12 th September 2011, to 27 th September, 2011 from Pournami /Poornima to Amavasya
People can choose any one day to perform the Mahalaya shraddh all the deceased family members. The fifteen days of Malaya Paksha consists of 15 Tithi (also called Tithi). They are Pratipat, Dvithiya, Trithiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Sashti, Sapthami, Ashtami, Navami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Dwadasi, Trayodasi, Chaturdasi, Amavasya (new moon).
According to Hindu mythology, every individual who wants to perform this Pithru Tharpanam should do it on the same day of their ancestor died which will fall within any one of these fifteen days. People can choose any one day to perform the Mahalaya shraddh all the deceased family members if they do not know the Tithi of the departed.
It is performed for the father’s and mother’s departed souls apart from the departed mother and father which includes step father , mother. It is for known and unknown family members , friends and others.
“When the legendary donor Karna died in the epic Mahabharata war, his soul transcended to heaven, where he was offered gold and jewels as food.”
“However, Karna needed real food to eat and asked Indra, the lord of heaven, the reason for serving gold as food. Indra told Karna that he had donated gold all his life, but had never donated food to his ancestors in Shraddha. Karna said that since he was unaware of his ancestors, he never donated anything in their memory. To make amends, Karna was permitted to return to earth for a 16–day period, so that he could perform Shraddh and donate food and water in their memory. This period is now known as Pithru Paksha. In some legends, Yama replaces Indra”
Hindus believe that a son should perform Mahalaya shraddh during Pitru Paksha so that the soul of the ancestors goes to heaven. All the souls would be kept in queue and as and when the turn comes would take rebirth as per the karma. Till then they would be in soul form.
Markandeya Purana also says that if the ancestors are satisfied with the shraddh, they will bestow their good wishes to the performer.
Shraddh involves oblations to three preceding generations—by reciting their names—as well as to the mythical lineage ancestor (Gothra). A person thus gets to know the names of six generations (three preceding generation, his own and two succeeding generations—his sons and grandsons) in his life, reaffirming lineage ties.
Mostly people prefer Maha Bharani or Ashtami as per their convenience if these fall on either Saturday or Sunday.
On Mahalaya Amavasya day, people take holy dip in rivers esp in holy Ganga and in the city of Gaya and perform the shraddh for their ancestors. Shraddh is performed by noon.
This is time to do a lot of charity, it can be in the form of Annadaana, feeding animals esp. cows and birds specifically crows.
Donate clothes, footwear, utensils to the needy, they can be from any section of the society but needy.
Do all the best you can to make your ancestors attain salvation so that our next gen does for us to attain the same salvation.