Movement of the Moon.
The period between New Moon and Full Moon in Simha Maasa (approximately in September)for 15 days is named as Mahalaya Paksha.
Lunar Calendar of Hindus divides a month with reference to the waxing and waning of the Moon,into two.(for details on Hindu/Indian Calculation of Time’ please read my Blog’TIME-Non-Linear Theory,filed in Astrophysics).
The waxing period is called Sukla Paksha(Sukla in Sanskrit means White, here indicates the waxing of the Moon),ending in Full Moon, Pounima, also called Pournamasya.
The waning period is called Krishna Paksha( Krishna means Black),culminating in New Moon called Amavasya.
Each Paksha has 14 Days ,one Amavasya and one Pournima makes a Month.
One is expected to perform the duties due to the Departed daily, that is do Tharppana daily.
This applies all Castes, Brahmana,Kshatriya ,Vaisya and Sudra.
We have conveniently omitted to follow the Sastras, by saying that the Srardha and Tharppana are to be performed only by Brahmins .
We also have made it a habit of performing Tharppana only on Amavasya,Beginning of the New Month,Mahalaya ,Aadi ,Grahana( Eclipses) periods and Srardha Thithi.
This Behavior is not sanctioned by The Sastras.
Of all The Tharppanas ,Mahalaya Tharppana is very Special.
This period falls in The Dakshinayana-movement of the Sun to Southern Latitudes ,this is for six months.
This begins from Adi and extends up to Makara Sankaranthi ( January 14)
In the Dakshinayana,the Devas and Pitrus(ancestors) are said to be asleep and the wake up in Uttarayana (from January 14 for six months )
We are expected to perform Thrappana during the entire Paksha starting from Amavasya in Simha Masa till Pournima- for 14 days.
The habit of doing only on Maha Barani,Maha Navami etc are procedures we have invented ourselves because of our reluctance/laziness.
One has to perform Sandhya Vandana-Madhyanniham,follow it up with Brahma Yagnam, then do the Tharppana daily on all the fourteen days.
At the beginning, changing Upaveedham is recommended.
Tharppna/Srardha should be performed only after 12 Noon-after Madhyanniha.
It is highly recommended to feed the Hungry-not necessarily Brahmins.
Better locate some one who is hungry as you go out on the Day, take him / her to a hotel and feed them.
Avoid paying cash.
Ideal would be to feed the hungry at your Home.One might also gift people who are needy with new clothes,Foot wear,umbrella and winter clothes.
Feed the cows and Dogs.
Benefits of Tharppana/Srardha.
Sastras declare that there is no atonement for failing to perform the Tharppana and Srardha.
Of all the curses, Piru Saapa (curse), along with Sumangali Saapa (curse by women who expired when husbands are alive) are the Deadliest.
Those who perform these Karmas will be blessed with Children, Grand Children. Wealth;will be free of chronic diseases,irritating circumstances and inexplicable problems in the family.
If the ancestors Bless us( we are here because of them), God follows suit.
If parents curse us,(which a parent rarely does) , even God will let us down.
Mahalaya Amavasya 2013 Date.
4 October 2013
Kutup (कुतुप) Muhurat = 11:51 to 12:38
Duration = 0 Hours 46 Mins
Rohina (रौहिण) Muhurat = 12:38 to 13:25
Duration = 0 Hours 46 Mins
Aparahana (अपराह्न) Kaal = 13:25 to 15:46