What Is Shradh-Pitru Paksha


Tuesday 1st Sept 2020 marks the start of Shradh in the Hindu calendar. There is a link between Astrology and Shradh and this is to do with PITRA DOSH.


Shradh is a time to pay homage and respect to the departed souls to seek blessings and help them feel at peace. It is an approximate 15 day lunar period. In the Sanatan Dharm Vedic scriptures it is said that Pitru paksha is a time when souls are able to come to the family members and accept offerings. It is about respect.

At the time of death it is important that family follow the right procedures, no matter what the religion or culture. Shradh is another period that rituals and procedures can be carried out and there are specific dates that can be worked out for that.

However for those that are not able to work out the specific dates then offerings carried out on the last shradh day which is the Amavasya Shradh, can be used as the main day.

Shradh is about making offerings to ancestors as a form of paying respect. This is usually a time to do charitable deeds such as offering food and clothes to those that are in need.

There are many questions in life as to even though we work hard and follow good ethics, why do some people have more or appear to have better lives when they are less charitable or noble. Similarly why do some people have so much suffering and unfortunate happenings.

Vedic astrology and Sanatan Dharm belief are based upon the concept of Karma and reincarnation. We are born at the exact precise time that determines the path we need to follow for the soul to evolve to a higher state of consciousness. This is not always easy but through the struggles, bigger initiatives are fulfilled and we do not always know why, nor is there a certification to say it is deserved. The acts of previous lives affect the present, and present acts affect the future in this lifetime and the next.

The planets in a birth chart are cleverly placed in positions which help to create the situations and conditioning that is needed to drive through the necessary karmic path we have to go through. The planets also determine whether we have the strength and power to improve and cope with the energies through self development or having a special person help us in life such as a Guru, Astrologer, best friend, Family member, or life coach.


Pitra dosh is often referred to as the curse of the ancestors where they have knowingly or unknowingly committed mistakes or sins in their lifetime or have left things outstanding, and thus have not worked through the karmic load and hence it passes through to their descendants.

However ‘curse’ is a strong word and it is more appropriate to term it as a karmic debt. But this is a strong and negative dosh and can impact the whole family adversely in many ways.

Astrology can tell if a person is affected by Pitra dosh.

If there is close association of Rahu and Ketu with key planets Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, there are differing elements of pitra dosh. A heavily afflicted 5th, 7th , 10th and 11th house indicates more than one issue. The whole chart needs to be analysed in detail to see the intensity of how it affects the family

Some of the effects of Pitra Dosh include

Marriage Problems – disturbance to marital harmony and inability to get children married, especially when impacting more than one child. Constant arguments and disturbed home environment

Problems with conceiving despite medical help. Frequent miscarriages causing emotional anguish. Taking the generation forward becomes an issue and  having big worries about progeny including consistent ill health of children

Inability to finish education

Continuously being surrounded by financial problems and debt, not being able to progress in career or get due recognitions. Problems with authority figures

Continuous health problems affecting the whole family

It is not the case that Pitra dosh will be at an extreme level in everyone’s chart but it does have more of an affect when the ancestor’s soul is not at peace and this is when they have unfulfilled desires, they have not passed on due to unnatural or untimely death, children not respecting them. In one way or another we are all indebted to our ancestors.

REMEDIES FOR PITRA DOSH IN SHRADH (but also as a regular practice):

Provide service to elderly, disabled, homeless and vulnerable groups

Feeding birds, fishes, dogs – I would extend that to any animal charity

Offering water to pitras on the 15 days of Shradh

Donating food items on new moon days Amavasya such as flour, sugar, rice and milk – to homeless shelters, food banks or to be used in service to others in the community

Sponsor a  child’s education – for those in need.

The correct Shradh rituals for the ancestors

Offer to buy clothes for charity in the name of your ancestors for those in need as that is where it will help and increase your good karma.

But it is not just about doing these things in this period. There is no use trying to do remedies and seeking blessings from ancestors if you are not carrying out your ethical duties and having a noble attitude in your current lifetime.

Offering items to help ancestors is not going to help if you are not respecting your own parents, elders and in-laws. Therefore always try your best to see the bigger picture in life, life is too short to turn petty issues into mountains. Even if there are family disputes, be the bigger person to keep the peace. Respect your elders and be of service to them while they are Alive – TODAY

Happiness is about the here and now – make that count. Appreciate what you have and share the love, no matter how big or small, a random act of kindness, a gift, an hour of time together, thinking of what will make someone else feel happier, making someone’s special food dish, providing a part of yourself in service are all good karmas, and they all help to nourish the soul. These are the remedies that are needed and should be followed.

The last day for Shradh in the UK which is known as Sarvapitru Amavasya starts at 15.36pm on 16th Sept until 11.59am on 17th sept.

By Sagar Shukla

Hindu Priest


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