August 2, 2013 Vel HinduInfo StoryNandiScienceShiva

The new moon day is considered something special in almost all civilizations for one reason or the other. While some civilizations ascribe demonic qualities to this day, others consider this day as auspicious and benevolent.
In Tamil society, the two new moon days which matter most in a calendar year are the Thai Amavasai and Aadi Amavasai. Aadi Amavasai comes in Utharayanam period(generally from middle of January to middle of July) and the Thai Amavasai comes in Dhakshanayanam period( from middle of July to middle of January) The Aadi Amavasai day is specially marked for offering prayers and food to the dead forefathers.
Hindus believe that the offerings they make during this period of 15 days starting from this new moon day would reach their forefathers and appease them quickly. So the Hindus are expected to perform “Tharpanam” on this day, which is a recitation of certain mantras along with some rituals that would appease the dead forefathers and protect the offsprings of the performer of the Tharpanam.
Taking a holy dip in a river is considered a pre-requisite for performing a Tharpanam, as it is believed that all one’s physical as well as mental impurities are washed away by doing so. This day is celebrated with more religious fervour and Bhakti in different temples, both Vaishnavaite and Saivite, situated in India and elsewhere.
Lord Muruga devotees believe that all sins will be cleansed by bathing in the Shanmuga River in Palani on the Aadi Amavasai day. Many devotees also tonsure (shaving the head) on the day.
Special poojas and abhishekams are conducted at all temples especially at Lord Muruga temples. Aadi month is of great importance to Lord Murugan. It is also widely believed in Tamil Nadu that all sins will be cleansed by taking a holy dip in the Shanmuga River in Palani on the Aadi Amavasya day. As a mark of respect and thanksgiving people also tonsure their head at Palani Murugan Temple on the day.
The main rites and rituals on the day are dedicated to forefathers and many people observe ‘upvaas’ or fast. Thousands of people take a holy dip in the various rivers, seas and ponds. Agni Theertham in Rameswaram, Thriveni Sangamam in Kannyakumari and various holy ghats on the Cauvery River banks are favored by many devotees for the holy dip.We have mentioned Seshambadi near Kumbakonam and Poovalur near Trichy as some of the best Pitru Mukti (ancestor salvation) spots in the entire world.
Lord Sri Ram Himself did tarpana pooja for His father Dasaratha and His Soorya dynasty ancestors at more than 108 of these Pitru Moksha ancestor salvation sacred spots in Tamil Nadu alone. These include Rameswaram, Nedungudi, Thilatharpanapuri, Innambur, Theerthandapuram and Kekkarai just to mention a few.
Considering the whole of the holy land of India, there are more than 1008 Pitru Mukti kshetras including the well known ones such as Varanasi, Prayag, Gaya, Kedarnath and Badrinath. In all these Pitru Moksha spots, the exalted Pitru Devas themselves accept your tarpana, argya and sraddha offerings at all times, but particularly during the Mahalaya Paksha fortnight. Furthermore, they themselves are engaged in serious worship at these spots. Thus these pitru mukti temples and sacred spaces are the best places in the world for conducting your pitru worship and pitru karmas.

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