Today – October 15, 2012 – is Mahalaya, the last day of Pitru Paksha Shraddh fortnight. Prayers are offered to dead parents, relatives and ancestors at early morning on Mahalaya day through Shradh – Pinda Daan - Tarpan ritual. Mahalaya day also marks the beginning of the Durga Puja rituals in Bengal and Eastern parts of
India. Mahalaya heralds the advent
of Goddess Durga to earth along with her four children Ganesh, Kartikeya,
Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi.
All pujas and rituals of Pitru Paksha Mahalaya should be completed before 6:01 PM on October 15, 2012 (India Standard Time).
The rituals and rites on Pitru Paksha Mahalaya day are performed early morning on riverbanks or on seashore. The main offering made on Mahalaya Paksha to ancestors is food. It is believed that the offering made during this period will benefit all the departed souls. Charity in the form of food is also done by people.
Mahalaya – Durga Puja
On Mahalaya day, invitation is given to Goddess Durga to descend on to the earth along with her family. In
Goddess Saraswathi and Goddess Lakshmi are considered part of the family of