CELEBRATING THE MEMORY OF OUR ANCESTORS
Om Namo Bhagwati Vaasudevayaa
Pitraa Paksh or Pitar Pak as some may say locally refers to a fifteen day (paksh) or half of a Hindu month dedicated to our (Pitras) or forefathers (ancestors.)
This fifteen day period occurs during the Krishna Paksh or Dark night of the Hindu month of Aashwin (September- October). It starts the day after the Full Moon and goes to the Amaawasya or New Moon, fifteen days after.
During the Pitra Paksh, only nitya karmas are performed, example lighting deeyas, offering flowers, and pratna, jaap and bhajans to Lord Vishnu or Shree Krishna is recited.
If jaal or water is to be offered it is dedicated to Bhagwan Vishnu, Shree Krishna, Lord Soorya or Shree Raam. Devi Poojas are not done during this time. It is a very good time to do Gita Paath, or Bhagwan Vishnu Poojas. Garud of Vishnu Puraan Yagnaas are done during this time.
The Kush Grass is planted in a clean area and the head tied. You may also leepay the base of the Kush Grass with Goobar to sanctify the area. Water with Black till and sometimes white rice is poured and offered through the space between the thumb and the index finger of the right hand. The water is poured on the top of the tied KushGrass facing the Southern direction.
The devotee can do this seven times for three, five, seven , nine, eleven, thirteen of for the fifteen days respectively. At the end sweet-rice can be offered mixed with sugar, ghee, rice and black till in the Hawan. Sweet-rice can also be offered to the Pitras by offering it to Bhagwan Vishnu in a leaf or disposable plate at the base of the Kush Grass.
Prayers are offered to Bhagwan Vishnu, and Shree Krishna and mantras and devotion rendered to bless the souls of the ancestors. We prayer to bhagwan on behalf the souls, not to the souls.
Mantras to be recited during Tarpan or offering water:
Pret Moksha Pradoo Bhava.
Om Namo Narayanaa.
Om Shree Pitri Devataa Namaha Swadhaa
Om Till-Anjali Narayanaa ya Namaha Tript-ya Taam, Tript-ya Taam.