Madhya Ashtami is an auspicious Hindu observance during the Mahalayam fortnight that is also popularly referred as ‘Pitru Paksha Shradh’. In the traditional Hindu calendar it is performed on the ‘Ashtami’ (8th day) during the ‘Krishna Paksha’ (the waning phase of moon) in the month of ‘Bhadrapada’. It falls just before the Ashwin Navratri (the 9-day festivities dedicated to worshipping Goddess Durga) while in the Gregorian calendar the date falls between the months of mid-September to mid-October. Madhya Ashtami is an important day for Hindus who observed the Shradh rituals at Gaya. This day is chosen by such people who do not observe the Pitru Paksha Mahalayam rituals on all the 15 days. This form of observance of Shradh is also known by ‘Sakrun Mahalayam’. Also when the Madhya Ashtami tithi coincides with ‘Aridra’ Nakshatra it is known as ‘Aridrashtami’.

Madhya Ashtami 2017 was on September 13 Wednesday

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Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga

Rituals during Madhya Ashtami:

  • On Madhya Ashtami, the rituals are same as those performed on any other days of the Pitru Paksha period. The rituals must be performed by the male head of the family. All the tarpan and pind daan rituals are performed under the guidance of a knowledgeable priest.
  • Madhya Ashtami rituals must be performed with full dedication. It is believed that after performing all the rituals religiously, the person is showered with blessings from his dead ancestors.
  • Just like Pitru Paksha Shradh, performing Madhya Ashtami rituals in places like Haridwar, Varanasi, Rishikesh, Prayag Sangam and Rameshwaram is considered very fulfilling. According to the Tamil beliefs, the most ideal place for performing Madhya Ashtami is the ‘Noopura Ganga Theertham’, located near Madurai.
  • In addition to the shradh rituals, devotees also worship Lord Shiva on the day of Madhya Ashtami. Several offerings are made to the lord to seek His divine blessings.

Important Timings On Madhya Ashtami

Sunrise13-Sep-2017 06:16 AM
Sunset13-Sep-2017 18:28 PM
Ashtami Tithi Begins 13-Sep-2017 01:01 AM
Ashtami Tithi Ends13-Sep-2017 22:48 PM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] Time Zone : IST (+05:30)

Significance of Madhya Ashtami:

In Hinduism, Pitru Paksha Shradh rituals are considered to be highly important. These rituals are performed to grant peace to the souls of the dead ancestors or ‘pitrs’. The deceased ancestors pleased by the puja, then bless their family members with good health, wealth and prosperity. The ritual of Madhya Ashtami is one such observance performed for the dead ancestors. A person observer Madhya Ashtami does not perform the Shradh rituals on the other remaining days of the Mahalayam fortnight or Pitru Paksha. However, performing the Amavasya Shradh ritual is obligatory for all. The main significance of Madhya Ashtami is that a person doing it for the dead ancestors need not worry about the vara, tithi, Nakshatras and other such doshas. He can perform the ritual and seek the blessings of his ancestors.

Madhya Ashtami festival dates between 2014 & 2024

YearDate
2014Tuesday, 16th of September
2015Monday, 5th of October
2016Friday, 23rd of September
2017Wednesday, 13th of September
2018Tuesday, 2nd of October
2019Sunday, 22nd of September
2020Thursday, 10th of September
2021Wednesday, 29th of September
2022Sunday, 18th of September
2023Friday, 6th of October
2024Tuesday, 24th of September
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