Mahalaya Amavasya 2023 is a Hindu festival that is dedicated to the forefathers or ancestors or Pitras. It is observed on the day of Amavasya, which is the new moon day of the month of Bhadrapada according to the South Indian calendar. It is also known as Sarvapitri Amavasya, Moksha Amavasya and Pitru Amavasya. However, as per the Purnimant calendar which is used mostly in North India, this festival falls in the Ashwin month which is in the months of September or October according to the Gregorian calendar. Mahalaya Amavasya is the very last day of the Shraddh rituals which are conducted for a period of 15 days. This day is very auspicious in Hinduism since the Shradh of any deceased person in the family can be performed on this day, irrespective of the tithi.
The tarpan ritual of Mahalaya Amavasya 2023 is conducted to receive the divine blessings of the forefathers and to seek a blissful and happy life. In West Bengal, the Mahalaya marks the beginning of the grand celebrations of Durga Puja. This day is also symbolic of the powerful descent of Maa Durga on Earth. This special day is observed with the aim of paying honour and respect to the forefathers with great devotion and dedication. Mahalaya Amavasya also marks the beginning of the celebrations of the Bathukamma festival in Telangana.
Mahalaya Amavasya 2023 Date and Timings
This year, Mahalaya Amavasya falls on Saturday, October 14, 2023
- Amavasya Tithi Begins: 03:20 a.m on October 14, 2023
- Amavasya Tithi Ends: 04:54 a.m on October 15, 2023
- Aparahna Kaal: 02:24 p.m to 05:00 p.m, Saturday, October 14, 2023
- Kutup Muhurat: 11:44 a.m to 12:32 p.m, Saturday, October 14, 2023
- Rohina Muhurat: 12:32 p.m to 01:20 p.m, Saturday, October 14, 2023
Significance of Mahalaya Amavasya 2023
Mahalaya Amavasya rituals are generally conducted to receive the blessings of the ancestors for good health, wealth and prosperity. Devotees who observe this ritual also get the blessings of the Lord of Death, Lord Yamraj due to which their family gets protected from all kinds of evil and negative energies. As per the Hindu scriptures, devotees who weren’t able to perform the Shradh of their forefathers within 15 days of their death or if the death date of the ancestors is not known, then the Tarpan can be performed on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya 2023. It is believed that on this day, the ancestors visit the homes of the devotees and bless them for performing Shradh rituals for them. If the Shraddh rituals are not performed by the devotees, then the forefathers return back unhappily.
According to Astrological science, the mistakes that the forefathers commit are then reflected in their children’s horoscope which is called Pitra Dosh. Thus, the children suffer from various obstacles, hindrances and bad experiences in life. The souls of these ancestors then wander here and there in search of peace and do not attain salvation. The best way possible to get rid of this problem is to perform the Shradh rituals on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya. By doing so the Pitra Dosh can be eliminated and the deceased soul attains salvation. The forefathers then bless the devotees and their families with all happiness and prosperity in life. If the Shradh rituals are performed in the holy city of Gaya, then it is considered even more sacred and peaceful.
Mahalaya Amavasya Shraddha Rituals
- On the day of Mahalaya Amavasya, devotees observe the Shradh and Tarpan rituals for the deceased members of the family, i.e. people who passed away on the Amavasya, Purnima or Chaturdashi tithi.
- The devotees get up early in the morning, take a bath and wear fresh yellow clothes. They also invite a brahmin or pandit to the house to conduct the rituals of the Shradh. The eldest member of the family performs the Shradh rituals.
- When the Brahmin arrives, the one who will sit in the puja washes the feet of the Brahmin and offers him a clean place to sit. There are specific directions for sitting as per the Hindu scriptures. For example, Matru Paksha Brahmins are seated facing the northern direction whereas Deva Paksha Brahmins are seated facing east.
- First, the devotees offer prayers to their forefathers by worshipping them with diya, dhoop and flowers. They also offer a blend of barley and water to please the forefathers. The person sitting in the puja wears a sacred thread on the right shoulder and offers a splint as a donation.
- People also offer special food items to the Brahmins after the puja rituals are over. It’s also auspicious to sprinkle black sesame seeds at the place where the Brahmins sit.
- This day is dedicated solely to the remembrance of the ancestors and the devotees spend the day in memory of them. They chant various mantras to invoke their blessings and thank their ancestors for their contribution to their lives. The devotees also apologize to their forefathers for any mistake they have committed and pray for their souls to rest in peace.
Mantras to Chant on Mahalaya Amavasya 2023
“Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”
“ओम नमो भगवते वासुदेवे”
“Om Shreem Sarva Pitra Dosha Nivaranay klesham Han Han Sukh Shantim Dehi Phat Swaha”
“ओम श्रीं सर्व पितृ दोष निवारणाय क्लेशम हान हान सुख शांतिम देहि फट स्वाहा”
“Sarv Pitru Devataabhyo Namah”
“सर्व पितृ देवताभ्यो नमः”
“Pahale Pitru Naaraayanay Namah”
“पहले पितृ नारायणाय नमः”
How to Chant the Mantras?
- The devotees should start the Shradh at the auspicious Tithi of Mahalaya Amavasya.
- The devotees should have a calm and composed state of mind before starting to chant the mantras.
- People who are sitting for rituals of the Shradh should wear white clothes.
- Start the rituals by lighting the lamp and taking a Sankalp to please all Pitras by your devotion.
- Chant the mantras 16 times by holding a Mala in your hand.
- Give some food to the cows after chanting the mantras. While doing so, chant “Swaha Swadha” 3 times.
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