Pitru Paksha is a special time period during the Hindu year when Hindus pay their respects to the souls of their ancestors by performing Shradh rituals at holy locations. Pitru Paksha is a time period of 16 days during the Bhadrapada Maas of the Hindu month when the wandering souls of dead relatives and ancestors come to earth in form of energies, which have the power to affect our daily lives.
These souls come in search of food and warmth and it is the duty of the next generations to provide the same for the wandering souls. It is a devotee’s goal to free their ancestor’s soul from the cycle of life and death and help them to seek Mukti or liberation.
The Importance Of Brahman Bhoj At Holy Locations
1. Brahmins are one of the most important castes amongst the Hindus. It is said that Brahmins have a direct connection to God and that is the reason why they conduct poojas and rituals in order to harness the divine energies of the universe.
2. According to ancient scriptures Brahmins had originated from the mouth of Lord Brahma, a fact that tremendously highlights their spiritual importance. They are well versed in the Vedas, which are the fundamental guidelines of the Hindu Dharma.
3. Feeding Brahmins is therefore one of the most important rituals that must be done after every pooja, Shradh ceremony and other such religious occasions. This is because we trust the Brahmins to convey our prayers to the Gods for us through the chanting of mantras and shlokas and the performance of rituals.
4. So when we feed a Brahman with a pure heart and a clean soul after a pooja or other religious occasion, we are actually paying our respects to God. It is an act that further purifies our souls and help us get closer to God and seek His blessings.
5. During Shradh rituals at the time of Pitru Paksha, feeding Brahmins is very auspicious as it pleases the soul of one’s ancestors too and helps them to attain Moksha or liberation from the cycle of life and death.
6. Holy locations such as Kashi, Gaya, Allahabad, Kedarnath, Kalighat, Haridwar and several others are the places where feeding Brahmins is a famous custom. Doing so can vastly bring prosperity to the lives of devotees and give peace to the souls of their dead ancestors.
Rishikesh – A Sacred Location For Pitru Paksha Rituals
1. Rishikesh, the holy city located at the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas has utmost significance to Hindus. The holy river Ganga flows through the city as it descends from the Himalayas into the plains below. It is a location not just famous for its religious significance, but is also hailed as the birthplace of yoga and is a great retreat for trekkers.
2. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims make a voyage to the divine city of Rishikesh. It has many different attractions including Lakshman Jhula, Triveni Ghat, Tryambakeshwar temple, Parmarth Niketan, Kailas Ashram, and Geeta Bhavan.
3. According to Hindu mythology (mainly the Ramayanas), Lord Rama observed penance in Rishikesh in order to gain the strength to kill the might demon king Ravana. Lakshmana, Rama’s brother also crossed the river Ganga by a jute rope bridge, and the Lakshman Jhula stands at that exact location today. Thus it is of tremendous significance to Hindu devotees. Many people cross the Lakshman Jhula on foot every year as it is considered sacred to do so.
4. A dip in the holy Ganga at Triveni Ghat is a purifying and refreshing experience. The Ganga aarti at the Parmanth Niketan is a Divine and surreal experience which will leave your soul completely satisfied.
5. The Neelkanth Mahadev temple is a majestic Shiva temple located at a distance of about 30 kilometers from Ram Jhula (another bridge across the Ganga). Although the journey is a little strenuous, the temple is a very famous Lord Shiva pilgrimage. The Swarg Nivas temple is another famous temple at one end of the Lakshman Jhula, which houses many Hindu Gods and Godesses.