One owes a lot to one’s parents and ancestors. Each ancestor is actually present in the person as a genetic characteristic. In karmik terms, one inherits some karma of one’s parents and ancestors and each ancestor is actually present in the person as a karmik predisposition. The latter approach obviously extends to multiple lives and some karmik predisposition is inherited from the ancestors from a past life too, though they may not be related to one in this life.
By thinking of the deceased ancestors with gratitude and trying to give them emancipation, one is actually trying to free oneself from various karmic predispositions. One can view this as an external event of satisfying and emancipating an external entity. However, one needs to externalize first and perform external rituals, while thinking of what it means internally. This builds up one’s visualization and slowly brings about internal changes and eventually the desired internal change itself.
In Hindu community, the two Amavasai’s considered most important are “Aadi Amavasya” and “Thai Amavasya” as the New Moon is the time for spiritual contemplation and progress.
Amavasya or Amavasai, the tamil version of New moon day, falls in the Vedic month of Aadi (July-August). On the darkest night of Aadi (July – August), Tarpanams are performed to dead forefathers and ancestors, to express our gratitude to forefathers – ancestors, who are the reason behind our existence and status today.
What is Tarpanam?
The word “Tarpanam” means “satisfying” or “satiating“. One acknowledges the debt that one has towards Devas (Gods), Rishis (Sages) and Pitris (ancestral manes) and tries to satisfy them using this ritual. Just as gods are invoked in fire in a homa, pitris are invoked in water in this ritual, then held in the palm and released in a specific way, favorable to free them.
Tarpanam is giving special offerings (food) to the departed spirits especially during the new moon days. During the new moon day these departed spirits come to the earth plane at dawn and leaves during sunset. They do in fact hang out with you or with your brother or sister or any other relative. The Siddhas reveal that even your enemies in your current life, are your reincarnated ancestors for whom you did not do Tarpanam. You can feed them with black sesame seeds, rice and water. Taking a holy dip in a river is considered a pre-requisite for performing Tarpanam, as it is believed that all one’s physical as well as mental impurities are washed away by doing so.
Aadi Amavasai also spelled as Aadi Amavasya in 2011 falls on July 30th. Even though some people think that this day relates to demonic qualities; most of them believe this as an auspicious and benevolent day. On Aadi Amavasai performing rituals to the dead like Shradhar and Tarpanam will help you express your gratitude to your forefathers—ancestors, who are the reason behind your existence and status today.
Moreover, feeding people on Aadi Amavasya sanctifies the hearts of your ancestors and help you express gratitude towards dead forefathers and ancestors. You can receive the blessings of Karuppa Swamy by feeding the poor as it pleases Him the most. This simple act will help change your destiny as Karuppa Swamy protects from negativity or evil doings directed towards you.
For the first time, AstroVed is propitiating the ancestors through Homas. Thila homa, which is done specially for ancestors, is very powerful as it covers the past 8 generations of ancestors. The significance of Thila homa is that if anyone or some of your ancestors have not done the tarpanam to their ancestors, this homa will make up their mistake along with those souls that were affected by their mistake of missing the Tarpanam.