Offering libations of water and til (gingely) to the pitrus (deceased parents and ancestors - manes) to satisfy and elevate them to higher spiritual planes is called “pitru tarpaNam”. This is an opportunity to honour the sages, gods, parents, ancestors and friends. This is a part of “pitruyagya”. This “pitruyagya” is one of the “pancha mahAyagyAs – 5 yagyAs”. ( refer SamskAram no.23).
According to Manusmriti 3.68,
पञ्च सूना ग्रुहस्तस्य चुल्ली पॆषण्युपस्कर: |
कण्डनी च उदकुम्भश् च बध्यतॆ यास् तु वाहयन् ||
"pancha soonA gruhastasya chullee pEShaNyupaskara:
kaNdanee cha udakumbhash cha badhyatE yAs tu vAhayan"
"There are 5 slaughter houses in the house of a householder. The hearth (stove), the grinding-stone, the broom, the pestle and mortar, the water vessel. He kills millions of small and invisible creatures daily, which bind him to inevitable sin. It is to expiate all these five sins that the “pancha mahA yagyAs” were prescribed daily for householders".
Manusmriti further says in 3.70, पितृ यज्ञस्तु तर्पणं , pitru yagyas tu tarpaNam
Out of the above 5, tarpaNam is one of the yagyAs.
pitru tarpaNam is offered to 3 generations of ancestors viz: paternal and maternal father, grandfather and great grandfather and their respective wives so that they are exalted to higher spiritual planes. We invoke the pitrUs in the form of the presiding deities of the pitru Loka and the tarpaNam, the vasu, rudra and AdityA, on the bhugnam /koorcham, in due order of the 3 generations. :Refer “vasurudrAditya swaroopAnAm” in tarpaNam mantrA. We then offer water which they love and til with mantras. We then request at the end of the tarpaNam, that this til and water be converted into suitable food for the pitrUs may it be amrutam, ghee, water, milk, grass, blood or any other food according to their present requirement. ( They may be in heaven, may be reborn as men or trees or in any other form)..refer tarpaNam mantra taken from Yajur Veda Samhita “oorjam vahantee: amrutam ghrutam paya: keelAlam parishrutam svadhAstha tarpayata mE pitrUn”. The food is called “swadhA”.
In Vishnu purANA, chapter 3, adhyAy 14, slOkas 1 and 2, sage ourva expounds:
ब्रह्मॆन्द्ररुद्रनासत्यसूर्याग्निवसुमारुतान् विश्वॆदॆवान् पितृगणान्वयाम्सि मनुजान्पशून् ।
सरीसृपान् ऋषिगणान्यच्चान्यद्भूत सज्ञितम् श्राद्धम् श्रद्धान्वित: कुर्वन् प्रीणयत्यखिलम् जगत् |
brahmEndrarudranAsatyasooryAgnivasumArutAn visvEdEvAn pitrugaNan vayAmsimanujAnpashoon sareesrupanrishigaNAn yachchAnyadbhoota sangyitam shrAddham shraddhAnvita: kurvan preeNayatyakhilam jagat
One who does the shrAddh ritual with sincerity pleases Lord BrahmA, IndrA, rudrA, ashwinikumArAs, soorya, visvEdEvAs, pitrugaNAs, men, vasu gaNAs, marut ganAs, animals, cows, rishigaNAs and all other small visible and invisible creatures, and thereby, the whole universe.
The monthly tarpaNams were originally supposed to be performed as shrAddh. In due course of time, since long rituals were difficult to follow, great seers have given us a discount for us to do them without totally stopping the shrAddh.
pitru tarpaNAs are performed under the following 5 categories:
1. Shannavati tarpaNam on the 96 days of the year.
2. grahaNa tarpaNam on the solar and lunar eclipse.
3. parEhani tarpaNam on the day following the annual shrAddh of the parents.
4. kuzhi tarpaNam at the time of death of parents.
5. kAmya tarpaNam for special benefits.
The son of a deceased father should start doing "pitru tarpaNam" after one year from the death of his father.
MahAbhAratam, Adi parvA, 74.39 ? and manu smriti 9.138 says
पुन्नाम्नॊ नरकाद् यस्मात्पितरम् त्रायते सुत: ।
तस्मात्पुत्र इति प्रॊक्त: स्वयमॆव स्वयम्भुवा ॥
"punnAmnO narakAdayasmAtpitaram trAyate suta:
tasmAtputra iti prOkta: svayamEva svayambhuvA"
The son is called “putra” because he rescues the ancestors from hell called “put”.
The swayambhuva bhagavan named the son as putra.
1. MahAbhAratam, anusAsana parva section 145 says:
धन्यम् यशस्यम् आयुश्यम् स्वर्गम् शत्रुविनाशनम् |
सन्तारकम् चेति श्राद्धमाहूर् मनीक्षिण: ||
dhanyam yashasyam Ayushyam swargam shatruvinAshanam |
santArakam cheti shrAddhamAhoor maneekshiNa: ||
The shrAddh/tarpaNam in honour of the pitrUs bestows wealth, fame, longevity, heaven, destruction of enemies and progeny.
2. vishnu purANA, chapter 3, adhyAy 14, verses 12 to 14 say:
एता युगाद्या: कथिता: पुराणॆष्वनन्तपुण्यास्तिथश्चस्त्र:।
उपप्लवे चन्द्रमसो रवॆश्च त्रिष्वष्टकास्वप्ययनद्वयॆ च ॥
पानीयमप्यत्र तिलैर्विमिश्रं दद्यात्पितृभ्य प्रयतॊ मनुष्य:।
श्राद्धं क्रुतम् तॆन समासहस्रं रहस्यमॆतत्पितरॊ वदन्ति ॥
EtA yugAdyA: kathitA: purANE ShvanantapuNyAstithashchastra:|
upaplave chandramaso ravEshcha triShvaShTakAsvapyayanadvayE cha ||
pAneeyamapyatra tilairvimishraM dadyAtpitRubhya prayatO manuShya:|
shrAddhaM krutam tEna samA sahasraM rahasyamEtatpitarO vadanti ||
The shrAddh done on the 4 ugAdi days (when the 4 yugAs began) bestow endless "puNya".
Those who do only the til tarpaNa with water on the chandra grahan or soorya grahan (eclipses) days, or the 3 ashTakA days or the beginning of uttarAyanA or dakshiNAyanA with devotion will be deemed to have done shrAddh for 1000 years. This , the pitrUs talk secretly.
In order to know WHY one should do pitru tarpaNam, it is important to understand :
1 WHO THE MANES ARE?
Manusmriti 3.192 says :
अक्रॊधना: शौच-परा: सततम् ब्रह्मचारिणि: |
न्यस्त-शस्त्रा महा भागा पितर: पूर्वदॆवता: ||
“akrOdhanA: shoucha-parA: satatam brahmachArini:
nyasta-shasthrA mahA bhAgA pitara: poorvadEvatA:”
“The manes (pitrus gaNAs) are primeval deities, free from anger, pure, ever chaste, averse from strife and highly virtuous” and also goes on to say in 3.194
मनॊर् हैरण्यगर्भस्य यॆ मरीचि-अदय: सुता: |
तॆशाम् ऋषीणाम् सर्वॆशाम् पुत्रा: पितृगणा: स्मृता: ||
“manOr hairaNyagarbhasya yE mareechi-adaya: sutA:
tEshAm risheeNAm sarvEshAm putrA: pitrugaNA: smrutA:
The manes (pitru gaNAs) are the sons of all the ten sages like Marichi, atri, bhrugu, pulastya, etc who were born from swAyambhuva manu, who was born out of the hiranya garbha (brahmaN in the golden egg)
The manes or pitru gaNas are highly exalted and spiritual group of ancestors, very intelligent, enjoying heavenly bliss, whose work is to uplift all the souls in their lineage and also work as a team in the supreme Lord’s creation, sustenance and destruction of the world.
There are several classes of these manes.
The sOma, yamA and kAvyA are the most superior pitru gaNAs. SomA (moon) hosts all the pitaras, yamA decides the quantity and quality of merits/debits to be given to them and the kAvyA, responsible for receiving and carrying the offerings given to the pitrUs.
The 7 most popular of them are - Manusmriti 3.195 - 3.200
1. amoortiya: the formless manes -They are (a) vairAjAs, (b) agnishvAttAs (c) Barhishads
(a) The “vairAjAs”, the sons of prajApati VairAjA were called “sOmasads”, and they were the manes of the “sAdhyAs” who were demi gods. Such dEva gaNAs perform yagya for them.
(b) The “agnishvAttAs”, the sons of sage ”mareechi” are the manes of the gods/dEvatAs., They live in “sOmapAta lOka”. The dEvatAs meditate on them. They were highly spiritual and contented.
(c) The “barhishads” , the sons of sage “atri” are the manes of the daityas, dAnavas, yakshAs, gandharvAs, nagAs, rAkshasAs, suparnAs and kinnarAs. They live in “vibhrAja lOkA”.2.
2. moortirahit: those who have body – They are (i) SOmapAs (ii) Havishmats/suswadAs (iii) AjyapAs and (iv) the SukAlins.
(i) The “sOmapAs” , the sons of sage “bhrigu” are the manes of the brAhmaNAs . They live in “sumanasA lOkA”. They partake in the creation of the world that is continuous.
(ii) The “Havishmats”, the sons of sage “Angiras” are the manes of the kshatriyAs. The live in “havishmAn lOkA”.
(iii) The “Ajyapas”, the sons of sage “Pulastya” are the manes of the vaishyAs.
(iv) The “sukAlins” the sons of sage “vasiShT” are the manes of the other class of human beings.
2. WHERE DO THEY LIVE?
Our ancestors/pitrUs along with several other classes of manes live in Pitru LokA which is in the unseen side of the moon. This lOka is populated by manes (pitrUs) of varied class of knowledge, spirituality and contentment. This pitru lOkA is also sometimes called sOma lOka as it is near the moon. One day of pitrus consists of 30 human days. By doing pitru tarpaNam on amavasyAs once a month, which is noon time for them, we are offering water and til to them.
We do not have the slightest clue about all their inner spiritual elevation or which route our ancestors have taken on their journey after death. But it is our duty and our responsibility to keep them happy, not only when they are alive but also after their death. tarpaNam is a wonderful chance to do that.. The dieties, vasu, rudra and AdityA undertake this noble deed of carrying our offerings to our pitrUs through a subtle field, irrespective of their past and present.
3 WHAT DO THEY DO? HOW LONG WILL THEY LIVE THERE?
Our pitrus – dead ancestors reside in this lOkA and worship their superior pitru gaNAs who live in other lOkAs as listed above. They wait to get exalted to higher spiritual planes. They can achieve this only if they do good to others. To get nourishment which is their basic requirement, they wait for people’s “tarpaNam” offering of til and water, which satisfies them. In turn they bless the doer or the kartA of the tarpaNam with wealth, fame, longevity, heavenly bliss, defence against enemies and good progeny. Once they bless their children, they become elevated to the next desired higher plane of existence.
4 WILL OUR OFFERINGS REACH THEM IF THEY REACH OTHER LOKAS ASLO?
Refer tarpanam mantra:
ऊर्झम् वहन्तीरम्रुतम् घ्रुतम् पय: कीलालम् परिश्रुतम् स्वधास्थ तर्पयत मॆ पित्रून् ।
“oorjham vahanteeramrutam ghrutam paya: keelAlam parishrutam svadhAstha tarpayata mE pitrUn”.
We invoke the pitru devatAs, the vasu, rudra and Aditya and request them to be a medium for carrying our libations of water and til to our pitrUs, where ever they are. They are celestial dieties who make this possible.
# The days when pitru tarpaNam should be performed are :
1. On 96 days (refer shaNNavati below) in the morning after snAnam, sandhyAvandanam, brahma yagyam, mAdhyAnnikam and bhagavat ArAdhanA.
2. On solar and lunar eclipses: At the onset of the solar eclipse, one must take bath and do the tarpaNam immediately. But at the onset of the lunar eclipse, one must take bath immediately but start the tarpaNam in the last part of the eclipse and finish it with the eclipse.
3. On parEhani tarpaNam day, the day following the annual shrAddh of the parents, one must do tarpaNam in the morning after sandhyAvandanam.
# The time of the day when shrAddh or tarpaNam should be done is :
It is important to understand the following divisions of a day to decide the exact time of performance of a tarpaNam or shrAddham. Many Rushis have contributed to the determination of kAlA. There seem to be more than 3 ways of dividing the day into kAlAs. One such way is explained below:
A day of 24 hours consists of 60 nAzhikAs (30 nAzhikAs of day and 30 nAZhikAs of night)
1 day (12 hours) = 30 nAzhikAs which is divided into 5 kAlAs
Each kAlA = 6 nAzhikAs = around 2.24 hours
One nAzhikA = approx.. 0.37 hours (22.4 minutes)
Assuming that the sunrise is at 6: a.m., then
prAta: kAlam = 6:a.m. to 8:24 a.m., 1st nAzhikA to 6th nAzhikA
sangava kAlam = 8:24 a.m. to 10:48 a.m., 7th nAzhikA to 12th nAzhikA
madhyAhnam = 10:48 a.m. to 1:12 p.m., 13th nAzhikA to 18th nAzhikA
aparAhNam = 1:12 p.m. to 3:36 p.m., 19th nAzhikA to 24th nAzhikA
sAyAhnam = 3:36 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 25th nAzhikA to 30th nAzhikA
The 15th and 16th nAzhikAs are called kutapa kAlam. This corresponds to approx. time 11:36 a.m. to 12:24 p.m. shrAddhAs and tarpaNas should be started during this period.
shrAddhams and tarpaNams should be started in the "kutapa kAlam" and finished before the end of the "aparAhNa kAlam". So they shoud be performed approx.. between 11:36 p.m. and 3:36 p.m.
EXCEPTION OF SANKRAMANA TARPANAM.
The SankramaNa is the time when the Sun enters a new RAshi. So that determines the beginning of 12 months. So there are 12 SankramaNas in a year.
TarpaNam has to be performed on these 12 days at the time when the new month starts.
If the sankramaNa time is during the day after sunrise, then TarpaNam is performed at the time of SankramaNa. (If not feasible, then in the morning after nitya karmA). If sankramaNa time is after sunset, then tarpaNa is done on the next day after sunrise, because tarpaNas should not be done in the night. Always snAnam and sandhyAvandanam precede any karmA. So they have to be done first and then tarpaNas should be performed.
# How to select the day of the shrAddh/tarpaNam (shrAddha tithi) ?
One may always get in touch with your family priest or your AchAryA for any doubts. The
nirNaya depends also upon one's specific "sampradAyam or caste". What is given below is for
a basic understanding of the calculations.
1. The day when the concerned tithi prevails in the “aparAhNa kAlam” i.e. between the 19th nAzhikA and 24th nAzhikA (approx. Between 1:12 p.m. and 3:36 p.m.) that day is to be selected for the performance of the shrAddha/tarpaNam. This day is called the “shrAddha tithi”. It is necessary that atleast little of the tithi should be present in the “aparAhNa kAlam”.
(The time of sunrise on that particular day should be taken for calculation of “aparAhNa kAlam”)
2. If the concerned tithi prevails in the “aparAhNa kAlam” of two consecutive days, then that day in which the tithi’s duration in the “aparAhNa kAlam” is more, that day is selected for performance of shrAddham.
3. If the concerned tithi does not prevail in the “aparAhNa kAlam” at all on both the days, then that day in which the tithi prevails in the “sAhyAna kAlam” approx.. between 3:36 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (assumed sunrise at 6:00a.m.), is to be taken as the shrAddha tithi. Then the day which is rejected is called “atithi”.
4. If 2 different tithis prevail on the same day during the “aparAhNa kAlam” and if both the tithis happen to be a day for shrAddham, then both the shrAddhams have to be performed on the same day. The such a day which has 2 shrAddha tithis is called “tithi dvayam”
# ShaNNavati tarpaNam
Dharma Sindhu, Page 36, of Shri kAsinAtha upAdhyAya:
षण्णवति श्राद्धान्यपिनित्यानि तानिच -
अमा युग मनुक्रान्ति धृति पात महाळया: |
अष्टका अन्वष्टका पूर्वेद्यु: श्राद्धैर्नवतिश्चषट् ||
“shaNNavati shrAddhAnyapinityAni tAnicha
amA yuga manukrAnti dhruti pAta mahALayA:
aSHTakA anvaSHTakA poorvEdyu : shrAddhairnavatishchaShaT"
The above slokA lists “shaNNavati” - a total of 96 tarpaNAs to be performed by a person in a year. It is quite a marathon task today to do all the 96 every year. Our seers advice us to undertake it and do it atleat once in a life time.
1. amAvAsyA days, New Moondays -12 in a year
2.SankramaNa, New month days - 12 in a year
3.mahAlayA paksha – 16 days in Pitru PakshA (bhAdrapada/purattAsi Krishna Paksha): starting from krishna paksha prathama tithi to shukla paksha prathama tithi.
4. manvAdi – 14; The days when the 14 manvantarAs began under the rule of manu(s).
1. chaitra/ chittirai shukla triteeyai - Swaayambhuva Manu (स्वायम्भुव)
2. chaitra/chittirai pourNami - svaarOchishaa Manu (स्वारोचिशा)
3. jyEshTa/Ani pourNami - vaivasvata manu[current] (वैवस्वत )
4. AshAd/Adi shukla dashami - chaakshuSha manu (चाक्षुष)
5. AshAd/Adi pournami - taamasa manu (तामस)
6. shrAvan/AvaNi Krishna aShTami - indra saavarNi/ bhauta sAvarNi
(भौत सावर्णी/इन्द्र सावर्णि )
7. bhAdrapada/purattAsi shukla triteeyAi - rudra saavarNi (रुद्र सावर्णि)
8. Ashvayuja/ Aippasi shukla navami - daksha saavarNi (दक्ष सावर्णि)
9. kArtik/kArtikai shukla dwAdashi - raivata manu (रैवत)
10 . kArtik/kArtikai pourNami - uttama /auttami manu (उत्तम)
11. pousha/tai shukla EkAdashi - dharma saavarNi manu (धर्म सावर्णि)
12. mAgha/mAsi shukla saptami - brahma-saavarNi manu(ब्रह्म सावर्णि)
13. phAlguNa/ panguni pourNami - saavarNi manu (सावर्णि)
14. phAguNa/ panguni AmAvasya - dEva saavarNi/rauchyasavarNi
(रौच्य सावर्णी/देव सावर्णि)
5. tisrOshTakAs – 12 –
poorvEdyu (krishna sapthami) , aShtaka (krishna ashtami) and anvaShtaka (krishna Navami) of following 4 months -
mArgasheersh (mArgazhi) - 3
pushya (tai) – 3
magha (mAsi) - 3
phalguna(panguni) - 3
6. ugAdI – the 4 days when Kruta, trEtA, DvApara and KaliyugAs started respectively.
1. vaishAka/VaikAsi shukla tritiyai
2. kArtik/KArtikai shukla navami
3. bhAdrapAda/ purattAsi Krishna trayOdashi
4. mAgha/ mAsi pournami
7. vyateepAtam- the 13 days in a year in which the "vyateepAt" yoga is present.
( mostly they occur once a month and one extra )
8. vaidhruti - 13 days in a year in which the "vaidhruthi" yoga is present.
(mostly they occur once a month and one extra)
........all the above total to 96.
The mandatory of all these are amAvAsya, sankramaNa, aShTaka, anvaShTaka, mahAlaya tarpaNas. The grahaNa tarpaNAs which do not form part of this list are also mandatory. They depend upon their visibiliity in your place.
# What is mahAlaya paksham:
MahAlaya paksham or pitru paksha is the period of 16 days in the BhAdrapAda month (purattAsi in tamil) krishna paksha. It starts from "krishna paksha prathama tithi (day after pournami) and ends on the sukla paksha prathama tithi (day after amAvAsya) totalling to 16 days. This is the period when our manes come down to the earth to quench their hunger and thirst from the offerings of their sons/grandsons.
# अत्रि संहिता, ३५७- atri saMhitA - 358 says:
सूर्ये कन्यागतॆ कुर्याच्छ्राद्धम् यॊ न गृहाश्रमी ।
धनं पुत्रान् कुलं तस्य पितृनिश्वासपीडया ॥
kanyAgate savitari pitarO yAnti satsutAn |
shoonyA prEtapuri sarvA yAvadvRushchika darshanam ||
The wealth, sons and the race of a householder who does not perform the ShrAddham during the period when the sun enters the zodiac sign of "kanyA" is destroyed by the curses of the manes(pitrus). The period when the sun enters the "kanyA" zodiac sign corresponds to BhAdrapAd/purattAsi (September-october) month.
अत्रि संहित, ३५९; atri saMhita - 359
कन्यागते सवितरि पितरॊ यान्ति सत्सुतान् ।
शून्या प्रॆतपुरि सर्वा यावद्वृश्चिक दर्शनम् ॥
kanyAgate savitari pitarO yAnti satsutAn |
shoonyA prEtapuri sarvA yAvadvRushchika darshanam ||
When the sun enters kanyA rAsi, the manes come down on to the earth to see their good sons. The region of the dead always remains empty till the sun enters the "vRushchika rAsi". This time is around the "kArthik/kArtikai month". So the pitrus stay on the earth for around 2 months to receive offerings from their descendants.
अत्रि संहित, ३६० ; atri saMhitA - 360
ततॊ वृश्चिक संप्राप्तॆ निराशा: पितरॊ गता: ।
पुन:स्वभवनं यान्ति शापं दत्त्वा सुदारुणम् ॥
पुत्रं वा भ्रातरं वापि दौहित्रं पौत्रकं तथा ।
पितृकार्ये प्रसक्ता ये तॆ यान्ति परमां गतिम् ॥
tatO vRushchika saMprAptE nirAshA: pitarO gatA: |
puna:svabhavanaM yAnti shApaM dattvA sudAruNam ||
putraM vA bhrAtaraM vApi dauhitraM pautrakaM tathA |
pitRukArye prasaktA ye tE yAnti paramAM gatim ||
So, the manes (pitrus) wait for 2 months to take the offerings from the sons. If the shrAddh is not performed, then on the advent of VrishchikA rAsi, they return back to their residence (pitru lOkA) unhappy. They cast a curse on the son, brother, daughter's son, or son's son. On the other hand, if the sons have performed the ShrAddha with devotion, they bless them with the highest elevation.
In mahAlaya shrAddham, we invoke one more varga of kAruNika pitrus in addition to the regular paternal and maternal pitrus. KAruNika pitrus are those manes who are related to the paternal or maternal side pitrus. They include the following:
Younger brother or elder brother of father
Ones elder brother or younger brother
Ones own sons
Aunt (Sisters of father)
Wife of father’s elder brother
Wife of father’s younger brother
Daughters and sons of father’s brothers
Father in law
Mother in law
Daughter in law
Guru or any other reverential relation
## Doing the mahAlaya shrAddham as anna roopam is best, hiraNya roopam is next in grade, Ama roopam is next. For all these you should request a priest/pandit/vAdyAr to conduct it for you.
1. Anna roopa shrAddham is the best as it is complete in all respects. In this type of shrAddham, the HOmA is done, brAhmaNAs are invited, pitrus are invoked on them, annam (cooked meal ) is served to them and they are duly honoured with dhotis, tAmboolam and dakshiNA.
2. If the above is not possible, then Ama roopa shrAddham should be done. Here, the brAhmanas are invoked and honoured with uncooked rice and raw banana in a plantain leaf, tAmboolam, dhOti and dakshiNA.
3. If the above is also not possible, atleast a hiraNya roopa shrAddham must be done where a generous amount of money is gifted to brAhmaNAs. (remember - "hiraNya" means "gold")
## If a ShrAdddh is not possible, it should atleast be done as mahAlaya tarpaNam (offereing water and til with mantrAs).
## MahAlaya tarpaNam should be done on all 16 days as it is part of the Shannavati tarpaNam in which case it is called "paksha mahAlaya tarpaNam". If done on all 16 days no dOshA of tithi, vAra, nakshatra is to be seen.
## However, it can also be done only on any one day within the paksha, in which case it is called "sakrun mahAlaya tarpaNam". One of following days of the mahAlaya paksha should be selected to do "sakrun mahAlaya shrAddham/tarpaNam". They do not have any dOshA.
1. bharaNi nakshatra day called "mahA bharaNi"
प्रजापति स्मृति - श्राद्धकालभिधानवर्णनम् - १६३-१६४
श्राद्धं महालयं नम तत्तु तीर्थवदाचरॆत् ॥
पक्षेऽपरे च भरणी महती सा प्रकीर्तिता ।
तस्यां श्राद्धं प्रकुर्वीत गयाश्राद्ध समं फलम् ||
The fruits of the shrAdham performed in the apara paksha (mahAlayam) and on the "bharaNi" is equal to the fruits obtained from a shrAddham performed at gayA.
2. trayOdashi day called "gajachchAyai".
प्रजापति स्मृति - श्राद्धकालभिधानवर्णनम् - १६७
महालयॆ त्रयॊदश्यां भवेद्यदि पितुर्दिनम् ।
पिण्डदानं विप्रभॊज्यं श्राद्धं तस्याद्गयासमम् ॥
The pinDa dAnam and vipra bhOjanam (food offered to a vipra) in a shrAddh performed on mahAlaya trayOdashi gives the fruits equal to that of a gayA shrAddham.
3. aShtami day called "madhyAshtami" or "gayai"
4. vyateepAtam day when "vyateepAta yOgam" is there
5. amAvAsya day calledd "mahAlaya amAvasyA" or "sarvapitru amAvAsyA"
6. on the tithi of the father's death, if occuring between 1st pachami day and the next panchami day of the mahAlaya paksha.
7. dwAdashi day called "mahAlaya dwAdashi".
Any of the above can be selected even if it falls in the exceptional dOsha category given below.
## One should not do "sakrun mahAlaya shrAddham/tarpaNam" on the following pitru paksha days:
1. prathamai called "nandA"
5. REvati, magam and Rohini stars
6. janma nakshatrAs (ones own birthday or wife or chidren's birthday)
The tarpanam procedure consists of 2 parts.
1. The Sankalpam (undertaking to do the karma)
2. The tarpaNam procedure.
Please click on "CALENDER" to view the "shaNNavati dates" at a glance. You can get all the 96 tarpanam procedures with the sankalpa if you click "My pitru tarpanam"
Please click on “My Pitru tarpaNam” in "My SamskArAs" section.
1. You should click on "edit sankalpam" on the top right hand corner of the "My pitru tarpaNam" page and select the sankalpam option to get "sankalpan file" and tarpanam option to get "procedure file"
2. You must also fill in the names of all your paternal and maternal dead ancestors in order to get your perfect and personalised procedure.
3. Then you are ready to generate the contents online and also through pdfs.
LIST OF THINGS REQUIRED
darbhAs, kushA grass (can be obtained from your pandit)
4 sets of koorcham/bhugnam, (made of 3 darbhas each) for normal tarpaNam and 6 sets for mahAlaya tarpaNam if done for kArunIka pitrUs also
pavitram made of 3 darbhas
a copper/silver/brass/bronze plate.
The original names (as in their nAmakaraNA) of all the dead ancestors on both paternal and maternal side for 3 generations.
my pitru tarpaNa mantrA
RULES TO BE FOLLOWED
# One should not eat anything before doing tarpaNam. In the night, any fasting food is taken, not meals. The same is applied for the night of the previous day.
# One must wear a dhoti made wet and dried in the morning of the tarpaNam day. ( if not possible it can be done on the previous night and hung in a place where no one touches it)
# NO.OF TIL (SESAME) SEEDS FOR THE OFFERING.
“Vishnu PurANam 3.14.27”
तिलैस्सप्ता अष्टभिर्वापि समवॆतम् जलाञ्जलिम् ।
भक्तिनम्र:स्समुद्दिष्य भुव्यस्माकम् प्रदास्यति ॥
tiLai saptA aSHTabhirvApi samavEtam jalAnjalim |
bhaktinamraha samuddishya bhuvyasmAkam pradAsyati ||
Our forefathers sing a “pitrugAnam” waiting for their sons to perform with bhakti the tarpaNam with seven or eight sesame seeds.
It is best to perform tarpaNam on a river side. A holy river like the Ganges is most preferred especially during grahaNa kAlA. Otherwise one should do it in his house or courtyard.
The time to perform tarpaNam is generally the end of the forenoon, around 11:30 a.m. but if not possible, our seers have allowed to do it after 8:45 a.m. But it should never be done in the early morning time.
If you miss a tarpaNam, there is no “prAyaschitta tarpaNam” for it. You can do it late but should not miss it. A fasting is prescribed for some solace.
If tarpaNam falls on bhruguvAr (Fridays), AdityavAr (Sundays) and AravAr (Tuesdays) or one’s own janma nakshatra, you can add holy rice (akshata) to the black sesame in water and perform the tarpaNam.
भृगुवादित्यार वारॆषु पित्रु तृप्त्यै जलान्जलीन् ।
स अक्षतान् सन्दिशॆत् धीमान् तत्तत् दर्शादिकॆ दिनॆ ॥
bhrugvAdityAra vArESHu pitru truptyai jalAnjaleen |
sAkshatAn sandishEt dheemAn tattat darshAdikE dinE ||
If tarpaNam falls immediately after an auspicious function like marriage, seemantam, etc., holy rice (akshata) should be used instead of til/sesame and arugam grass is to be used instead of darbha grass. for one year in case of a marriage, Six months in case of upanayanam, Three months after ‘chouLam’ (tonsure) ceremony
विवाहॆ चॊपनयनॆ चौळॆ सति यथाक्रमम् ।
वर्षमर्धम् तदर्धम् च नैत्यकॆ तिल तर्पणम् ॥
vivAhE chOpanayanE chouLE sati yathAkramam |
varSHamardham tadardham cha naityakE tila tarpaNam ||
# What if there is grahanam, sankramanam or amAvAsya on the pratyAbdika shrAddha tithi (annual shrAddham of parents)?
1. If “sankaramaNam (beginning of the month)” and “pratyAbdika shrAddham “(annual shrAddham) coincide on the same day, then the sankramaNa tarpaNam must be performed 1st and after that the pratyAbdika shrAddham should be performed.
2. a. If “grahaNam” and “pratyAbdika shrAddha” tithis coincide on the same day, and grahaNam prevails in the “kutapa kAlam, aparAhNa kAlam, sangava kAlam or early night, then only grahaNa tarpaNam should be performed on that day during its occurrence. The shrAddham must be performed on the following day even if the shrAddha tithi has expired.
2. b. If “grahaNam” and “pratyAbdika shrAddha” tithis coincide on the same day, but the grahaNam period is over comfortably before the kutapa kAlam, then the grahaNa tarpaNam must be performed during its occurrence and the shrAddham should also be performed after that.
3. If the shrAddha thithi occurs twice in a month, once in the beginning of the month and again at the end of the month, then shrAddham should be peformed on the day of the second occurrence. Then the 1st tithi which is rejected is called “shooNya tithi”.
4. But if on the day of the second occurrence of the shrAddha tithi, the “sankramaNa tarpaNam (beginning of the month)” also occurs, then the shrAddha must be performed in the 1st occurrence itself.
3. And if both the occurrences of the shrAddha tithi has sankramaNa dOshA, then the day of the second occurrence is to be taken as the shrAddha tithi for performance of the shrAddham in which case the sankraman tarpaNam must be done first and then the shrAddham.
4. If there is shrAddha tithi on 2 consecutive days and if there is grahaNa dOsha on one of the days, then shrAddham should be performed on that day which does not have grahaNa dOshA. Then the day chosen for the performance of the shrAddham is called “swatithi”.
5. If “amAvAsya” falls on the day of the “pratyAbdika shrAddham’, then the “pratyAbdika shrAddham should be performed first and then the amAvAsya tarpaNam should be performed.
“taittriyOpanishad” seekshAvalli 22 says:
दॆवपितृकार्याभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यं मातृ दॆवॊ भव, पितृ दॆवॊ भव | dEvapitrukAryAbhyAm na pramaditavyam, mAtru dEvO bhava, pitru dEvO bhava One should not neglect worship of the Gods and the manes. Mother is the form of God and father is also the form of God.
(note the significance of putting both these worships together).
So our respects and love for them should continue not only while they are alive but also after death.
Remember - still they are only in the blessing mood.
Does it pain to receive blessings for a better future?
Does is it pain to give happiness to your children?
My pitru tarpaNam
Click here to view your pitru tarpaNam