The annual ancestor-worship or 'Pitri-Paksha' is a period that is observed during the dark half of the Hindu month of 'Bhadrapada' or 'Ashwin.' This year it begins on September 30 and ends on October 15 - the Mahalaya Amavasya. This period of 15 days is set aside by the Hindus for the remembrance of their ancestors. During this fortnight, Hindus donate food to the hungry in the hope that their ancestors will also be thus fed.
It is this time that Hindus throughout the world reflect on the contributions their forefathers made to their present life, and the cultural norms, traditions and values they set for us in order to make our lives better.
According to the Vedic scriptures an individual is born with three debts. The debt to God is called 'Dev-rin.' The debt to the sages and saints is called 'Rishi-rin.' The third debt to one's parents and ancestors is called 'Pitri-rin.' It is believed that this debt can be paid back by performing acts of charity in the names of your ancestors during their annual visits to your homes in their subtle, invisible bodies... more
Image © ExoticIndianArt.com