One cannot deny that culture always occupies an important place in our lives. Amongst all the rituals that Hindus enthusiastically practise, the Sarva Pitru Amavasya is considered one of the important ones. About a fortnight is fixed for paying respect and homage to the ancestors every year in Hindu traditions. The sixteen-day period is referred to as the Pitru Paksha in the Chaturmas period, and Sarva Pitru Amavasya is the last day. Sarva Pitru Amavasya 2021 is being observed on 6th October 2021 (Wednesday).
Here is the Sarva Pitru Amavasya Date and Time.
Amavasya Tithi Begins - 07:04 PM, 5th October 2021
Amavasya Tithi Ends - 04:34 PM, 6th October 2021
Kutup Auspicious Muhurat - 11:45 AM to 12:32 PM
Rohina Auspicious Muhurat - 12:32 PM to 01:19 PM
Aparahna Kaal - 01:19 PM to 03:40 PM
Every year during the Bhadrapada month, Hindus observe the sixteen days known as the Pitru Paksha. This period extends from Purnima to Amavasya. Irrespective of whether your ancestors have passed away during the Shukla Paksha or the Krishna Paksha, Shradh is performed. The Amavasya Tithi Shradh is observed for the deceased ancestors of the family. People perform the Shradh rituals to ensure that the souls of the ancestors who have departed from this world attain peace and bless those alive. Individuals pay homage to their ancestors and make offerings, typically food. It is commonly believed that the deceased ancestors visit their descendants during this period.
'Sarva Pitru' means 'all ancestors or forefathers'. The occasion of Sarva Pitru Amavasya is observed on the last and most significant day of this period of Shradh rituals and is believed to be quite important. It is observed on Amavasya or the New Moon day of the 'Bhadrapada' or 'Ashwin' month. The word 'Shradh' is derived from two Sanskrit words- 'sat' meaning truth and 'adhar' meaning basis. Shradh can be understood as the offering made with utmost reverence and devotion or 'Shraddha'. According to the Brahma Purana, the offering made and given in the name of ancestors is called Shradh. People observing this occasion believe that if someone is unable to perform Shradh on all the tithis or dates, then by performing a single Shradh on Sarva Pitru Amavasya, one can please all the deceased souls in the family. Sarva Pitru Amavasya is dedicated to the ancestors whose death anniversary dates you may have forgotten or is unknown to you.
This particular day is celebrated with the sole objective to pay respect to the ancestors with devotion and enthusiasm. This day is also commonly known as Mahalaya Amavasya and Pitru Visarjini Amavasya. In Bengal, this auspicious day is observed as 'Mahalaya'. Mahalaya signifies the beginning of the grand Durga Puja celebrations. It represents the descent of the divine goddess Durga on Earth. On the other hand, Mahalaya Amavasya also marks the beginning of the Bathukamma festival in Telangana.
Pitru Paksha begins on 21st September 2022 and will end on 6th October 2022 with the occasion of Sarva Pitru Amavasya. Pitru Paksha denotes the start of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. Throughout this period and on Sarva Pitru Amavasya, various rituals are performed to pay respect to the departed souls. These rituals can differ from region to region. It is believed that the departed souls who don't find peace then wander around the Earth. To ensure they attain Moksha or salvation, their family members perform Pind Daan, where food is offered to the soul on Pitru Paksha.
On the occasion of Sarva Pitru Amavasya, Shradh rituals and Tarpan are done for the ancestors, whose Shradh couldn't be done on the assigned date. Some people perform Shradh for all their ancestors together on this day. On this day, Shradh is performed for those who died on Amavasya, Purnima, and Chaturdashi. On this occasion, the following rituals are performed-
On this day, you should wake up early in the morning, take a bath, and then change into a dhoti. You should wear a ring made from Kusha grass. You should also perform Pind Daan. Pind is a ritual of offering ancestors rice, sesame seeds, and balls made of barley.
The Shradh is performed by a male member of a family, usually the eldest son of a family.
Sattvik dishes or pure vegetarian food dishes are prepared as offerings to the ancestors during the Shradh. The food should contain kheer.
The individuals who are performing this ritual must wear yellow-coloured clothes. Brahmins should be invited to offer them food and donations.
The observers should clean the feet of the Brahmins and help them sit down. Sesame seeds are sprinkled where the Brahmins are to be seated.
On Sarva Pitru Amavasya, people offer prayers to their ancestors. The rituals of Shradh are performed by offering flowers, food, dhoop, and diya. A mixture of water and barley is also offered, which is called the Tarpan. This mixture also has flour, Kusha grass, and black sesame, and it is offered to the ancestors. The rituals should only be performed under the special guidance of a knowledgeable priest. Special mantras are recited to invoke the blessings of the forefathers.
After concluding with Puja rituals and offering Tarpan, Brahmins are served special meals. The food for the Brahmins should be made with a pure heart.
After offering food to the Brahmins with complete devotion and giving them Dakshina, send them off respectfully. After that, all the members of the house can have food and pray for the peace and salvation of the departed souls of the ancestors.
You must keep in mind that the timing for performing Shradh and for offering food to the Brahmins is midday.
According to the Hindu customs, it is of paramount importance for people, especially a son, to perform Pitru Paksha for the ancestors. Doing this ensures that the ancestors are content and peaceful. In return, the ancestors bless the observers with wealth, longevity, knowledge, health, and prosperity. The people who observe this day believe that the ancestors get unhappy if the Shradh rituals are not performed properly. The observers also believe that Lord Yama bestows the observers and their family members with his divine blessings. His blessing can save you and your family members from any evil or obstacle.
According to astrology, it is believed that the past sins or any wrong actions of the ancestors are revealed in the horoscope of their children in the form of Pitru Dosha. This Dosha can cause the natives to suffer in their lifetime as there is disharmony in their life. The people who suffer from the Pitru Dosha or the 'curse of the forefathers' should repent by performing the Shradh rituals on Sarva Pitru Amavasya. This Dosha can then get removed.
Along with offering food to the Brahmins, on the day of Sarva Pitru Amavasya, food is also offered to crows and cows. The crow is considered to be a messenger of Lord Yama. It is regarded as an auspicious sign if the animals and birds like the crow accept the offering and eat it. The energy and souls of the ancestors get liberated by doing these rites. Apart from these, you can also donate food to the poor.
You should remember that Pitru Paksha, especially the last day, i.e., Sarva Pitru Amavasya isn't a good time for new beginnings. Hence, avoid starting anything new, no matter how insignificant it might be. Wearing new clothes, shaving, and cutting hair are also prohibited. Also, consuming non-vegetarian food or even onions and garlic in the food is not allowed. Auspicious events like marriage, starting a new business, entering a new home, etc., should be postponed or done before the period of Pitru Paksha.
Moreover, the individual performing the rituals should do so with complete earnestness and utmost sincerity and respect.
If you want to know more about Sarva Pitru Amavasya 2021 and how to make the most of it or have any astrology-related questions, reach out to the Astroyogi astrologers.