The Time of the Ancestors

पितृपक्ष

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Lesson 17

Pitṛpakṣa Practice Day 16: Honor Our Collective Ancestry

We’ve made it to our last day of this auspicious time! On behalf of all beings, thank you for making the time to remember, open your heart, practice, serve, and awaken. Your efforts benefit all of us, and future generations.

The last day of Pitṛpakṣa is traditionally dedicated to all of our ancestors – in our direct bloodline, our spiritual ancestors, and even our collective human ancestors. (Scientists say that all humans are related by blood within 50 generations, so in that sense all humans really are our family).

Traditionally, we do dedicated ancestor practices on the day that correlates to the lunar phase that your ancestor passed. Since none of us know the exact date for all of our ancestors, today is a “catch-all” which covers everyone all at once. Today is Sarvapitri Amāvasyā, which literally translates to “all-ancestors New Moon”.

Today is also a day where if you feel like anything else is missing or left to communicate or offer to the ancestors, now’s the time! Starting tomorrow, we shift into a very different energy and time altogether – the nine-night festival in honor of the Goddess and all her various forms.

In many indigenous traditions including our, the ancestors are associated with the night sky and the stars. If possible, we invite you to spend some time gazing at the stars. Since it’s New Moon, they should be quite visible!

So, we invite you to revisit all the practices from previous lessons, and pick one or more of them for today. We suggest choosing one that you either feel very drawn to, or feel tremendous resistance around. (If you have charge around it either way, it means your mind-body is already engaging with it).

Whichever practice you choose, dedicate it to all of our collective human ancestors. There is also a beautiful visualization you can do as you practice:

See your mother standing behind your left shoulder, and your father behind your right. Visualize their parents – your grandparents – standing behind them in the same way. And their parents behind them. Keep going as far as your mind will allow you to. Feel the presence of all of the generations behind you, the thousands and thousands of people whose lives came together so that you could exist.

As you practice, send the energy and love and stillness from your heart back to all those beings. Let it pass through you and all the way through the generations. And, you can receive their protection and blessing, and take comfort in the knowledge you are never alone – the ancestors literally have your back.

If you have any questions, or want to share your experience, you can do so by emailing us at admin@livingsanskrit.com.

Teacher: Shivani Hawkins

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