Honor Your Ancestors on Sarva Pitru Amavasya

Sarva Pitru Amavasya 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 15 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.


Amavasya Tithi Begins – 10:26 AM on Sep 16, 2020
Amavasya Tithi Ends – 06:59 AM on Sep 17, 2020
Amavasya Tithi Begins – 07:56 PM on Sep 16, 2020
Amavasya Tithi Ends – 04:29 PM on Sep 17, 2020
Amavasya Tithi Begins – 03:26 PM on Sep 16, 2020
Amavasya Tithi Ends – 11:59 AM on Sep 17, 2020
For local timings download the align27 app.

Sarva Pitru Amavasya Rituals

As this Amavasya happens when Moon and Sun both are in Uttara Phalguni Nakshatra ruled by the Sun, it is highly auspicious to begin your day by performing arghya to the Sun God

This year, it also coincides with Surya’s (Sun) Sankranti into Kanya Rashi (Virgo). You can worship Vivasvan Aditya who is connected to the sign Virgo with the mantra “Aum Ghrini Vivasvan Aditya”.

For more Sankranti rituals please check the rituals section on the align27 app.

It is auspicious to perform Shraddha and Tarpanam (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.

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.

For personalized rituals based on your own birth chart download the align27 app.