When should the Shraddha be performed ?

Contents

1. In general appropriate dates for performing shraddha

2. Hindu Dharmadoes not give any chance to anyone to say that the shraddha was not performed due to non-feasibility in a particular period!

3. Appropriate time of the day

4. Special dates for performing Shraddhaand the benefits derived after performing shraddha for deceased ancestors’ souls on these dates

4.1 Kalpadi date (tithi)

4.2 Akshayya Trutiya (3rd day within the bright fortnight of Vaishakh)

4.3 Pitru fortnight (Pitrupaksha) (Mahalaypaksha)

 


 

1. In general appropriate dates for performing shraddha

Normally no moon night, 12 sankrants in a year, solar-lunar eclipses, Yugadhi and Manvadi dates, Ardhodayadi parva, date of death, arrival of Shrotriya priests (Brahmins) etc dates are considered appropriate for performing shraddha.

 

2. Hindu Dharma does not give any chance to anyone to say that
the shraddha was not performed due to non-feasibility in a particular period!

A) Normally every year Shraddha should be performed on the date of death of the person (as per the Hindu calendar and not as per the English calendar. If the date is not known and only the month is known, then in that case the shraddha can be performed on the no moon night of that month.

B) If both, the date as well as the month is unknown then the shraddha can be performed on the no moon night of the Hindu calendar month of Magh or Margashirsha.

C) If the definite date of death is not known then the shraddha can be performed on the date when the news of the death was received.

D) Shraddha for deceased ancestors’ souls should be performed everyday and it can be achieved just by offering water (tarpan) to them.

E) If it is impossible to perform Shraddha daily, then Darsha Shraddha should be performed. This fulfills the requirement of doing the Shraddha daily. Darsha means no moon night. Therefore Darsha Shraddha is the one, which is performed on the no moon night of every month.

F) If it is not possible to perform Darsha Shraddha every month, one should at least perform it on the no moon night of Hindu calendar months of Chaitra, Bhadrapad and Ashwin months.

G) If it is not possible even to perform Darsha Shraddha on no moon nights of Chaitra, Bhadrapad and Ashwin, then at least the ritual of Mahalaya should be performed in the Pitru fortnight of the month of Bhadrapad. If this too is impossible then Shraddha should be performed on the no moon night of the month of Bhadrapad (sarva pitri amavasya) (11)

3. Appropriate time of the day

If the day is divided into 5 parts, then the fourth part is called the ‘Aparanha’ period. This period is most appropriate for performing shraddha.

 

4. Special dates for performing Shraddha and the benefits
derived after performing shraddha for deceased ancestors’ souls on these dates

4.1 Kalpadi date (tithi)

DeityBrahma’s day is considered as the day of origin. This is also called as Kalpadi tithi. The 1st and 5th day of Chaitra, 3rd day of Vaishakh, 7th day of Kartik, 9th day of Margashirsha, 13th day of Magh, 3rd day of Falgun (all days from the bright fortnight) indicate the start of the era (kalpa). As per the science, if shraddha is performed on these dates, the deceased ancestors’ souls get satisfied.

4.2 Akshaya Trutiya (3rd day within the bright fortnight of Vaishakh)

Akshayya Trutiya indicates the start of the Kruta era. The benefits derived by performing rituals like Shraddha, Tarpan for deceased ancestors’ souls and donations on this date is everlasting. Therefore one should at least perform Apinda Shraddha or Tarpan for their deceased ancestors’ souls.

The holy texts of Puranas say that, on the day of Akshaya Trutiya one should donate uncooked food (aamanna), a water pot, a fan made of mint grass, an umbrella, footwear etc with the intension of offering them to the deceased ancestors’ souls. It is mentioned in Garud Puran that, once the donations are made with the intention of offering them to deceased ancestors’ souls on this day, the messengers of DeityYama do not cause distress to the ancestors’ souls.

यमदूता महारौद्राः करालाः कृष्णपि्ङःगलाः ।
न पीडयंति दाक्षिण्याद्वस्त्रा भरणदानतः ।।

Meaning : When clothes and ornaments are donated, the dark, brown eyed, cruel messengers of Deity Yama having sharp and long teeth do not cause distress to the deceased ancestors’ souls.

4.3 Pitru fortnight (Pitrupaksha) (Mahalaypaksha)

A) Importance

1. The dark fortnight in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapad is called as ‘Pitrupaksha’. This fortnight is very dear to the deceased ancestors’ souls. If Mahalay Shraddha is performed for the deceased ancestors’ souls during this fortnight, they remain satisfied for the entire year.

Mahalay Shraddha
Mahalay Shraddha

2. श्राद्धं कन्यागते भानौ यो न कुर्याद् गृहाश्रमी ।
धनं पुत्राः कुततस्य पितृकोपाग्निपीडनात् ।।
यावच्च कन्यातुलयोः क्रमादास्ते दिवाकरः ।
शून्यं प्रेतपुरं तावद् यावद् वृश्चिकदर्शनम् ।। – Mahabharat

Meaning : The householder who does not perform shraddha during the period when the Sun is in the Virgo sign, how will he earn money and be gifted with a male childas he would have enraged the deceased ancestors’ souls? Additionally, the abode for deceased ancestors’ souls remains vacant till the Sun moves from Virgo and Libra sign to the Scorpio sign. The abode for deceased ancestors’ souls remaining vacant during this period implies that the deceased ancestors’ souls come closer to their descendants for blessing them and if Shraddha is not performed, they give curse to their descendants and return. Due to this it is important to perform Shraddha during this period.

B) The deceased ancestors that arrive at the occasion of Mahalay Shraddha

1. Father, grandfather, great grandfather (Pitrutrayi)

10. Maternal uncle

2. Mother, grandmother and great grandmother (matrutrayi)

11. Brother

3. Step mother

12. Father’s sisters

4. Mother’s father, grandfather and great grandfather (matamahatrayi)

13. Mother’s sisters

5. Mother’s mother, grandmother and great grandmother

14. Sisters

6. Wife

15. Father-in-law

7. Sons

16. Other relatives

8. Daughters

17. Guru (if the Guru-disciple relationship exists)

9. Paternal cousins

18. Disciple (if the Guru-disciple relationship exists)

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text ‘Shraddha (importance and scientific explanation)’

57 thoughts on “When should the Shraddha be performed ?”

  1. Namaste.
    Could you please answer following queries:
    1. My father expired on 15 May 2019 and his 2nd varshik shraddha tithi is next month. As per the priest, we need to perform only Mahalaya shraddha after one year of the death. Please advise whether we should perform the varshik tithi shraddha every year or not.
    2. My grandmother (father’s mother) expired October 2020 (last year) and last rites were performed by my uncle. As per Priest, I should not perform even Mahalaya shraddha for my father this year due to one year sutak caused by my grandmother’s death. Please advise.
    Thanks and Regards.

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      Below are answers to your queries.

      1. Every year 2 shraddhas should be performed, one on the tithi the person expired (that is varshik / samvatsarik / annual shraddha) and the second in Pitrupaksha that is Mahalay shraddha.

      2. Mahalay shraddha can be performed, but you will not be able to do Mahalay shraddha for your grand-mother this year. You will be able to perform it for your grand-mother from next year after the time period of one year is completed for her demise.

      Regards,
      Sanatan Sanstha

      Reply
      • My husband’s cousin expired in may 22, can I perform shraddha of my mother in putri paksha, priest said that I can not perform because one year sutak in my family,plz guide

        Reply
        • Namaskar Mrs Payal Patel ji,

          As per Dharmashastra, even if your husband’s closest cousin has expired, the sutak ends after the 13th day of his demise. Hence, your father can perform Pitrupaksha shraddha, since Pitrupaksha shraddha is for his deceased father & mother and earlier 3 generations.

          Just for your information, in the pitrupaksha shraddha that would be performed by your father, your mother’s shraddha will not be included. Her shraddha will have to be performed separately. Your mother was a Suhagan when she passed away, so her shraddha should be performed on Avidhwa Navami in Pitrupaksha. On this day, a married woman (a Suhagan) is invited and food is offered to her.

          Since your sutak ends on 13th day after the demise of your husband’s cousin, you can prepare food when your father will do pitrupaksha shraddha and even on Avidhwa Navami.

          However, there might be local customs & traditions which affect the main ritual. So, if the priests deny or do not give permission to perform shraddha then you can do Aam Shraddha. (You can give “Aamanna” (dry food that is food grains etc) to purohit or vedpathshala or Goshala or temple (in this order). This is called as AamShraddha.)

          Reply
  2. Namaskar. My father expired on 15 may 2019 and as eldest son, I performed his final rites. My grandmother (my father’s mother) expired on 22 November 2020 and her final rites were mainly performed by my uncle.
    1. Am I supposed to perform second varshik shraddh (in May) and Mahalaya shraddha (August/ September) for my father? The local priest says that I should not do shraddha until the competition of first varshik shraddh for my grandmother. We could only give uncooked grains (groceries) to the priest in the temple.
    2. Can I perform varshik shraddha at a tirtha kshetra (Rishikesh) if I am already there or it must be performed at home?
    3. Is it OK to look for another priest outside our community (garhwal, Uttarakhand) if the priest whom we engaged for pitru karma is not very knowledgeable.
    4. Does your organization have trained priest in Delhi or Rishikesh who could perform pitru karma.
    Kindly advise.
    Thanks and Regards.

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      1. Yes, you can perform second varshik shraddh and Mahalaya shraddha for your father. Only the name of your grand mother will not be uttered during Mahalay Shraddha (that is Mahalay Shraddha will not be performed for her this year), since one year is not completed for her demise.

      2. Varshik Shraddha can be performed anywhere.

      3. Yes

      4. No

      Reply
    • Namaskar,

      It is not necessary that immediately after death, one gets rebirth.

      It takes 1 year for the soul to travel to the Martyaloka (a subtle plane between Bhu lok [earth] and Bhuva lok). [Hence, Yearly shraddha is performed after one year] Here, in the Martyaloka, it is decided that to which Loka (subtle plane) the soul should travel to depending on his merits and sins. While traveling to other Lokas the energy generated from the shraddha (done by his successsors in previous birth) helps it to travel further. Even if the jiva takes birth in any of the 84 lakh yonis, he receives the energy from the Shraddha. If the jiva gets human birth then also it receives the benefit of the shraddha being performed for it and helps in refraining from any kind of distress.

      That means, the food or pindas offered to the jiva in Shraddha is received by the jiva according to the yoni they are in.
      If human – food
      If Yaksha – Vayu
      If animals – meat etc

      In short, they get what they need through Shraddha and receive satisfaction.

      Reply
  3. The Visarjan of Asthi of my father and mother have been immersed on Triveni at Prayag with all rituals and Pinda daan completed at Gaya during 2019. The Brahmins advised not to perform the Shradha ( the dates of death of my father and mother). Please advise me whether I will perform anual Shradha on their deaths or not. Please advice me

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      As per Dharmashastras (Hindu Scriptures), it is prescribed that every year Shraddha should be performed twice. One is Annual / Varshik / Samvatsarik Shraddha and second is Mahalay Shraddha to be performed in Pitrupaksha. Shraddha should be performed on the tithi (date as per the Hindu calendar) of demise of that person.

      Reply
  4. My father in law demised in bhadrapada shuklapaksha dashami , my mother in law during Dasara thadige ( 3rd day ) so we are performing these Shraddha . We were doing in pitrupaksha also for every pitrus , but one priest advised there will be three tarpana’s with in a month can’t be done . so please tell me what to do I am in confusion regarding this matter .

    Reply
  5. My father passed away on Sep 20,2020 it was Ashwin ashok Maas and the Thoth I was Chaturthi. So my question is when should we perform the annual Shraddha, is it the Chaturthi of Navratri every year or the shraddhpaksh Chaturthi?

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      Shraddha should be performed twice every year – 1. annual or yearly shraddha, and 2. mahalay shraddha. The annual or yearly shraddha should be performed on the same tithi (date as per Hindu calendar) that existed at the time your father passed away. Mahalay shraddha should be performed in Pitrupaksha on the tithi in that 15 day period.

      Reply
  6. Hi Sir,
    My father passed away due to covid on 23rd June 06:45PM, we are non brahmin marathi speaking family from Tamilnadu, i want to understand when we need to do annual year shraddha. My father passed in the month of Aani and 11th month Vaisaki has two Chatrudasi before pournami so confused whether it’s on 13th June 2022 or May month saturdasi. Kindly advise

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      Annual or yearly shraddha should be performed on the same tithi on which the person passed away. You can use mypanchang.com to find out the tithi that was there at the time on the day your father passed away.

      Reply
  7. My grandma died in January and my mom in June , so can we do two annual shradda in a same year like my grand ma on December 2021 and my mom may 2022 ? Please guide

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      Yes you can do 2 annual shraddhas in the same year. Kindly do the shraddha as per Hindu calendar that is on the tithi your grandmother and mother passed away.

      Reply
  8. || jay Ganesh ||
    Namaskar
    my father passed many years back . His annual ( yearly ) shraddha day today
    poush shuddh shashti
    but i missed it by mistake .
    Extremely sorry for same .

    We have also
    param pujya shakambhari ie Banshankari devi pournima which starts after few days .

    When can we i my father’s
    shraddha after navratri is over ?

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      As per Dharmashastra, if one misses the tithi of Shraddha, then one can perform it on the Amavasya tithi of that month.

      But you can also seek opinion of local preists (purohit).

      Reply
  9. Namaskar,

    My mom passed away last year, and I would like perform Shraddha in Kasi, Prayag or Gaya. Someone told me that it is good to do first year samvatsarikam in Prayag. Another priest told that first samvatsarikam cannot be done in Prayag or Gaya, but it can be done in Kasi (varanasi). We are non-bahmin telugu. My father is alive. Can you please suggest which is the best among these places to perform first year Shrad?

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      It is appropriate to perform shraddha at Gaya, after 1 year has completed to the demise of the deceased.

      Reply
  10. NAMASKAR, I WISH TO PERFORM SHRADDHA OF MY FATHER. AS PER “TITHI” IT IS FALLING ON THE 9TH APRIL 2022. PLEASE SEND ME THE COMPLETE PROCEDURE OF PERFORMING SHRADDHA INCLUDING MANTRA/ JAPA TO BE CHATED.

    BEST REGARDS
    GUMASTE VINAYAK

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      The Shraddha ritual procedure is very lengthy. It cannot be given here. It would be better if you learn it from a purohit (priest) and then perform it yourself.

      Reply
    • My brother passed away at midnight of 28th april around 12.15 am. His 1st death anniversary is on 17th April 2022. But we are having sutak as one of my cousin uncl3 passed away on 10th april. Please guide when can we do his 1st shraddha ritual.

      Reply
      • Namaskar,

        Yes, as per Dharmashastra you cannot perform Shraddha while you are having sutak. We will let you know the alternate dates soon.

        Reply
      • Namaskar,

        Yes, as per Dharmashastra you cannot perform Shraddha while you are having sutak.

        1. You can perform Shraddha on the day the sutak ends.
        2. If it is not possible for you to perform Shraddha on that day, then you can perform it on Ashtami or Ekadashi or Dvadashi or Amavasya tithi of Krishna Paksha.
        3. If it is not possible to perform Shraddha on the above given tithis also, then you can perform it on the tithi of demise coming in the immediate next month (example, if tithi of demise is chaitra krushna dwitiya then you can perform it on Vaishakh krushna dwitiya).

        Reply
  11. My husband’s 1st death anniversary tithi falls on ekadashi but I am being told to perform the ceremony on the next day saying that offerings are not done on ekadashi . Please help.

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      If shraddha falls on Ekadashi, shraddha should be done on that day, but

      1. If you are observing Ekadashi Vrat, then you cannot consume the Shraddha food. In such a case, serve the food for yourself in a plate, take its smell and immerse that food in flowing water. (This does not break the fast, nor does it lead to the guilt of not receiving the prasad prepared for Shraddha).

      2. If you are not observing the Ekadashi fast, then you can do Shraddha and have the food.

      3. We do not offer food to Vishnu on Ekadashi, whether you have observed fast or not. However, since Vishnu is the deity of Shraddha, you can offer fasting food / fruits to Deity Vishnu while performing the Shraddha ritual offerings.

      Reply
  12. My father’s date of death is 20th Nov 2019, and his Shraddha falls on Krishna paksha Ashtami (Ashtami before Ammavasya) of Tamil month Karthiga. This year 2022, there is no Ashtami thithi during Karthigai month, as Krishna paksha Ashtami falls just one day before Karthiga month (Krishna Paksha Ashtami – Dec 16 01:39 AM – Dec 17 03:02 AM) or just one day after Karthiga month (Krishna Paksha Ashtami – Nov 16 05:50 AM – Nov 17 07:57 AM). Please guide me on which day I should perform the Shraddha this year?

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      We are sorry to inform you that we do not refer the Tamil panchang, since we do not understand Tamil. Hence, a humble request to you to inquire with local purohit / priest.

      Reply
  13. My un married brother died in dec 2021 his parlowkik korma done on 28th of december
    Can i perform my 50th wedding anniversary elaborately..ie mehndi.kirtan.ring ceremony etc

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      Celebration is advised to be avoided during 1st year of departure of direct relatives (parents, spouse, siblings etc.)

      Wedding anniversary doesn’t come in rituals, hence it can be done on next year also.

      Reply
      • Namaskar
        My mother died on 21 November 2021. We had to perform pratham varsh shraadh on 10 November 2022, but one of my uncle passed away on 2 November 2022. Now when should we perform my mother’s shradh.
        please suggest.
        Regards

        Reply
        • Namaskar Jyoti Dhakne ji,

          Can you explain your relation with the uncle who passed away with respect to the family tree? Since there are different rules of sutak for paternal relatives and maternal relatives.

          Reply
    • Namaskar,

      Yes, you can perform Shraddha even if it falls on Ekadashi.

      If shraddha falls on Ekadashi, shraddha should be done on that day, but

      1. If you are observing Ekadashi Vrat, then you cannot consume the Shraddha food. In such a case, serve the food for yourself in a plate, take its smell and immerse that food in flowing water. (This does not break the fast, nor does it lead to the guilt of not receiving the prasad prepared for Shraddha).

      2. If you are not observing the Ekadashi fast, then you can do Shraddha and have the food.

      3. We do not offer food to Vishnu on Ekadashi, whether you have observed fast or not. However, since Vishnu is the deity of Shraddha, you can offer fasting food / fruits to Deity Vishnu while performing the Shraddha ritual offerings.

      Reply
  14. My father dead on shukla paksh chaturdashi since long I perform mahalaya shraddh on Amavasya (non moon day) in pitrupaksh instead of chaturdashi. I want to know whether it is as per our Dharmshastra?

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      If a person has passed away on Chaturdashi, then it is more appropriate to perform the shraddh on Dwadashi or Amavasya, because as per Scriptures the shraddh of only those killed by weapons should be done on Chaturdashi and not for others. Hence, if you are doing shraddh of your father on Amavasya, then it is appropriate and in accordance to the Scriptures.

      Reply
  15. My father expired on 16th October 2015, year over year I am performing the rituals on Mahalaya Shraddha (Tithi: Tritiya). But this year I am unavailable on the date (September 12th) when Mahalaya Shraddha occurs.

    I am seeing 28th September is annual shraddha day according to tamil panchangam, can I perform the ritual on this date?

    If not, what is next best date to perform the ritual for my father?

    Appreciate your help in this regard.

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      If it is not possible to do Shraddh on the expected tithi, then you can do it on Dwadashi or Sarvapitri Amavasya.

      Reply
  16. Hello ,
    My mom died on January 1st 2022 . But did the shradh karm as per rituals.
    Can i do tarpan this year in pitra paksch as some persons are telling that in one year u cannot do tarpan twice.

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      No, you cannot do mahalay shraddha or tarpan for her in pitrupaksh this year.

      But, your father or you (if your father is no more) can do tarpan or mahalay shraddha for the other departed ancestors except your mother, in this pitrupaksha.

      Reply
  17. My Mother died on 30th September 2014 at around 3:00-3:30 PM , want to know the day of her Shradh i.e which number of Shradh I should be following for her.

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      Please use mypanchang.comt to find the tithi that existed at the time and place when your mother passed away. Every year on the same tithi perform her yearly / annual / varsha shraddha. In Pitrupaksha, her mahalay shraddha will be performed on your father’s demise tithi alongwith your father’s mahalay shraddha.

      Reply
  18. My husband expired on 30 July 2022, should I perform Sharad this year or next year.
    My husband’s mother also expired on 3 Jan 2022
    Please advise

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      As per Dharmashastra, we have to perform Shraddha twice a year – Yearly (or annual or varsha) shraddh and Mahalay shraddh.

      Yearly shraddh should be performed every year on the tithi the person passed away.

      Mahalay shraddha can be performed only after one year is completed for the demise of the person. It is performed on the death tithi occurring in Pitrupaksha.

      Hence you cannot perform your husband’s or mother-in-law’s mahalay shraddh this year. But from next year after performing their first yearly shraddh, you can start performing their Mahalay shraddh.

      Reply
    • Namaskar,

      It is not necessary that only the individual’s son should perform shraddha. As per Hindu Dharma, anybody, your brother, any relative or even your friend can do shraddha.

      However, the practice of a person performing his own shraddha is not common. But you can ask about it to local priest who is well versed in this field.

      Reply
  19. I do my father and grandfather sharadh on Panchami and trodhashi on mahalaya but this time cousin expired on 6th day of after performing father sharadh so can I do grandfather sharadh or not and what about next year also

    Reply
    • Namaskar,
      1. Yearly shraddha should be done on the tithi the person has passed away.
      2. Mahalay shraddha should be performed on your father’s tithi of demise in pitrupaksha. (Mahalay shraddha includes shraddha of mother & father & their 3 earlier generations. So, there is no need of performing your grandfather’s mahalay shraddha separately.)
      3. Do not do pindadaan in mahalay shraddha for your cousin till one year is completed for his demise.

      Reply
  20. My Father passed away on 27th March 2017.Thereafter my mother was performing his Shradh each year.She was also donating Food and Fruits to Our Panditji each month on Amavasya as Father’s Tithi lands on the same day. This was continuing each month.

    Now My mother passed away on 27th July 2022 this year.

    Her 2nd Tithi is today 24th Sept.

    Q1. What do I need to do as a son for Her.

    Q2. Also am I supposed to do Father’s Shradh tomorrow

    Reply
    • Namaskar,

      Every son should perform shraddha for his deceased parents. Shraddha should be performed twice every year – yearly shraddha & mahalay shraddha. Yearly shraddha should be performed exactly on the tithi your parents passed away. On father’s death tithi perform father’s shraddha and on mother’s tithi perform mother’s shraddha. Similarly in pitrupaksha perform mahalay shraddha.

      As son, you should perform mahalay shraddha of your father on his death tithi in pitrupaksha. The mahalay shraddha is for deceased father-mother & their 3 prior generations. It is performed on father’s tithi that occurs in pitrupaksha. But this can be performed only when one year has completed after the person has passed away. Hence, while performing your father’s mahalay shraddha this year, you will not be able to perform mahalay shraddha for your mother, but from next year you can.
      Since today’s tithi of your father is missed, you can perform the shraddha on dwadashi or next amavasya.
      For this you can take the guidance of local purhoit (priest).

      Reply
    • Namaskar,

      Shraddha should be performed exactly on the tithi that existed at the time the person passed away. The tithi varies as per place. Also in one day there might be one or two tithis. Hence, we request you to use mypanchang.com website to find the exact tithi that existed at the place, at the time your mother passed away.

      Reply
  21. Dear Pandith Ji, Namaskar
    My father’s sharaddha (Annual ritual performed every year) was on Ashwija poornima day. But one of my father’s cousin expired on Ashwija Ekadashi day. Due to Suthaka we did not perform Shraddha of our father on Ashwija Poornima day. Please guide us on which day should we do the sharddha of my father. The next Amavasya day has solar eclipse.

    Reply
    • Namaste,

      If you have missed the shraddha tithi then you can perform it on dwadashi or next amavasya.

      Note : Even if there is solar eclipse on that day, you can do shraddha.

      Reply

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