PITRU PAKSH - TILTARPAN
The Vedic texts state that human beings can purify themselves by performing certain rituals which are known as Shodash Samskaras (16 rituals). The Vedic Rishis did not consider birth as the beginning of life but went further back as the birth of life is based on heredity and the parents at the time of conception. Therefore the Samskaras for an individual begins from Garbhdhaan (conception) and culminates in Antyeshthi (funeral rites).
The word Pita comes from the Sanskrit root of Pitra in singular and Pitrah in the plural. It means father and the plural word denotes ancestors or the forefathers. It is believed our forefathers reside in the Pitrulok after giving up their mortal bodies.
The Vedic culture has always held the Pitrus in high esteem. Ideally, the children of the deceased are expected to honor them by performing the ritual of Shraddh in gratitude. The Shastras state that even as the children are keen to please their ancestors, the ancestors too are keen on receiving food as Pinda during Shraddh and libation of water in Til Tarpan. The Pritus also eagerly wait for Shraddh to be performed in holy places.
The important rituals that the eldest Son has to perform to honor his deceased parents and ancestors are the Tarpan on every Amavasya (new moon day) and Shraddh on each death anniversary. If the deceased person does not have a Son then any close male relative having the same Gotra can perform the rites. The rituals should be performed at least during the Pitrupaksh. The Til Tarpan should be done on all the 15 days till the Mahalaya (final day of Pitrupaksh) and the Shraddh ritual on the lunar tithi of the deceased person during the Pitrupaksh.
As per the Rig Veda, Taitiiya Samhita and the Satapath Brahmana, the rites and ritual associated with the Pitrus are necessary because a person who is born has to clear 5 debts. The 5 debts are known as the Panch Maha Runa (the five great debts) and they are Dev Runa (debt towards Gods), Rishi Runa (debt towards Rishis), Pitru Runa (debt towards forefathers), Manushya Runa (debt towards society) and Bhuta Runa (debt towards animals and environment)
Out of five major debts, three debts are given prime importance (Runa Traya). They are Dev Runa (debt towards Gods), Rishi Runa (debt towards Rishis) and Pitru Runa (debt towards forefathers). The debt to God is cleared by worshipping him, the debt to Rishis is cleared by acquiring knowledge, learning about Vedas, scriptures and by respecting teachers. The debt to Pitrus is cleared by marrying, begetting children and by performing Shraddh for the deceased ancestors.
Food is cooked by the daughter-in-law of the deceased person or by any other female blood relative. The food is then offered to the Pitrus in the form of a Pinda (round ball) with Mantras chanted by the Pundit. After the rituals are over the food is kept outside the house for cows and crows.
The word Tarpan comes from the root word “Trup” in Sanskrit. It means to satisfy or satiate. Offering water to God, Rishis, and Pitrus and satiating them by offering water is known as Tarpan. Water mixed with black Til (black gingelly seeds) is offered 3 times each to the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Similarly, it is done 3 times each for the mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
One should perform Tarpan for God and Rishis facing east and for Pitrus facing south. The scriptures say that Tarpan for God should be done in the Savya (janeu / sacred thread on the left shoulder) mode. For Rishis it should be done in Nivit (janeu / sacred around the neck like a necklace) mode and for Pitrus it should be done in Apasavya (janeu / sacred thread on the right shoulder) mode.
Description: Pitru Sthapan, Aavahan and Til Tarpan.
Number of Pundit/s: 1.
Duration: 1 Hrs.
Prasadam: The Yajmaan will receive a video recording covering the most important parts of the ritual.