Mahalaya Amavasya is a perfect time to remember our ancestors and perform Vedic rituals to express our sense of gratitude and reverence to those departed souls. Mahalaya Amavasya is known by several names like Pitru Amavasya, Peddala Amavasya, Sarvapitra Mavasya or Simply Mahalaya.
The ultimate aim of Mahalaya Amavasya is to honor our ancestors by offering sacred and special foods. Mahalaya is celebrated for 15 days, and each day is ideal for providing unique kinds of tarpanam. The 15 days is popularly known as Pitru Paksha. The term ‘Pitru’ refers to ancestors, and ‘Pakshga’ means 15 Days period. The Pitru paksha always starts on Bhadrapada Shukla Purnima and ends on Ashwin Krishna Amavasya, also known as Mahalaya Amavasya.
What makes Mahalaya Amavasya signnificant
Mahalaya Amavasya is a perfect opportunity to set right our bad karma arising out of ancestors and provides a chance to bond spiritually with our forefathers. One has to think about their ancestors without whom we would not have been born in this world.
It is believed that the ancestors, after their death, go the world as spirits and stay there. According to legends, Lord Maha Vishnu has allowed all departed souls to visit the earth once a year and bless their family members with joy and happiness. The ancestors come down to see their family members and are always willing to bless them.
Mahalaya is a time when not just ordinary people but also enlightened yogis and sages look forward to receiving blessings from their ancestors and gurus. As a result, Mahalaya Amavasya is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to seek blessings from our departed ancestors and change the world and ourselves for the better.
The Legend of Mahalaya
According to Hindu mythology, once a fierce war between the Devas and the Asuras took place. During this conflict, both sides lost many lives. The battle began on Bhadrapada Bahula Paadayami and continued until Amavasya. As a result, the fifteen days is known as Sasthrahatha Mahalaya. On this day, we honor the Devas and Asuras who died during that time.
Mahalaya Puja procedure
According to Hindu beliefs, a person should repay three forms of Rinas, or debts, to lead a life free of suffering. Deva Rina, Rishi Rina, and Pithru Rina (debt to God, the guru, and the ancestors) are three Rinas owed by a person.
The ancient scriptures declare that the son should serve his parents while they are alive, and once they have passed away, he has to perform the Shradh ceremony to liberate their departed souls. Thus, Tharpana is performing one-of-a-kind offerings to the souls of ancestors during the Mahalaya Amavasya.
The sacred Hindu texts like Vayu Purana, Agni Purana, Garuda Purana, Matsya Purana, and Markandeya Purana mention the significance of these tarpanam rituals. During tharpana, the uncooked rice, black sesame seeds mixed with water are offered to the ancestors calling upon their names and nakshatra. These rites have to be performed by men who have lost their fathers. The animals and birds such as the crow, dogs, and cows are allowed to eat the food offerings in the belief that ancestors appear in various ways to accept the offerings of their family.
2021 Mahalaya Amavasya Date And Time
Date: 6th October 2021 – Wednesday
It starts at 07:04 PM, 5th October 2021, and Ends at 04:35 PM, 6th October 2021.