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How To Perform Home Tarpanam

DateNovember 15, 2011


On the New Moon Day, the departed spirits come to the earth plane and stay with their biological relatives from sunrise to sunset. Fasting during the new moon day will alert your consciousness to be in communion with their spirits.

No fasting for our Ancestors however as they crave a special food; an offering which comprises of black sesame seeds, holy water from rivers and oceans, tulsi leaves, sandalwood paste, sacred dharba grass and some coins. These offerings need to be given to them sincerely and conscientiously for all the 14 days and 15 nights.

When living on the earth plane, even great Siddhas like Agastiya, Maha Rishis like Vasistha, Avatars like Krishna and Rama, appreciated their ancestors through rituals involving this tarpanam ‘food’.


How To Perform Tarpanam

Choose which version resonates with you. Dr. Pillai has suggested to at least practicing the longer version of the Tarpanam ritual during the New Moon phase each month.

Performing either version anytime between sunrise to sunset once every day, especially on New Moon days is highly advisable. However, it is suggested to not perform tarpanam during non-daylight time. Do it as often as possible on New Moon days.

The purpose of doing this is to release ancestors to a higher plane. When they go into the light they send you their blessing.


How To Perform Tarpanam – Short Version

Materials needed:

  • Raw rice or white rice flour
  • Black sesame seeds (most health food stores carry this)
  • Darba grass
  • 1 coin (dime, nickel, rupee, peso etc), or gold coin if available (You may re-use the coins)
  • Glass of water

Please note, if all of the above materials are not available, the bare minimum is the black sesame seeds and water. (If you cannot get black sesame seeds in your area, Dr. Pillai has said beige sesame seeds are ok; however, black sesame seeds are preferred.)



  • Place a tablespoon of black sesame seeds, white rice flower, a coin (nickel or dime) and a few small pieces of dharba grass into the palm of your right hand.
  • Take a glass of water and sprinkle a few drops over the offerings.
  • Make a heartfelt prayer to your ancestors as you pour water over your hand and say, “I invite you to take this offering, 6 generations of ancestors on my mother’s side and 6 generations of ancestors on my father’s side. Take this energy. Be healed, be at peace, cross into the light, and please don’t forget to bless me.” If you wish, you may name those family members that have passed on. Also, as you keep doing this ritual, in time you may increase up to 12 generations in each side.
  • Then pour the rest of the water over right hand and let the offerings wash off completely. (You may reuse the coin. Just rinse it off in water each time) (Note: Some people keep a container in the bathroom with this mixture and do tarpanam daily during morning shower and rinse off the mix while in the shower. Dr. Pillai has said this is ok.)


How To Perform Tarpanam – Longer Version

Materials needed

  • Sandalwood powder (you can buy at any Indian market)
  • Raw rice or white rice flour
  • Black sesame seeds (most health food stores carry this)
  • Darba grass
  • Flowers or petals
  • Glass of water
  • 18 nickels (or if using another currency, the lowest value silver coins available are fine)

Prepare the offering:

  • Cut the Dharba grass into 6 equal pieces, around 4 inches long. (This represents 6 generations on both sides of your family)
  • Line up vertically the 6 pieces of Dharba grass on a plate, or large leaf, leaving a little space between each
  • Make a paste with sandalwood powder by adding water to it; spread the paste onto the dharba grass
  • Place 3 nickels on each piece of grass at the top, middle and bottom
  • Sprinkle flowers over these items
  • Place a tablespoon of white rice flour mixed with a teaspoon of sesame seeds in the palm of your right hand (don’t worry about the amount).



  • Sprinkle a few drops of water on the rice flour and sesame seeds in your right hand
  • Say the following: “I invite 6 generations of my ancestors on my mother’s side and 6 generation of ancestors on my father’s side to take this offering”.

Take the glass of water with left hand and pour it over the mixture in your right hand, and let everything fall onto the dharba grass, coins and flowers.

Say with a sincere heart: “Use this energy and be healed, be at peace, cross into the light and please don’t forget to bless me.”

Make sure everything is washed off your right hand.

You may reuse the coins, or discard everything at a river, beach or in nature. You may accumulate offering remnants and discard later.



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