The Singapore Dakshina Bharatha Brahmana Sabha



MAHALAYA PAKSHAM (21-09-02 to 06-10-02)


The dark fortnight of the "Kanya Month" (Krishna Paksham : Purattasi) is known as the Mahalaya Paksha and the last day of this period, the new moon day, is the Mahalaya Amavasya day. This fortnight is sacred for offering oblations to the departed ancestors. Mahalaya (Maha + Aalaya) means the abode of the departed great and it is believed that during this period, offering oblations and performance of obsequies and rites are recommended to get the blessings of the departed ancestors. It is said that performance of the Mahalaya Sraaddha on the Bharani Nakshathiram Day (if it falls during the fortnight), the new moon day and Dwadasi day are propitious. If one's departed ancestor had embraced sanyasa, the Samaaradhana performed in respect of him during Mahalaya Paksham should be done on Dwadasi or 12th lunar day. during this period, not only the spirits of  departed parents, grand-parents and great grand-parents are invoked, but those of step-mothers, if any, departed brothers if any, and even departed preceptors and pupils, and above all, Maha Vishnu, who is the protector of the Sraddhas, are also invoked. Mahalaya Sraaddha performed during Bharani Nakshathiram day is said to be equivalent to performing Sraaddha at the sacred place of Gaya itself. Vishnupuranam categorically states that when one performs Shraaddha with devotion and faith, he propitiates not merely his Pitrus, but also the gods, the sages, men, beasts, birds and crawling creatures too.