Holy Kshetram of Mathru Gaya

Recently a friend of mine had an opportunity to visit Mathru Gaya Kshetram to perform sacred rites for his Mother.  Besides this, many of my associates have been enquiring about this Holy Kshetram.  For the benefit of all those who would like to know more on this, I give below the details of this Holy Kshetram, which I am sure will be of great help to one and all who wish to perform the rites for their Mother.  
About the Holy Kshetram - Mathru Gaya in Siddhpur:

Bindu Sarovara

In Hindu Philosophy several holy places have come up on the banks of sacred rivers and lakes which are religiously known as Theerthas. Most prominent and ancient among these several holy lakes five of them are known as Pancha Sarovar. They are,

  • Manasa Sarovara [Tibet]
  • Pushkara Sarovara [Rajasthan]
  • Bindu Sarovara [Siddhpur - Gujarat]
  • Narayana Sarovara [Kutch, Gujarat]
  • Pampa Sarovara [Near Hampi - Karnataka]
A view of the people performing rites in
Mathru Gaya - Siddhpur 
Bindu Sarovar is glorified with the incarnation of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu as Sri Kapila Mahamuni on its banks, sanctified as the Tapo Bhoomi of Sage Kardhama Prajapathi, the holy place where Sri Kapilaacharya had preached Moksha Gnana [Saankhya philosophy] to his Mother, and celestial place where Devahuti attained salvation. Literally Bindu means a drop and Sarovar means a lake. It was known as a Lake of Drops [Bindu Sarovar] where tears of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu are believed to have fallen in this lake. Bindu Sarovar is considered as holy as Triveni Sangam at Allahabad. There are three sacred water ponds around here known as Gnana Vapi, Alpa river and Bindu Sarovar. Generally we find people taking bath in Bindu Sarovar before performing the sacred rites which is considered as highly meritorious.
Another view of Mathru Gaya - Siddhpur
Along the shore of the Bindu Sarovar we find the temples of Sri Kapila Mahamuni, Sage Kardhama Prajapathi, Devahuti, where earlier existed their hermitages. We also find a temple of Gaya Gadhadhara in the same line. On the opposite side we find a temple of Lord Shiva and also other temples of Hindu Deities. On the banks of Bindu Sarovara near the Moksha Peepal Tree we find an image of Lord Parashuram offering Pinda Daan to his Mother. Since then it is believed to have become a tradition to perform sacred rites to a Mother at this place.

Known to be famous as Mathru Gaya Kshethram, Bindu Sarovar at Siddhpur has acquired lot of religious and spiritual significance with Hindus from across the country visiting this place to perform sacred rites to their departed Mothers. It is the only place in India where we find Hindus performing Mathru Shraaddha exclusively by offering Pinda Pradhanam.

Parasuramar offering Pinda Daan-
Mathru Gaya
Certain positions in the Nature have surfaced a point of level that can never be encroached upon and have to be recognized with due respect without any compromise. One such position is that of a Mother and Father, next comes the Guru. Prime importance is given to the worship of parents across the world in any religion or philosophy and more so in Hindu Dharma. The famous sloka Mathru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Aacharya Devo Bhava and Athithi Devo Bhava, is just an example of how much significance is given to these four elements of human life whose worship is considered as equivalent to the worship of God. We have many examples in our Hindu philosophy where several sages, devotees, great personalities, and even the incarnations of Lord Sri ManNarayana have glorified the significance of this dictum which has not changed over ages. Lord Sri Rama is quoted as the best example of putting into practice this Sanatana Dharma Sutra.

In this order a Mother is given the first and the foremost prominence, a unique and sacred place that can never be filled by any other element. A Mother is depicted as an epitome of benevolence, love and affection. She, with all her struggles bears a child in her womb for nine months before he/she is blessed with life in this world. She is considered as the first Guru [teacher] of a child and the one who introduces the father to a child. Hindu Dharma has given highest prominence to the role of a Mother and Father and prescribes worship of parents even after they leave this world by performing Pitru Yagna [performing sacred rites to the departed souls] by their descendants.


The uniqueness and significance of Siddhpur known as Mathru Gaya:

It is a pious place located on the banks of mythological holy river Saraswathi and the sacred lake Bindu Sarovar. It is a sacred place where Sage Kardhama did severe penance for 10000 divine years and had the darshanof Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. It is a holy place where Divine parents Sage Kardhama also known as Kardhama Prajapathi and his wife Devahuti livedand performed penance for several years. It is a place of adoration whereSri Kapilaacharya also known as Sri Kapila Bhagavan a philosophicincarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu was born to the Divine parents SageKardhama Prajapathi and Devahuti.

 It is a virtuous place where Sri Kapila Bhagavantha the founder and exponent of Saankhya Philosophy hadpreached Divine Knowledge to his Mother Devahuti. It is a Divine place where Devahuti attained Siddhi and Salvation and thenceforth the place came to be known as Siddhipada which in course of time referred as Siddhpur. It is also said to be the place where Lord Sri Parashurama the dynamic avathara of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu, performed sacred rites to his Mother. 

With so  much of holiness associated with the Divine Mother, the place popularly came to be known as Mathru Gaya, the Siddhi Kshetram the place which has given Siddhi and Salvation [Moksha] to a Mother.  Lot of significance lies behind performing sacred rites exclusively to a Mother at this place. It is one of the holiest places in North Gujarat which is frequented most often by Hindus.


The Moksha Peepal Tree - Mathru Gaya
As a part of getting discharged from Pitru Rina [that also includes Mathru Rina] it is incumbent on the part of every Hindu to perform Pitru Yagna. Apart from performing these sacred rituals to the departed souls at periodical intervals on a regular basis, performing them at certain specified places has acquired lot of significance in Pitru Yagna and is considered as highly meritorious. In the process of performing such sacred rites at prominent places we find people visiting places like Kasi, Gaya, Prayag, Rameswaram etc. and perform sacred rites to their forefathers that also include maternal spirits. 

Sri Kapilaacharya:

Lord Sri Maha Vishnu had undertaken several incarnations out of which, 21 are considered to be the most important. Sri Kapilaacharya also known as Sri Kapila Muni or Sri Kapila Bhagavan was one of those 21 incarnations of Lord Sri ManNarayana. This incarnation took place during the Vedic period in Krita Yuga also known as Sathya Yuga. He was born to Sage Kardhamaand his wife Devahuti daughter of Swayambhuva Manuvu. It was a philosophic avathara meant for the purpose of giving Siddhi [DivineKnowledge] to his Mother. The Divine knowledge [Aatma Gnana], the path of self-realization preached by Sri Kapila Maha Muni to his Mother Devahutiis known as Saankhya philosophy. After inducting the Divine knowledge to his Mother, Sri Kapilaacharya left his hermitage at Bindu Sarovar having fulfilled his mission


Temple of Sri Kapila Bhagavan - Mathru Gaya

Sri Kapila Maha Muni is indirectly responsible for the descending of the Holyriver Ganges to the Earth due to a curse given by him to the sons of Sagarathat eventually led to the severe penance performed by Bhageeratha for thedescent of holy River Ganges. Kapila Theertham at the foothills of Tirumalais also associated with Sri Kapilaacharya and it is said that the Sri Kapila Mahamuni lived at this place and performed penance. The holy lake formed at this place came to be known as Kapila Theertham. Pilgrims visiting Tirumala make it a point to visit Sri Kapila Theertham before visiting Tirumala temple. The place is also sanctified by the presence of Lord Shiva known here as Sri Kapileshwara


Sage Kardhama and Devahuti:

Sage Kardhama was one of the greatest sages hailing from the early periodof creation and was also known as Kardhama Prajapathi. He was Brahma Manasa Puthra [mind born son]. He did severe penance for 10000 divineyears on the banks of holy river Saraswati and had the darshan of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. As per the Lord’s direction Sage Kardhama married Devahuti the daughter of Swayambhuva Manuvu and Satharoopa Devi. The sage couple had initially nine female children and Sri Kapila Mahamuni was born as the 10th child. After the birth of Sri Kapila Mahamuni and after getting his daughters married, Sage Kardhama left his hermitage on the banks of Bindu Sarovar for renunciation. After initiation into the Tatva Gnana by his Divine son Sage Sri Kapila Mahamuni, Devahuti started practicing Saankhya Yoga and ultimately attained salvation on the banks of holy Lake Bindu Sarovar.

This is one such place which is exclusively dedicated to performing sacred rites to a Mother - which is Siddhpur in Gujarat State,  also known as Mathru Gaya Kshetram. 

It is said that you perform the rites on the same Thithi or on any day which is convenient to you.  You may find the contact details of the Pandits who will be of help to you in performing these rites at the end of my Posting.


From Chennai you have to reach Ahmadabad from where you have trains/buses to go to Siddhpur. If you are passing through Bangalore you have a direct train from Bangalore to Jodhpur via Siddupur. For more details you may refer to www.irctc.co.in

Mathru Gaya [Siddhpur] - Location:

Mathru Gaya famously known as Siddhpur [Bindu Sarovar] is located in the historical town of Siddhpur on the banks of Vedic river Saraswathi in the Patan district of North Gujarat on the Ahmadabad – Delhi route on the National Highway # 8B. The place is well known for cultivation of Jeera and Isabgol. The place Siddhpur is one of the most attractive tourism, religious, spiritual and heritage sites of Gujarat State. It is located at a distance of about 115 km to the Northwest of Ahmadabad and 27 km to the east of its district head quarters Patan.

Historically Siddhpur was under the rule of Solanki Empire later destroyed by the Muslim rulers. The place is also famously known for historical temple called Rudra Mahalaya which was damaged during Muslim invasion and only ruins are available now still attracting the tourists. The tourist value of Siddhpur is enhanced not only by its religious and spiritual significance but also by virtue of its heritage and culture.

How to reach Siddhpur

By Road

Distances from Ahmadabad
Siddhpur [115 km] - Patan [140 km] – Modhera [119 km] Mehsana [70 km]

Distances from Siddhpur to nearby places
Mehsana [45 km] - Unjha [30 km] - Patan [27 km]

Siddhpur is well connected by road from all important major town and cities of Gujarat. Regular bus services are available from Ahmadabad and Mehsana to Siddhpur. One can also reach Siddhpur by taxi/cab from Ahmadabad in about two hour journey.

By Rail
Siddhpur is on the railway map of India on the Ahmadabad – New Delhi railway line connecting major cities and towns a journey of about 3 hours from Ahmadabad.

By Air
Nearest airport is Ahmadabad 120 km from Siddhpur which is well connected by air with all the major cities in India.

On Where to Stay

It is a small town with a population of about 20000 where Dharmashalas and guest houses are available in Siddhpur. Since it is nearer to Ahmadabad [about 2 hours drive] one can easily get back to the city after a days visit to Siddhpur. Nearest towns available for stay are Mehsana, Patan and Modhera.

On What to do

Siddhpur is the only place in India where Mathru-Shraaddha is performed exclusively. Generally lots of people visit this place during the Lunar month of Kartheeka Masam to perform Mathru ceremonies. These sacred rites are performed on the banks of Bindu Sarovara. Purohits/Priests are available at Bindu Sarovar and one can engage them according to their philosophy and faith for performing the sacred rites.

For the followers of Madhwa philosophy there is availability of Uttaradhi Mutt within the vicinity of Bindu Sarovar where good infrastructure facilities are available for stay [dormitories] and also for performance of rituals.

Contact details:

Sri Uttaradhi Mutt
Sri Kapila Madhwa Bhavan
Bindu Sarovar road
Teen Darvaza, Siddhpur -384151 [NG]
Gujarat State (India)
Contact Person: Sri Sameera Acharya Kouligi
Contact # 098258-79729 & 099139-77247

Sandhyavanadam Discourse

The Importance of Sandhyavandanam
I present to you here Sandhyavandanam – A Discourse by Shri Krishna Premi.  This Discourse is in Tamil Audio mp3, runs for 2 hours.


I am sure this will definitely be of interest to one and all.


Shri Krishna Premi


You may click on the link below to hear the Discourse:

"http://soundcloud.com/thapas/sandhyavandhanam-upanyasam"

Tharpana Manthram




Tharpanam Manthram

We do tharpanam regularly on :
* All Amavasya days
* Four samkramanams (month beginnings)
a. mesha samkramanam,
b. karkidaga samkramanam,
c. thula samkramanam and
d. makara samkramanam and
* Lunar and Solar eclipses.












Some rules regarding tharpanam are given below:

1.On the day of Tharpanam, till tharpanam is completed we are not supposed to drink/eat anything.
2.On the day of tharpanam, the daily rituals like Sandhya vandhana have to be first performed. Then before tharpanam, Madhyanikam have to be performed. If you are working and need to go to office very early, do Madhyanikam immediately after Prathasandhya and then perform Tharpanam.
3.Wet cloth should not be worn during tharpanam. Do not wear single veshti. Tie uthareeyam or thorthu around waist above veshti.
4.Except the tharpanam during eclipse all other tharpanams are to be done after 12 noon . In cities many people go to office very early and Kanchi Sankaracharya once answered to a query that a person can do tharpanam after 6.00 AM .
5.Tharpanam should be done with hand full of water and not drops or spoon full of water.
The water should be poured out using the space between the thumb and the four fingers of right hand by tilting the hand to right side. (For pithru tharpanam, the water should fall on the koorcham through right hand thump).
6.Every time a pinch of black til has to be taken. Care should be taken not to take it using the thumb and the index finger.
7.Pithru tharpanam should always be done with poonal hanging from the right shoulder to the left side( Edam ) of the body.
8. While doing tharpanam put two durbhas on the place we are going to sit - underneath folded legs. (Durbheshwaseenaha) .
9.Silver, copper or brass vessels have to be used for tharpanam. Under no circumstance should steel or other metal vessels are to be used.
10.Tharpanam should be done facing east. It is believed that it either should be done in our homes, in public places or holy places like sea-shore or river side.
11.If Amavasya and the first of the month in which tharpanam has to be performed comes on the same day, then tharpanam for the samkramanam (first of the month) should be done.



Tharpanam



Tharpanam

Achamanam
Take minute quantities of water three times in the right hand and take it (swallow) with the following manthra.
1.Om Achyuthaya nama 2, Om Ananthaya nama 3.Om Govindaya nama
Then
Touch with thumb both cheeks saying kesava -Narayana
Touch with ring finger both eyes saying Madhava –Govinda
Touch with the first finger both sides of nose sayingVishno-Madhusoodana
Touch with little finger both ears saying Trivikrama-Vamana
Touch with the middle finger both shoulders saying Sreedhara-Hrishi kesa
Touch with all fingers the belly button sayingPadmanabha
Touch with all fingers the head saying Damodara

2.Ganapathi dyanam

Recite the following manthra slowly hitting the forehead with both fists together.:-
Shuklambaradharam Vishunum Sasi Varnam ChathurBhujam,
Prasanna Vadanam Dyayeth Sarva Vigna Upa Santhaye.

3. Pranayamam.

Hold both Nostrils with Thumb and the little and third finger of the hands and recite the following Manthra:-

Om Bhoo
Om Bhuva
Ogum Suva
Om Maha
Om Jana
Om Thapa
Ogum Sathyam
Om Tatsa vithur varenyam Bargo devasya dhi mahi dhiyo yona prachodayath
Om Apa
Jyothj rasa
Amrutham brahma
Bhoorbuvasuvarom
Touch the ears three times saying
Om, Om , Om 

4. Sankalpam
Mamo Patha Samastha Duritha kshaya dwara Sri Parameshwara Preethyartham.
Apavithra pavithro va Sarvavastham gathopi va,
Ya smareth pundarikaksham sa bahyanthara suchi
Manasam vachikam paapam karmana samuparjitham
Sri Rama smarane naiva vyapohathi na samsaya

Sri Rama-Rama Rama Thidir Vishnu thada vaara nakshatram Vishnureva cha, Yogascha karanam Chaiva sarvam Vishnu mayam jagat Sri Govinda Govinda Govinda Adya Sri Bhagavatha maha purushasya Vishnor Agnaya pravarthamanasya Adhya Brahmana Dweethiya parardhe Swetha Varaha kalpe Vaivaswatha manvanthare ashta vimsathi thame kali yuge prathame padhe ,jambu dweepe , Bharatha varshe, Bharatha Khande , Mero Dakshine Parswe , Sakabdhe asmin varthamane vyvaharike Prabhavadeenam sashtya samvatsaranam madhye ------------ --- Nama samvatsare, --------- ayane, ------------ - rithou, ------------ ---- mase, ------------ -- pakshe , Adhya --------- Punya thithou,---- --------- vasra yukthayam,,- --------- ------ nakshatra yukthayam Shubha yoga –Shubha karana, Evam guna viseshana visishtayam asyam,------ ----- Punya thithou,
 (Poonal Edam ) ( Change the position of poonal from left shoulder to right shoulder LEFT MODE)
Paternal side--- ------------ -------gothranaa m(tell your gothram)---- --------- - (Names of father, grand father, great grand father) sarmanaamVasu- Rudra-adithya swaroopanam asmad Pithru –Pithamaha- Prapithamahanam , -------(your Gothram) Gothraa (Names of mother. Grand mother, great grand mother ) Namnee , Vasu-Rudra-Adithya swaroopa Asmad (if mother is not alive) Mathru, pitamahi, prapithamahischa (if mother is alive then say--) pithamahi, prapithamahi, pithruprapithamahis cha,

Maternal side---
------------ --------- gothraanam(Ammanathu gothram)---- --------- --- (if you know tell the names of maternal grand father, his father and his grand father)Sarmanam vasu –rudra -adithya swaroopanam asmad mathamaha, mathru pithamaha, mathru prapithamahanam, (Your maternal grand father's gothram)---- ------ gothraa ------------ --------- -(tell the names, if you know, of maternal grand mother, maternal great grand mother, Grand mother of maternal grand father) Namnee, vasu-rudra –adithya swaroopa asmad mathamahi, mathu pithamahi, mathu prapithamahischa,
Ubhaya vamsa pithrunaam akshayya thripthyartham amavasya* punya kale vargadwaya pithrunudhdhisya darsa shradhdham hiranya roopna adhya karishye. Thathangam thila tharpanam cha karishye. 

(* - Mesharavi punya kale --for tharpanam done on Mesha sankramam(chittirai -medam first)
Karkadaga ravi punya kale-- for tharpanam done during adi-Karkidaga Sankramam(Adi- Karkadakam first),
Thula ravi punya kale-- for tharpanam done during thula masam first(Iyppasi- Thulam first),
Makara ravi punya kale-- for tharpanam done on makara sankramam(Thai –Makaram first),
Suryoparaga punya kale-- for tharpanam done during solar eclipse &
Somoparaga punya kale --for tharpanam done during Lunar eclipse)

Throw away the Durbha (only) held round the fingers along with Pavithram to the North side. Poonal valam- Change position of poonal to the left shoulder(usual mode), touch water with finger – Apa upasparsya.

5. Dakshina 
Poonal Edam - change position of poonal to right shoulder(left mode).

Take two durbhas and keep in front of you. Assume this as Vadhyar, acharyar or Brahmanan.
Take another set of two durbhas and put in front of the above durbhas(Vadhyar / Brahmanan)-and say Amavasya punyakale varghadwaya pithrunudhisya asmin maya kriyamana hiranyaroopa darsa sradhdhe mama vargadwaya pithrunaam Idhamasam . Put few til on the durbhas and say - tiladhi sakalaradhanai swarchitham.

Take vettilai, Pakku, Dakshinai and add a drop of water and chant—Hiranya garbha garbhastham hema beejam vibhavaso Anantha punya phaladham ada: santhim prayachame. Amavasya punya kale vargadwaya pithrunudhischya darsa sradhdha prathyam nayartham idam hiranyam phala thamboola sahithammama varga dwaya pithru preethim kamayamana: thubhyamaham sampradhade (Keep the Dakshina on the durbhas)
Om Thathsath.

Poonal valam. Pradhakshina namaskaram:
Change poonal to usual pattern from left shoulder
(Chant and rotate in the same place clock wise)
Devathabhya pithrubhyascha maha yogibhya eva cha
Nama swaadhai swaahayai nithyameva namo nama.
Yani kani cha papani janmanthara krithani cha
Thani Thani vinasyanthi pradhakshina pade pade.

Mama vargadwaya pithrubhyo nama:
Do namaskaram – prostate in front of the koorcham.
6. Arrangement of Koorcham**

In a thambalam, plate or tharpanavatta pohini arrange the durbhas and koorcham as shown below :
                                                                         EAST
 I                     I
 I                     I
WEST --I-- ----- ----- -I----- -> SOUTH
I                     I
I                     I


WEST
 

Arrangement of Koorcham
                             East                      
 NorthSouth
West


** - In some families they use two koorchams – one for pithru vargam and another for mathru vargsm.


7.Avahanam 
Pooanal Edam - Wear the poonal in the left mode and chant with folded hands—
Swamina: maya krithena anena hiranya roopa darsa sradhdhena mama vargadwaya pithara: save nithya truptha bhooyasurithi bhavantho S nu gruhnnanthu. (Anugruhnnanthaa bhooyasu:)

Take two durbhas while chanting the following manthras:-

a. Aayatha pithara: somya gambhirai: padhibhi: poorvai: prajamasmabhyam dadhatho rayim cha deergayuthwam cha satha saaradam cha. Om bhorbuvaswarom. Asmin koorche vargodhaya pithroon dhyayami, avahayami. Put two durbhas on the koorcham.
Put til-Ellu and on the koorcham saying- tiladhi sakalaradhanai swarchitham.

b. If you know the names of pithrus then modify tha above Avhanam as follows:- 


Take two durbhas while chanting the following manthras:-

Aayatha pithara: somya gambhirai: padhibhi: poorvai: prajamasmabhyam dadhatho rayim cha deergayuthwam cha satha saaradam cha. Om bhorbuvaswarom. Asmin koorche ------------ ---gothran- --------- -----(Names of father, grand father, great grand father) sarmana: Vasu-Rudra-adithya swaroopan asmad Pithru –Pithamaha- Prapithamahan , ------- (your Gothram) Gothraa----- --------- - (Names of mother. Grand mother, great grand mother )Namnee, Vasu-Rudra-Adithya swaroopa: asmad (if mother is not alive) Mathru, pitamahi, prapithamahischa 
(if mother is alive then say--) pithamahi, prapithamahi, pithruprapithamahis cha,
------------ --------- gothraa(Ammanathu gothram- Your maternal grand father's gothram)-- ------------ -- (if you know tell the names of maternal grand father, his father and his grand father) Sarmana: vasu –rudra -adithya swaroopan asmad mathamaha, mathru pithamaha, mathru prapithamaha, (Your maternal grand father's gothram)---------- gothraa ------------ --------- - (tell the names, if you know, of maternal grand mother, maternal great grand mother, Grand mother of maternal grand father) Namnee, vasu-rudra –adithya swaroopa asmad mathamahi, mathu pithamahi, mathu prapithamahischa, dhyayami, avahayami- Put two durbhas on the koorcham.
Put til-ellu- on the koorcham saying - tiladhi sakalaradhanai swarchitham.

8. Pithru tharpanam

Do tharpanam, three times each, chanting the manthram (three times each) with ellu(til) and water directly from panchapathram. Keep the udhdharani on the koorcham to prevent the koorchm from floating on water while doing the tharpanam.

Pitru varga tharpanam :

Pithrun swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Pithamahan swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Prapithamahan swadha namastharpayami – 3 times

If mother is not alive :
Mathru: swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Pithamahi swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Prapithamahi swadha namastharpayami – 3 times

If mother is alive:
Pithamahi swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Prapithamahi swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Pithru prapithamahi swadha namastharpayami – 3 times

Mathru varga tharpanam :

Mathamahan swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Mathu: pithamahan swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Mathu: prapithamahan swadha namastharpayami – 3 times

Mathamahi swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Mathu: pithamahi swadha namastharpayami – 3 times
Mathu: prapithamahi swadha namastharpayami – 3 times

Jnatha jnatha pithru varge tharpanam (Tharpanam to unknown manes of paternal & Maternal sides)

a.Jnaatha jnatha mama vargadwaya pithroon swadha namas tharpayami
b. Jnaatha jnatha mama vargadwaya pithroon swadha namas tharpayami
c. Jnaatha jnatha mama vargadwaya pithroon swadha namas tharpayami

Oorjam vahantheeramrutham grutham paya keelalam parisrutham swadha stha tharpayatha me, pithroon trupyatha thrupyatha thrupyatha.
 (Pour all water in the panchapathram on the koorcham).

9. Poonal valam. Pradhakshina namaskaram: 

Change poonal to usual pattern from left shoulder
(Chant and rotate in the same place clock wise)
Devathabhya pithrubhyascha maha yogibhya eva cha
Nama swaadhai swaahayai nithyameva namo nama.


Mama vargadway pithrubhyo nama:
Do namaskaram – prostate in front of the koorcham.

10. Udwasanam

Poonal Edam - Wear the poonal in the left mode. Take til-ellu and chant—
Aayatha pitharasomya gambhirai: padhibhi: poorvai: prajamasmabhyam dadhatho rayim cha deergayuthwam cha satha saaradam cha. Om bhorbuvaswarom. Asmath koorchath yadhasthanam prathishtapayami. (Put the ellu on the koorcham).
Shobhanarthe kshemaaya punaraghamanaayacha .(Touch the koorcham with hand).

11. Sarva Tharpanam 

Take koorcham, untie the knot of Koorcham. Take the koorcham, other durbhas and remaining til(ellu) in hand and along with water do a single Tharpanam chanting :

Yesham na matha na pitha na bandhu na anya gothreena the sarve trupthimayanthu mayoth srushtai kusodhakai: Trupyatha, Trupyatha, Trupyatha.

12. Pavithram visarjanam 

Remove pavithram from mothira viral, untie and put it on north side, change poonal to right shoulder and touch water.

13.Brahmarpanam
Offer a hand full of water chanting.
Om Tat sat Brahmarpanamasthu

 Do Aachamanam.

Mahalaya Amavasya


Mahalaya Amavasya 2011 –  [Sept 13-27]


Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitra Amavasya is the new moon day of Pitra Paksha or Mahalaya Paksha, the fortnight which is especially sacred for offering Tharpanam to the departed ancestors. It is believed that performing Tharpanams  during the auspicious Mahalaya Paksha will bless your ancestors and will free them from all their sins.
Mahalaya Amavasya Tarpanam
Each day in the Mahalaya Paksha is ruled by a particular Tithi  and the benefits of offering Tharpanam on each day are different. Mahalaya Amavasya is the last day of theMahalaya Paksha , which is considered as the most important day in the year for performing obsequies and rites and on this day people donate food, clothes etc.


Donating Food during Mahalaya Paksha
The easiest way to access God's grace is to feed a  human being starving for food. Donating food is considered to be the greatest charity of all the charities and it is believed that whoever donates food will attain an 'elevated status'. There is an interesting legend highlighting the importance of donating food from the great epic Mahabharata.

KARNA
The renowned hero of the Mahabharata, Karna, was a great philanthropist and he never said no to anyone who approached him for help. He had donated huge wealth and had done all kinds of charity, except for donating food.

Karna left the earthly curl after his death and reached heaven. The great charity which he had done on the earth plane was returned to him hundredfold here, but it was all material wealth and no food at all. He then realized that although he had done all kinds of charities, he did not donate food. He prayed to the God of Death, who sent him back to earth for 14 days, to make up for this deficiency.

Karna fed the Brahmins and poor and offered oblations of water during the 14 days, which are observed in the Mahalaya Paksha. On his return to Heaven, he had plenty of food and it has been anticipated that offerings made during the period of Mahalaya Paksha benefits all the departed souls, whether they are connected to you or not.


Charity in the form of food is important during this observance. Life depends upon food. You cannot preach religion to empty stomachs. This human body is the most important vehicle for realising God. How precious must food be which keeps the body fit for Yoga! The gift of food is the greatest gift. Therefore, give food in plenty, not only during the Mahalaya fortnight but all through the year.

Mahalaya Paksha: Seek the Blessings of  the  Ancestors

Great enlightened beings, who have turned their body into light, visit the earth daily in their light form. Our departed ancestors also come and stay on this earth plane for 15 days in a year in our body, mind and soul and can change all these 3 positively. Even Gods cannot do what these ancestors can do for you; in fact, Gods ask you to go through your ancestors for blessings.

Offering Oblations to the departed ancestors
on Mahalaya Amavasya
These auspicious 15 days, Mahalaya Paksha in 2011, starts from September 13th night, right after the full moon and ends on September 27th, the Mahalaya Amavasya night. This two week period is the most important period to appreciate your departed ancestors.  

The fifteen days of Mahalaya Paksha consists of 15 Tithi. They are Pratipat, Dvitiya, Tritiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shashti, Ashtami, Navami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Dvadasi, Trayodasi, Chaturdashi, Newmoon day [Sarvapitru Amavasya]. According to Hindu mythology, every individual's who wants to perform this Pitru Tharpanam, they should do it on the same day of their ancestor died which will fall within any one of these fifteen days.


Observing Rituals on Mahalaya
Amavasya

Rituals and offering oblations to the souls of the departed ancestors, ends on Mahalaya day. Durga Puja rituals also commence on Mahalaya day.

" If shrardham thithi falls in this period [From Purattasi to Karthigai] one should not do malaya tharpanam in the malaya paksham and should perform the Mahalaya Paksham on the next day to Shrardham " .


Watch these videos by clicking the links below:



http://www.youtube.com/embed/ySF26OEEqKs



Things not to do during Pitra Paksha period.

During the period of Pithra Paksha, traditionally people do not buy or wear new clothes, and don't get a hair-cut. The day they perform the ritual, male members of the family do not even shave. Women do not wash their hair on that particular day. Auspicious works like marriage, settling marriage, any kind of birth ceremony etc. are prohibited during this period

The Inter-Link of Darbhai with the Pithrus and Japa Yajna

It is said that when appropriate manthras are recited, the pithrus are said said to receive the offerings.


Darbhai's  Role in Manthras-Japam-Pithrus
The sacred grass called darbhai is used as supreme seat for the departed souls and also as a means to attract them to the seat.

To understand how recitals and darbhai go together in producing results, we must know how japa yajna  is done.

Darbhai has an important role in all yajnas, particularly in Japa yajna.



Darbhai in  Japa Yajna
Japa yajna is considered as the supreme yajgya [BG 10-25 “ yajgyaanaam japa yajgyah”]

Manu smrithi describes its supreme nature in this way: [2-85]

“Of all the types of yajgyas sanctioned by Vedas, the best is japa yajgya which is done by utterance.
This is 10 times greater than all the other yajgyas.
The japa yajgya done by the lips is 100 times greater than the one done by uttering.
But the japa done at mind without utterance is 1000 times greater than the one done at lips.”


 There are rules for doing this japa yajgya which when followed meticulously, leads the doer to Brahma dyaanam and ultimately Brahma gyaanam and Release.

The kramam and Anushtaanam [methods] of doing japa are narrated by Bheeshma to Yudhistra
in chapter 194 of Shanthi parvam of Mahabharatha.
[It should be noted here that Yama deva, Kaala deva and Mruthyu deva have
specific roles and are not the same]



These details were originally discussed by a Brahmin, Yama Dharmarajan [he who determines the fruits of paapam and punyam for the jivas], Kaala devan [he who determines the number years for a person],
Mruthyu devan [he who removes the praana vayu from the body] and the king Ikshvahu.

All these dignitaries come to the conclusion that japam must be done seated in the midst of darbhai, with darbhai in hand, darbahi at the head, surrounded by darbhai on all four sides and hidden from sight of others by being enclosed by darbhai bushes.  For such a person who does the japa in such a way, Brahma gyanam will occur.

A similar way of japa was done by Sri Rama when he wanted the oceans to part ways for him to cross it.



Darbhasayanam of Ramar
The place where he did this Darbhaaranyamwas a forest of darbhai.  This kind of complete enclosure by darbhai can have two effects.

[It is said that the kushasdweepa, the present day Africa, derived its name from the abundance of Kusha grass or darbhai growing in that land.]



Darbhai  Grass used  for Tarpanam
Kusha or darbhai is generally associated with japam and control of senses or concentration and meditation on a specific form or view.

The God worshipped by the people of this place was HrishikEsha, who is the controller of Indriyas.

The doer is protected from the doshams of various kinds –t means nothing from outside can touch him or reach him -and also this means that nothing escapes from inside too, which is,  the doer is helped in retaining whatever energy is within himself or generated by his japa.

It is perhaps to the pithrus not to lose their energy or disturb their rupam [form],
while coming down to earthly plane to accept tarpanam, they are seated on darbhai during tarpanam.

Like the manthras of Sandhya vandhanam,
the tarpanam manthras are also derived from the Vedas.

 In Rig veda hymn 15 on Pithrus, it is said,

“They who enjoy pressed juices with oblation seated on sacred grass, come oftenest hither.
Fathers who sit on sacred grass, come, help us:
these offerings have we made for you; accept them.”

The ends of the darbhai act as antennas or conductors.
The way pavithram is made and Koorchcham is made for tarpanam show that it is to attract something and release something once the need is over.  To attract something is agreeable.  But does it release is the question here.

The use of koorcham in tarpanam clarifies this question.




Arrangement of Koorcham
                             East                      
 NorthSouth
West



The out-stretched ends of koorchcham attract or 'conduct' the pithrus into the aasanam of darbhai [this is made out from the manthras uttered then]
and they are sent back to their yadhaasthaanam [original abode] through it only.
It acts as both way transport – to attract and to release.

The direction also matters in placing them.

The koorcham is placed in such a way that its ends face the south, the land of pithrus.



Pavithram 
The pavithram is also worn in such a way that it attracts and returns that which reaches the wearer from different sides.

The movement of the right hand in any karma around his body
at regular intervals shows that the protection is constantly happening around the doer.  

The Sacred Grass called Darbhai or Kusha Grass

Darbha or Kusha grass is a special type of grass which is used in Hindu rituals for purificatory process. This grass is wore as the ring in the ring finger of the person who is performing the rituals. There are legends as well as scientific explorations on this grass. Read on to know more about Kusha grass. 

Darbha or Kusha grass is special element in the paraphernalia of Hindu rituals. It is scientifically known as Panic grass and of genus borage species. It can grow up to 2 feet and it appears pointed at the top. There are several references in Hindu books regardings the grass and its utilities. In this article we shall illustrate some of the main utilities of this grass in Hindu way of life.

Sacred Dharbai or Kusha Grass
Kusha grass in Hindu books:

Puranas and Upnishads describe that this grass came into existence after Samudra Manthan, the churning of cosmic ocean. When demigods and demons got ready to churn the cosmic ocean of milk, there was no one to support the base of Madhara mountain. Lord Vishu took the form of Tortoise [Kurma Avatar] and gave the needed support. During the churning, the hairs of the tortoise came out and washed away to the shore. These hairs turned to Kusha grass.
When the Amrita, the nectar was finally achieved, due to improper handling of the nectar, few drops of nectar fell on the grass. This further sanctified the grass giving it more healing properties.
In Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says in Chapter 6 entitled Dhayan Yoga:
Bg 6.11 To practice Dhyan yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay Kusha grass on the gorund and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft cloth……
Science says about Darbha:
It is given in few websites that there was a scientific study of Kusha grass. They found that this grass can absorb about 60% of radiation. It is proof that this grass has power to absorb all negative radiations in the environment.
Significance of Darbha:
Kusha grass is meant to have Lord Vishnu’s potency. It is believed that this grass has immense purifying properties. It is worshipped by Vaishnavas on the special day in Bhadrapada month (August – September) called Darbhashtami.
The significance of Darbha grass is also found in Buddhist culture. It is believed that Sakyamuni Buddha sat on a Darbha mat to meditate and got enlightened under the Bodhi tree. The capital city of Malla kingdom of Buddhist is named Kushinagara, just to honor Kusha grass. It was in this city Lord Buddha was cremated.
Darbha Grass in Hindu Rituals
For Purification: Kusha grass is known to be the purifying object. In Kumbha poojas the grass is used to purify different objects of worship by sprinkling holy waters using the grass. Brahmins put this grass always in their houses and use for any purificatory ritual they perform.
Eclipse: Kusha grass is put on every eatable in the kitchen to keep away the harmful radiation in the environment during the eclipse. Any food without kusha grass after the eclipse is considered contaminated and thrown away for good.
Kusha Mats: The mats made of Kusha grass are used to sit while doing meditation. During any yagnas or ceremonies pandits sit on these mats to perform the ritual.
Kushandika: The sacrificial fire or yagna called Kushandika, these grass are used as sacrifice.
Kusha ropes: Ropes made of this grass are used to encircle deities to purify them. Bhramacharinis or sacred women are given these ropes for their protection.
Essence and Oil: This grass is ground up to make several items like essence and oil. The oil is known as Kusha oil which can be used in summers to get cooling effect.
Drinks: The extract of grass is used to make cool drinks called Sharabhat. These drinks are known for their cooling effect on the body.
There are many more utilities of Kush grass. The word ‘Kushala’ or expert is derived from Kusha grass which infers that usage of Kusha grass makes one expert personality.

The Holy Grass known as Dharbham or Dharbai


It is strongly believed that your dead ancestors are governing your destiny.  No civilization however old it may be, has ever attained the level of sophistication, reached by the Yogis and Siddhars of India.  What makes Tharpanam so different, so much more profitable - than any other remedy you have performed?  It is said that there is enough proof that performing Tharpanam rituals works miracles in your life!



TharpaNam and its Significance


It is said that:


* The Yogis and Siddhas paid equal attention to the bodily existence, while one is alive and also the disembodied existence after one dies.
* The Siddhas were an esoteric group of people who could appear at different places at different times.
* They could even take the form of any human being and return to earth for a few hours visit.
* It is said that these Siddhas hang our in the subtle forms in the Southern India, like Thiruvanamallai Hills, Koli Hills and the Pothigai Hills [near Kutralam].  
* If one is destined to meet them, at those places, they will show up for you and bless you.


In reference to the practice of offering oblations [tarpaNam] to the departed souls [pithrus], I think it to be most appropriate in posting to all my viewers, some information on why TarpaNam must be done and the rationale of doing it.

The article posted here was written by Mr TRS Iyengar.
In the subsequent posts, I will be writing about Mahalaya Amavasya which should be observed by those of us Brahmins who do pithru karma for their ancestors and more on this mystic creation - "Dharbhai".



The Holy Grass called Dharbham or Dharbai
The Holy Grass known as Dharbham or Dharbai

by TRS Iyengar

(http://www.trsiyengar.com/id65.shtml)


This article is on one of the practices widely used by Indian Brahmins all over
using a Holy Grass named Dharbham or Dharbai.
In all functions, auspicious orinauspicious,
a performing person needs to wear a ring made of this Dharbham.
But many have lost the reason of why it is to be used in the first place.


What I learnt from my father is proved to be accurately correct by a Medicine
Practitioner.

A Doctor named Sadhashiv Rao, once visited my home.
When thetopic turned to many subjects,
I needed to tell him about the Holy Grass named
Dharbham.
When I told him about the usage and the values,
he could not just believe my words.

So, he took out a bunch of the Dharbham from me,
went straight to the clinic to take an x-ray of his palm,
by covering his hand
with the Dharbham.
To his utter surprise,
he found that the grass absorbed
about 60% of the radiation!


When the so powerful X-ray radiation can be absorbed by the Holy Grass,
why can it not absorb the ill radiations spread over the atmosphere?
While chanting
and reciting some Vedic phrases and versus,
one needs to wear a ring made of Dharbham
on his right hand ring finger.


The count of leaves depends upon the function that is held viz.:
for some functions related to death
only Single leafed Dharbham is used;

for Auspicious and daily routine
a ring made of two leaves is used;
for inauspicious but not death related functions,
(i.e. Amavasya Tharppanam,Pithru Pooja etc)
a three leaf Dharbham ring is used.

And for the Temple Prayer and Pooja,
a Four-leaf Dharbham ring is used.


Also, when a fire ritual known as Agni Santana is performed,
these Dharbham are spread all the four sides of the Agni Kundam.
Also, during the Eclipse time,
these Dharbham are used to cover all food items to protect them
from the harmful ultra violet radiation.



Whenever any function is held,
firstly they perform a site-cleansing act known
as “Sudhhi Punyaahavachanam”.
While reciting the selective versus,
they hold
the Dharbham bunch in their hand and
placing the tip point of it over the vessel containing water.

Thus the recited vibration values are absorbed by water in the
vessel through the Dharbham.


They found that the Holy Grass known as Dharbham has the highest value in
conducting the phonetic vibrations through its tip.
Later, they sprinkle the Holy water at every nook and corner of the place,
where the function is held.

A Dharbham without the tip is considered of no value, as the
conductor-type value is lost in it.


My father, Late Shri Ramabathrachariar of Mukkur,
fondly called by everyone
as Sriraman, has given me the immense values of Dharbham and its usage.
With Sanskrit phonetic sound and vibration,
using the Dharbham increases its value.


The usage varies according to the functions.
It is really a marvel, that
in those days of Vedic Era,
the Sages & Saints of Hindu land used to control
the Magnetic path disturbances,
just by simply using this Dharbham!


Apart from the above, Dharbham cannot be planted and grown everywhere.


 It only grows naturally at selective places and available almost in every
state in India.
Some learned scholars name it after Saint Vishwaamitra -
hence Dharbham is known and called as Vishwaamitra.
If it is kept for a
longer time, say for more than six months,
then it loses it value and
the power of absorbing the radiation or magnetic path control values.



Dharbai - as "Pavithram"
Dharbham cannot just be plucked straight or cut on any day;
There is a specific Slokha that is to be recited before cutting it;

That too it can
be cut only on the day next to Full Moon - known as Krishna Paksha Pradamai.

A Dharbham without its tip portion is not to be used for making
a Ring like item known as "Pavithram".


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