by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Mahalaya Paksha Tharpanam 2015 in Tamil

The Mahalaya Paksham or Pitru Paksha for this year has commenced today, 28th September 2015.  Starting on the Pratama Thithi, that is one day after Poornima or Full Moon day, it lasts till the Amavasya Day (plus one day in some years).  In 2015, the full Mahalaya Paksham occurs in the Tamil month of Kanya or Purattasi (புரட்டாசி ), and is considered most auspicious.

There are many misconceptions about Mahalaya Paksha Tharpanam-Shrardham and the Mahalaya Amavasya itself.

Let us get a fair idea on what exactly is the truth.  The facts are:
  • Mahalaya Paksha Tharpanam-Shrardham is supposed to be performed on each of the 15 or 16 days;
  • Mahalaya Paksha Tharpanam-Shrardham is different & additional to the normal Amavasya & other Tharpanams which occur during the same Mahalaya Paksha;
  • If a full 15/16 day Paksha Shrardham cannot be performed, it can be performed on ONE single day of choice;
  • There are about 12 different conditions or restrictions in choosing such a day.  People unknowingly perform the Mahalaya Paksha single day Tharpanam on a convenient, but a restricted day – for e.g., a Single Day Mahalaya Paksha Tharpanam should NOT be done on the Amavasya Day!  But many people do it.
  • The scriptures, to ease our pain, have specified 4 universal days within the Mahalaya Paksha 15 days, where such restrictions do not apply.  They are -
    • Maha Bharani (the day when the star Bharani occurs);
    • Maha Vyadheepadham (the day when Vyadheepadha Yoga occurs);
    • Madhya Ashtami (the middle of the 15 days or the when the Ashtami thithi occurs);
    • Triyodhashi (when the Triyodhashi thithi occurs 2 days before the Amavasya)
  • So, either perform the full Mahalaya Paksha Tharpanam for 16 days or do it for a Single day in one of the 4 days; and perform the normal Amavasya Tharpanam on the New Moon Day.
The Mahalya Paksha Tharpanam 2015 PDF file details the full procedure in Tamil.  It gives all the 16 days Thithi, Varam, and Nakshatra, along with other important information.  It is available as a FREE download.  Here is a snapshot.


The Mahalya Paksha 2015 procedure in Tamil can be accessed from the link at
Downloads page


  1. Thanks very nice for your help.

  2. thanks a lot sir. From today for this year paksha i am starting. Due to a personal situation i am not able to do shrardha but i wish to do the daily tharpanams and your site given me a bhagyam of doing this duty to pitrus. WISH YOU AND YOUR TEAM all blessings of the almighty and my thanks for your duty to sanatanadharma.

    1. Thank you for your best wishes. Good Luck.

  3. Replies
    1. happy to hear it will be of use to you

  4. Swami, Can you pl. advise when is the right Mahabarani for residents in USA? It's falling on October 1st and can we follow the same?

    1. Krishnan.Vadhyar30/09/2015, 12:53

      Bharari Star is from 30 Sep 12:12 IST to 01 Oct 10:01 IST. [In EDT it will be what? 30th 02:42 AM till 01st 00:30 ??]
      Obviously in USA it would be on 30th. Depending upon your timezone, please calculate it.
      If you do it on 30th (depending on TZ) then the Thithi & Varam should be changed.
      While Varam is not a problem (Wed - Sowmya), calculate Thithi as per your TZ.
      Thrithiyai is from 30 Sep 21:44 IST to 01 Oct 18:57 - so most of US would probably have Trithiyay instead of Chaturtyaam

    2. Thanks, Swami. However, I missed your reply as it was midnight for us and hence didn't perform the tharpanam on Mahabarani on 30th. My father's thithi is Sukla Paksha Navami. Looks like it's falling on Tuesday, 6th October. With the time difference, should it be performed on 5th October? Or would you recommend any other day? Many appreciate your help for all your support in this regard

    3. Krishnan.vadhyar01/10/2015, 15:05

      Dear, it is simply not thithi alone which determines Mahalayam to be done.
      AFAIK, the rules are specified in Dharma Sindhu and Nirnaya Sindhu. Both are identical, except in Dharma Sindhu some additional restrictions are mentioned as being observed by some people.

      The basic restrictions are: Mahalaya (Single day) should NOT be performed on (avoidable)
      Tithis are Pratamai, Shashthi, Ekaadashi, Chaturdashi & Amavasya
      Days are Friday (some also avoid Sunday & Tuesday too) - incidentally those days marked as to add Akshadai with til;
      Stars are Birth star (janma nakshatra) & the Anujanma star (10th star from birth star) and Trijanma star (19th star fm birth star) of the performer. [Some also avoid Rohini, Magha and Revati]
      All these rules are NOT applicable for the 4 days mentioned - mahabarani, madhyashtami, mahavyadeepadham, and gajachaya or triyodashi - that's why I have specified those 4 days.

      Where ever you are - from Japan to USA or from Finland to Cape Town/Melbourne, the time to perform the ritual (including puja) depends on the Thithi. Find out the thithi timings in India - calculate when that thithi occurs in your TZ, and perform the ritual. Occassionally, in gneral, countries to East of India may have to do it next day, while countries to West may have to do it one day early.
      For your convinience, I give the thithi & star timings for the other 3 days, as 01st is gone.
      03 Oct Sat Shasthi from 02nd 16:43 to 03 15:20 IST Rohini fm 02nd 08:28 till 03 07:28 IST
      05 Oct Mon Astami from 4th 14:39 to 05 14:47 IST Ardhra (thiruadhirai) fm 4th 07:13 to 05 07:45 IST
      10 Oct Sat Trayodashi fm 9th 21:40 to *11* 00:18 IST PoorvaPhalguni (pooram) fm 09th 16:19 to 10 19:25 IST
      Hope the rules are clear,

    4. Swami, Many thanks and appreciate your detailed response and your efforts in responding to my query. Your explanation is very clear but I think I probably might have to bother with one more question. I apologize for asking this again but In my case, which day do you recommend to perform. Can I perform it tomorrow, 3rd October, let's say before 6:30 am. I live in the US Eastern time (9.5 hrs behind IST). My father's thithi is Navami and technically it falls on 6th October. I would certainly appreciate if you could let me know the best way to get in touch with you directly. Thanks

  5. Thanks for posting this. Truly useful today.

  6. How many brahmins should I invite to serve them meal on the occassion of mahalaya paksha shraadham?

    1. Krishnan.vadhyar02/10/2015, 13:09

      IF you are doing a shraadam, then your family vadhyar should be able to tell you that.

  7. Sir, Thanks for your guidance. in fact, i did try to ask if there is any difference in the procedures for normal amavasya tharpanam and mahalaya paksha tharpanam to be done on all days. my vadya told me to do with one koorcham for all the three but i find here u hv mentioned three coorcham to be kept. last three days i hv done with one coorcham. now i will take a print of your instructions and do with three coorcham. if i can call u and seek ur guidance would be grateful so i dont do any mistake. i am telling my fatherinlaws name also three times . can i hve ur contact nos so i can call u. my no. is 9594070129 tks swaminathan

    1. Krishnan.vadhyar04/10/2015, 14:55

      Rituals in HInduism differ as per sects, acharyans, and even family tradition. Follow whatever is your family tradition. If it is per 1 kooorcham, then do it with 1 koorcham - although even people who do normal amavasya tarpanam with 1 koorchan ALWAYS have a 2nd koorcham for sakarunika pitrus for mahalaya paksham.

      There is no harm if you have switched to 3 (2+1) koorchams, and after today switch back to 1+1 after reading this. As long as you have had shradda - dedication - and performed it, it is alright & do not worry too much about it.

      BTW this is *not* a hinduism religious blog. What we are doing is because we did it for personal use - for friends/relatives abroad - and as we had already done the work, to just release it for public good. If you are in TN or other states where vadhyar is available, please refer to him, take is assistance and perform the procedure. This is meant for those who live abroad or in states of India where access to a Tamil vadhyar is not available.

  8. Thank you very much Sir !!!!

  9. Really it is very helpful and thank you very much for the free service. May God bless you !

  10. Really it is very helpful and thank you very much for the free service. May God bless you !

  11. Sir, Thanks for mahalaya paksha tharpana procedure. i have a doubt. whether the sankalpam is same for telugu brahmins also or is it slightly different. if it is different, can you publish that as well which will be helpful.
    thanks in advance

    1. Krishnan.vadhyar04/10/2015, 14:47

      Andhra procedure may be slightly different with additional mantras. Even the Andhra Sandhya Vandhanam has several additional procedures.
      But even if the Sankalpam mantra is same, there will be difference on the 'month' name, as except for Tamil and Malayalam calendar, all other Hindu calendars are different - the primary being that while the Tamil/Malayalam month starts around the Amavasya day, all others' month start around Full Moon day - resulting in a 15 or so days difference in the months.
      Since I don\t know telugu, I will be unable to write or post in that language.

  12. Thanks a Lot


  13. Thanks swamin for allowing to download tamil version of mahalaya tharpana sankalpam. Adiyen Dasan, Mukundan Rajagopalan

  14. Highly grateful.V r in a place where Dharbai is not available. How todo Tharpanam without Dharbai. An early reply will be highly appreciated. Regards

    1. Krishnan.vadhyar06/10/2015, 06:54

      Under exceptional circumstances - like when Dharbai that is the Kusa or Viswamitra (as it called in North India) - is 'impossible' to obtain, do it like it if a tharpanam is done while standing on the river/sea.
      If one does a tharpanam in a river or sea, how he place a koorcham & keep it in one place? One cannot, so he does not use koorcham.
      You don't have to stand inside a bathtub, but as an exceptional case, forget about the dharba grass, and perform all else. And at the earliest opportunity, try to get them.

      During Kurukshetra war, both the Pandava and Kaurava armies performed the 'argyam' in sandhyavandhan with dust, as water was short. The point is, when (and only when) something is unavailable or impossible to obtain, the 'shradda' or commitment itself fulfills the gap.

    2. Suppose I do not Ellu also then can I just use sudh water as only menas to do tharpanam.

  15. Thank you very much for this post which helped me to do daily Mahalaya tharpanam to my entire satisfaction. Great effort. thanks you
    Once again.

  16. Very Good Job; Many thanks for clearly giving the details of Mahalaya tharpanam Procedures and the 4 days on which it can be performed. This is an eye opener to many,who think,performing just mahalaya amavasya alone is sufficient. Thanks once again

  17. Thanks so much.Its very clear even for uninitiated to follow.I have one doubt in sankalppam u say thath thath gothranam thath thath sarmanam..... Have I not to fill thath thath with name & Gothram.Kindly clarify.


  18. One more Question.Have I to include Karunika Pithrun tharpanam on Sarva Mahalaya Amavasya day.

    1. Krishnan.vadhyar10/10/2015, 17:21

      In sankalpam it is not possible to include all the sakarunika pitrus by gothra/name. Imagine if one does tarpanam for his periyapppas, periyammas, chittapas, chittis, aunts, & then mamas, mamis, mother's side chittis .... So it is generally said that that gothranam etc.

      2nd question is clearly answered in the post itself. "either perform the full Mahalaya Paksha Tharpanam for 16 days or do it for a Single day in one of the 4 days; and perform the normal Amavasya Tharpanam on the New Moon Day".

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