Mahalaya Paksha Tharpanam -An introduction
Mahalaya Paksha orPithru Paksha orApara Pakshna is the 16 days of waning moon starting from Prathama after full moon to the Mahalaya Amavasya .It normally comes in the month of Kanni or Purattasi (September-october) or Bhadrapada
There is a story behind the choice of this period in North India . It seems Karna went to heaven and he was given only gold, diamonds, jewels etc but no food. When Karna asked they told him , that though he gave lot of charities of wealth , he never gave any food to his ancestors. When Karna pointed out that he did not know who were his ancestors, they allowed him to go back to earth for 15 days and give food to his ancestors during that time.This period is considered as Mahalaya Paksha.
In South India we believe that , becoming happy with all the Pithrus in Pithru Loka Yama Dharma Raja sends all the pithrus to their loka for 16 days every year so that they can visit the homes of their children in earth and happily eat the food given to them ,HE also felt he can clean the pithru loka during that sixteen days,Because of this the Pithrus consider these days as festival days.If their progeny do not feed them at least one day, they would go back to their places hungry and sad and may curse their children , that they should never have children ,
Normally we are expected to do Sradham on all the sixteen days addressed not only to our Pithrus but the Karunika pithrus*. If by chance it is not possible , they should do it on then they should do it on the thithi when their parents died,
*The following are called KARUKINA PITRU DEVATAS:
Younger brother of the father
Elder brother of the father
Ones own sons
Aunt (Sisters of father)
Aunt’s son (Amman)
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
Master under whom one serves
If even that is not possible , you must at least do tharpanam to the pithrus during those days. Tis tharpanam is also addressed to normal Pithrus as well as Karuneeka Pithrus.
It is told that if you do thapanam on the following thithis of Mahalaya Paksha , the following benefits would be received:-
1.Prathama. Those of our Pithrus who have died with unfulfilled wishes would get satisfied and such death can be avoided to your progeny
2.Dwitheeya . Your Pithrus who lead a suffering life due to being handicapped or deep depression would become contended and would bless you.
3,Tritheeya. This tharpana is called “Pithru mangalya suthra tharpana puja” and would help those pithrus who married against their wishes and suffered in the world and died.
4.Chathurthi . THis charpoorva tharpana would help those who died sad because they are parting from their pets and adopted children.This will also help those who were not able to serve their mothers before their death.
5.Panchami .This is called Vruksha paripalana tharpanam .If you do this , then the trees which your ancestors grew and looked after would bless you.
6.Sashti. This day will help those of our ancestors who were teachers and who might have punished or ill treated them. This also is a thanks giving to our own teachers who helped us get knowledge
7.Sapthami. This would help those people who did not help deserving people or did not give proper compensation.
8.Ashtami . This helps those pithrus who lead a life without dharma. It would help them had they repented for their behaviour
9.Navami . This would help those ancestors who might have met an accidental or unnatural death.
10.Dasami. It is called Bala Sanjeeva Tharpanam.. This hek lps those of our ancestors who might have died before they attained the age of five. It is also called Karunya Tharpanam, as these ancestors would never receive any tharpanam.
11,Ekadasi . This is called the Pithru paripalana tharpanam. THis is to compensate Pithrus for many of their things which we are using . They would become happy if we do it.
12.Dwadasi .. This is called “Ksheera Amritha dosha nivruthi tharpanam” . This would help those mothers who could not give their milk to their babies, and to the babies who died without getting mother’s milk
13.Trayodasi This is called Brahma sakata tharpanam..They normally pour the tharpana water over a sandal wood piece.It would help us to remove Pretha doshas
14.Chathurdasi . This would help pithrus whose cremation was done outside his native place or to those in whose after death rituals , the eldest son did not participate
The Manthras Mahalaya Paksha Tharpanam and The sankapa manthras with possible alterations world wide for this year is given separately