Shraddh paksha or Pitra Paksha is one of the major events of celebration as well as nostalgia for the Hindu people who remember their deceased ancestors in the fifteen days which have started from 17th of September.
Offering oblations to forefathers is the essential duty of Putra or the son which itself means that the one which shall deliver the father and ancestors from the dark regions of hell by his devotional service to Lord Hari or by following the principles of Vedic system.
As per Srimad Bhagwatam (9.18.44)
अधमोऽश्रद्धया कुर्यादकर्तोच्चरितं पितुः ॥४४॥
A son who acts by anticipating what his father wants him to do is first class, one who acts upon receiving his father’s order is second class, and one who executes his father’s order irreverently is third class. But a son who refuses his father’s order is like his father’s stool.
Puru, Yayati’s last son, immediately accepted his father’s proposal, for although he was the youngest, he was very qualified. Puru thought, “I should have accepted my father’s proposal before he asked, but I did not. Therefore I am not a first-class son. I am second class. But I do not wish to become the lowest type of son, who is compared to his father’s stool.” One Indian poet has spoken of putra and mutra. putra means “son,” and mutra means “urine.” Both a son and urine come from the same genitals. If a son is an obedient devotee of the Lord he is called putra, or a real son; otherwise, if he is not learned and is not a devotee, a son is nothing better than urine.
The Shraddh which falls on Navami tithi is called Navami Shraddh and it is performed for the ones who passes away on Navami Tithi.
To find out the tithi on which your deceased passes away, click here
It is also known as Matra Navami shraddh i.e. the day on which the sharaddh of deceased mothers is performed whose date is not known to us.
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Goddess Durga is the divya-shakti, which can be a bounty of love and care as well as the source of destruction too. She symbolises the power of divine mother as even the Gods pay homage to her strength. Adoring Ma durga during nine days by keeping fasts and worshipping her is the perfect way to realize our upmost goal and motive of existence, which gets blur in the magical world of materialism.
Kanya Pujan marks the ending ceremony of the auspicious Navratri and is conducted on Ashtami or Navami day of Navratri. It is also known as ‘Kumari puja’, a ritual of worshipping young girls symbolising Goddess Durga. Homage is paid to nine small girls and one boy through this ritual. Special food is prepared according to the varied rituals among family, which is offered to the nine girls in the form of nine devis. Certain dakshina or new utensils are also offered to them. Then the prasadam is consumed by the family to break their fast and mark the completion of auspicious navratri.
Devotees should read the last chapter of Durga Saptashati and chant mantras to welcome the kids. The ceremony should begin by washing their feet and then tying ‘mauli’ (red thread) on their wrists. Special puri, halwa and chana are offered to them along with fruits. People should touch their feet and seek blessings from them by pleasing these young kids.
Worshipping the kanyas helps the devotees to receive wisdom, moksha, strength, wealth and dharma. Mantra for kanya pujan is as follows:
मंत्राक्षरमयीं लक्ष्मीं मातृणां रूपधारिणीम्।
नवदुर्गात्मिकां साक्षात् कन्यामावाहयाम्यहम्।।
जगत्पूज्ये जगद्वन्द्ये सर्वशक्तिस्वरुपिणि।
पूजां गृहाण कौमारि जगन्मातर्नमोस्तु ते।।
These nine days is a journey to discover our true conscious and realize the divine path of success. It offers an opportunity to get acquainted with Lord Almighty through the path of seva, satsang, meditation and Guru’s blessings. The ninth, which is the last and most fruitful day is kept for Goddess Siddhidatri. She is a symbol of bestowing 26 sidhis (perfection, accomplishment or attainment) and occult powers on her devotees. It is said that Lord Shiva worshipped ma Siddhidatri to get all his siddhis and there after he is named as ‘Ardhanarishvar’. Devi siddhidatri puja is a reverent way to adore Ma Durga and become a perfect ‘sadhaka’, and then you are blessed by the knowledge of light and realization of the supreme ‘brahmagyan’.
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Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja