Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Paksha - What is its Significance?

Sadhguru explains the significance of Mahalaya Amavasya and Navratri, which will be celebrated in an exuberant manner from September 29 to October 8 at the Isha Yoga Center.
Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Paksha - What is its significance?

Sadhguru explains the significance of Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Paksha (September 28, 2019), and why the tradition of honoring our ancestors is significant.

Sadhguru: The new moon day known as the Mahalaya Amavasya is the beginning of Dussehra. It is a special day dedicated to making an offering to express our gratitude to all the previous generations of people who have contributed to our life.

Scientists say that human beings and their ancestors have existed on this planet for 20 million years. That is a lot of time. All these hundreds of thousands of generations that lived on this planet before us have given us something or the other. The language that we speak, the way we sit, our clothes, our buildings – almost everything that we know today has come to us from generations before us.

Pitru Paksha: The Legacy of Past Generations

Mahalaya Amavasya is a special day dedicated to making an offering to express our gratitude to all the previous generations of people who have contributed to our life.

When only animals existed on this planet, it was all about survival, eating, sleeping, reproduction and dying one day. Then slowly, this animal which knew only survival, started evolving. From being horizontal, it started standing up; the brain started growing, and this animal’s ability to do things suddenly started multiplying. The significant thing about being human is that we can use tools. This simple ability of using tools, we multiplied or made it grow into technologies. The day an ape picked up a thighbone of an animal and started fighting with that bone instead of with just his hands; when, apart from his own body, he had the necessary intelligence to start using tools to make his life, in some way that was the beginning of human life on the planet.

Now, human beings started structuring lives so that we could live a little better than animals. Shelters came up, buildings came up, clothes came – so many things happened on this planet because of human beings. From simple things like making fire to discovering the wheel and innumerable other things, this legacy has been passed on from generation to generation. We are who we are today only because of all the things that have been given to us. Let us say, human beings had never worn clothes, and suppose you were the first person who had to stitch a shirt, it would not be easy; it would take many years to figure out how to stitch a shirt.

Pitru Paksha: Expressing Gratitude

We have taken all the things that we have today for granted. But without the generations that came before us, firstly we would not exist here; secondly, without their contribution we would not have all the things that we have today. So instead of taking them for granted, today is a day when we express our gratitude to all of them.  It is done as a ritual to pay homage to one’s dead parents, but is actually an expression of gratitude for all those generations of ancestors who lived before us.


During this time, in the Indian subcontinent, new crops would have just begun to bear yield. So their first produce is offered to the ancestors as a mark of respect and thankfulness, by way of pinda, before the whole population breaks into celebration in the form of other festivals like Navratri, Vijayadashami and Diwali.


Editor’s Note: Kalabhairava Shanthi is an annual process conducted at Linga Bhairavi on the auspicious night of Mahalaya Amavasya for the wellbeing of ancestors and departed relatives. This year Mahalaya Amavasya falls on September 28, 2019. For the process, a photo of the departed relative(s), with name and dates of birth & death are reqd. If exact date of birth is not known, please give the birth year. If this is also not known, both father & mother’s names are needed. One can also register for the shanti process for the next 10 years at once. Submit the registration form here. Registration can be done at all local centers in Tamil Nadu.

To conduct the Kalabhairavi Shanthi process for your departed relatives, please email, contact +91 83000 83111 or visit the website for details.

On Mahalaya Amavasya, in honor of your ancestors, make a sacred offering of food, which will provide sustenance for spiritual seekers in the ashram. For further details, please contact: 844 844 7707.

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5 years 8 months ago

Realized what we are today is from our Ancestors, and meaning is wonderfull. We are lucky to have such guide in the form of Guru.

2 years 10 months ago

Hey man, This was an excellent page for such
a hard subject to talk about. I look forward to reading
many more great posts like these. Thanks a lot.

7 years 7 months ago

Shambo! In tears of joy

5 years 8 months ago

thanks for the explain

2 years 10 months ago


7 years 6 months ago

I came to understand how we can never forget the past because it is the reason why the world is and the people are today. Beautiful post!

5 years 8 months ago

My Master's words are absolutely humbling once again. I'm not without the contribution of many a lives here and gone. Let this Truth prevail in my head forever...

2 years 10 months ago

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6 years 8 months ago

Thanks for the meaningful explanation and importance of the day

5 years 8 months ago

Thanks for detailed explanation for what we are enjoying now are the efforts of our ancestors. Let us all pray for them.

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Thank u very much for the beautiful explaination & thankful to amighty God, we all are blessed with such a beautiful life .

5 years 7 months ago

Thank you very much sadhguru...for explaining the importance

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