Mahabharata’s Karna is associated with Pitru Paksha ritual– Here’s why

This year the period of Shraadha period commenced on September 5 and will last until 19th of this month.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Sep 08, 2017, 10:35 AM IST
Mahabharata’s Karna is associated with Pitru Paksha ritual– Here’s why
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Mumbai: It’s that time of the year when people pay respect to their ancestors/dead by doing pind daanam. The Pitru Paksha period which spreads over 15 days is dedicated to performing Shraadha /Tarpanam rituals at holy places such as Gaya.

This year the period of Shraadha period commenced on September 5 and will last until 19th of this month.

The Pitru Paksha is also known as Pitri Paksha or Shraadha.

There are several legends associated with the Pitru Paksha, but the most interesting one and perhaps the lesser known one is the one which mentions Karna from Mahabharata.

Legend:

The legend goes like this. After ‘Daanveer’ Karna best known for his magnanimity breathed his last in the epic war of Mahabharata, his soul transcended to the heaven (Swarga).

But he was only served gold and precious gems to eat. After wondering why he was served the inedible, Karna sought an answer from Indra, the Lord of the Devaloka. Indra’s answer will explain why Pitru Paksha period is observed by the kin of the dead.

(According to some legends, Karna has a dialogue with Yama, the God of death).

Lord Indra responded by saying, “You only donated all your gold and precious jewels while you were alive'. He added that you never offered food to your ancestors or performed Shraadha ceremony.”

On realising his folly, Karna wanted to rectify his mistake and south help from Indra to undo it.

Karna was awarded with 15-days of life on earth to perform Pind daanam. Thus the Pitru Paksha came into force.