Pitr Paksha~Shradh~श्राद्ध पर्व - Observance of Pitru Paksha~Shradh
Hindu Scriptures state that the mahalaya shradh may be performed everyday from the full moon day (purnima) till the new moon day (amavasya) of the month of Bhadrapad. However, if this is not possible then it is customary to perform the mahalaya shradh on the date (tithi) of this fortnight corresponding to that of one’s father’s death (if applicable).
The ritual of shradh should be performed for one’s deceased father, grandfather, great-grandfather on the paternal side and the mother, grandmother, great-grandmother on the maternal side.
One can also perform these rites for one’s deceased stepmother, grandfather, great-grandfather, great great-grandfather, grandmother, great-grandmother, great great-grandmother, wife, son, daughter, paternal uncle, maternal uncle, brother, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, sister, son of paternal uncle, son-in-law, nephew (sister’s son), father-in-law, mother-in-law, teachers, friends, the Guru and disciples. The names of all those alive should be excluded from these rituals.
The table below gives the shradh to be performed for particular individuals on various dates.
1. Date (tithi) of Hindu month Name of the shradh Meant for whom Specialty of the ritual. The fourth (chaturthi) or the fifth (panchami) [during the reign of the Bharani lunar asterism] Bharani One who has passed away during that year.
2. The Ninth Day (navami) Avidhva navami A woman ancestor who has passed away before her husband Instead of the Shradh rituals, a meal is offered to a married woman (savashna).
3. The Thirteenth Day (trayodashi) Balabholaniteras (its name in Gujarat, India) Child ancestors who have passed away Offering to crows (kakbali).
4. The Fourteenth Day Ghatchaturdashi Ancestors who had an accidental death.