Mahalaya Paksha Amavasya Tharpanam Sankalpam and Vidhi

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Significance of Mahalaya Pitru Paksha 

Pitrupaksha is a 16-day period in which Hindus pay respect to their ancestors (fathers), especially through food offerings. The period is known as Pitru Paksha, Pitru Pokko, Sola Shraddha (“Sixteen Shraddhas”), Kanagat, Jiti, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara Paksha.

In a ceremony called Pitrupaksha Shraddha or Tarpana, a given death rite performed, is considered inauspicious by Hindus. In southern and western India, it begins immediately after the Ganesha festival and begins on the full moon day (Purnima) that occurs ending on the new moon day called Sarvapitr Amavasya, Mahalaya, and falls in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (September October) Amavasya or simply Mahalaya. In North India and Nepal, instead of this period, the month of Bhadrapada corresponds to the dark fortnight of Ashwin.

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Mahalaya Paksha Amavasya Tharpanam Sankalpam and Vidhi

Shraddha Purvaja is usually performed on a particular day when a parent or grandfather-father-in-law dies in the case of Pitru Paksha. There are exceptions to the lunar day rule; Special days are given to people who died in a certain way or had a certain status in life. Chautha Bharani and Bharani Panchami, the fourth and fifth lunar day respectively, are allotted to the dead people of the previous year.

Avidhava Navami, the ninth lunar day, has married women who predeceased their husbands. Brahmin women invite widows (dead wives) as guests for their wife’s Shraddha. The twelfth lunar day is for children and monks who have renounced worldly pleasures. The fourteenth day is called Ghata Chaturdashi or Ghayala Chaturdashi, and is reserved for people killed in war, weapons or died violently.

Sarvapitru Amavasya (“All Fathers’ New Moon Day”) is intended for all ancestors, regardless of the lunar day they died. It is the most important day of Pitru Paksha. Whoever forgets to do Shraddha can do so on this day. Gaya, which is seen as a special place to perform the devotional ritual performed on this day, is considered to be a fruitful one held in the holy city, and the Pitru Paksha is organized during the fair.

It is the day when Mahalaya is believed to have landed on the land of Goddess Durga. Bengali people traditionally sing a hymn from Goddess Mahatma (Chandi) Granth early morning on Mahalaya. Offerings to ancestors are made in houses and puja mantapadas (temporary shrines). *Matamaha (“Mother’s Father”) or Dauhitru (“Daughter’s Son”) is also the first day of the month of Ashwin, the beginning of the bright fortnight. It is assigned to a deceased grandchild. The ritual is also celebrated on the anniversary of the ancestor’s death.

Shraddha is usually performed on the banks of a river or lake or in one’s own home, only in the afternoon. Families can also make a pilgrimage to places like Varanasi and Gaya to perform Shraddha.

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