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Regarding Tharpanams
Date: Wed Jan 19 2000 - 09:01:41 PST

Dear Bhagavatas
One of the Bhagavatas asked the following question in a private mail for 
which I gave a reply to the best of my understanding. As I thought, it may be 
of interest to other Bhagavatas also, I am sharing the question and my reply. 
Learned scholars in our group may throw better light on the subject.
Anbil Ramaswamy
The question:
Namaskaram. I have a question for you. I perform tharpanam invariably on
Amavasya days and a few other days that I know we have to.   I missed
yesterday. At your convenience, could you please indicate the days we are 
to do tharpanam.
My reply:
Dear friend
I had a discussion of the subject with my Acharyan HH Poundarikapuram Andavan 
when I went to India last. The point of discussion was about the Ashtaka and 
Anvashtaka observance. He enumerated about 90 occasions when a Brahmana has 
to offer Tharpanam.  I was trying to recollect the occasions which I had 
noted down then but the paper is not readily traceable now. Hence, the delay. 
As I do not wish to delay further, I am giving the following from my memory.

STRICTLY SPEAKING, one whose father is not alive has to offer Tharpanams in a 
year on
1.Masappirappu (sangramanam)            12 
2. Amavasya                         12
3. Sraddanka Tharpanam of
 father                                 1 (or 2 -if mother also is not alive)   
4. Grahanams, if visible                    1 (to maximum of 4)
5. Upakarma                         1
5. Mahalaya Paksham (Chandramana)   1
6. Ashtakai and Anvashtakai
also called TisrOshtakai on 
Krishna Paksha Ashtami and Navami 
in the 4 months of Margazhi to Panguni  8
7. Certain others, which I do not remember 

In respect of 1, the four Sangramanams of Mesha / Kataka / Tula and Makara 
are considered important. Mesha and Makara are considered most important. In 
practice, however, we see people doing only Mesha Sangramanam.
Those listed at 2,3,4,5 and 6 are must. We are told that item 6 is even more 
important than even Mahalayam mentioned at 5 above. vide page 121 of the 
Anubandham to the Aahnika Grantha (Sri Vaishnava Sadachara Nirnaya) by our 
Prakritam HH. Azhagiyasinghar.
Anbil Ramaswamy