Related Articles : Vedic Poojas in Jyotish
Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja or Shri Pitra Gayatri Pooja is performed with a specific count of chant of Shri Pitra Gayatri mantra and through this mantra; a connection is established with lord Narayna who is the ruling lord of affairs related to our ancestors or Pitras. Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja is generally performed for the welfare and wellbeing of ancestors as well as in order to uplift and upgrade their status in various lokas or worlds where they may be residing after death.
Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja is a very good remedy which can be practiced in cases where one or more than one of native’s ancestors had died and no proper after death rituals or no after death rituals were performed for them due to which such ancestors may not be able to move to their proper lokas and they may be stuck somewhere in between. Sometimes such Pitras contact the native through dreams or other such phenomena in order to let him know that they are not well and something needs to be done by the native in order to relieve them from their present state of uncertainty and probable misery.
Apart from this reason, Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja can be performed for all the ancestors or Pitras in order to convey benefic Karmas and benefic results to them through this Pooja, in whichever worlds they may be at that time; and in order to receive blessings from Pitras. However, it should be noted that Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja is primarily meant for forwarding benefic karmas to the ancestors in order to improve their condition in various lokas; and not for the benefit of the native like in case of most other poojas, through the native almost always gets the blessings of such Pitras who do so as a gesture of gratitude towards the native who is doing all the effort for welfare of Pitras.
Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja can be started and completed on any day of the week depending on the suitability of the day according to the running time. The best time to perform this pooja are the days of Pitra Paksha or Shraadh which are about 15 days of the year, which come once a year and during which, the effect of anything done for Pitras or ancestors increases a great deal. This is why this time is named as Pitra Paksha which in literal sense means ‘The Days of the ancestors’. Hence it is advisable to perform Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja during Pitra Paksha or Shraadh, though this pooja can also be performed during other time periods of a year.
Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja is performed with the chant of Shri Pitra Gayatri mantra in a specific count. Generally the pandits are able to complete this chant or Jaap of Shri Pitra Gayatri mantra in 7 days and hence this pooja is generally completed in a week and all the necessary steps for this pooja are conducted during this time. Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja vidhi or procedure may include many different steps at many stages and it is not possible to mention all these steps here, but we will cover most of the important steps for this pooja.
The most important step in performing any Pooja is to perform the chant of a mantra specified for that pooja and this chant or jaap amounts to a number of 125,000 in most cases. Accordingly, Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja should ideally include a chant of 125,000 Shri Pitra Gayatri mantras and rest of the procedure is built around this chant. To start with Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja, a specific day is chosen for the start and completion of this Pooja. At the starting day of this Pooja, a Sankalp or resolution is taken by the pandits which are usually 5 in number. In this Sankalp, the head Pandit or the main Pandit takes an oath before Lord Narayna, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha or before Lord Narayna alone that he and his assistant pandits are going to perform a chant of 125,000 Shri Pitra Gayatri mantras for a specific person who is the native and whose name, his father’s name and his family surname is also mentioned in Sankalp.
The names of the pandits doing this chant are also mentioned, the days taken to complete this chant are also mentioned which are generally 7 to 10 days and the specific wishes required by the native as a result of this Pooja are also mentioned. This is the first step which starts Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja. The specific wishes asked during the sankalp of this pooja generally include the wellbeing of ancestors or Pitras in their respective lokas, to provide benefic results of pooja to the ancestors, to relieve various Pitras from any unfavorable lokas or conditions, to receive the blessings of Pitras and some other similar types of wishes.
After this, all the pandits start chanting Shri Pitra Gayatri mantra on daily basis for about 6 to 8 hours a day and in such a way that they are able to complete the total chant of 125,000 mantras till the decided day of completion of this Pooja. The pandits keep chanting Shri Pitra Gayatri mantra on daily basis till the day of the completion and they complete the committed chant of mantras on that day. After the completion of chant of Shri Pitra Gayatri mantra, the completion ceremony is arranged for the Pooja which can take about 2-3 hours if done with proper procedure.
A Pooja for Lord Narayna, Lord Shiva, goddess Parvati, and Lord Ganesha is performed first and many types of offerings like flowers, fruits, yellow clothes for Lord Narayna and clothes for other gods, sweets, halwa, dhoop, deepak, milk, curd, honey, desi ghee, sugar and many other things are offered to these gods and goddesses; and the completion of the Sankalp taken by the pandits is repeated.
It is conveyed to the gods by pandits that they have completed the chant of 125,000 Shri Pitra Gayatri mantras in the time promised by them and in the manner promised by them at the day of start of this pooja. It is also mentioned that all this chant and Pooja has been done on behalf of their client whose name and other details are again mentioned. It is then preyed that their client should be blessed with the good results of this Pooja since he has followed all the procedures for this Pooja and he has got this Pooja performed through pandits in order to get benefic results from it.
Things related to and the things signifying navagraha or some specific planets among navagraha are also offered and donated during the course of this final Pooja ceremony for Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja and these things may include rice, wheat, sugar, salt, oil, milk, blankets, copper utensils, pulses, lentils, white moles, black moles and some other things; each of which relate to one or the other planet among navagraha. Apart from this, certain things or foods which were favorites to the ancestors are also donated like, if someone’s grandfather liked Mangos a lot, Mangos are donated during this process.
Then the process of Tarpan is carried out through which with the help of mantras, water, rice, white flowers and certain other things, all the things to be donated are passed on to the ancestors and it is prayed to Lord Vishnu that in whichever lokas or worlds, the ancestors may be, they should receive these things in their present form or in form of some other kind of equally enjoyable benefit. After completion of Tarpana and this Pooja, blessings are taken from the gods and goddesses and then the ceremony of Havna is started which is the final and a very important ceremony as this is a ceremony through which a direct connection between the native and the corresponding gods is established with the help of pandits and through the holy fire of Havna.
Havna is a very important and technical procedure and it should be done by expert pandits with great attention and care. After lighting the holy fire of Havna, after starting the Havna and after doing the necessary formalities, the chant of Shri Pitra Gayatri mantra is again started and this time with the completion of each mantra, a sound of Swaaha is chanted by the pandits and upon the chant of this sound of Swaaha, certain specific things which form the constituents of Pooja Samagri, are offered in a specific way to the holy fire which has been lit in order to perform the Havna for Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja.
This process is repeated again and again; and each time the pandits chant the sound of Swaaha after completing one chant of Shri Pitra Gayatri mantra, Pooja samagri is offered to the holy fire of Havna in a specific way. Once the specific chant or Jaap of Shri Pitra Gayatri mantra fixed for the Havna is completed, some other important mantras are chanted. Here again, Pooja samagri is offered to the holy fire of Havna at the sound of Swaaha at the completion of each mantra. Finally, a dry coconut is cut and filled with certain specific things and this coconut is then placed in the holy fire of Havna as the final offering and with the chant of some specific mantras; and the desired result is again preyed by the pandits on behalf of the native.
The client or the native is then asked to complete 1, 3 or 7 circles around the Havna kund where each one of these circular movement is called a Pradakshina or a Parikarama and upon the completion of this Parikarma, Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja is completed. Though Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja includes some other steps and procedures than the ones mentioned above, the above mentioned steps are the most important steps of this Pooja and they should be carried out by expert and established pandits. Missing some of the important procedures or not doing them properly can reduce the desired effects of the Pooja and the native may not get the desired results from this Pooja.
There are some precautions which should be observed by the native during the running time of his Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja, otherwise he may not get proper results from this Pooja. From the time of start of Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja till the time of completion of this pooja, the native for whom this pooja is being performed should abstain from eating non vegetarian food of all kinds including fish and egg. He should stay away from liquors and alcohols of all kinds and he should also stay away from smoking during all this time or he should reduce it as much as possible. Apart from this, the native should also not make sexual contacts with any female including his own wife.
The native should also not engage in any kinds of bad conducts of violence, hatred or any other kinds of conducts which are considered immoral; during the running time of Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja. The native should try to connect himself to Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja on daily basis which he can do by praying to Lord Narayna daily after taking bath and repeating the Sankalp that the main Pandit had made on his behalf at the start of this pooja. The native should address Lord Narayna and say with his words or with his mind that he is getting Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja performed with a chant of 125,000 mantras of Lord Narayna and this pooja is being performed at such and such place by a specific number of pandits and that he is following all the procedures and precautions with complete dedication and devotion; and that Lord Narayna should bless his ancestors with the best possible results for this pooja.
It should be noted that Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja can be performed in the presence of the native as well as in the absence of the native. In case the native is unable to be personally present at the place of Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja, this pooja is conducted with the help of native’s picture in which the native should be alone and no one else should be present in the picture. This picture should be as recent as possible. In this case, the main Pandit takes the sankalp for Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja on behalf of the native in the presence of his picture.
The name of native’s father and the surname of his family is spoken in the Sankalp and it is also mentioned by the main Pandit that this native is unable to attend to this pooja by means of his personal presence and hence a specific Pandit whose name and surname is mentioned, will be performing all the rituals to be performed by the native on behalf of the native. It should be noted that this Pandit is one of the pandits who are going to raise a chant of 125,000 Shri Pitra Gayatri mantras for the native.
This way, the rituals to be performed by the native at the starting day and completion day of Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja are performed by the chosen Pandit and it is conveyed by him on both these days that he is performing these rituals on behalf of the native whose picture is always kept present during the Pooja and it is used as a symbol of the native. For example, if the chosen Pandit is supposed to offer flowers to Lord Narayna, he will first touch his hand carrying the flowers with the picture of the native and then he will offer those flowers to Lord Narayna; and all other rituals are also performed likewise.
It is important to note that even if the native is personally not present for Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja, he is strictly supposed to practice all the necessary prohibitions for this Pooja, in whichever part of the world he may be present during the running time of such Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja. The native should also keep repeating his Sankalp for the Pooja on daily basis as mentioned above; and he should ask for the best results of this pooja for his ancestors, from Lord Narayana.
Completing Shri Pitra Kalyaan Pooja with a chant of 125,000 mantras of Lord Narayna and doing it with due procedure, dedication and devotion can definitely bring the results desired by the native whereas missing important steps of this Pooja or altering Pooja vidhi or procedure in an improper way may reduce the benefic results of this Pooja.
Note : The Pooja procedure described above is indicative and there may be some changes in the procedure of this pooja across various geogrophical regions of India, due to difference in local customs and beliefs. Changes like starting day of a Pooja, the number of Pandits performing the Pooja and the number of hours for which a mantra is chanted by the Pandits on daily basis may be observed from Pooja to Pooja and from region to region and these changes should be accepted according to the advice of the Pandits doing your Pooja.