Pitris and 7 Unanswered Questions


This  year, it started on 1st September 2020 and will end on 17th September 2020.

During this 16 day lunar period we should pay homage to our Ancestors (Pitris), especially through food offering.

But why??

---What is the essence of offering food to our Pitris ??

---Who are our Pitri ??

---Where do they reside ??

---Why do we feed Raven (black crow) in order to offer food to our Pitri ??

---Why we should not buy anything new during this Pitri paksh period ??

---Why should our Pitri become angry if we don't offer them homage ??

---And why during these 16 days only, whats special ??

HERE in this post, I would like to share the esoteric meaning of this whole ritual, the logic behind this exercise and its importance.

First let me share a short story--

There is a boat which can carry two people at a time

Once the two people board the boat they are ferried to other end, where they alight.

The boat becomes free to carry two new people and this way people move from one end to other.

If suppose the boat is overcrowded, there is a risk that it may imbalance and capsize which may lead to drowning and therefore loss of life.

Hence there is a need to maintain the capacity of the boat for it to function effectively.

How is this story related to our Pitris ??

I used this story to simplify what I am going to explain now.

The boat in above case is our Genes and the people are the information (DNA) stored in those genes.

Those who don't know what Genes are.. they are small building blocks of our body. These genes in turn are made up of DNA.

The genes hold all the information within them of how to make our body function. How do we look, what color hair we have, our height, speech, intelligence etc. is all determined by our genes.

We get these genes from our parents and they got it from their parents, so on and so forth.

Therefore the genes which we are carrying within us, have reached us traveling from our ancestors since eons.

With each generation something new gets added to the genetic structure.

We learn new things to adapt to our times. These things become our habits and are unique to us. These habits finally get stored in our genetic database.

Similar to, people boarding the boat. The new information which we learn gets boarded on our genes.

These habits not only get attached to our genes but also to the genes of our children and grand children because they get their genes directly from us.

Therefore they may copy some or many of our habits like the way of speaking, walking, handwriting, body language, height, skin tone etc.

But how long do these habits continue ??

Ideally it should fade away after 3rd generations.

Why only till 3rd generation ??

Because nature ensures that older generations dies.

So after the death of 4th generation ancestor his habits loosen the grip on genes and eventually they fade away.

But what happens if the habits of ancestors keep on clinging on to our genes even after their death. 

It will overcrowd the boat and it may capsize.

Let me explain this point in depth.

When do we think we actually die ?

Do we die only when our body is cremated ?


In cremation only our physical body dies.

Our consciousness is yet to die.

We are not only tangible beings, we have a in-tangible existence also. 

Our thoughts and habits are also part of our-self.

We may not see them but they are as real as our limbs.

If our physical body dies we still live through our habits.

Our habits are less grosser than our body but they also carry our consciousness.

Therefore when some one dies he still continues to live through his habits which have got transferred to his future generation.

These habits in Sanskrit are known as SAMSKARAS.

So if I still have some  habit of my very old ancestor it simply means that he is yet to attain MUKTI (liberation)

He still is lingering on in PITRLOKA, he is yet to take a new birth. He is still living through me.

But why do some habits sometime get passed on to more than 3rd generations !!

Because these habits were developed very intensely. Which means these habits became VASNA (deep desire) and eventually take the shape of VIKARA (perversion)

Suppose someones ancestor was into money lending business. With time that person developed such affinity with his business that it became more than a profession for him. It became the expression of his EGO.

He started deriving such a pleasure from his business that it gave his ego a high. 

He used all his energies in maintaining the continuity of his business.

He ensured that his business keeps on continuing till generations.

Now money lending was not a mere business for him it became his vasna (desire)

This vasna gave momentum to his habits. 

By the time of his death, his habits developed such a momentum that it did not die down till generations, like his business.

He kept on living through his future generations for fulfilling his vasna.

That's when sometimes the habits don't die till generations.

Lets now try to understand how this affects an individual. 

Lets take the example of boat again.

It has two implications-

1st implication- Suppose the boat carries two people and one of them refuses to get down. Then the only option available is- only one new person can board the boat instead of two

Our genes can carry a limited amount of information which it can express in this lifetime. 

Please note here. GENE has the unlimited capacity to carry tons of information but only a limited information gets expressed in a lifetime.

So if one seat is already occupied by the ancestor, some new information may not be able to express even if that was important for adaptation.

The habits which were important 100 years back may be redundant now, so old habits may act as the hindrance for present generation to progress.

2nd Implication- Death is a way of nature to give some rest to ATMA (Soul), so that it rejuvenates and comes back fresh. 

But if some ancestor is still living through the habits, the purpose of death will fail. 

This will lead to ill effects for the deceased. He may start becoming more irritable and angry.

Imagine if we don't get a proper sleep for 4 days, won't it make us aggressive and irritable. After all death is a long sleep only. 

Our ancestor who is fulling his vasna through us does not have a body so no matter how much the present generation is doing it can't fulfill him.

I can only eat as much as my belly allows but my ancestor does not have a belly. He would never satiate, making him more aggressive. Now this vasna becomes a VIKARA (perversion) for present generation.

This leads to the ancestor messing present generations lives.

Which is also known as PITRI DOSHA.

Therefore to take care of this issue our Rishis(Seers) created a process of pitri shrads through which our ancestors could be freed. 

And only we can free them by doing this, after all only we are their carriers.

So how to free them now !!

What needs to done is- their habits too need to be put to sleep.

The world we live in is filled with light, there is an opposite world which is filled with darkness where the souls have their sleep. 

We need to transfer our ancestors in that underworld.

We also need night to sleep when it's dark, don't we.

When we are offering food what we are actually doing is we are offering our vikaras which have developed due to our ancestors vasna.

We offer that to a raven (black crow), means we are asking raven to take our ancestor with him to underworld where he can have some rest.

Black color represents underworld, unconsciousness, hidden, secret world. 

Raven being able to fly represents the air element.

Raven is the vehicle of underworld.

It does not mean that raven physically travels to that world. 

Below I have explained what happens-

Raven is the vehicle of Shani dev and Dhumavati devi

Both these deities are into dealing with our pending karma or bad habits and reside in underworld.

Yamraj who rides a black buffalo also lives in underworld and is Shani's brother.

And Yamraj takes our PRAN and pran is nothing but air element.

So everything is connected and could be summarized as-

Our ancestors, who after leaving physical body, live in Pranic body. This Pranic body is similar to physical body but is made up of air element.

When we offer food to raven we also offer the Pranic body of our ancestors.

That Pranic body makes raven its vehicle and gets teleported to underworld. 

In our body our ancestor lives like a habit attached to our genes. Where as in non-physical world they reside in PITRI LOKA as a Pranic body.


Pitri Loka is a temporary abode of deceased. Where they reside for few days to shed off their remaining pending karma. Here the Pitris regularly travel to heaven and hell to square off their karmas

To spend their good karmas they travel to heaven and to finish off their bad karmas they do penance in hell.

Once they are done they look for new womb to take rebirth.

But if the vasna is very deep, the Pitris may stay there till eternity. Their desire may create their own world or heaven there from where they don't want to return. Leading them to keep on clinged to the genes of their children. 

This becomes possible because Pitri lok is outside the domain of space and time.

So the Pitri can get caught up in a infinite loop of desires and get stuck there. Similar to ANT MAN, who got stuck in QUANTUM REALM in movie AVENGERS.

Hence it is important that we don't give them the space to get clinged to us and therefore should facilitate their  early liberation. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
These 16 days Pitri Paksh period is that time of the years when position of the Sun and Moon shifts in such a way that the gateway of the underworld is opened for a brief period for our pitris to travel.

On 17th Sep 2020 is the Sarva Pitru Amavasya. On that day we can pay shradh to all our pitris.

As this period is meant for offering so buying anything new which means taking something in, may affect our resolve to have a strong offering mindset. 

Also this may tempt the ancestor to stay a bit longer to enjoy the new stuff which may lead to him missing the period. 

If Pitri Tarpan or Shradhs are performed regularly, at genetic level what happens is that the habits which had become dominant part of Gene expression becomes dormant. 

These habits get hidden in the Gene and do not express till needed. In other words we can say they dissolve into the underworld of genes and go in a deep sleep.

Our genes don't express all the information at once. It hides some and expresses some. 

Those information which are hidden may re-appear after many generations based on lot of factors.

And when it does express, that's when we may say that the ancestor has taken RE-BIRTH.

I know there still would be more questions left unanswered but its just the start.

Please note that in this article I have explained only about our  immediate ancestors only. 

We have many other type of Pitris which I will explain some other time.

Hope you enjoyed the article.


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