What it the significance of the Mahalaya Amavasya- Pithru Tharpanam Karya?

Pitru Paksha

Pitru Paksha is the Sanskrit word that literally means the “fortnight of the ancestors”. Pitru = ancestors and Paksha = Fortnight. Pitru Paksha is therefore a 15 lunar day period during which the Hindus pay homage to their ancestors mainly through food offerings.

This period begins with the full moon day (Poornima) that occurs immediately after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and ending with the new moon day (Amavasys) known as Sarvapitri
Amavasya or Mahalaya Amavasya.
During the year 2013, Pitru Paksha starts on September-20 and ends on October-4

The worship of our ancestors consists of:

1. Tharpanam i.e., offering food to the departed souls (ancestors)

2. Annadhaanam i.e., feeding the poor.

The Tharpanam is done at sunrise on all 15 days of the ancestor fortnight from the first day onward. Along with this one must also give food, clothes, footwear, cooking utensils to poor people (every day of this 15 day period) – at least one packet of food to some poor person or a pilgrim. Without such offerings the worship of ancestors is incomplete.

Karunya Tarpanam during the Pitru Paksha

During these 15 days of the Mahalaya Paksha, but especially on the Mahalaya Amavasya day, offer tharpanam pooja not just to your ancestors, but also to plants, trees, animals, birds, insects and all living things that have been sacrificed for your sake. This is called karunya tharpanam as an act of gratitude to these beings.

Feeding animals, birds, insects and other creatures is a daily duty, but it is particularly important during the ancestor fortnight. Feeding the cows and crows is a must. Visit at least one of the many Pitru Mukti (ancestor salvation) places like Kasi, Rameswaram, Gaya, Prayag (Allahabad), Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, Mantralayam, SriSailam, Papanasam, Thiruvaiyaru etc.