Pitr Yagna - worship of ones forefathers
and worship of ones parents
Pitr Yagna is one of the
Pancha Maha Yagna.
We have already seen
Deva Yagna in the past.
Pitr Yagna is done by
making offerings to ones
Pitr is pronounced as pith-ru,
where "ru" is the first sound
of Rtu (Sanskrit for season).
Or we could say "ru" is the
first sound of the English word - rhythm.
Pitr means father, parents,
forefathers, or ancestors.
Rites on the Amavasya (new moon) day,
serving ones live parents
are examples of Pitr Yagna.
Veda and Smriti texts define Pitr Yagna
as offering of food or water to ones
ancestors everyday by saying Svadhaa. [+]
Svadhaa can be likened to a postal code
or in email parlance one could call it
the domain name
(the part after the @ sign in an email address)
Whenever, one says something and adds
Svadhaa, it is meant for the domain of Pitrs.
The equivalent address
for the Devas is Svaahaa.
Now we know the passwords
to the domain of Devas and Pitrs !
Our physical body is due to our forefathers,
through our parents. If alive, our parents are
the living embodiment of our forefathers.
Our service to our parents should be part of
our daily Pitr Yagna. For each of us,
everyday should be Mother's day.
Everyday should be Father's day.
Taittiriya Upanishad suggests :
Matr Devo Bhava. Pitr Devo Bhava [*]
(May you worship your mother.
May you worship your father.)
With respect to our parents, we have been
consumers for a long time. By performing
Pitr Yagna, we contribute our time,
energy, wealth, etc., for their sake.
If parents are alive, it is our duty
to express our love and care towards them.
Parents, as they grow old, return to their
second childhood. It is our duty to take
care of these aged children with patience.
It is very important to allot quality time for them.
If they have left their physical body, it is our duty
to offer tarpana, sraaddha etc., as prescribed
in the scriptures and as per one’s family traditions.
We are all born in particular families.
It is our duty to remember our forefathers
who have given us this beautiful tradition.
[+] Taittiriya Aranyakam 2:10 ;
Apastamba Dharma Sutra 1:4:12:15
Manu Smriti 3:70, 3:82;
[*] Taittiriya Upanishad 1:11
(with inputs from
for Indian Heritage