Tarpanam is an ancient and one of the most sacred rituals for satisfying the spirits of our ancestors. It is practiced in India through a tradition that has come down to present day from thousands of years. It is a karma cleansing process practiced on New Moon days when the spirits are closest to the Earth plane. Certain times of the year are considered to be very important for connecting with the spirits and the New Moon day in Tamil month of Thai (January - February) is one such occasion.
Relation with ancestors determines our present lives:
We are closely connected to our ancestors because we are born in the same circle of life as them and born through the same channels of energy they have created. They continue to live with us with their Karmic acts, mind-set, tendencies and emotions; influencing us spiritually. When souls leave the physical body after death, they continue to live with us in a different dimension that human brains cannot perceive. Our logical minds adapted to linear thinking process cannot perceive them.
Vedic ways of communication with ancestors can bring us divine blessings:
Thai Amavasya is the day when spirits of our ancestors will be present on the Earth plane; it is the right time to work with their energies. This Hindu ritual can liberate their souls from Earthly bondages and at the same time seek their blessings.
The spirits are sometimes stuck on Earth and continue to experience pain and suffering. When we appreciate their presence in our lives and honor them, they are appeased. This helps them to break free from such sufferings, they move to a different spiritual zone. Once liberated, they acquire divine powers to bless us in fulfilling our desires. Their blessings can change our destiny and bring us wealth and happy relationships. During a Tarpanam, we are empowered to communicate with the spirits in a special way and ask them to relieve us from our problems and cleanse our souls from past karmic tendencies. Strong emotions and behaviors block our minds from accessing possibilities of the Universe. Once the blockages are cleared, divine light can percolate down to touch our lives. Our ancestors are our closest divine friends who can lift these blockages. Thai Amavasya in 2015 can clear our souls, lift us above our problems and help us begin the year with renewed energy and vitality.
Ritual of Tarpanam is widely practiced in India:
The ritual of Thai Amavasya Tarpanam is similar to Tarpanams practiced other times of the year. White rice and black sesame seeds along with the sacred Darbha grass are offered to the spirits. This offering is done elaborately with offering of flowers, incense sticks accompanied with chanting of Vedic hymns by the priests. In most of the places, this practice takes place on sea beaches or river banks where people perform this ritual after having holy bath in the water. After the ritual, food offerings are floated in the water in memory of ancestors. Group rituals are very powerful and help to create a strong atmosphere in which the spirits are summoned and appeased. These rituals are popularly performed on the river-banks of Kerala, and beaches of Rameshwaram with assistance of special priests who can communicate with the spirits and understand the messages from them too. We can perform this ritual individually at home too by seeking the ancestors through deep concentration and offering them food.