Tarpan Pitara Part One
Posted November 13, 2008on:
Tarpan Pitara Part One
purefriendship posted 2 mnths ago
Thanks for such informative blog about our ancient traditions & rituals.
It is needed for the present generations to know about it more and more.
I recall to my previous write up in the other site last year and reproduce the same for more reference to Tarpan & Mahalaya paksh: Propitiation of Departed Spirits:
The day of Mahalaya Amavasya is the day of great significance and importance to all Hindus.
It is the annual festival for propitiating the spirits of our ancestors, with devout prayers for peace.
The Hindu Itihasas (histories) say, that on the Mahalaya Amavasya, there is a conjunction of the sun and the moon and that the sun enters the sign Virgo (Kanya).
On this day, the departed manes, i.e., our ancestors, leave their abode in the world of Yama and come down to the world of mortals and occupy the houses of their descendants.
The fortnight preceding the new moon is specially consecrated for the propitiation of such departed spirits.The ceremonies performed in honour of the manes or ancestors during each day of this fortnight are considered to be equal to those performed at Gaya.
The principle in all such rites is the worship of the departed souls and the satisfaction of their wishes so that they might be in peace during the rest of the year.
It is these fourteen days that offerings made during this period benefit all the departed souls, whether they are connected to you or not.
Charity in the form of food is important,The gift of food is the greatest gift.
Hence give food in plenty, not only during the Mahalaya fortnight but all through the year.
The ritual of Tarpana. Related to the Sanskrit word Trpti, which means satiation or satisfaction, Tarpana is a process of gratifying our ancestors. Tarpana works more deeply, reducing the emotional charges, which have accumulated in us as a result of the activities of our forebears.
Suppose one of our ancestors was overly fond of eating, so fond that he or she fantasized about food all day long.
All cravings are forms of energy, which are broadcast into the Ether (space) with every thought. Some of these thoughts will be rational &sensible, but many will be obsessive.
We, who are permanently tuned to our ancestors’ wavelengths, automatically receive these subtle broadcasts, which will induce us to become obsessive about food if we are susceptible to them. Anyone who is really obsessive about food is likely to be thinking of food at the moment of death.
This final message is more powerful than all those which went before, because it is transmitted with all the anguish of an unfillable desire.
Because of the power behind this desire, and the fact that the individual whose rational mind could partly negate it no longer exists, this last wish affects us much more powerfully than any living wishes can.
Tarpana enables us to negate these desires. Once they are gone, the pressure on our genes to make us obsessive about food eases, our diet and habits can induce other of our genes to begin to function, which changes our emotional climate. As long as these unseen influences continue to affect us, no amount of diet or routine can ever eliminate them because they do not strike at the source. 99% of human and chimpanzee genes are identical; the differences between the two species occur because some genes are expressed more than others.
We are our own creator, ceaselessly creating ourself from our own genes with the help of our physical and mental food and habits.
The traditional ritual of Tarpana is complex, but its essence is simple. It is much like the All Soul’s tradition, when people visit their relatives in the cemetery.
In preparation, consider what one food item our parent or grandparent was fondest of. May be it is the apple our grandmother used to eat, or tender coconut our father used to drink. That food will act as a vehicle for our emotion.
Sit comfortably facing south and visualize our dead ancestors, one by one, as far back as we can remember.
Make each one sit in front of us. Telling them we want to help release them from any residual earthly desires they might have, offer them a spoonful of water, a spoonful of milk, and a spoonful of sesame seeds, preferably the black variety. These offerings are the same for everyone. Then offer a little of the special item, with the heartfelt wish that this will satisfy any residual cravings and allow that individual, wherever he or she is, to continue with their own progression towards greater integration and clarity.
We then request them to return whence they came, and feed the food we have offered to an animal, or put it into a river or the ocean.
It is good to repeat this annually, preferably on the same New Moon Day each year. The best days for Tarpana are New Moon Days, especially those which fall in September (Pitr Paksha).
We need not even believe in reincarnation, or even life after death, to perform Tarpana. our parents and grandparents are still alive inside us, in our genes.
We are simply projecting a part of our personality, contacting it, and requesting it to be pleased with us and to relinquish any inappropriate influence it may have over us. This visualization releases us from any unhealthy psychological habits we may have as a result of the influence of these previous beings who also shared our genes, and of the images we have of those beings.
Tarpana is especially important for ancestors we knew personally. If we loved them, we show them our love in the only way remaining to us, by remembering them and offering part of ourself to them as a token of our love.
If our relationship with them was marred by negative emotions, Tarpana allows us to forgive them, to heal the relationship by sacrificing
our negativity & offering them the healing power of our love. Thankfulness for the genes which have given us life & forgiveness for those genes which have limited our existence, transport the sacrifice to its intended target. If we are convinced that this can actually help eliminate any negativity remaining between us & the image we hold of our ancestor, it will.
Faith is essential for it to work; we must make our offering with complete sincerity. Faith can truly make us whole. Faith can make our society whole as well.
Tarpana is important to all of us who have forgotten our roots. It creates the bond which should exist between our ancestors and us.
Tradition regards Tarpana as a duty, which every child must perform for its parents. When we accept this responsibility we relinquish forgetfulness.
Tarpana is an act of remembrance, which solidifies the link between the generations.
By opening ourselves to our ancestral influences & forgiving our forebears their imperfections, we open ourselves to their accumulated wisdom, which can cement our culture together.
Shradha is performed on many occasions, like pilgrimage, during an eclipse, birth , investiture of the sacred thread, marriage, after performing funeral rites, or during Bhadra.
It serves to remind one at important times throughout one’s life that death does not severe the link between the present & the past, between the living & the dead.
Shradda where the gods are first invoked and then the pitras.
Each offering is made in the name of a pitra.The food is then served to all those present.
It is believed that by feeding the Brahmins, the manes are being fed.
The remainder is offered to the fire and given to the crows to eat.
It is believed that the pitras take the form of crows to eat the offerings made to them. The Brahmins are given gifts and money.
The Brahmanda Purana has specified both the food and the utensils to be offered in shradha. It rates the pindas as most important. The food cooked during shradha should be saltless and free of all adulteration and impurities.
According to the Matsya Purana, the manes, gratified by the offerings of food, bless their descendants with a long life, happiness, wealth, learning, progeny and
Various kinds of shradha are mentioned in the Markandeya , like nitya or usual and naimitya or occasional, performed on death anniversaries.
The Kamya Shradha is performed on one of the 15 days in the dark fortnight of Bhadra to pay homage as well as to fulfil a specific desire.
Each of these 15 days signifies something different.
For example, shradha is performed on the first day if one desires a beautiful wife, on the eighth day if one desires wealth, and on the fifteenth day if one wishes complete gratification. In addition, there are other days considered auspicious for performing shradha.
Special merit is received if the ceremony is performed at holy places or pilgrimage sites, such as Gaya, Allahabad, Kurukshetra and Siddhpur
Every Hindu in his life time visit Allahabad ,Kasi, Gaya & Rameshwaram & do the Pithru Karma to fulfill the anchestors wishes & for our generations goodness.
This pilgrimage is like Christians visit to Rome – Vatican.Muslim’s trip to Mecca, Medhina.Kalsa’s visit to Golden Temple. Amritsar.
Punya kala Tarpans being performed on every month and during festive seasons. Even during Grahan’s ( Surya & Chandra ) period also tarpan being performed.