Mahalaya Amavasya

Mahalaya Amavasya

Mahalaya Amavasya Mahalaya Amavasya

Mahalaya Amavasya

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Mahalaya Amavasya is the last day of Mahalaya Paksha, the dark fortnight of Aswayuja ( Puraatasi month in tamil), which falls in September or October. During this particular period of fortnight, we can worship our ancestors and offer tharpanam on the death date( Thithi) and also offer Tharpanam to others, no matter whether they are related to us or not. This period is known as Punya Kala.

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Mahalaya Paksha - SIgnificance

Mahalaya amavasya is a very  special  amavasya to worship our ancestors. The  fortnight (16 days period) usually during mid Sep-Oct months, starting from the day next to Full Moon Day (Pournami)  to the New Moon Day ( Amavasya day) that  generally occurs in the tamil month of   Purattasi or  Bhadrapada  in Sanskrit   is known as  "Mahalaya Paksha". It is strongly  believed that the ancestors (Pithrus) are granted permission  to visit and stay with their families during this Mahalaya Paksha period.

The entire 15 days period of  Mahalaya Paksha is considered to be sacred for offering oblations to our departed ancestors. Performing Mahalaya Tharpanam on the days of Maha Bharani / MadhyAshtami / Thriyodhasi – is considered  equivalent to performing Gaya Srardham. Food Charity (Anna Dhanam ) done during this period  will bring better things in life, than that of doing it on the normal days.
Even though the  Mahalaya tharpanam is done for the sake of  our ancestors,we get lot of benefits.They bless us with abundant health, wealth, prosperity, peace…etc  in our life and thus giving back to us more than what we offer to them.

Ideal days to Perform :

  • The Kartha can do it on Maha bharani, Madhyashtami and Thrayodasi thithis as these are the days suitable for performing Mahalaya Tharpanam.  
  • The Kartha need not have to look for any thing like day, star,..etc, if he performs the Tharpanam on his Father’s thithi.
  • If the above conditions are not met, the Kartha should check the compatability , suitability of the day with that of his own birth star, wife and his eldest son and ensure that it didn’t fall in the same day.
  • Chathurdasi thithi is meant for performing tharpanam for ancestors who died under unnatural circumstances like deaths due to accidents, suicide or killed by some one. For Pithrus who died of natural causes, Chathurdasi thithi should be strictly avoided.
  • Fridays,prathamai ,shasti,ekadasi should also be avoided.
  • Dwadasi Thithi is meant for performing Mahalaya Tharpanam to deceased ancestors who were Sanyasis
  • On Amavasya Thithi, Bachelors, Widowers, Sanyasis and Kartha wih out a male child can perform the tharpanam

Procedure :

It is advisable to perform Mahalaya Tharpanam with atleast 5 Vedic Brahmins to represent as follows

  1. Viswedevar Pithru Vargam (Father’s Genealogy)  3. Mathru Vargam (Mother’s Genealogy) 4.Karunya Pithru ( Deceased - relatives, friends,pet animals,Insects..etc)  5.Maha vishnu


NOTE : If some one wishes to do with lesser shastrigals, they may do it, but no lesser than three shadtrigals.

Required Things -Suggested Quantity :

  1. Raw rice - minimum ½  kg   per packet per shastrigal
  2. Toor dhall or Moong dhall –minimum 200g per packet per shastrigal
  3. Jaggery - 1 small piece per packet per shastrigal
  4. Raw Banana -1 piece per shastrigal
  5. Betel leaves & betel nut – 25 nos
  6. sandal paste
  7. Ellu seed (black Gingelly seeds)
  8.  Thulasi
  9. Plantain fruits - 12 to 18


Speciality:  During the Mahalayam,the  tharpanam we do is not only for our own forefathers but also for  “Karunya Pithrus “ . Karunya Pithrus could be our departed relatives,friends, Pet animals, any creatures, Insects, Plants, trees and even strangers. We can do Tharpanam for those who we feel we are indebted to. This is very special about Mahalaya Tharpanam.


“Ancestor blessing is considered very important  to lead a a very very  happy and peaceful life”

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