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Mahalaya Amavasya is the New Moon day, which is observed on the last day of the 15-day period called Mahalaya Paksha – the important fortnight to appease your ancestors in the month of Ashwin (mid-Sep to mid-Oct). It is also called as Sarvapitri Amavasya or Pitru Paksha Amavasya and is the ideal day to offer Tarpanam (ancestral rituals) to your departed ancestors.
Mahalaya Amavasya is the powerful culminating day of the Mahalaya Paksha, the critical 15-day period to satiate the restless souls of your ancestors by performing Tarpanam (ancestral rituals). Astronomically, on this special New Moon day, Sun and Moon together exert their gravitational pull on earth and its creatures, thus elevating their energy to a higher level. According to sacred texts, offering Tarpanam on this day is considered very auspicious and meritorious. If you miss offering Tarpanam on any or all of the 14 days of the Mahalaya Paksha , you can appease them on this powerful New Moon. This day is also ideal for offering Tarpanam to those who die an unnatural death by weapons or accidents.
According to the epic Mahabharata, when Karna died, and his soul reached heaven, he was offered gold and jewels as food. He was confused and asked Yama for the reason behind his suffering. Yama replied that Karna had donated all kinds of wealth to others when he was alive, but he has never offered food to his departed ancestors. As Karna was unaware of who his ancestors were until his death, he could not offer Tarpanam to them. Then Yama permitted Karna to go back to the earth for a 15-day period (Mahalaya Paksha) so that he can offer food and water to appease his ancestors. Karna thus performed the ancestral rituals and moved to heaven.
People offer Tarpanam to their ancestors from home or sacred Powerspots decreed by sacred texts (Kasi, Rameshwaram, etc.) for offering Tarpanam on Mahalaya Amavasya. An offering of rice balls mixed with black sesame seeds are fed to the crows and animals. This is called ‘Pind Daan.’ Feeding a pious Brahmin on this day with the favorite dishes of your departed ancestor(s) in this meal is called ‘Pitra Bhoj.’ Some also spend their day by reading the Holy Scriptures and sacred texts such as Garuda Purana, Agni Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Bhagavat Gita, etc. Donating food and clothes to the poor and needy is also considered meritorious.
Offering Tarpanam to your departed ancestors on Mahalaya Amavasya can bestow the following benefits:
Appease your ancestors and receive abundant blessings from them to solve your life problems. Participate in our special Tarpanam programs and other ancestral Poojas to help liberate your ancestral souls and reduce the intensity of their afflictions on your future generation.
Tarpanam is the essential ritual to resolve every kind of problem, and it is the greatest act you can do to help liberate your ancestors and help free your children from problems created by negative ancestral influences.
Amavasya denotes the onset of the new Moon, which gradually goes on to evolve into the full Moon. The dark side of the Moon is considered to be the Pithru Loka, and this portion gets exposed to the Sun on the New Moon Days..
The Thila Homa (Fire Lab) is performed to pay tribute to ancestors who died unnaturally. It is performed only once in a lifetime since it is not prudent to disturb the souls of persons who died unnaturally.