What is Aadi Amavasya?
Aadi Amavasya falls on the New Moon day in August. It is one of the most important days to offer prayers for one’s ancestors so that they attain moksha or liberation and shower their blessings on you. The holy occasion of ‘Aadi Amavasai’ is the day on which the Sun and the Moon in the star, Aslesha, come together in the same Zodiac symbol, Cancer.
Significance of Aadi Amavasya
It is widely believed that progress in life does not happen without ancestral blessings. This is why many people fail to succeed in life. Our departed ancestors exert a profound influence on our lives and control our destiny. Failing to remember and appease them is considered a sin. However, when appeased with special prayers our ancestors can become our greatest benefactors.
Ancestors include mother, father, and grandparents who are called ‘pithrus’. Once they die, it is believed that they go to a place called ‘Pithru lokam’ which according to classical epics, is several lakh miles away from the sun. When we don’t take proper care of our ancestors, they will undergo immense suffering and their souls will not be liberated. This invites their curses and is called ‘pithru dhosham’. It can cause blocks in many areas of our life. Delay in marriages, diseases that elude a cure, mental tension, financial problems, etc., are some of the results.
How to observe Aadi Amavasya?
To get relief from ‘pithru dhosham’, we must appease the souls of the departed ancestors by performing certain rituals. ‘Aadi Amavasya’ is the ideal day for paying obeisance to ancestors by performing the penance (Tarpanam) at ponds, lakes, river, or the sea. On this day spirits can transition to the other world easily, thereby attaining liberation. It gives them great satisfaction to be remembered and honored on this day with special prayers and poojas. Once they cross over completely and successfully, all blocks in our life will vanish.
It is customary to offer sesame seeds in remembrance of the departed elders. Those who failed to do this on New Moon day every month can do it on the holy occasion of Aadi Amavasya. People rise early in the morning and visit ponds, lakes, rivers, or seas nearby and take bath before performing penance. Following this, they can offer food to old people. Women can observe fast during the morning and prepare dishes that the departed ones liked.
All varieties of vegetable should be used on this day. Those who observe penance should fast and serve food for all the departed elders for whom the penance is undertaken. New clothes should be kept for them and an earthenware lamp should be lighted. Then they can offer prayers. A portion of the prepared food should be kept outside the house and offered to crows. Once the crows take the food, they can consume the prepared food. The clothes offered to the departed souls should be worn by those whom the dead elders favored.
In this manner, the hunger and thirst of the departed elders will be quenched and they will offer their blessings. Places like Rameswaram, Vedaranyam, Thiruvaiyaru, Kodikkarai, Bhavani, Trichy Amma Mandapam, and Thilatharpanapuri are considered special for the Tarpanam rituals in Tamil Nadu.