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On Ammavasi day, when is the Sandyavandanam t be performed. Whether after Tharpanam or before Tharpanam

Raghuram

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    before tharpanam. Typically, without sandhyavandanam, any karma is invalidated. Tharpanam is pitru karma – Gopal Anantharaman Feb 11 at 17:58
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Amavasya Tharpanam is also called darsha-shrArdha (darsha = new moon; shrArdha = worship of ancestors).

All shrArdhas are only to be performed in the aparAhna.

There are two interpretations to aparAhna:

  1. The fourth part of a five-fold equally split day between sunrise and sunset. (Taittiriya Brahmana 1.5.3)
  2. The second half of a day between sunrise and sunset. (Shatapatha Brahmanan 2.1.3)

#1 is in the context of muhUrtas. #2 is in the context of shrArdhas (among others).

Taking the average day to be between 6AM and 6PM, it should be clear that the shrArdha should be performed only after noon. Thus there is no question of it being performed before sandhyAvandana which is to be performed at sunrise.


One may be curious as to whether mAdhyAhnika sandhyAvandana is to be performed before or after amAvAsyA tharpaNam. The answer to that is the same. First mAdhyAhnika is to be performed and later amAvAsya tharpaNa.

The rationale for this is that mAdhyAhnika is to be performed before (11 AM-ish) bhagavad-ArAdhanam and bhagavad ArAdhanam is to be performed before any shrArdham as the offerings to the pitrs in the shArdham are also to be offered first in bhagavad-ArAdhanam.

The most ideal case is that one performs homa and brahmaNa bhojana (along with tharpaNa) in every shrArdham including darsha shrArdham. However the reality of modern lifestyle is that one is unable to do it elaborately every month. Hence at least the minimal sesame-water is offered.

This doesn't mean that it can be performed outside of aparAhna. However again the reality of modern lifestyle is that it is performed much earlier, especially by people who need to be at work by 9/10 AM.

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Sandhya is a Nitya Karma for the Dvijas (Brahmins, Ksatriyas and Vaishyas). And, one remains impure unless the initiated Dvija performs the Nitya Karma first.

The Nitya Karma Puja Prakash book quotes a verse from Daksha Smriti in this regard:


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SandhyAhino-asuchir-nityamanarhah sarva-karmasu |
Yadantat kurute karma na tasya phala-bhAga-bhavet ||

If Brahmins, Ksatriyas and Vaishyas fail to perform Sandhya, then they remain impure; And even if they perform other Punya Karmas they don't incur any fruits doing so.

According to scriptures Nitya Karma has to be done first before performing other rites. One becomes unqualified to perform any rite if one has failed to perform Nitya Karmas. So, Sandhya has to be performed first and then Tarpanam.

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