Amavasya is the new moon day. It is the last day of the Krishna Paksh in every month. Vaishakh Amavasya is the one that falls in the month of Vaishakh. It is celebrated in the months of April or May. This year, Vaishakh Amavasya falls on 16th of April, 2018.
The day would be a Monday. A number of festivals fall on this day. Even if there is no festival, the day in itself is considered auspicious for a number of reasons. One among those reasons is that this is the day to pay homage to one's forefathers.
Also, some pujas such as the Kaal Sarpa Puja are performed on this day. The timings are from 8:37 AM on 15th April to 7:26 AM on 16thApril. Since the Amavasyant Calender is followed in South India, it is also celebrated as Shani Jayanti.
Vaishakh Amavasya Katha
According to the Hindu religious books, once there was a religious man named Dharmavarna. He never disobeyed the verdicts of saints and sages. One day, a priest appeared before him and told him that the biggest 'Punya' that is a holy act in this Kalyug can be earned by worshiping Lord Vishnu.
Benefit equivalent to the Yagnas performed in the Satyug can be earned only by worshiping God Vishnu's name in this Kalyug. Delighted to hear this, he decided to become a sage. He renounced the world and all the worldly pleasures from then onwards and practiced celibacy.
After a long time of practice in meditation, he attained that perfection and he at once reached the Pitralok. Pitralok is the place where it is believed that the ancestors live after death. In the Pitralok , Dharmvarna saw that his ancestors were not at all happy and were living in miserable conditions.
Depressed to see this, Dharmavarna rushed to one of his ancestors and asked them the reason for their condition.
He came to know that his renunciation of the world was responsible for their condition. Since he had become a Sanyasi, he was now not eligible for performing the ritual of Pinda Daan, which is done for one's Pitras, that is the ancestors in the Pitralok.
He inquired as to what the remedy was now. The ancestor told him that to get them out of this miserable condition, he has to take up the materialistic life again, get married and have kids. After that, he will become eligible to perform the holy ritual of Pinda Daan, which will then relieve them of that suffering.
Hearing all this, Dharmavarna took his ancestor's permission and returned to the Prithviloka, the earth, that is, he came out of the state of meditation. He now decided to do as directed by the ancestors in order to help them. When he had taken the materialistic life again, he could perform the Pinda Daan.
Vaishakh Amavasya Puja Vidhi
Vaishaskh Amavasya is the day to worship the ancestors and pay homage to our forefathers. One must get up early before sunrise and take a holy bath. The holy bath must preferably be taken in a holy river, however, some people also do it at home, as taking a bath before sunrise is itself considered auspicious. After the bath, one must worship the Sun God, and offer him water and pour sesame seeds in running water. Consider the same for Peepal tree also after that. Peepal tree is also worshiped in the Hindu religion.
There is also a provision of donations. So, one may donate items of use amongst the poor and needy as per one's ability.
So, this Vaishakh Amavasya, let us take a break from the busy life and give a day of gratitude to our ancestors. Let us thank them for having brought us into the beautiful world that we are in today.