Pitru Paksha: Remembering Ancestors
Sixteen days from full moon to no moon of Bhadrapada month of the vedic calendar are reserved for paying homage to ancestors. In some parts of Nepal and North India though this pitru paksha is done in lunar month Ashvin. Food is offered to humans, crows, cows and dogs.
It is offered out of the belief that whatever food is given would reach ancestors of one who offers the food. Whether to believe this theory is up to native but important point is some sort of charity is done during this period which helps others.
Connection Of Ancestors and Astrology
Vedic Astrology was born out of vedic school of thoughts. So there are a few terms which signify the ancestor connection. The Ninth House in a horoscope is designated for ancestors(pitrus). Similarly all the good yogas and planets are said to be blessings of ancestors. While the troublesome yogas like Visha Yoga, Vipra-Chandal Yoga, Surya-Shani Yuti(Saturn-Sun in same sign), Shrapit Yoga and similar are considered as Pitru Dosha.
Pitru Dosha is considered as wrongs of ancestors which are coming back to hinder a native. Similarly Pitru Ashirvad(Blessing of Ancestors) are good deeds of ancestors coming back to help a native. Ofcourse native's karma also comes into the equation. Depending on the karma of native and his ancestors there is fortune or misery in life of the native.
A Common Misconception
Since Pitru Dosha is wrongs done by forefathers it is more then likely that a few natives do charity, rituals and other appeasing programs to erase the wrongs done in the past by native and his/her forefathers. A big flaw if you consider how karma works.
The most fundamental point of karma is there are only additions. There are no subtractions. So you have to suffer for bad karma done by you and forefathers even if you do shraddha. But it also entails you to enjoy the fruits of your and your forefathers good karma. Simply doing shraddha and other remedies does not exonerate you from wrongdoing.
Right Way To Do Charity
Most natives do Pitru Shraddha(Charity) according to age old traditions. But with time its necessary to evolve and embrace ideas which are beneficial to society. These are times when natives need to think logically and evolve with times. If they are fearful of going against traditions then they can use Shree Krishna's words as reference. Shree Krishna in the Bhagwad Gita Chapter 17 Verse 20 has shed light on the right way to do charity.
दातव्यमिति यद्दानं दीयतेऽनुपकारिणे।
देशे काले च पात्रे च तद्दानं सात्त्विकं स्मृतम्॥
Translation: Charity must be given out of duty without any sort of expectation and to a worthy person at a proper time and place for charity to be consider good.
Focus for charity givers should be to a worthy person at a proper time and place. So kindly offer raw food to those in need so they can cook a later time. Give rice to the hungry. feed milk to the dogs and give poori to the cow. And it should be on regular basis. Don't wait for Pitru Paksha to do charity.
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