Varanasi: Scores of devotees on Wednesday visited the banks of the holy river Ganga in Varanasi to offer prayers to their ancestors on the last day of Pitru Paksha, also known as Sarvapitri Amavasya. According to the Hindu calendar, Pitru Paksha or the 16-day lunar day period on Mahalaya is when the Hindus pay homage to their ancestors or the Pitars.
The day also marks the beginning of ‘Devi Paksha’, the day of arrival of the Goddess Durga. Those who perform the ritual believe that this ritual will help deliver salvation to the departed souls.
It is believed that after a person dies, the soul of the person travels through various realms before finally reaching its ultimate destination. Moksha, according to the Gita, is the freedom of the soul from the cycle of life and death. It is for this very purpose that pind daan and tarpan are performed. Every year Pitri Paksha takes place for about 16 days in the period between September to October.
“With devotion, everyone performs the ceremony of pind daan to pay homage to their father and mother. Today is a very important day as it is also the day of the new moon (Amavasya),” said Ravishankar Upadhyay, who performed ‘pind dan’ here. A large number of devotees also visited the banks of the holy Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers in Prayagraj to pay their homage.
Similarly, devotees were also seen performing ‘pind daan’ on the banks of Falgu river in Gaya, Bihar and on the bank of river Hooghly in Kolkata.