... a book by Maitreyi Gautam
Pitru paksha is a 15-day period when we pay homage and gratitude to our ancestors.During these 15 days, we pay homage to our Pitris, i.e. our ancestors. After all, who we are is greatly determined by our ancestry and our genetics. It is an important fact of our life that our Genetic memory plays an important part in not only how our bodies work, but also how we take action and conduct our daily life; i.e. our Karmas and Samskaras (which are the Karmic memories).
These 15 days are considered inauspicious to start any new venture or for other types of worldly actions and material prosperity. So, there is not much auspicious to do in the outer, material world and it is time for us to turn inwards- to what constitutes us- our ancestry, our lineage- what brought us to this earth and why we are here…
Also, many a times we don’t feel qualified or comfortable chanting long mantras or conducting complex prayer sessions.
Personally, what I have found immensely helpful is to simply offer food and water to our ancestors with usual prayers. Light a special lamp (diya) and an incense to specially offer them thanks and express gratitude- in plain language. If you knew the folks that have now passed on, then it is even more beneficial to offer them food items of their choice. The things they liked to eat while living. This is not any different than if you have someone visits your home. You would try to make food of their choice, so then for these 15 days of Pitru paksha, why not make food that your ancestors enjoyed and then offer some to the Divine and them, before eating?? Doing these simple prayers and offering food to your ancestors should bring you immense blessings and good wishes.
In fact, many a times when people find their work stuck at some juncture or their life being stuck in a rut, many of the times, it is believed that the ancestors are not feeling content in their realm and due to our genetic connection to them and our Pitru-roon (i.e. our ancestral debt), it is bringing us problems and difficulties. So, these gratitude prayers, food and water offerings is a great way to reduce one’s ancestral debt!