Pitra Dosha also known as Pitru Dosh is one of the most destructive astrological doshas found in the birth chart of a person. According to Hindu philosophy, it is the karmic debt of the ancestors which needs to be paid by the person affiliated with Pitru Dosha in his/her horoscope. It is easy and simple to understand that a Pitru Dosh is formed in the horoscope of a person when his/her forefathers have committed any mistakes, crimes, or sins in their life journey. According to Indian astrology, it is a very inauspicious aspect and a Pitra Dosh is formed in the horoscope of a person, only if there is a conjunction of Rahu and Sun in the ninth house (also known as the house of father and forefathers) in birth chart.

Types of Pitra dosha: According to Indian astrology, there are 14 kinds of Pitra-Dosh based on positions and aspects of malefic planets. Inappropriate position of the planet Rahu is considered the major cause of Pitra Dosh. But, as per the teachings of Hindu mythology, there are mainly 3-types of Pitru Dosha:

1. Due to the curse of the departed souls on their own family, if the family members fail to perform the basic requirement such as shraadh, pinda daan, rituals of the last rite, etc. for their ancestors.
2. Due to the curse of the outsiders/known or unknown living being who was affected by your living/departed ancestors.
3. Due to failure to look after the aged peoples (parents or grandparents) and leaving them alone to fend for themselves.

How to find Pitra dosha in Kundli (Horoscope)? The Sanskrit word Pitra means father/forefather. According to Hindu Vedic astrology Sun is karaka for the father. If Sun is placed in the 9th house or 9th house is afflicted by malefic Sun, then the birth chart of that person clearly indicates Pitra Dosha. Followings are few more planetary combinations that indicate the Pitra Dosha:

• Sun with Rahu or 9th house lord with Rahu
• Sun with Saturn or 9th house lord with Saturn
• Rahu in the 9th house.
• The 5th house lord is either being associated with malefic planets or staying in the 6th, 8th, and 12th houses.
• The presence of debilitated planets like Mars, Saturn, Rahu, or Ketu in the 5th house.

Adverse effects of Pitra Dosha: According to the theory of Karmic astrology, people having Pitra Dosh must look for remedial measures, or else they are bound to suffer from its adverse effects. Some astrologers advocate that Pitra Dosh may occur if any ancestors from the father’s side (up to the 7th generation) and the mother’s side (up to the 4th generation) had met an unnatural/ premature death. Experts of this subject explain numerous adverse effects of Pitru Dosha, few are listed below:

• Difficulties and struggles in career.
• It could delay/ unsuccessful marriage.
• Difficulties in conceiving or childbirth.
• A new born may have mental and physical disabilities.
• Continuous struggles and disputes in the family.
• There may be unnatural deaths.
• Robbery, fire, or accidents in the house.
• Regular health disorders.
• Lack of financial stability and a person often remains under debt despite of all efforts.
• One can see dreams related to snakes which is a hint towards this dosha.
• One can have a dream of ancestors requesting for food or clothes.
• It may create an unfavourable environment in the household and there may be a fight between the husband and wife on insignificant matters.
• A person might lose his reputation in society as well as the ill effects of Pitra Dosh could even go to an extent that a person may serve a long sentence in prison.

Remedies for Pitra dosha: Astrologers suggest several remedies to reduce the bad effects of the Pitra Dosh. Few simple remedies are given below:

• Consult an expert for Ravi Graha Shanti, Shani Graha Shanti puja.
• According to Brahma Purana, the soul of your ancestor will get satisfied if you do shraadh, pind daan, worship, and tarpana on the tithi of death of ancestors in the Krishna Paksha of Ashwina month. The Purana describes the idea that “Yamraj” or “Dharmaraj” the Lord of Death liberate all the souls on the day of their Shraad to go and eat the food made by their children.
• Worship the Peepal tree.
• Offer food and clothes to Brahmins on every Amavasya.
• Always give love and respect to elders in the family and take their blessings to strengthen the position of Sun.
• Offer water to the Sun and chant Gayatri Mantra to strengthen the position of the Sun in your horoscope.
• In case of unnatural or early death of any ancestor, perform Narayan Bali rite at holy places like Trimbhakeshwar, Haridwar, Badrinath, and Gaya.
• Feed crows and fishes with small balls of cooked rice every Saturday. Offer food to crows, street dogs & sweepers during the Pitra paksha.
• Perform Rudra Abhishek in the name of your ancestors.
• Worshipping Lord Vishnu, especially in the form of Sri Ram, and giving unconditional love and services to parents is the easiest way to come out from the adverse effects of pitra dosha.

Mantra to reduce the bad effects of Pitra Dosha:
Om Pitrabhyah devatabhyah mahayogibhyech cha,
Namah sawaha swadhyaye cha nityamev namah.

Summary: Vedic astrology clearly defines that “Pitra Dosh” is not the curse of the ancestors, but it is a debt formed as a result of bad deeds done by the ancestors themselves or by their progeny. It is the duty of the present generation to pay off the debt either by bearing the punishment as per “Karmic Law” or by performing some specific good Karmic deeds which would help to repay the debt or reduce the degree of punishment.

Sacred scriptures like Garud Purana, Brahma Purana and others clearly describe the various reasons behind pitra dosha and offers several remedies to reduce or nullify the adverse effects of pitra dosha.

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