Friday, August 28, 2009

Query regarding Homam / Tarpanam

Sri Narasimha Garu,
If one has to do both Homam and Tarpanam daily, what would be your suggestion in terms of which would be the order one has to perform both.. is it that first do homam and then Tarpanam or vice versa or it does  not matter?
I have downloaded the all tarpana manuals from the website and thinking to start off with super short process from the coming poornima day. As i already do the regular Homam which consumes 45 mins in the morning, just wanted to keep it simple for tarpana, please me you guidance what should be the order.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Narasimha P.V.R. Rao <>
Date: 2009/8/28
Subject: [vedic-wisdom] Re: Query regarding Homam / Tarpanam


Dear Krishna Kanth,
Super-short tarpana is good enough.
Though traditionally homam is done after japam and tarpana, I strongly recommend making homam the first activity and then doing japam and tarpana. That is more appropriate for the times we live in.
People of old times had brightly burning bhootaagni inside. Their performance of a daily fire ritual was just a responsibility towards the universe. They were doing fire ritual for maintaining dharma in the universe and not necessarily for saving their own bhootaagni from being extinguished.
Most people today - even those who are re-incarnations of very good yogis from the last life - are initially lacking in internal purity and their bhootaagni is very very very weak and actually pretty much extinguished in most people. The times are such, the culture is such, our lifestyles are such, the influences on our minds are such and the energy filling the air we breath is such. Thus, one's reason for doing a homam is different from the old times. When one does a fire ritual, one does one's dharma towards the universe and, at the same time, improves one's own internal bhootaagni a little bit.
For doing any spiritual activity - japam or tarpana or just reading a scripture or contemplation - strong bhootaagni is very important for internalizing and digesting the experience spiritually. If a person with a very weak or extinguished bhootaagni does such spiritual activities, the impact is negligible. As a person's bhootaagni is maximized immediately following a ritual with an external fire, it helps one do a better job with other spiritual activities.
Thus, my recommendation is the same as Narayan's. Do homam, meditate as the poornaahuti burns and then do tarpana. In fact, if you are only doing deva and rishi tarpanas, you can even integrate it with homam. You can do deva and rishi tarpanas while sitting in front of the fire, after the uttaraangam and before the poornaahuti, and then go on to offer poornaahuti. However, if you also want to include pitris (deceased ancestors) along with devas and rishis, I suggest doing it separately after the homam.
*        *        *
I want to narrate an incident related to tarpana manuals.
Manish thinks very highly of tarpana and asked me to create a manual for it last year. In the case of homam, I studied and practiced several approaches and experienced some things internally and knew what I was talking about, before the homam manuals were created. In case of tarpana, my experience and internal understanding was limited when I created the manuals. Though I had Manish's blessings, I had some doubts on whether what I consolidated (as 3 options) was good enough or not. On the day chosen for making the manuals available, I did my Chandi homam in the morning and prayed to the 18-handed Mahalakshmi/Durga idol I use for homam, "O Mother, I was very comfortable with homam manuals, but my experience in tarpana is limited. But Manish asked me to create and distribute tarpana manuals. Several important people may be using these manuals in future. If what I consolidated is good and you approve it, please give me some signal today as I perform the procedure. I will understand. I will publish them only if you give your approval."
Then I sat down to perform tarpanas. The moment I invoked gods and rishis into the kalasha, there was such a powerful wind outside (the windows were open). The sound of the wind was really loud. I started deva tarpana and said "brahmaa tripyataam" and left water. Then I took water into my palm again and said "vishnuh tripyataam". As soon as I left that water, I heard big thup-thup sounds from outside. When I lifted my head to see through the window, I saw that heavy rain with really big drops had just started. It did not rain in the previous 10 days and there were no noticeable clouds in the sky that morning. It was very sunny and bright until then. But a heavy rain started as soon as tarpana started and the rain continued till the end of the day.
I took the wind and the rain as signals of approval from the Mother, thanked her at the end and went ahead to publish the manuals. As I performed the ritual more times later, I slowly understood the real meaning and purpose of tarpana. For many people with weak minds that are afflicted by rinas to deceased ancestors with mental weaknesses, tarpana is a very very useful ritual. I now fully understand why Manish, or Vimalananda for that matter, emphasized performing both homam and tarpana and how they supplement each other. I am glad that more people are considering performing a quick homam and a quick tarpana on a regular basis. Even a combination of a 30-minute homam and a 5-minute tarpana performed daily will go a long way in freeing one.
Best regards,
Do a Short Homam Yourself:
Do Pitri Tarpanas Yourself:
Free Jyotish lessons (MP3):
Free Jyotish software (Windows):
Sri Jagannath Centre (SJC) website:

Brihaspati Gayatri, Vishwamitra/Gaathina Rishi Rig Veda 6.62.6