Skip to main content


Path Of Dead In Hinduism – Pitryana

Pitryana is the path of ancestors or the path of the dead in Hinduism. The central purport of the description of the path of the dead is to create an urge in human beings to escape the monotonous commuting between the earth and heaven (cycle of life) and to engage in efforts that lead to the northern way and, through that, to eventual liberation.

The exposition of the sacred Panchagni Vidya by Pravahana Jaivali to Goutama is described in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Chandogya Upanishads (with minor variations). In that context, Jaivali describes the “northern path” (also known as devayana or the path of manes.)

Path Of Dead In Hinduism

The performers of sacrifices and charitable deeds for the public ascend to the lunar world (chanda lokha) through the path of smoke (dhuma marga).

While traveling on this path, they first come across the deity of smoke and then successively reach the deity of smoke and then successively reach the deity of ratri (the night); the deity of Krishna Paksha (the fortnight during which the moon wanes); the deity of dakshinayana (the second half year in which the sun travels southward); the deity of pitrloka (the world of manes) and eventually attain the Chandra Loka, where they enjoy the fruits of their good works.

After the enjoyment, they return to earth through the agency of rain, become food and are consumed by human beings or animals and through them enter the womb of a female being.

In the new birth, too, they would once again be engaged in the performance of the rituals and would be bound in the transmigratory cycle.