Mahalaya Amavasya is the New Moon day, which is the last day of the 15-day period called Mahalaya Paksha – the important fortnight to appease your ancestors in the month of Ashwin (Sep – 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.
Significance of Mahalaya Amavasya
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 ancestral rituals or Tarpanam. 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 to offer 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 dies an unnatural death by weapons or accidents.
Mythology of Mahalaya Amavasya
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 this. Yama replied that Krna 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 to 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.
Rituals of Mahalaya Amavasya
- You can offer Tarpanam to your ancestors from your home on Mahalaya Amavasya
- You can make an offering of rice balls mixed with black sesame seeds to the crows and animals. This is called ‘Pind Dhaan’
- You can feed a Brahmin on this day and include the favorite dishes of your departed ancestor(s) in this meal. This is called ‘Pitra Bhoj’
- You can spend your day by reading Holy Scriptures and sacred texts such as Garuda Purana, Agni Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Bhagvat Gita etc.
- You can donated food and clothes to the poor and needy
Benefits of Observing Mahalaya Amavasya
Offering Tarpanam to your departed ancestors on Mahalaya Amavasya can bestow you with the following benefits:
- Satiate the restless souls of your ancestors and help them attain salvation
- Solve your life problems related to money, health, relationship and career
- Blessings of good fortune and a prosperous life
- Dissolve your bad karma accumulated from not offering Tarpanam in the past
- Remove ancestral bad karma and help attain success in all your efforts