Honor Your Ancestors on Sarva Pitru Amavasya

Sarva Pitru Amavasya (13/14 October, 2023) also known as Mahalaya Amavasya (Maha meaning large and laya meaning destruction), is the day that we honor our ancestors and perform rituals for them. It is a time dedicated for all departed souls and is the most important day of Pitru Paksha. 

Pitru Paksha’s literal Sanskrit meaning is ‘fortnight of the ancestors’ and Sarva Pitru Amavasya concludes the 15-day lunar period which began on the New Moon day of Bhadrapada, after Ganesh Chaturthi. 

According to legend, it is said that during the churning of the “Divine Nectar” many Rishis and Devas were killed by the demons on the Amavasya of Ashwin month. Since these Rishis (Saints) or Devas (Heavenly beings) are also considered to be our ancestors, the final day of this Pitru Paksha, Sarva Pitru Amavasya, has been specifically dedicated to them and is the most important and sacred of the 16-day period. Legend also suggests that on this day Lord Vishnu granted permission for the departed souls to visit Earth.

On this special day, we can pay respect to our ancestors and honor them through offerings, rituals, and prayer.


New York, USA – 13th Oct, 2023
Amavasya Tithi Begins – 12:20 PM on Oct 13, 2023
Amavasya Tithi Ends – 01:54 PM on Oct 14, 2023

Chennai, India – 14th Oct, 2023
Amavasya Tithi Begins – 09:50 PM on Oct 13, 2023
Amavasya Tithi Ends – 11:24 PM on Oct 14, 2023

London, UK – 14th Oct, 2023
Amavasya Tithi Begins – 05:20 PM on Oct 13, 2023
Amavasya Tithi Ends – 06:54 PM on Oct 14, 2023

For local timings download the align27 app.

Sarva Pitru Amavasya Rituals

It is auspicious to begin your day by performing Arghya to the Sun God. In Sanskrit, Arghya means “offering” and is an important ritual one can perform to strengthen the Sun in your birth. (how to perform Arghya).

It is auspicious to perform Shraddha and Tarpanam (water rituals to pay homage to ancestors). If you were unable to perform Shraddha on the Tithis throughout the year, if the death anniversaries are unknown, or you were unable to perform rituals for them correctly when they passed away, then performing on this day is enough. (how to perform Tarpanam).

If you are unable to perform the full Shraddha or Tarpanam rituals then by donating food or donating to a charity in your ancestor’s name with a full heart is very powerful. You may also make an offering of grains of rice and black sesame seeds as a simple form of Tarpanam.

You can also honor them through chanting, reciting prayers and also remembering and appreciating their existence through meditation.

These rituals can be performed for “all” your ancestors on a single tithi (Sarva Pitru Amavasya) and provide them with peace and contentment on their onward journey.

Benefits of honoring our ancestors on this day

  • To gain the blessings of Lord Yama
  • To protect the family from obstacles
  • To relieve the souls of the ancestors
  • Children in the family gain blessings
  • An opportunity to express gratitude for the lineage you were born into
  • Astrologically if you have Pitrudosha or Putradosha in your chart then these rituals can help get rid of the dosha.
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