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According to Hinduism, the soul has to undergo a journey of birth and death multiple times. When this journey completes, the soul reaches a state when it finally assimilates into God.
This state when one is liberated from the cycle of birth and death is known as salvation. The salvation happens only when the Karmic account has been negated.
Ancestors Live In Pitru Loka
Within the journey, there is another state wherein the soul resides in the Pitru Loka for some years. Pitru Loka translates to the world of ancestors. From the Pitru Loka, the soul keeps helping its family members. These family members are supposed to perform some rites on certain days, for the peace of the souls. It is said that the ancestors bless those who perform these rituals.
Garuda Purana And Agni Purana On Shradh Ceremonies
It is said that the ancestors leave behind their good as well as bad karmas. These karmas result in a good life or a life with some problems for the family left behind. Scriptures such as the Garuda Purana and Agni Purana mention that performing these remedies, especially on the Pitru Paksha Amavasya, helps to reduce the burden of the journey of life and death of the ancestors. It can help them get salvation as well.
Whose Shradh Is Observed On Amavasya?
Pitru Paksha is that period of fifteen days when these rituals should ideally be performed. These are observed during the first fortnight of the Ashvin month. Generally, the rituals for an ancestor are performed on the Tithi when he had left the body. If the Tithi for an ancestor is not known, then these rituals can be performed on Amavasya of the Ashvin month.
Rituals For Saints Are Performed On This Day
According to one story, many divine saints had died when the milk of the ocean was being churned. Tarpan (a ritual for the ancestors) was performed for them by their descendants on Sarva Pitru Moksha Amavasya, the Amavasya of the Ashvin month. Hence, the practice continues till today.
Lord Yamraja Gave Blessings To Karna
According to another story, the lord of death, Yamraja had given a boon to Karna, according to which the one who performs the Shradh rituals on a Sarva Pitru Moksha Amavasya shall be blessed and the ancestors for whom the rituals are performed shall achieve salvation. Sarva Pitru Moksha Amavasya falls on October 8, 2018, this year.