Hindus light earthen lamps as part of annual ancestor salvation worship ritual

Gaya (Bihar), Oct.14 (ANI): Hindu devotees lit earthen lamps over the weekend as an obligatory duty ahead of the annual ancestor salvation worshipping ritual of Pind Daan, which falls during the Pitr-Paksha period (16-lunar day period as per Hindu calendar).

Pitr-paksha generally falls in the month of September or October every year.

Devotees were seen lighting earthen lamps and then placing them in a water body as a mark of respect for their forefathers.

Expressing their happiness, devotees in Gaya said they hope to enlighten their lives by paying homage to their ancestors through the ritual.

“We all have gathered here to celebrate the festival of lights ‘Deepavali’ in the memory of our ancestors after performing ‘Pind Daan’ (ancestors’ salvation ritual) for them. By lighting lamps in their memories we hope that our lives are also enlightened,” said a Hindu devotee, Manish Agarwal.

According to traditional beliefs, the eldest son of a family performs Pind Daan and pays homage to their ancestors (Pitrs), especially through food offerings.

People take holy dip in rivers and get their heads tonsured as a part of the ritual for the departed souls. The food is usually cooked in silver or copper vessels and placed on banana leaves.

Devotees also expressed gratitude to their forefathers for inculcating ethics and social values in them.

“I am very happy to be here today and do this ritual of lighting lamps. I cannot express my happiness and I feel indebted to our ancestors for inculcating values in us,” said a Hindu devotee, Manju Patwari.

Devotees believe that once the ritual is performed, the souls of their ancestors shall be relieved of all the sins and they would be freed from the cycle of birth and death.

According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that when humans die, their mortal body turns to dust. However, the soul remains, until it does not find another mortal body to reside. The cycle of rebirth can cease and the soul can receive salvation, if these sacred rituals are performed. (ANI)

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