS IST
Ending 20 Sept 2016 11:57 HRS IST
Panchami Shraddh Starting 20 Sept 2016 11:57 HRS IST
Ending 21 Sept 2016 09:02 HRS IST
Shashthi Shraddh Starting 21 Sept 2016 09:02 HRS IST
Ending 22 Sept 2016 06:27 HRS IST
Saptami Shraddh Starting 22 Sept 2016 06:27 HRS IST
Ending 23 Sept 2016 04:18 HRS IST
Ashtami Shraddh Starting 23 Sept 2016 04:18 HRS IST
Ending 24 Sept 2016 02:40 HRS IST
Navami Shraddh Starting 24 Sept 2016 02:40 HRS IST
Ending 25 Sept 2016 01:35 HRS IST
Dashmi Shraddh Starting 25 Sept 2016 01:35 HRS IST
Ending 26 Sept 2016 01:03 HRS IST
Ekadashi Shraddh Starting 26 Sept 2016 01:03 HRS IST
Ending 27 Sept 2016 01:03 HRS IST
Dwadashi Shraddh Starting 27 Sept 2016 01:03 HRS IST
Ending 28 Sept 2016 01:33 HRS IST
Trayodashi Shraddh Starting 28 Sept 2016 01:33 HRS IST
Ending 29 Sept 2016 02:32 HRS IST
Chaturdashi Shraddh Starting 29 Sept 2016 02:32 HRS IST
Ending 30 Sept 2016 03:55 HRS IST
Amavasya Shraddh Starting 30 Sept 2016 03:55 HRS IST
Ending 01 Oct 2016 05:41 HRS IST
Amavasya dates after Shraddh
Date Day Start time to Date Day End time
================ ==== =========== ============== ==== ========
06th May 2016 Fri 04:46 HRS 07th May 2016 Sat 00:59 HRS
04th June 2016 Sat 11:49 HRS 05th June 2016 Sun 08:29 HRS
03rd July 2016 Sun 18:52 HRS 04th July 2016 Mon 16:30 HRS
02nd Aug 2016 Tue 03:14 HRS 03rd Aug 2016 Wed 02:14 HRS
31st Aug 2016 Wed 14:03 HRS 01st Aug 2016 Wed 14:32 HRS
30th Sept 2016 Fri 03:55 HRS 01st Oct 2016 Wed 05:41 HRS
29th Oct 2016 Sat 20:40 HRS 30th Oct 2016 Sun 23:07 HRS
28th Nov 2016 Mon 15:20 HRS 29th Nov 2016 Tue 17:48 HRS
28th Dec 2016 Wed 10:36 HRS 29th Dec 2016 Thu 12:22 HRS
27th Jan 2017 Fri 05:01 HRS 28th Jan 2017 Sat 05:36 HRS
25th Feb 2017 Sat 21:20 HRS 26th Feb 2017 Sun 20:28 HRS
27th Mar 2017 Mon 10:44 HRS 28th Mar 2017 Tue 08:27 HRS
Pitra Paksha (Shraddh-Tarpan): Do and Don’t
1. Krishna Paksha is better than Shukla Paksha for Tarpan (offering of water) and Shraddh.
2. After Noon time is better than before Noon for Tarpan and Shraddh.
3. Must Invite and offer food to Brahmin.
4. SILVER Patra (utensil) is best for offering food, Tarpan and Pind-daan. (ManuSmriti 3/202)
5. Do not perform Chaturdashi Shraddh. By offering food and water to your ancestors on this 14th day of
Ashwin Krishna Paksha (Pitra-Paksha), you may unwantedly be put into a war or quarrel. Young people in
your house may start dying in their early age.
Perform only when some has died in War/accident (Akal Mrityu).
You can perform Chaturadashi’s shraddh on next day (Amavasya).
6. No Shraddh has been prescribed for abortive child.
Tarpan : offering of water to the deceased
Tarpan literally means offering of water to the deceased. It is customary to add milk, oats,rice,sesame
seeds, sandalwood and flowers when offering tarpan. The mixture is offered in a small stream made
with the use of kusha and offered while chanting mantras. When this offering is made with devotion,
gratitude, goodwill, love and good wishes, it immediately ensures contentment for the deceased. This
offering is made on the death anniversary of the deceased. If one does not know the date of the death, then
the ceremony can be performed during the dark fortnight of Ashvin.
In the Manusmriti Tarpan has been described as pitra-yagya - a yagya dedicated to the memory of
forefathers.It is believed that it gives contentment to the deceased, and promotes comfort and happiness
for successors. The ceremony is meant to remember the deceased, offer reverence and appease the hunger
for remembrance. Forefathers look forward to this by their successors.
Among shraddh ceremonies, six kinds of tarpan are commended. Each has its own significance.
Dev-tarpan aims at making an offering to water, air, Surya, Agni, Moon, energy and the gods that work
selflessly for the welfare of mankind.
Rishi-tarpan aims at making an offering to Narad, Charak, Vyas, Ddhichi, Sushrut, Vashistha, Yagvalkya,
Vishwamitra, Atri, Katyayan, Panini and other rishis.
Divyamanav-tarpan aims at making an offering to all who have made sacrifices for the welfare of mankind
such as the Pandavas, Maharana Pratap, Raja HarishChandra, Janak, shivi, Shivaji, Bhamashah,
Gokhale, Tilak and other important people.
Divyapitra-tarpan aims at making an offering to those forefathers who left behind great moral values and
wealth for successors.
Yam-tarpan aims at making an offering to remember the God of Death (Yamraj), and to accept the principle
of birth and death.
Manushyapitra-tarpan aims at making an offeing to all those who are related to the family as relatives,
teachers, friends and others.
Pitra Tarpan Mantras - Offer Water to Departed Soul
One can offer food and/or water to their ancestors to get their blessings.
Awahan: First invite(call) your ancestor’s spirit by praying (fold your hand) through this mantra:
“Om Aagachchantu Me Pitar Emam Grihanantu Jalaanjalim.”
Tarpan (offer Water)
Now offer Teel Mixed Water or Ganga Jal : 3 times for each one
“AmukGotrah AsmatPita AmukSharma Vasuroopastripyatamidam Teelodakam (GangaJalam Vaa) Tasmey
Swadha Namah, Tasmey Swadha Namah, Tasmey Swadha Namah.”
Replace AmukGotrah with: Family Gotra
AsmatPita: Use for father
AmukSharma: Father’s Name
Teelodakam: Use if Teel is mixed with water otherwise use “GangaJalam Vaa”
Tasmey Swadha Namah 3 times while leaving (offering) water from hand
To Grand Father
Replace AsmatPita with Asmatpitamah
Replace Vasuroopastripyatamidam with Rudraroopastripyatamidam
Replace AmukSharma with Grand Father’s Name
Tarpan to Mother
“AmukGotraa Asmnamata AmukiDevi Vasuroopaa Tripyatamidam Teelodakam (GangaJalam Vaa) Tasmey
Swadha Namah, Tasmey Swadha Namah, Tasmey Swadha Namah.”
It is true that mantra is a great medium for pray and offerings.
But love, attachment, feelings, sentiments, emotions, regards, Bhawana is a prime not mantras.
Shraddh - For Missing Persons
If a person has gone missing what to do about his last rites and shraddh?
Hindu Scriptures (Shastras) order that in case of a missing person his return should be awaited for 12
years. This ruling is in case the of the natural calamities. After 12 years the last rites may be performed
using a mud lump to represent the missing person. After one year from that point shraddh may be regularly
Who should do Shraddh
In the religious texts, it is written that those blessed with a son need never worry about their last rites.
Just by being available to be seen at the time death the son becomes free of parental debt. One whose son
offers shraddh goes to heaven. The last rites by the son protect the father or mother from birth in low
According to DharmRaj if one has several sons the elder one should perform the last rites. The other sons
may be present, but must not perform the rites.
If there is no son, the wife/husband should perform it. If they are not available, then a real
brother should do it. In their absence, the son-in-law or his son can conduct the ceremony.
What our Shastras say about Shraddh
In the Manusmriti, 3/275, it is written:
“Whatever one offers ceremoniously and with devotion to the deceased reaches them in heaven in
imperishable and eternal form”.
In the Garudapuran it is said:
“When shraddh is performed to their satisfaction, the deceased bless successors with age, a son, fame,
salvation, heaven, glory, stability, strength, prosperity, cattle, happiness, money, growth and eternal
In the Yamsmriti, 36-37, it is said:
“A father, grandfather and great grandfather desire the shraddh ceremony just as birds living on trees
desire that the tree bear fruit. They expect that successors will offer honey, milk and kheer (rice-
porridge) at the shraddh ceremony”.
In the Yamsmriti, 40, it is further said:
“Whatever number of morsels a Brahmin, expert in mantras, eats, that many morsels are accepted by the
father of the person performing shraddh by being present within the body of the Brahmin“.
DEATH AND AFTER - Garuda Purana
God Garuda and Lord Krishna’s conversation
Garuda said- ‘ After visiting all the three ‘Lokas’ (World) I found the Earth (Prithvi) little overcrowded as
compared to other ‘Lokas’. I also found that it provided better opportunities to a man both
for materialistic enjoyments as well as his spiritual advancement. So, I have come to the conclusion that
‘Prithviloka’ was the best of all the ‘Lokas’ in every respect.
But, all round prevalence of sorrow and misery in ‘Prithviloka’ made me sad. I was really perplexed to see
people performing complex rituals after the death of their relative. All these rituals appeared so
absurd to me. I was really amazed to see people laying down their dead relatives on the ground. I could
also not understand why a dead body is laid on the bed of ‘kusha’ grass and sesame seeds. I witnessed so
many rituals that surprised me, for instance I could not understand the reason why donations are made
after a man dies. I am puzzled by the mystery called death or, what becomes of him after he dies. The
sight of sons lifting the dead body of their father on their shoulders is still fresh in my memory. I could
not understand the reason why ‘ghee’(clarified butter) is applied on a dead body or why the relatives of the
deceased chant ‘Yama sukta’ facing north. I was also surprised to see the son of the deceased being
debarred from having meal along with his other relatives.
O Lord! Please reveal to me the significance of making ‘pinda- daans’ or, the significance of ‘tarpan’ rituals?
Please tell me the proper method of offering ‘pinda daan’ and invoking ancestors? I find it hard to believe
that all the deeds virtuous or evil committed by a man follows him after his death.’ This way
Garuda flooded Lord Krishna with a barrage of questions and sought clarifications on them.
Lord Krishna replied–” I am so delighted that you have asked such important questions for the benefit of
mankind. I am revealing to you the secrets, which were hitherto unknown even to the deities and yogis.
O Garuda! A man should try to beget a son with the help of means as mentioned in the scriptures because
there is no salvation for a person bereft of son.
” Lord Krishna then went on to describe the proper rituals which are performed after the death of a man
” First of all, the area should be purified by coating it with a layer of cow-dung (Gobar). This
purified area is called ‘mandal’ and it is graced by the presence of the ‘Trinity’– Brahma, Shiva and Myself.
Sesame seeds are then sprinkled on the purified area and kusha grass is spread. A person whose death is
imminent is then laid down on the bed of kusha grass. Scriptures say that a person who does not leave his
mortal body in the above mentioned way, wanders hither and thither in the form of a restless spirit. No
amount of rituals can put such a soul to rest.
O Garuda! Sesame seed has manifested from my sweat and hence is extremely pure. All kind of evil forces
like, ghosts, spirits, demons, etc. keep away from the place where it is used. Similarly, Kusha grass has
manifested from my body hair and is graced by the presence of ‘Trinity’– Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Deities
are satisfied if kusha grass is offered to them while ancestors are satisfied by the offerings of sesame
Scriptures say that if dying man is laid down on the bed of kusha grass spread on the land purified by cow-
dung, he becomes absolved of all his sins.
There is a great significance of donating salt after the death of a person. Salt owes its origin to Me and
donating it helps ancestors in attaining heaven. Donating salt also helps in reducing the pain and sufferings
of a dying man and this is why it is donated along with other articles after a death of a person.
The relatives of the deceased should chant the sacred ‘Yama sukta’ facing north because it helps him to
Origin of Pitra Paksha - from Mahabharat
danvir_karna rites_and_ritualsThe renowned hero of the Mahabharata, Danavira Karna, when he left the
mortal coil, ascended to the higher worlds and reached the region of the heroes.
There, the fruit of his extraordinary charity while upon earth came to him multiplied thousandfold, but it
came to him in the form of immense piles of gold and silver. Karna had done limitless charity of wealth, but
had neglected to do Anna-Dana. Thus he found himself in the midst of wealth and plenty, but with no
food to appease him.
He prayed to Lord Yama. The Great Ruler responded to Karna’s prayer and granted him a respite for
fourteen days to return to the earth-plane once again and make up for his former neglect. Karna came down
from the Mrityu Loka, and for fourteen days, he fed the Brahmins and the poor, and made offerings of
water, etc. He performed the prescribed rites also on the last day. On his return once again to the higher
world, the effect of Karna’s observances during this fortnight removed all his wants there.
The time of this occurrence was the dark fortnight of Asvayuja. Due to the grace of Lord Yama, it came to
be so ordained that such rites done at this particular period acquired the following unique
merits. Offerings made at this time reached all departed souls, whether they were kins directly in the line
of the offerer or not.
Even those who died without progeny received these oblations given on this Pitripaksha Amavasya day. All
those who had failed to do deeds of charity and Anna-Dana and were thus denied these comforts in the Pitri
Loka, benefited by these ceremonies. Those deceased whose date of death is not known and whose annual
Sraaddha cannot be done, they also get these oblations of Pitripaksha.
Souls whose life was cut off by violent, accidental or unnatural death and to whom, therefore, offerings
cannot reach in the ordinary course, to them, too, the Pitripaksha offerings reach directly. All these the
boon of Lord Yama made possible from the time the great Karna performed the Asvayuja-Paksha rites. The
Hindus now observe this Paksha with great faith, with strict regulation, taking bath thrice, with partial
fasting, etc. On the newmoon day, Sarvapitri Amavasya, the full rites are done and plenty of charity given.
गयाजी की महिमा: गया श्राद्धसे प्रेतयोनिसे मुक्ति
ॐ गयायै नमः । ॐ गदाधराय नमः ।
वायुपुराण आदि कई पुराणोंमें आया है कि किसी प्रेतने एक वैश्यसे कहा कि ‘आप मेरे नामसे गयाशिरमें पिण्डदान कर दें, इससे हमारी प्रेतयोनिसे
मुक्ति हो जायेगी। मेरा सम्पूर्ण धन आप ले लें और उसे लेकर मेरे उद्धेश्यसे गयाश्राद्ध कर दें। इसके बदलेमें मैं अपनीसम्पत्तीका छठा अंश आपको
पारिश्रमिकके रुपमें दे रहा हूँ। मैं आपको अपना नाम-गोत्रादि भी बता रहा हूँ।’
प्रेतके अनुरोधपर उस वणिक्ने गयाकी यात्रा की और गयाशिरमें जाकर उस प्रेतके निमित्त पिण्ड प्रदान किया और उसके बाद अपने पितरोंका भी
पिण्डदान किया। पिण्डदानके प्रभावसे वह प्रेत प्रेतयोनिसे मुक्त हो गया -
‘प्रेत: प्रेतत्वनिर्मुक्तः’ (वायुपुराण ११२।२०)
इसलिये कहा गया है कि गयाशिरमें जाकर जिन-जिनके नामसे मनुष्य पिण्डदान करता है, वे यदि नरकमें हैं तो स्वर्ग पहुँच जाते हैं और स्वर्गमें हैं तो
मुक्ति प्राप्त करते हैं।
अपना औरस पुत्र हो अथवा किसी अन्यका पुत्र हो, जब कभी गयाक्षेत्रकी पवित्र भूमीपर जिस-जिसके नामसे पिण्डदान करता है, उस-उसको वह
पिण्ड शाश्वत ब्रह्मपदको प्राप्त करता है। गयातीर्थमें जिस किसीके द्वारा भी जिस किसीका नाम-गोत्रका उच्चारणकर यदि पिण्ड दिया जाता है तो वह
उसे परम गति प्राप्त करा देता है ।
Pind daan ceremony in Gaya(Bihar,India)-Why?
“In Vayupuran, according to a narration titled Gaya Mahatam, when creating mankind, Brahma created a
demon named Gayasur. The demon went atop the kolahal Mountain and offered great penance to
Lord Vishnu. Pleased with Gayasur, Lord Vishnu asked him to seek one blessing. So,Gayasur requested that
whoever came in touch with him - be it an angel or a demon, an insect, a sinner, a saint or a sage, or an evil
spirit - should find salvation after having been purified of all sins. From that day everyone who came in
touch with him found salvation and proceeded to vaikunth (abode of Lord Vishnu).”
It is believed that it was Lord Brahma who first performed the pind daan ceremony in Gaya. Since
then this tradition has continued. Offering pind daan during the dark fortnight of Ashvin (5 Sep to 18 Sep)
is of special significance. Symbolically a pind is a round ball made of a mixture of wheat and rice flour
with some sesame seeds mixed along with some milk and honey. Seven balls are made out of 100 grams of
flour. Of these, one is offered to the deceased and the rest to others as desired.
Earlier pind daan was performed around the year. There were 360 platforms where pind daan was done
with wheat and oat flour mixed with dried milk. Pind daan is also performed symbolically with mud balls.
Presently pind daan is performed at Vishnu temple, Akshay,Vat,Phalgu and Punpun river, Ramkund, Sitakund,
Brahm Mangalpuri, Kagbali, and with the five pilgrimages they together make 48 platforms where pind daan
In the Kurmpuran, 34/7-8, it is said:
“All forefathers appreciate a pilgrimage to Gaya by their successors. Once the pind daan is performed in
Gaya, one achieves salvation. One becomes free of rebirth. If one visits Gaya even once and offers pind
daan, the forefathers become free from hell and other dreadful destinations and achieve salvation.”
In the Kurmpuran it is also said that whoever goes to Gaya for pind daan is blessed and seven generations
from the paternal and maternal side are benefited along with the personal self who achieves salvation.
Only a son or another male relative is authorised to offer pind daan. However,in 1985, the Brahmins of
Mithila authorised women relatives also to offer pind daan. It is said that once Sita(Wife of Lord Rama)
too offered pind daan after Dasrath(Father of Lord Rama) died.September