Mahalaya Amavasya - September 2006
In this Viya year, Mahalaya Amavasya falls on September 22 2006. The krishna paksham (lunar fortnight) preceding Mahalaya Amavasya is known as the Mahalaya paksham.
As the Sathguru, Guru Mangala Gandharva Venkataraman, has been teaching us for many years, this paksham is especially meant for pithru pooja, worship of ancestral beings. The details have been described in the September 2006 issue of Sri Agasthia Vijayam, the Ashram monthly magazine, released in August 2006.
The word Pithru means ancestor beings. It is spelled variously as pitru or pitri or pitr and so on. Pithru tharpan pooja is a way of showing our gratitude to our ancestors who have made us what we are today. We should realize that all the happy events that happen in each family is the result of blessings from those ancestors in that family that have become exalted pitru beings. Once you understand this, you can understand the importance of pitru pooja.
Sathguru Venkataraman has been advising us to do daily tharpanam pooja for pithrus. If this is not possible, one should at least do tharpan pooja on the 96 sraddha days each year. But those who can't do even that should at least do tharpan during all days of the Mahalaya paksham fortnight. Readers should understand that this relaxation of rules is meant for first timers only. After the first time, you should move on to the daily nitya tharpanam pooja.
The Agasthiar Ashram has published many books that show how anyone can do tharpanam easily. Furthermore, our monthly magazine Sri Agasthia Vijayam has regular features on tharpan pooja. The disciples of the Sathguru have also travelled to many towns and kshetras and taught people how to do tharpanam.
Make use of the material put out by the Agasthiar Ashram and learn how to do tharpan pooja. Once you have learnt this, do daily tharpanam and gain the blessings of your pithru beings.
The grand finale of the Mahalaya Paksham is the Mahalaya Amavasya day. On this day, do your tharpan pooja on the shores of the ocean or on the banks of sacred rivers or in those ancient Mahavishnu temples that have huge temple ponds.
Throughout these 15 days, give food, clothes, shoes, sandals, cosmetics and such in charity to one and all. Do this yourself and also do these acts of charity in groups. Group charity without caste or creed considerations is very powerful and efficacious, say the Siddhas.
During these 15 days, but especially on the Mahalaya Amavasya day, offer tharpanam pooja not just to your ancestors, but also to plants, trees, animals, birds, insects and all living things that have passed on. This is a Siddha injunction. The Siddhas ask: Have you thought about the vegetables, fruits and grains that you have enjoyed? These plants and trees have sacrificed themselves for your enjoyment. Likewise for people who eat animals and birds. Have you been grateful to these living things that have sacrificed themselves for your enjoyment, ask the Siddhas. Tharpanam for these is a human's act of gratitude to these beings. So resolve to do tharpanam to all living beings that have passed on.
The Siddhas tell us that during this Viya year, Siddhas from Varaha Mandala will visit the earth and inspire people to take up tharpan pooja. These Varaha Mandala Siddhas will take the form of birds and appear in many interesting formations in the sky. Whenever you see these, offer your prayers to these Siddhas and request them to give you the determination to do daily tharpanam. Thank them for their selfless efforts in furthering the pitru tharpana pooja rituals. Convey your gratitude to them. This special thanksgiving procedure has been conveyed to us by Sathguru Venkataraman, the founder of the Agasthiar Ashram.
|Om Salutations to the Pithru Beings|
|Om Salutations to Maha Guru Sri Agasthiar|
|Om Salutations to the Agasthiar Lineage|
|Om Salutations to the Siddhas|