Pitar Paksh

A “paksh” is a fortnightly lunar phase dedicated to our parents – “pitar”. At every Havan or Yajna there is a mantra dedicated to our parents which asks that we be blessed with the good knowledge and wisdom that our parents are endowed with. Parents are the custodians of family values of loving, sharing and caring – the very pillars that keep our family intact. We then pledge ourselves to these values and through our commitment transmit these virtues from generation to generation.

When one dons a “Janeu” or the sacred cord, one of the three threads making up the “Janeu” stands for this very belief system, a veneration of our parents who have made the great sacrifices for us as family. Of the five great sacrifices “maha-yajnas” – one is “pitri yajna” – marking the reverence our Dharma teaches us for our parents and for the family as the hub of society. Respect for our parents and elders is the cornerstone of a cultured family, society and nation.

Where the Vedas carry injunctions that ask us to offer food to our “pitars” then we translate this as offerings of food to our living parents. Let us remember that it is important that we feed our living parents that we become increasingly aware of our parents being abandoned or abused and that our duty to our parents as an act of love and appreciation.

All Hindus believe in respect for parents/grandparents those passed on and those with us


However, Hindus express their reverence for Parents in different ways which are evident in these prayers, donations and acts of sacrifice:


Rites and Rituals mainly to our parents who have passed on – expressing gratitude for all that they have done for us and praying for peace in their journey hereafter.


Acknowledgment of parents as custodians of family values. Respect for parents as role models in our home – human values of loving and caring as pillars of a cultured and civilised family and society.


To mark our respect and dedication for our parents we give gifts to the elders, especially if they are destitute, living in homes for the aged, etc.