Sarva Pitra Moksha Amavasya - Performing Cleansing Rituals for the Deceased
Sarva Pitra moksha amavasya, also known as mahalaya amavasya, is performed on the new moon day of the month Ashwin (September-October), according to the Hindu calendar. The day is dedicated to all the souls of the deceased members despite of the lunar day that they died on which means rituals like shraddha and pitru tarpan can be performed for such humans whose death date is either forgotten or unknown. Rituals can be done even for kids, females or anyone who had died of an unnatural cause. It is the most important and the last day in the fifteen days long period of pitru paksha. The day is significant for people of West Bengal as it marks the onset of Navratri festivity.
According to a legend, in the process of earning elixir of immortality, many sages and devas died or were killed by numerous demons. It was a great destruction (‘Maha’ meaning great and ‘Laya’ meaning destruction). These heavenly beings are considered the ancestors of human race but as the day of their death cannot be comprehended by mortal humans, people pay their respect to all the divine departed souls on sarva pitra moksha amavasya.
Apart from the regular rituals like pitru tharpanam and shraddh, people also perform charity on a large scale. They donate food to Brahmins It is one of the caste of Hindus. They are known for their knowledge of ancient, sacred scripturesand alms to the needy. Holy city of Gaya is proved to be the most apt place to perform the rituals of the day.
If a person is unable to perform various rituals for the souls of the deceased, on a particular date, for any reason, he can make up for it by fulfilling his responsibilities on sarva pitra moksha amavasya. Some people also believe that on this day the souls are closest to the earth thus praying for them may prove very effective. Rituals performed for their peaceful existence and transition into another world are easily accepted and honored.
People attain blessings from YamaYama
Also known as Yamaraja, Yama is the controller of the hell (Naraka)... and gain protection for themselves and their family members. The children are saved from untimely deaths and long diseases. The dead are relieved of their sufferings and they pass on to their rightful places.