PITRI PAKSHA (Homage to Forefathers): The time when the world of the living and the dead is more connected
This is the time of the year when the world of the living and that of the dead are more linked and in which a bridge is opened to connect with them in the deepest possible way.
This fortnight is focused on expressing gratitude and receiving blessings from our ancestors (Pitri). Each culture has different traditions for honoring and remembering their ancestors, and in India it is done through this celebration: Pitri Paksha.
Vedic Philosophy takes into account the lunar calendar to establish its festivities, and Pitri Paksha is fixed, during this time of year, the first day in Full Moon (September 24th) and the last in New Moon (October 8th), with a total length of 16 days.
Why 16 days? To take into account all the lunar phases (16) from the Full Moon to the New Moon. To pay tribute to a specific loved one during this time, we make the ritual the day the phase of the Moon is matching with the one when that person died.
The last day is called "Sarva Pitri" (this year is on October 8th) or the day of "all ancestors" and is the most important one. It is established for those who do not remember the lunar phase of the the specific ancestor, did not have time to do so on the right day or simply want to revere all their ancestors in general.
Understanding the importance of commemorating and reverencing those whom we depend on and those we needed to exist and helping, in turn, with our remembrance and faith, that their soul be at peace and follow their path to enlightenment, because only the people still living can boost that energy. Thus, we keep their essence alive and maintain a connection of gratitude and love.
And in this way, with this homage and reverence, we continue creating awareness and value the importance of our family and how determining they were for us to be here with the gift of life. Therefore, these are also days of expressing our gratitude to them and getting their blessings.
"All life is the result of energy and thus, we have a choice as to what energy we use in what we do, say and how we think".
*We apologize for possible errors made in translation.