Glossary of Pitru Paksha Terms and Meanings

Pitru Paksha Terms and Meanings

Glossary of Pitru Paksha Terms and Meanings

  1. Pitru:
    • Meaning: “Pitru” refers to one’s ancestors or forefathers, particularly the deceased ancestors. In Hinduism, there is a strong belief in the connection between the living and the deceased, and ancestors are honored and revered for their guidance and blessings.
  2. Paksha:
    • Meaning: “Paksha” refers to a lunar fortnight in the Hindu calendar. There are two fortnights in a lunar month, one waxing (Shukla Paksha) and one waning (Krishna Paksha). Pitru Paksha falls during the waning fortnight of the lunar month.
  3. Mahalaya:
    • Meaning: “Mahalaya” is the first day of the Pitru Paksha period. It marks the beginning of the 16-day period dedicated to honoring and paying respects to one’s deceased ancestors. It is considered a highly significant day for performing rituals and offerings to appease and seek blessings from one’s ancestors.
  4. Shraddha:
    • Meaning: “Shraddha” is a term used to describe the rituals and offerings made during Pitru Paksha to honor and remember one’s ancestors. These rituals often include food offerings, donations, and prayers performed with deep reverence.
  5. Tarpana:
    • Meaning: “Tarpana” is a ritual during Pitru Paksha where offerings, typically water mixed with sesame seeds and barley, are made to appease the departed souls of ancestors. It is performed with the belief that it helps the souls find peace and move on to their next journey.
  6. Pinda:
    • Meaning: “Pinda” refers to rice balls or food offerings made during Pitru Paksha. These offerings are considered symbolic representations of nourishment for the departed souls and are offered with prayers and devotion.
  7. Preta:
    • Meaning: “Preta” refers to a departed soul or the spirit of a deceased person. During Pitru Paksha, it is believed that the spirits of ancestors visit the earthly realm, and rituals are performed to appease them.
    • ¬†Shraddhakarma:
      • Meaning: “Shraddhakarma” encompasses all the rituals and ceremonies performed during Pitru Paksha to honor and remember one’s ancestors. These rituals may include Tarpana, Pinda offerings, and prayers.
    • Pitru Loka:
      • Meaning: “Pitru Loka” is the realm or world where the departed souls of ancestors are believed to reside. It is considered a place where these souls await the performance of rituals and offerings by their descendants to attain peace and salvation.
  8. Pitr Yajna:
    • Meaning: “Pitr Yajna” refers to the act of offering oblations and performing sacrificial rituals in honor of one’s ancestors during Pitru Paksha. It is an expression of gratitude and respect towards the deceased.
  9. Pitr Tarpan:
    • Meaning: “Pitr Tarpan” is the act of offering libations or water as an offering to one’s ancestors during Pitru Paksha. It is believed to satisfy the thirst of the departed souls and grant them peace.
  10. Pitru Dosha:
    • Meaning: “Pitru Dosha” is a concept in Hindu astrology and beliefs. It suggests that certain difficulties or obstacles in a person’s life may arise due to the displeasure of their ancestors. Performing rituals during Pitru Paksha is believed to alleviate or mitigate Pitru Dosha.
  11. Pindapradana:Meaning: “Pindapradana” refers to the act of offering pinda (rice balls) to one’s ancestors during Pitru Paksha. It is a central ritual in which the pindas are offered to nourish and satisfy the departed souls.
    Tithi:
  12. Meaning: “Tithi” refers to a lunar day in the Hindu calendar. Specific tithis are considered auspicious for performing Pitru Paksha rituals. The choice of tithi may vary based on family traditions and astrological considerations.
  13. Amavasya:
    Meaning: “Amavasya” refers to the new moon day, and the last day of Pitru Paksha is often observed on Amavasya. It is considered a highly significant day for performing ancestral rituals.
  14. Brahmin:
    Meaning: A “Brahmin” is a member of the priestly caste in Hindu society. During Pitru Paksha, Brahmins are often invited to perform rituals and offer prayers on behalf of the family to ensure the proper appeasement of the ancestors.
  15. Gaya:
    Meaning: “Gaya” is a holy city in the Indian state of Bihar. It is a significant pilgrimage destination for performing Pitru Tarpana and other ancestral rituals. The Vishnupada Temple in Gaya is especially revered.
  16. Shraddha Paddhati:
    Meaning: “Shraaddha Paddhati” refers to the specific customs and procedures followed by a family or community while conducting ancestral rituals during Pitru Paksha. It includes details of offerings, mantras, and rituals to be performed.
  17. Pinda Daan:
    Meaning: “Pinda Daan” is the act of offering pinda (rice balls) to the departed souls during Pitru Paksha. It is believed to help the ancestors attain liberation and peace.
  18. Pitru Karya:
    Meaning: “Pitru Karya” encompasses all the activities and rituals performed to honor and serve one’s ancestors during Pitru Paksha. It is a way of expressing gratitude and seeking blessings from the departed souls.

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