Pitra Tarpan- Gratitude to Ancestor

Every morning, I fill water in a copper vessel, go out in the backyard, look up in the sky and offer water to my ancestors by pouring it out of the vessel. This act is called pitra tarpan, or showing gratitude to ancestors. Following this practice for the last four years, I am interested behind the purpose of this practice as well as its scientific implications.

The scientific reasoning behind this tradition can be understood this way:

The meaning of tarpan is to bring satisfaction and by performing these rituals, we try to bring peace to our ancestors. We owe our genetic makeup to the characteristics of our parents and ancestors. From this way, we inherit the karma of our predecessors and thus have the presence of our ancestors throughout our body.

Over time, a regular practice of this ritual increases the release of various karmic predispositions and weaknesses that are blocking our spiritual and material progress. Once a year, a 16-day period in September called Mahalaya affirms the importance of giving back to our ancestors. It is said that during this time, our ancestors come very close to the realm of Earth and by performing tarpan everyday, we reach them easier and bring peace to their spirits.

Hence, it is important to give back to our ancestors and liberate them with our feelings of our gratitude.

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