Describing the importance of amavasya, sage Mahatapa told Prajapal- “Once, while lord Brahma was just about to commence the process of creation, suddenly ‘tanmatras’ (subtle forms of matter) revealed themselves from his mind. All of them being extremely virtuous were eager to go up in the sky to do penance because lord Brahma requested them to become the ‘pitras’ (ancestors) of the human beings. All the tanmatras then requested Brahma to make arrangement for their sustenance. Lord Brahma blessed them by saying- ‘I assign to you the auspicious day of amavasya. Anybody who performs the rituals of ‘tarpan’ (libation) on this day would become absolved of his sins. You would sustain yourselves on various things like water, sesame seeds, and kusha grass which are offered by human beings to their ancestors on this day.’

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