Earliest description of tarpan in vedic literature comes from srI suktaM ” आर्द्रां ज्वलंतीम् तृप्ताम् तर्पयन्तीम् “ meaning
“One who is satisfied and who satisfies those who offer Her tarpaNa”. It is a vedic practice in which offerings are made to divine entities ( devtA , pitrU , rishIs ). Following is tarpaNa prayoga for kAThaka shAkhA , the prayogaM is prevalent among the kashmirI panDitas .Although prayogaM have instructions in hindI bhAshA but , nearest translation is given below .[ mUla prayoga with full mantras is in final section ]
” After bath (snAna ) person should sit facing north /east direction. Reciting sAvitrI thrice he should wash his yagnopavItaM ( while keeping it in between right and left thumbs ) , then he should recite यज्ञोपवीतम्० mantra and wear yagnopavItaM , after wearing he should say यज्ञोपवितमसि०.Then he should perform vinIyoga and nyAsa of Asana mantra पृथिवी त्वं०.After saying mantra he should offer two flowers / dharbhaM to earth, then namaskAra to earth is performed. Using mantra तीर्थे०
he should sprinkle water on himself and using mantra वसोपवित्रमसि० he should wear pavitrakas .By आत्मने० mantra he should wear tilaka.Now he should worship lamp ( ratna dipa ) by स्वयंप्रकाशे० mantra and incense (ratna dhupa ) by वनस्पतिरसो ० mantra. Then arghya to surya bhagvAna is made by नमो ० mantra then this arghya water is removed from pAtra by mantra यात्रास्ति० .Now the actual process of tarpan starts .He should recite ॐ नमो ब्रम्हणे नमो ०.( In tarpaNa pAtra he should make a shatakoNa structure ) By savyaM he should offer waters to gods using mantra नमो देवेभ्य:०
and by kanThopvitI to rishIs using mantra स्वाहा :ऋषिभ्य: ०
and to pitrUs in apsavyamM by reciting samkalpa vAkya ॐ तत्सत्० then he should pour water in a pAtra .Then gratitude is offered to lord ”
1) Those who don’t known their gotra can use bhArgava gotra .
2) Those who don’t know nakshtrA can use rohiNI nakshatrA .
3) Those who don’t know date of death , srAddha can perform tarpaNa/ srAddha on any amAvasya .
Ritual manual of satIsara vidvAnas.