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Essence Of
Dharma Sindhu
26    SHRAADDHA PRAKARANA

Shraaddha Shabdaartha: Pretaan Pitrunapyuddhishya bhojyam yatpriyamaatmanah, Shraddhayaa deeyatey yattu tacchaadram parikeertiyam/ That was how Marichi Maharshi defined the shabda of Shraaddha. Pitraadinmrutaanuddhishya vihitey kaaley deshey Pakkannaamaanna hiranyaananyata mudrayasya vidhaanaa daanam Shraaddham/ (Shraddha is denoted as the offerings to a dead parent at the prescribed time of death by way of Cooked rice and Suvarna- Dravya daana). Homascha Pinda daanam cha tathaa Brahmana Bhojanam, Shraddha shabdaadidheyam syaadekaminnoupachaarikam/  (In this Karma, the significant parts are Agnoukarana, Pinda daana and Brahmana Bhojana. These are the integral and formal parts). Even if there is some deficiency of Sankalpa Vidhi and Pinda Daanas, Bhojanaadis are indeed the essentials. Brahmanaarchana is very important to Rigvedis, Pinda Daana is essential to Yajurvedis and Saama Vedis. In any case : Ashraddhayaa Pitaro nasanteeti matwaa Shraddha kurvaanasya riktam Pitarah pibanti/ (Those who have Naastika Buddhi and Ashraddha or        dis-belief and intolerance ignoring the Shraaddha Karma would be targetted by Pitru Devatas by drinking their blood eventually!) Shraaddha Bhedas: Shraddhas are of four types: Paarvana, Ekoddhishta, Naandi Shraaddha and Sapindeekarana. The Paarvana vidhis are of three categories: One is performed to the dead father-mother etc. called Pratyaabda or done on the Tithi annually and this involves only one Paarvana; those which are performed on Amaavasayaadis of ninety six times a year as Nitya Shraddhaas as also of  Mahalaya and Anvashtaka Shraddhaas involve  two Parvanas since they are addressed to Sapatneeka Pitaadis and Sapatneeka Maataadis; and the Third Parnava is for those involving Sapatneeka Mataa mahaadis. Ekoddhishta:This has one ‘Uddeshya’( target) of one Pinda only.This is of three kinds viz. Nava Sanjnaka, Nava Mishra Sanjnaka and Purana Sanjnaka. The Nava Sanjnaka or Ahnika Shraddha is as per the count of the day of death to that of the Tenth and thus called the Nava Sanjnaka / Ahnika Ekoddhishta; the Nava Mishra Sanjnika or Ahnika as per the count from the Ekadasha to the Nunaabda Paryanta is called Nava Mishraka /Ahnika Ekoddhishta; this is without Vishvadeva. The Purana Sanjnaka Shraadda is in reference to the younger brother’s death  by Shastras and is held on the Chaturdashi Tithi of the death by way of Ekoddhista nature. Some call it ‘Sapindaananta Parvana Purana Sanjnaka’. Nandi  Shraaddha: This is performed on the auspicious occasions of Putra Janma, Vivaahaas etc. and is called Vriddhi Shraaddha. This is also performed in connection with Pumsavana- Seemantaas, Aadhaana and Soma Yaga and such other Karmaanga or Ishti Shraddhaas  in which Kratu Daksha Sanjnikaas  are Vaishva Devas; this is of Vriddhi Sanjnaka in which Satya and Vasu  Vishvedevaas. In this, one has Parvana Trayaas. This is because of another reason viz. that on the twelfth day of the dead one has to perform Arghya and Sapindeekarana and here too there would be Shraddha by way of Parvana and Ekoddhishta. Now to three kinds of Shraddhaas,viz. Nittya-Naimittika-Kaamyaas. Nitya is a daily routine and in this case Parvana Dwaya and Vishva devas are not involved as explained above. The Naimittika Shraddha is what is performed at the Solar and Lunar Eclipses and this involves Shad Devatas; and the Kaamya Shraddha is what is peformed out of volition and desire seeking a benefit like the Vratas on the Panchamis and in the Nakshatras like Krittika. Shraaddha Deshaas:Shraddhas are to be performed in the Dakshina Disha on a clean, cow dung washed, and without unclean material like worms, hair, bones and other doshas. This could preferably be done in Tirtha Pradeshaas like Kuru Kshektra, Prabhasa, Pushkara, Prayaga, Kashi, Ganga, Yamuna, Narmadaanadi Teeraas; Naimisha Vana, Ganga Dwara, Gaya Seersha, Akshaya Vata and such illustriuous Places. It is stated: Shamipatra pramaanena Pindamdayadgayaa shirey, Uddareytsapta gotraani Kulamekottaram shatam/  (In Gaya, even if a small Shami-Patra sized Pinda is given away Seven Generations-full of Pitrus would get liberated!)  Pitaa Maaaaaatacha Bharyaacha Bhagini Duhitaa tathaa, Pitru Maatrushvasaa chaiva Sapta Gotraanivai Viduh/ (The Seven Gotraas of Father, Mother, Sister, Aunt and Mother’s Sister are of Sapta Gotras; once counted, these Gotras respectively consitute twenty four, twenty, sixteen, twelve, eleven, ten, and eight male members totalling one hundred and one and indeed all these would be liberated. Of these, the members of the Pitru Kula would be twenty four ie twelve of them in the Poorva and another twelve in the Paraa generations! Moreso: Tulasi kaanaanacchaayaa Shaalagraaasya Sannidhih, Chakraanchitasya Saannidhyameshu yatkriyatey Nareh/ Snaanam Daanam Tapah Shraaddham Sarvamakshayyataam vrajet/ (The cool shades of Tulasi Gardens, the propitious Manifestation of Shalagrama Shilas signifying Bhagavan Himself, and the Presence of Chakraankita, besides the countless Snaana-Daana-Tapa and Shraddha Karmas would indeed bestow an Endless Auspiciousness!) Such indeed is the Signficance of Shraaddhas! ShraaddhaNishiddha Desha-Kaalaas: Places occupied by Cows, Horses, Elephants and other animals or where Persons like Mlecchaas visit frequently are certainly prohibited to perform Shraaddhas. If performed in other’s houses, then the Pitruganas of that house would claim part of the Phala. If need be, the house owner be given compensation before hand. Forests, mountains, River Beds, Siddha Grihaas, Caves and such uninhabited Places are convenient for the purpose. Shraddha should never be performed with Eka Vastra, or Jala Madhya, or in a House Top; in fact any Karma involving Shruti-Smriti Karyas are forbidden in such circumstances. As regards the Shraaddha Timings,  it is well known and as mentioned in the previous pages, the appropriate Shraaddha Kaalaas include Amavasyas, Sankrantis, Yugaadis, Manvaadis, and Mahalayaas; additionally the following are being added:  Maha Tirthas, Vyatipata Yoga, Chandra-Surya Grahana Dinaas, availability of Shrotriya and Pandita Brahmanas, Ardhodaya, Kapila Shashthi, Alabhya Yogaas, Graha peeda, Dusswapna darshana, Navaanna Praapti Dina, Nutana Jala Labhyata and such other Nimitta-Shraddha Kaalaas. Shraaddhaas in the PadmaYoga or the time-junction of Vishti- Vyatipaata-Ravi -Vaaraas are stated to be more fruitful-ie. four times more- than even Uttaraayana Kaala Karyas. In fact, Sharaaddhaas are  to be observed in every Krishna Paksha; one view is that in the Paksha, Shraddha be done daily; others say Panchami onward Shraddha Karma is fruitful; another view is that in the Krishna Paksha at least on Darsha Shradda be done. Darsha Shraaddha: In the event of inability of performing Darsha Shraaddha every day in the month, it may be done at least on the days when Surya is not present in Kumbha-Kanya-Vrisha ie on three days, at least without Homaagni and with Pinda Pitru Yagna; in that way, only Brahmana Bhojana and dhana- dhanya daanas are required. Further, in Krishna Pakshaas in a year, Mahalaya Paksha  is stated to be of far reaching significance. In this connection, attention on Mahalaya Pakshas in the Bhadrapada Maasa be drawn in the previous pages of the Dwiteeya Pariccheda of this very Script). If during the fifteen day period of Mahalayas, be there an occurrence of Ashoucha unfortunately, there might be a Mahalaya Viphalata or failure. Hence, after the Ashoucha period and of Shuddhi, even one day’s Mahalaya Shraddha be observed. Likewise, if there is inability to observe the Mahalaya Paksha Shraaddhas from Panchami onward  due to any reason, one could perform the Shraddhas through a representative rather than fully losing the opportunity of a Year! In the event of a dead paternal uncle or elder brother having no sons, it would be opportune that during  the Mrita Tithis of the concerned departed ones, Mahalaya Shraddhaas be performed by assuming the role of a Jeeva Pitra and offering a Paarvana only.  Also one could perform Shraddhas on any of the twelve Purnimas occuring in a Year, especially the Maagha, Shaavana, Bhadrapadaas. Also, Shraddhas could be executed on any Krishna Praatipadaas or during Krittika upto Bharani days, or during Vishkam -bhaadi Yogas or during ‘Babaadi’ Karanaas. Thus several Maasa-Paksha-Dina-Nakshatra Yogas are among the fruitful timings to perform Shraddhaas, provided one’s desire and determination is assured!

Saamvatsarika – Maasika Shraddha Nirnaya: Having given an account of the meaning of Shraddha, Shraaddha Bheda-Nishiddhas and Shraaddha Desha-Kaalaas, now would be a decision of Yearly and monthly Shraddhaas. To facilitate that decision, one might divide a day into fifteen Muhurtas while three Muhurtas each comprise five sections of a day, viz. Praatah Kaala, Sangava kaala, Madhyaahna, Aparaahna, and Sayaahna. Of a Muhurta, the Fifteenth Part of a Day, the Saptama Muhutra is Gandharva Sanjnika, the eighth Muhurtha is of Kutapa, and the Ninth Muhurta is Rohina Sanjnika. Darshaadi Shraddha Nirnayas are often in these Time-Slots. Since Katyayanadi Saagjnikas decided to carry out the three Karmas viz. Anvaadhana, Pinda Pitru Yagna and Darsha Shraaddha on the same day, then the day has to devote itself to the three Karmas and as such the turn of Darsha Shraddha would necessarily have to occupy the third slot of the day ie. during the Aparaahna. Hence the Ekoddhshta has to be performed during the Saptama-Ashtama-Navama Muhurtas that is in the Madhyana or in the Kutapa-Rouhina Sanjnas  or the Ashtama-Navama Muhurthas as these are the Mukhya Kaalaas for the purpose. This Tithi has therefore to be considered as of Purva Dina although it has spread out to Para Dina technically. In the context of Purva-Para Dina, the determinant factor is Madhyahna Sparsha or Madhyahna Vyapti and thus the Dina Dwaya argument is decided in favour of the Purva Dina. In any case, Paarvana Shraddha has to be of Aparaahna Praapti. In fact, this Kshaya Dina Nirnaya dispute is common in most of the Pratyabdika,Maasika, MritaTithis.Also in Shraaddhas, Bharanyadi Nakshatra and Vyatipata yogas, the Parana Shraaddhas have got to be of Aparahna Vyapti. Some say that a Nakshatra of Shukla Paksha be a ‘UdayaVyapi’and  should be extended to Krishna Paksha’s ‘Astama Vyapi’and the Yoga be taken as of Kutapaadi  Kaala and as such Parvana Shraddha be within the Kutapaadi Pancha Muhurtas. But Parvana should in any case be forbidden at Saayaahna and Raatri nor at the Praatah or Sangava Muhurtas. However Parvana in respect of Pinda Pitru Yagna could be done at the Saayaahna too. If for any definite reason, there might be obstacles to complete the Saamvatsarika Shraaddha, then as a very distinct  exception it could be accompished latest by the First Prahara of the Raatri, since any extension of the Marana Dina of the person whose Shraaddha is under reference would be fraught with ‘Chandalatwa dosha’! And this has  to be kept in view by all the concerned participants of the Shraddha Karma! Shraaddhas in connection with Grahanas, Darshaas, Maasikas, Vaarshikas and so on need to be performed on the same day either by way of Anna Shraaddha or Dravya or Hiranya but not on the next day. Prathamaabdika may even be performed in the Trayodhashika Mala Maasa. The Dwadashika Maasika would be in Shudda Maasa and thus the Prathamaabdika be reckoned as in the Trayodashika Mala Maasa. If Adhika Maasa occurs in Dwadasha Maasas, then the Chaturdasha Shuddha Maasa be considered as Prathamaabdika. In Dwiteeyaadi or Mala Maasaas too dwiraavritti be performed and the Pratyabdika in Shuddha Maasa only. In the same way, Mahalaya Shraddha be performed in Shuddha Maasa and not in Adhika Maasa. In case the death occurred in Mala Maasa then again when that Mala Maasa recurs,  the Pratyabika would be performed in that Adhika Maasa only and not in Shuddha Maasa. If on the Darsha Dina itself, the Vaarshika dina falls, the latter be done first and then the Pinda Pitru Yagna and then Darsha Shraadha with Anna Paaka. Alternatively, first perform Pinda Pitru Yagna and then Paaka Yukta Darsha Shraaddha. In respect of  the Maasikaadi Shraddhaas too, the same procedure be followed. This is the Prathama Vaarshika Vichaara. After Sapindeekarana, for three years the ‘Shraaddha-Maatra Bhojana should not be consumed: Sapindeekaranaa dvurdhvam Yaavadabda trayam bhavet, Taava Deva na bhoktavyam tadeeye Shraaddha Maatrakam/ Prathamaabdesthyaadi bhojee dwiteeye Maamsa bhakshakah Triteeye Rakta bhojeesya- cchuddham Shaddham chaturthakey/ ( For the first three Shraarthaas, Shraaddha Maatra Prasada should not be consumed for three years successively since that bhojana is to be considered as that of the departed Soul’s bones, the second year as his ‘maamsa’and the third like his blood; there after in the Chaturtha Shradda, the Bhojana would have been purified and eatable). Paarvana Shraadha consists of two parts, one is Suvaranaanna and Aamaanna or the Golden half and the Ordinary half and thus the first part be considered as suitable for the Shraaddha purpose. For all types of Shraaddha, the Time and Tithis are specified.  Vriddhi Shraaddhaas: The specified time is in Praatah Kaala or Sangava Kaala; Madhyahna Kaala is stated to be Gouna Kaala and Aparagna Kaala is forbidden. If a Vivaha is scheduled in the night, the Vriddhi Shraaddha which needs to be done in Pratah Kaala could as well be done in the night. ‘Grahana nimitta Parvana Shraaddha’ and ‘Putrajanma nimittika-Jaata karmaanga Vriddhi Shraaddha’ could also be performed in the night. Pitru Shraddhaas: These are performed by Putras addressed to Pitru-Maataas by specifically detailing the Naama- Gotraas by Mantras as these are instantly responded; Pitraadis present themselves in different forms as Devatas in Deva Swarupa; as Gandharvas in Bhogyata Rupa;  Pashutwa in Trina / Grass Swarupa; Sarpatwa in Vayu Rupa; Yakshtaswa as Paana Rupa, Danavatwa in Maamsa Rupa, Preatatwa in Rudhira Roopa, Manushyas in Anna Rupa and so on. Tasyatey Pitarasshrutwaa Shraddha Kaalamupasthitam, Anyonyam Manasaadhwaataa Sampatanti Manojavaah,Tey Brahmanaih Sahaashnanti Pitaro Vaayu rupinah/ (As soon as the Shaaddha Karta invokes the Pitru Devatas at the Shraaddha Kaala in his own mind, the latter would arrive instantly by the speed of wind and eat the Shraddha Bhojana along with Brahmanas.) This is how, it is stated that when Shri Rama performed Shraddha, Devi Sita witnessed Dasharatha in the form of  Brahmanas! At the end of the Rainy season, the belief is that Yama Raja empties the Yama Loka and allows the Pretas and Pitru Devatas to line up to Bhu Loka who await the opportunity to enjoy the Payasa-Madhu Bhojana and having waited till such time Surya is in Kanya Raashi at the Putra dwaara till that time upto Amavasya and in the event of no offer for Shraddha being made by the Putras  return back to Yama Loka with immense disappointment and curses to the Putras! That is why the Putras need to perform Shraddha as per one’s own ability by offering even Kanda-Moola-Phalas or at least Jala Tarpanas! The Bhuta Prapancha from Brahma to Krimi-Keetakas would be contented by such Shraddha Karmas, since what is significant is to make the Shraaddha with Shraddha. Preta-Pitrus as Pischaacha Swarupas are satisfied with even Vikiraanna, Vrikshaadi Swarupas are satisfied with Snaana-Vastrodakaas, and other Pitras crave even for Ucchishta Pindaas! Shraaddha Devata Vichara:  The Karta should meditate Pitru Pitamaha Parapitaamahaas in Vasu-Rudra Aaditya Swarupa by way of each Paarvana and in Ekoddhisdhta Prakaara perform Sarva Shaartha in the formof Vasu Rupa. Some consider Pitru-Pitamaha- Prapitaamahas as Pradyumna-Sankarshana- Vaasu Deva Swarupas. Some others pray to them as Varuna- Prajapati-Agni Rupaas. Still others consider as Maasa-Ritu-Vatsara Rupas. Pitraadi parvanam yatra tatra Maataa Mahaadayah, Sarvatraivahi Kartavyaanaabdikey Maasikeshucha/ Maasikeshu twaabdikey cha Tri Daivatyam prakeertitam, Vriddhou Teertheynvashtakaasu Gayaayaamcha Mahaalaye/ Tripaarva -naka matreshtam shesha shat pourusham viduh/ ( Wherever Pitraadi Parvana is done then always Maataamahaadis are always to be included; however, in Masikas and Vaarshikas the Mataamahadis are not required since on these occasions there is the concept of Tri Daivatwa only. In Vriddhi Shraaddha, Tirtha Shraaddha, Anvashtaka Shraddha, Gaya Shraddha and Mahalaya Shraddha, the TriParvanaka Shraddha is preferred. In respect of the rest Shatpourusha Shraddha is understood;) Sapatnika Pitaadi, Sapatnika Maataadi would total Shatpourushas.  Kshayaaham varjiyitwaikam Streenaam naasti Prithakkriya,  Anvashtakaasu Vriddhou cha Gayaayaamcha Kshayehani, Atra mMaauh Pruthak Shraaddha manyatra Patinaasaha/ (The basic rule is that excepting when the Shraddha of a mother is performed exclusively on her Mrita Tithi, otherwise Strees have no role in any of the Mantras of the Shraddha Proceedings; they however figure again in the case of Anvashtaka -Vriddhi-Gaya Shraaddhas); in other words, the mention of Strees is  the only way of Saptneeka- Ucchaarana otherwise.    

Vishwa Devas: Unless specified in the context of Parvana Shraaddhas, the Vishwa Devas are of the Pururava-Ardrava Sanjnikas. In Kaamya Shraaddhaas, the Vishwa Devas are known as Dhuri-Vilochanaas. In the Naimittika Shraaddhaas and in Ashtakaa Shaaddhas done on Ashtami Tithis, the Vishwa Devas are called of Kaama-Kaala Sanjnikas. In Ekoddishta-Sapindikarana-Naimittika Shraaddhaas, the Vishwa Devas are of Satya Vasu Sanjnikas. In respect of Naandi Shraaddha as the Anga or Component of Garbhaa daana-Pumsavana-Seemantonnayana Samskaaras as also the Ishti Shraadha Sanjna Naandi Shraddhas as the Anga in Agnyaadhaana Soma Yaagaas, the Vishwa Devas are called of Kratu- Daksha Sanjnikas. In the eventuality of one’s father and maternal grand father being alive but not his mother, then the Nandi Shraddha is to be done only addressed to Maatru Parvana, then there would not be the need for Vishwa Deva at all. Similarly in the case of Pitraadi Paarvana Traya, if Maatru Paarvana Shraaddha is also coincidental, then too the Naandi Shraaddha would not have any Vishwa Deva. But Naandi Shraadha is required to be done with three Parvanas on three days in the  exigency; alternatively three Parvanas be done on the same day but separately.

Brahmanas  for Shraddhas: Uttama Brahmaanas are considered as experts in Veda-Vedaanga-Meemaamsa-Purana-Dharma Shastra-Karma- Tapo-Yoga-Nityagnis and Pitru Maatru Guru Sevaka-Shiva Vishnu Bhaktas. Madhyama Brahmanaas are Bandhus, Sagotras and Mitras otherwise qualified as among the Utaama Brahmanas to a good extent.The Varjita Brahmanas are Rogis, Anga viheenaas, Nastikas and of questionable conduct and background.

Shraaddhaarha Dravyaas: Kushaa Mukhyaajha, Kushaabhaavey Kaasha Durvousheera Trunaadayah,Tatra Kaashou Durvaarbhivaa kruta Pavitra hastonaachamet/  (Kushas are indeed important but in their absence Kaasa or Durva be used but cannot  perform Achamana  by wearing Pavitra). Two Pavitraas of Darbhaas be worn on the right Anaamika Finger. All the Karyas like Snaana-Daana-Homa- Swaadhyaaya-PitruKarmaadis must be accompanied with the Pavitra and not otherwise. The requirement is that in the Asana there should be two kushas, in Pitru Karma one should have moola-sahita chaturdarbhaas and in Daiva KarmaAgraYukta Darbhas of small size.   It is said that all the Pitru Karmaas upto Sapindikarana stand proof by the darbhas worn by the Karta as prescribed. The Prescription states: Yecha Pindaashritaa Darbhaayaihkrutam PitruTarpanam, Mala Mootrotsarga kaley Mala Mutraadya medhaaa Maargeybidaa Yangabhumou sthitaaye starana -asaney, Brahma Yagnenaye darbhaastyaa gaa haassarva yevátey/ ( Darbhaas as recycled after use on the Pindaas, after Pitru Tarpanaas, picked up at or handled by the self or others at the Bahirbhumis or otherwise, say at Smashanas or Yagna Bhumis or discarded after Brahma Yagnas should never ever be utilised again). It is stated that the Pavitras made of Kushas and Durvas are not even of the worth of sixteenth of those made of Gold!

Shraaddha Havi/Bhojana Padaartha:Vreehi Yava Tila Maasha Godhumashyaamaakapriyangu mrudaga sarshapaah prashastaa, chanako vikalpitha, Yaavanaalopi vikalpitah/ ( Dhanya, yava, tila, maasha, wheat, chaama, mustard are essential, while Chanakaadi are also useful). Agodhumancha  yacchhaartham Musha mudgavi varjitam, Taila pakvena rahitam krutamapya krutam bhavet/                        ( Shraaddha is considered as a waste without the products of Godhuma, Musha, Mudgavi and cooked padardhas in oils). Patolam badarama amalakam Kharjuriphalam chichaadrakam shunthi moolakam Draaksha Lavgangailaa patrakaani jeerakam hingu daadimaphalamikshuh sharkaraa gudam karpuram Saindhava Saamudrey Lavaney poogiphalamTaambula patramiti Shraaddhey proktaani haveemshi, Gavey Dadhi dugdhey Ghritam Gavyam Mahishamcha/ ( Cucumber,  jujubi fruit, Myrobalan, Date fruit, tamarind, ginger, radish, draksha or grapes, cloves, cardamom, jeera, hing or asafoetida, poagranate, sugar cane, sugar, jaggery, camphor, Sea Salt, arica nut / betel nut, betel leaves, cow / buffalo’s milk- curd- ghee etc. Such is the illustrative list of materials that could be offered as Havish to Agni in the Shraaddha Karmas).   In all the Ishta Purti Karyas, Mrita Tithis, Darsha-Vriddhi and Ashtaka Shraaddhhaas, Yogya Brahmanas can never be offered ‘Dushta Bhojana’. Such Bhojanas must include ideal Bhakshya- Bhojya-Lehya- Choshya- Rasa-Paaneeyas. Kathamchidyaadi Viprebhypona dattam bhojaney Madhu, Pindaastu naiva daatavyaah kadaachin -madhunaa bina/ ( In whatever way if honey is not offered in Brahmana Bhojana or on Pindas the offering is utterly inadequate). Referring to the quality of drinking water, it is stated: Durgandhi phenilam kshaaram pankilam pallavodakam, Nabhaveydyatra Gotruptirnaktam yacchaapahritam Nagraahyam tajjalam Shraaddhey yacchaa bhojyani paanajam/ (The water which suffers from foul smell, frothy, pungent to drink, muddy, and from a small pond which could not satisfy even a cow, stored overnight is indeed undrinkable in Shraaddhas). Daaturyadyat priyantatthaddeyam nindyam na cheddhitam, Ajaavi Mahishi kheeram tad vikaaraam cha varjyayet/  (Whichever material is normally longed for might all be offered and whatever is not liked be avoided!) Dharma Sindhu gives a very comprehensive and meticulous list of the  do’s and don’ts of the Shraaddha Bhojana!

Shraaddha Dina Krityaas: The Shraaddha Pradesha has to be purified with Gomaya and water and readied in all respects to facilitate proper seating arrangements to Brahmanas and the Karta(s). There  should not be any eating allowed in the house till the act of Pinda Daana and Brahmana Bhojana; this has to be ensured as even Devatas, Yatis, Brahmacharis and even children; to very young kids, there has to be provision of food service in a neighbour hood or so. The entire place of Shraddha should be spread over with Tilas. The Anna Paaaka is to be cooked preferably by the a Karta or wife or close relatives. The cooking of the Paaka should be of any metal excepting iron or preferably in new earthen pots. Excepting iron vegetable cutter and cooking utensils, the cooking place has to be non-cluttered. Grihyaagnoutu pachedannam  Shraadheeyam Loukikepivaa, Yasminnagnou pachedannam tasmin homo vidheeyati/  (Shraaddha Paaka could be cooked in Gruhyaagni or Lokaagni but the homa has to be made to the same Agni.) Cooking in the Aouposhanaagni is in fact the best possibility. Further to the Pratah kaala homa, some Agni is added to the Agni in which the Shraaddha Paaka is cooked. After the Paaka is cooked, some Agni is added to the Gruhyaagni and  ‘Agnoukarana Vaishwa Devaadika’ performed. This is the method followed by the Kaatyaayanas of cooking the Gruhyaagni Paaka. Ashvaalaayanas however make the Paaka in the Upachayaagni itself. Now the Kartru Bhoktru niyamas: Both the Karta and the Bhoktas have the regulations of avoidance of Stree Sangama on the Shraddha Dina and the Purva Dina, Punar bhojana, Anruta bhashana, Kshavara, and Taambula Bhakshana.  Shraaddha krucchuklavaasaasayaan   mouneecha vijitendriyah, Upavaasam Paraa na mcha Aoushadham cha vivarjatet/ ( Shraaddha Karta wear clean clothing, keep silent, exercise Self-Control, discard outside Bhojana and avoid medicines). Both the Karta and the Bhoktas must follow a dress code : Avastram Malavadvastram Koupeenatvam kaccha heenatwam Anuttaree -yatwam Kaashaaya vastratwamaar dravastratwam dwiguna Vastratwam Rakta Vastratwam Dagdha –vastratwam Syuta vastratwamititye kaadashaavam ardha nagnatwam Katrtru bhoktuyaam Varjyem/ (Thefollowing Eleven ways of dress code viz. Vastra heenata, impure vastra, koupeena, kaccha heenatwam, anuttareeyam, Kashaaya Vastra, wet clothing, double vastra, red clothing, burnt clothing, and sewn clothing should be discarded.) Kartha’s Urthwa Pundraadika Tilaka and Bhokta’s Tilaka are optional.Chandana Tilakas are however forbidden to Karta. Aamantritastuyo viprou bhoktumanyatra gacchati, Narakaanaam shatam gatwaa chandaaleshwabhijaayetey/ Aamantritastu yasshraaddhey vilambam kurutey dwijah Devadrohi Pitru drohi pachyatey narakeshu sah/ (If the Brahmana Bhokta who has accepted the invitation to a Shraaddha goes away to another Shraddha would be punished  in several Narakaas and gets repeated births of Chandalatwa). Similarly, the invited Brahman arrives late for the Shraaddha too would be punished like wise. Both the Karta and Bhoktaas should strictly observe the regulation of fasting on the previous and the same night besides restraint from stree sangama. They should not quarrel but practise refrain from loud and loose talk. The women engaged in the Shraddha Karma especially in the cooking should also observe quietness in all respects, lest the visiting Pitru Devatas are bound to get disappointed with the  visit to the Shraaddha.


Shraaddha Brahmana Sankhya: While the requirement of Brahmanas might be nine ( Two to represent Vishva Devas+ three for the representation of  Pitru Devas of three generations + four for Pitru Parvanas), there might be a dispensation of three Brahmanas minimum in view of the following viz. Satkriyaam Desha Kaalou cha drayva Braahmana sampadam, Shoucham cha vistaaro hanti, Iti Pakshye Ashaktou vaa Devai Ekah Pitru parvaney chaika iti Dwou Viprou/ (Keeping in view the Satkara, Desha, Kaala, Dravya, availability of Brahmanas and limitations of Shoucha, there could be one in Deva Sthaana and one for Pitru Sthana). Bhagavata Purana also confirmed as follows: Dwou Daivey Pitru karye Tri nekaikamubhayatravaa, Bhojayetsusamruddhyopi na kuryaacchaadra vistaram/ (Representation of Vishwa Devaas could be two or one,  and for Pitru Parvana one might replace three Brahmanas; even if a Karta could afford, one should not extend it beyond). ‘Vishwa Devaartha dwaya’ Brahmanas be seated Purvamukha and the Pitru Parvanas as Uttaraamukha and offer  the Anna to Agni meant for Vishwadevaas.For Pitru Parvana, one Vipra is adequate.  In case of the limitation of Brahmanas, then Brahmacharis wearing Kushas might state ‘Presha’ and once the reply of Anupresha is secured from the Brahmanas, then Bramahmacharis might as well  participate in the Shraaddha proceedings further till the end. Thus the problem of Brahmana Sankyha could be overcome. Having made the selection, the Karta addresses the Brhmanas as follows: Akrodhanai ssoucha paraissatatam Brahma vaadibhih, Bhavitavyam bhavadbhis chamaya cha Shraaddha  kaarinaa/  (Hey Brahmanas! As I should be,  you too should kindly be with maximum cleanliness  and more importantly, without anger and peacefulness in the various Karyaas ahead).

Some basic precautions in the Shraddhas:While performing Archana to Vaishwadevas, the Karta has to bend  his knee and at the Pitru Sthaana the left knee. All concerned Daiva Kriyas are to be performed with ‘Pradakshina’ from left to right and the Pitru Karyas with ‘Apradikshina’. Darbhas being given at the Pitru Sthaana be so done that they are in twos that too twisted, while in Deva Sthana there is no need  for doing the twist of darbhas. While leaving water at the Deva Sthaana the Karta should be ‘Uttaraabhimukha’ or facing the North but at the Pitru Sthaana he should be ‘Dakshinaamukha’. While making Sankalpa, offering Padya-Asana- Avahana-Arghyadaana- and Aacchaadana viz. the Panchopachaaras to Pitra Devatas as also at Anna daana-Pinda daana-Anjanaabhyanjana, Akhshaya Vaachaka and Swadhaa Vachana, the Karta has to state the Pitra Sambandha-Gotra –Namas clearly and separately in respect of the generations; Sakaarena tu vaktavyam gotram sarvatra dheemata/  Hence the Karta would have to utter as example: Haridasa Gotra/ In respect of Brahmanas the suffix of Sharma be added to the concerned name of the Pitras.If the Karta does not remember the names of the further generations at least the ‘Uccharana’of Pitru-Patamaha-Prapitamaha designations be stated clearly. In respect of Ashwalaayanaas the concerned three generations are given as Prithivishat-Antarikshasat-Divishat/ In the case of Strees the suffixes to the concerned names are Savitri Da-Devidaa-Devidaa again. It is stated that the Shraaddha Karmas are fructified only when the Uccharanaas of the concerned Pitras are given with not only the name but also with Vibhakti Niyamaas.The Nirnaya is as follows: Shashti vibhaktyaa Sankalpah Kshaanaaschakashayya Karmacha, Shasthyaa vaasyaccaturthyaa vaasana daanaam Dwijataye/ Dwiteeyayataya vavaahanamsyaadwi Baktistu Chaturthikaa, Anna Daaney Pinda puja Swadaa swastiti Vaachaney/Pinda daaney tu Sambuddhiryechatvettetwaaditah puraa, Tatah Param Chaturdhicheytyubhayam Sarva sammatam/ Sheshaani Sarva Karmaani sambuddhyam tairyadha -ayudham, Idantey Idamvovaa prayujjaaiva samaacharet/ ( Shashthi Vibhakti is used in respect of Sankalpas and Kshana and Akshya Karmas; Chaturthi Vibhakti is used for Asanaa and other Services; Dwiteeya Vibhakti for Avaahana; Chaturthi Vibhakti is used in Anna daana, Pinda Puja, Swadhaa Vachana and Swasti Vachana. In the case of Pinda Daana Sambuddhi, the Prathma Vibhakti is used before the expression of Ye cha twaa and that would be followed by the Chaturthi Vibhakti. In case of other Karyas, the concerened Services would be as per the exigency stating : Sambudhyam etc.Daivaardha Kriyas are offered in Savya Position of the Upaveeta, but the Pitru Karyas with ‘Anupaveeta’ or ‘Praacheenaaveeti’ position. However, all the tasks intended for Vipraas are to be performed in the Savya position only. Savyena Daivam kramasyaadapasavyena Paitrukam, Vipra pradakshinam Vipra Swaagatam chaarghyadaanakam/ Suktastotra japonnasya Paatreshu pariveshanam, Aahwaanamanna syaaghraanam  tathaa cha Swasti Vaachanam/ Taambula Daana maaabhyaa Samaapteyriti Paitrukam, Pradakshinaadyetaduktam Savyenaivasamaacharet/ ( While all the Deva Karyaas are to be executed in the Upaveeta position, the Paitru Karyas are in Anupaveeta position. But all the Pitru Karyas addressed to Brahmanas right from Pradakshina-Swagata-Arghya daana-Anna Sukta Stotra Japa-Patrapariveshana-Aahvaana- Anna Ghraana-Swasti Vaachana- and Taamboola Daana should be performed in Savya itself.  A few other precautions in the Shraaddhas are that while doing ‘Pitraadyarchana’ the Karta has to commence the Archana from the head to shoulders to knees to feet where as the ‘Devaarchana’ should be the other way round ie. from feet to knees to shoulders to head. All the Pitru Kriyas -excepting  Akshayya, Aasana, and Arghya Daana- are required to be done with ‘Swadha Shabda’; in the case of Deva Pujas or oblations, the Swaha Shabda should be resounding! Yet another requirement is that Deva Tirtha is to be offered to Vaishwa Devas, while Pitru Tirtha is provided to Pitraadikas.

Aachamana Vidhi: At the commencement of the Shraddha, the Karta should do Aachamana twice, wash the feet of the Vipras and of the Self and do punarachamana. The Achamana Vidhi as prescribed is once each after Devarchana and Pitraarchana, Annaaghraana, Vikira daana;  twice on ‘Paada Prakshaalana’ at Shraaddhanta, once each at Bhasma kriyantara kara shuddi, Ucchintaraantara, and Bhojanaantara. Aachamana is also done when earlier darbha are replaced with fresh ones at the time of all the Karyas like Devatarchanas etc as mentionedas also at each Darbha Tyaga.

Uha Mantra   (Sentimental Feeling for to whom the Shaddha is performed for) : The Pitru Shabda   is all comprehensive as it covers the Three Generations of Pitrus and also implies the mother if dead and even if  her Shraddha is to be done separately; that is why it is enough to leave water in the Arghya Patra by the Mantra Pitroonimaan preenaya. Even in the Shundhana Mantra of Shundhantaam Pitarah Sundhantaam Pitaamaha Shundhatamm Pra-Pitaamaha, then the Karta would have to imply: Shundhantaam Maatarah/ Also while doing Pinda Daana even for the Karta’s mother only, the Mantra is stated to be Yechatwaa manuteybhyaschah  and not Yaaschatwaa manutaabhyascha/ This is due to the clarification of Panani Sutra of Pumaan Striyaam/ However there has been the practice in some parts of the Country that when the Shraddha of Mother is only performed separately then the Mantra is indeed used viz. Yaaschatwaa manutaabhyascha as the Uha Mantra as also the Shundhantaam Maatarah/ Then the invocation is: Asmaan Matarah Pitamahi Prapitaamahi/ In any case, the Uha Mantra Prakarana requires that Vishnu Mantra is to be recited at the beginning, midway and the end of Shraddha: Daivey Pitrecha sarvatra japa homaadi karmasu, Mounam kuryaatprayat- nena sakalam phalamaampuyaat/ YadiMounasyua lopasyaajjapa homaarchanaadishu, Vyaahaareyd-VaishnavamMantram smeredwaa Vishnumavyayam/ ( In the context of Deva Karyaas, Pitru Karyaas, Japa-Homa-Archanas, one should concentrate and be silent while seeking to  bridge gaps of deficiencies and perform Vishnu Japa!). The Sentiments being expressed within the mind of the Shraaddha Karta further seek the Shield of Vishnu even before the Shraddha is initiated to accomplish the Sacred Karya so that the possibilities of deficiencies in the Shraddha Karma ahead are covered up by his Grace in the following supplication: Yasya smrutyaacha naamoktaam tapo homa kriyaadishu, Nuunam sampurnataam yaati sadyo vandetamachyutam/ ( I salute the Ever Lasting Vishnu by way of Naamoccharana, Smriti, Tapo homa kriyaas to ignore the blemishes and insufficiencies of the Shraddha Karya that is being launched). 

Shraddha Prayoga:  The Shraaddha Karta would prepare himself by commending Pitru Devatas as he changes quickly into the positions of Savya and Apasavya of his Yagnopapeeta and makes a firm Sakalpa stating Etesha mamuka shraaddham Sa Daivam Sa Pindam Parvana Vidhinaa Ekoddhishteynavaa Annenaamena vaa hiranyena vasvassadyo vaa karishye/ ( I hereby resolve to perform the Shraaddha of the concerned Pitraas of my Kula Gotra Naamas of three generations by way of Sa Daiva-Sa Pinda-Parvana Vidhi or Ekoddhishta Vidhi through the means of Anna or Hiranya Rupaas at once). Then the Brahmanas present would assuringly accord ready approval replying kurushva/ Then the Karta bends his right knees as prescribed above and commences the Shraaddha instantly: Amuka Pitrunamuka Shraaddhey Amuka Vishwa Devartham twayaa kshanah kriyataam/  The Vipras would respond with  Om Tathaa/ Then the Karta would bend his left knee and address the Pitru Devatas saying Amuka Shraaddhey Amukasya sthaaney twayaa kshananah kriyataam/ In case there is one Brahmana representing the three Pitru Sthaannas of Pitru Pitamaha Prapitaamahaanaam Sthaaneykshanah / The Karta requests the Brahmana with Akrodha naih Shloka. The further proceedings include Brahmana Snaana; Tilodaka / Yavodaka Shuddhi as per family Aachaara or tradition; with Savya perform Shuddhi to the Brahmana with Prayaschittratha Sukti Japa and Karta’s pradakshina; namaskara with Samasta sampat sama; Aachamana;Praanaayama; and individual announcements of Bhavataam Swaagatam  to both the Brahmanas,one representing the Three Generations of Pitruganaas on one hand and the representative(s) of Devaas on the other.

Padya:  Either in the court yard or the back yard of the house or near the Shraddha Desha dwaara, there should be two  planks- one as a square in the northern direction as a Deva Mandala and another in ‘vartulaakaara’ or in a circular shape the Southern direction as Pitru Mandala to enable the ‘Padya’ to the feet of the Brahmanas designated for Deva and Pitru Devatas. To the Deva-Brahmana the Karta would sanctify with Gomaya the plank  with Savya position and to the Pitru Place in the opposite direction with Apasavya.Facing the Brahmanas the Karta would worship the Brahmana Padaas with darbha-Yava or sorghum or millets / tila or sesame -gandha-pushpa-ghrita by turns in the appropritae Sayva-Apasavya positions in the respective directions and stations. The Sankalpas would vary: To Devas as Amuka sanjnika Vishwa Deva Idamvah paadyam swaahaa namah followed by washing with Shuddha Jala the upper part of the feet of the Brahmana stating shannodevi ; and to Pitru Devas as Pitah Amuka naama rupa gotra Pitru Pitamaha Prapitaamah indavah paadyam swadhaanamah followed by washing the feet with Tila Gandhodaka stating  Shanno devi again. While washing the Deva-Paada the Kartha would utter Idam vah  and to Piru Paada the shabda Idamtey/ The Pavitra should be set aside from the Karta’s right hand while washing the feet of the Brahmanas. After the ‘Paadya’ the Karta too should wash his feet too and without mixing that water, perform Aachamana twice and conduct the Brahmanas to their respective seats saying Bhurbhuvasswaha samaadhwam/ The Daiva Vipra should face East  of the Karta and the Pitru Vipra be ‘Uttaraabhimukha’ always. The same procedure is followed for Matru Shraddha also.

Aasana: The Shraddha Bhoktas are seated on the Asasanas with Poorva-Dakshina Samaaptis or ending with East and South directions. ‘Devartha-Aasana’ should have two darbhas with Poorvaagra and ‘Pitrarthya-Aasana’ should have a single Darbha.There has to be a Ghrita / Taila Deepa on the right-left sides of the Deva-Pitru Vipras. Beside the Deva Sthaana there should be a Vishnu Sthaana with an anticipation of the arrival of a Guest in Vishnu Swarupa. That Sthaana should be worshipped  in Savya position chanting Apavitrah PavitrovaVaishnavyanamah,Kashyapainamah, Kshamaayai namah; Medini loka Maataatwam – the last prayer being to Bhu Devi; and to Gadadhara at Gaya Shraaddha Kshetra with: Tadvishnoh Paramam pradam tadvipraaso/ in Praacheenaa veeti. Later on the Karta chants Gayatri Mantra in Savya, does Praanayama, Tithi Keertana, and Sankalpa in Apasavya as follows:Amuka Pitruna mupakraantamamuka Shraaddham karishye and recite Devataabhyah Pitrubhyascha, Aamuktaanaancha Moortaanaam, Chaturbhischa yasya smritwaa/ thrice over.In Apasavya there would  be tila prokshana with Apahataa and Akshata Prokshana with Uddeerata in Savya. Further acts include Paavani Mantra Pathana, Paaka dravya prokshana with the Mantras Tadvishno / Ya ddeavaa; Vaishwa Devaarchana, Devarchanaa, and Pitryarchana. This would be followed by the Asana Grahana of the Vipras: first to the DevaVipra accepting two Darbhas from the Karta with Amukeshaam Vishweshaam Devaanaam  Bhurbhuvasswa-rida maasanam/ and next to the Pitru Brahmana with the Mantra: Aasaneyshwaasanam dadyaannatu paanoukadaachana, Pitrukarmani vaamecha Daivey dadyaattu Dakshiney/ Then the Vipra accepts saying swaasanam/  

Arghya Kalpana: There should be only two Arghya Paatraas in view of Daivey Pitreyai chakaikamva/ These Deva Paatras which were kept upside down are straightened by the Karta who places two Darbha-Pavitras, fills up with Shuddhodaka reciting Shanno Devi and ya vosi and with Gandha Pushpas. Some offer Gandha-Pushpaas with Gandha dwaaraam, Ouoshadhih prati medadhwam/Then Vipra’s reply would be Devaarghya paatrey sampanney, su sampanney/ The Karta touches the right leg of the Deva Vipra with his left hand and sprinkle Yavaas all over his body from knee-shoulders-head stating: Amuka Vishwaan Devaan bhavatsaavaaha ishye and after receiving the reply viz.  Aavaahanaaya, the he continues the sprinkling  stating Vishwa Devaasa Aagata/ He further prays to Bhumi with the Ruk Vishwa Devaashrunnuta and sprinkles on the Bhumi. Hiranya keshiyas and others perform Deva Pitraavaahana after Arghya pradaana as above and while doing Agnoukarana to the Dakshina of  Agni stating Yedey Vaasah and Ayata Pitarah/ (HoweverKaatiyaas perform Deva Pitraavaahana even before Arghya Kalpana).Thus having done the Arghya Prapatti and stating Swaahaarghyah, the karta hands over Arghya Pavitra to the Brahmanas stating Vishswa devaa idam vo Arghyam/ Then in the Arghya Patraas are filled up with the Arghya and milk,curd, ghee, tilas, Akshatas, Mustard, Darbhagras and Pushpas, ready for Arghya Saadhana.

Dhupa Deepa Vastra Yagnopaveetaas: To the Vipras, the Karta offers Dhupa-Guggula and Chanadana, possibly with Agaru mixed with ghee, honey and Karpura  saying Ayam vo dhupa/ Deepa has to be with ghee or tila oil offering with the statements Idam vo Jyotih or Ayamvo Deepa Prakaashah/  The Vastra has to be made of silk or cotton.Yagnopaveetam daatavyam Vastraabhaavey vijaanata,Nishkrayovaa yathaa shakti Vastraalaabhey pradeeyatey/Pitrun sakkrutya vaa so bhirdadyaaryagnopaveetakam, Yagnopaveeta daanena vinaa shraaddham tu nishphalam/( In case Vastra is not available, Yagnopaveeta must be surely provided or atleast its equivalent monetary value; in Pitraarchana, Yagnopaveeta also must be provided.

Arghya Saadhana:  To the Southern side of the Pitru Vipra, three Pitru Arghya Paatras are kept in a row and the Arghya as filled up with three darbhas are handed over to the the Vipra with the Shanno devi Mantra with Karta being Dakshinaamukha. The Aavahana of the Pitru-Pitamaha-Prapitamahas  is made: Amuka mamuka naama-gotra-Rupa mavayaahayaami;  then one by one the  Arghyas are given with the Mantras: Pitaridantey Arghyam, Pitaamahaadantey Arghyam, Prapitaamahaadantey : Swadhaanamah; Ya Divyaa/ The seshajala or the left out water is utilised for the Karta’s Mukhanjana or face-wash especially the eyes for Ayush Vriddhi. The Pitru Sthaana is cleaned up with Bhasma and Shuddhodaka and Gandhaadi Upachaaraas or Services are made saying Amuka Sharman yadha naama gotra ayantey gandhah/ All the tasks involved in the Argha Pradaana are to be made in Praacheenaaviti position and all the services like Gandha Deepas be accompanied with ‘Swadhaanamah’excepting Arghya Saadhana.

Agnoukarana : Ashvalaayanas prefer Agnoukarana in Shraddhaas in Gruhyaagni. Apastambaadis and Shroutaagnis prefer Dakshinagni. Those who have no Nityagni would  create Lokagni and after homa, do Agni Tyaaga. Rig Vedis perform Agnoukaranaa in the Gruhyagni, cook Pakvaanna charu, make two halves of it, spread portions of the Uttara Bhaga of the Charu around the Homagni in Apasavya reciting Somaaya Pitrumatey Swadhaanamah, Somaaya Pitrumata idam na mama/ and similarly from the Dakshina Bhaga perform Swaahanta-Aahutis in Savya stating Agnaye  Kavyavaahanaaya sdwaahaa, Somaaya Pitrumatey swaahaa namah/ Kaatiyaas use Gruhaagni and after Paristarana, perform three Ahutis of Samidhas with ghee stating in Savya: Agnaye Kavyavaahanaaya swaaha; and two darbha wooden pieces stating: Somaaya Pitrumatey swaahaa/ In the case of Apastambaas, at the ‘Ajyabhaaganta’ have a dialogue: Uddhreeyataam  Agnoukriyataam/ and as a reply: Kaamaa -muddhreeyataam Kaamamagnou kriyataam/ In the case of Hiranyaakeshiyas, the Prashna or the query would be : Uddhrishyaamyagnou  karishyaami/ In reply, there would be the recital of Yanmey maataa etc.with saptaahutis and six Aajyaahutis totalling thirteen Ahutis. At the ‘Aajya bhaagaanta’, the Hiranyakeshis perform ten Aajyaahutis and sixteen Annahutis while reciting Somaaya Pitrumatey.

Paani Homa. The procedure is the same for both Ashvalaayanas as also Kaakatiyas viz. by way of ‘Prashnottaraas’ or Question-Replies: Vipra paanaavagnou karanam karishye// Kriyataam/ But Ashwalaayana Sutries do not like the dialogue method. The procedure however is that the karta touches the Prityartha Vipra, does jalaprokshana and makes two Aahutis reciting the earlier said Somaaya Mantra in savya, but before that in Apasaya picks up darbha by left hand, performs Upastarana of Anna by his right hand, does Abhikarana with ghee by the left hand. On homaanta, the Karta would do ‘Parisamuhna’ and ‘Paryakshana’. Vipras would retain the remaining homaanna in the in the context of Paani Homa would deposit in their respective paatras with the Amaanupakva Mantra. While retaining the Agnoukarana sesha along with the Pinda Patra, then the service of Sarvaanna be taken up but the Agnoukarana sesha should not be mixed up with Deva Patras. But Kakatiyas think otherwise and mix up the homa sesha mix up with all the Patras on the plea : Annam Paanouhutam yaccha yacchaasyatpariveshitam, Yekeekrutyaiva Bhoktavyam prudhabhaksho na vidyatey/ ( The Anna Sesha of the Paani Homa or that which is offered to Agni as well as what is to be served has to be taken together and not otherwise!)

Anna Pariveshana and Bhokta- Bhojana Vidhaana: After ‘ghritaabhikarana’, the havishanna’ could be served to Brahmanas either by Kartha, his wife or any body but with utmost Shuchi. Naapavitrena naikena hastena vinaa kusham, Naayaseynaapi paatrena shaddeshu pariveshayet/ ( The service should be done with cleanliness, without darbhas, not with one hand, and not in iron vessels). Anna, Ghee and other items should be served with laddles, but water and Pakvaana with hands. Salt must be served with spoon and never ever by hand. All uncooked or fried ‘padaardhas’ could be served by hand.Ghee vessels should not touch Bhojana Paatras. Service of items to all a line should be uniform although whatever extras are required by a person could be served again.Tilaas, hing, pepper, sonthi etc. should not be served in raw form but as bye products. Whatever items are cooked for the Pindas must be served to Brahmanas. Then being in Upaveeta position the Karta should spray Kushas and Yavas around the Deva Patra with right hand and Tilas around the Pitru Patra with left hand, recite Gayatri Mantra, do prokshana on the Anna,   parishechana without Mantra, touch the Deva Patra with the right hand and Pitru Patra with the left hand in ‘Swastikaakara’ reciting the following Mantra: Prithiveetey Patram dyorapidhyaanam Brhamanastwaa Mukhemritam juhomi Brahmanaanaam vaa Vidyaavataam Praanaapaanahorju homyaksita masivbaamaishaam ksheshthaa Amutraamushmin lokey/  This Mantra is prescribed by Apastamba Katyaayanaadis as a rule. Later after ‘Abhimantrana’, the Karta holds the Deva Pitra’s right thumb with his inverted hand and without touching the nails makes him perform a Pradakhshina of the Anna with the Mantras : Ato deva, Idam Vishnuh, Vishno havyam rakshaswa; similarly the Karta would enable the Piru Brahmana to perform ‘Apradakshina’ of the Anna by the former’s left hand with the Mantra: Apahataa/  Then the Mantra: Aamukey Vishvey Devaa Devaa Idamannam havyamayam Brahmana Aahavaneeyardhye iyam bhurgayaa ayam bhoktaa Gadaadhara idamannam souvarna paatram Akshayya vatacchaayeyam Amuka Devebhyah idamannam sopaskaram amrutarupam parivishtam pariveshyamaanam chaa truptey swahh havyam namo na mama; om tatsat/ Then leave Yavayukta jala with the right hand on the leftside of the Deva Patra saying Ye Devaasa/ Then in the case of Pitru Brahmana, touch the Pitru Paatra and repeat the action stating: Pitru Pitamahodayo yatha naama gotraa Devataa; idamannam kavyam ---Idam Raajatampaatramakshayya  vatacchaayeyamAsmatpitra Pitaamaha Prapitaamahebhyah Amuka Naama Gotra Rupebhyah idamannam sopaskaramamruta rupam parivishtam pariveshyamaanam chaa tripteh swadhaa kavyam namo namama Om tatsat/ Then the ‘Kusha tila yukta Pitru Tirtha’is dropped on Bhumi from the left hand into the right hand. In the Daiva Sthala, the mantra is Sweshta Devataayai idamannam;and Upasthaana with:  Ye Devaasa/ In Pitru Sthala with Apasavya Tilodakas are left down with the Mantra: Devataabhyah Pitrubhyascha, Saptavya, Amurtaanam, Brahma –arpanam, Havirdaataa, Chaturbhischa, Om Tatsat Brahmaarpanamastu, Yeshaamiddhistam teshaam -akshayya preetirastu/  In Savya position: it is said: Eko VishnuhAnn heenam kriyaa heenam Mantra heenam cha yadbhavet,Tatsarva macchidram jaayataam/ --Jaayataam Sarvamacchidram/---Anena Pitru Yagmena Pitrurupee Janaardana,Vaasudevah preeyataam/  and Tila kusha Jalaas are left down. Vipras are forbidden to touch the Anna till that Sankalpa. The Karta would make Pitru-Poorvaka salutations saying Ishana Vishnu,Gayaayi namah, Gadaadharaayanamah,Pundarikaakshaaya namah/  give hasta jala to the Vipras and make final prokshana thrice with Gayatri. At Pitru Sthaana he would then offer Aouposhanaartha Jala and utter the three Ruks of Madhuvaataa---ending Madhu Madhu Madhu—Om tatsat yathaa sukhamjushadhwam/ Vipras without performing Bali daana would then make Aouposhana and the Karta would recite: Shraddaayaam praaneni vishtomrutam juhomi, Shivomaavishaa pradaahaaya praanaaya swaahaa/ while the Vipras make Pancha Praana-Aahutis with Brahmanima Aatmaamritatwaaya/ and finally the sixth Aahuti. Then the Karta requests the Brahmanas to eat peacefully without hurry discarding whatever is not of liking but consuming curd, ghrita and payasa  fully. While performing Aouposhana, if the Vipras indulge in loose talk, the Pitru Devas would be disappointed; like wise without doing the Auoposhana the Vipras are forbidden to commence eating. Vipras are also forbidden to touch the Bhojana with left hand nor the feet; they are also barred from asking for more services of any item without being asked for by the Karta or his representatives. Karta on his part should be alert to ascertain as to what ever is even remotely liked for by the Vipras and put them at ease; incidentally, salt must be preserved and the Vipras should never have to ask fot it, lest the Pitras might go away in disgust. While the Brahmanas are thus eating in peace and ease, there should be the Shravana of Purusha Sukta, Rakshoghna Mantras like Krunushwa paajo rakshohanam; Indresha Soma Sukltas which are of Pitru Linga orientation; Paavamaani Sukta, Vishnu-Brahma-Rudra-Arka Stotras and so on. Also Veenaam Vamshadhwanimchaapi Viprebhya-ssannivedayet, Mandala Brahmanam Paathyam Naachiketa trayam tathaa/ Trimadhu Trisuparnam cha paavamaana yajumshicha, Aashussishaana Suktam cha Agnaye Kavya vaahanam/ (Besides mild Veena vaadaanaadi music or hand fan dhwani, there should be the Shravana of Mandala Brahmana, Trinaachiketa-Tri Madhu-Tri Suvarna-Pavamaana Sukta, Aashussishaana Sukta, Agnaye Kavya vaahana Shukta to delight the Brahmanas in the course of their Bhojana.The Bhoktas should also follow proper seating regulations of not exposing arm pits, resting arms on the knees or thighs, eating with four fingers without the thumb, making sounds of the mouth, drinking half of water in the patra and drinking again and again, biting halves and eating the rest in turns, etc as such deficiencies would land them in ‘Adhogati’ or downward trend of life. A vipra in the ‘Pankti’or the eating  line should not touch another as that would call for Dasha Gayatri soon after the Bhojana; if any padartha from one Bhojana Patra to another falls then the affected Brahmana should discard the item and after Bhojana take bath and perform two hundred Gayatris. If any other improprieties occur, the Bhokta should be replaced! After the‘Vipra bhojana’, the Karta should politely ask the Bhoktas in Praacheenaaveeti:  Triptaasthah! Then the Vipra’s reply should normally be:Triptaasmaha/ The Karta would ask the Bhoktas: Shraadham Sampannam? The Bhokta’s reply would be: Susampannam/ The Karta would query: Anna seshaih kim kaaryam! The Bhokta’s reply would be as follows : Ishtaissaha bhoktavyam/ Then the Bhoktas would  then perform Uttaraaposhana stating Amritaasi dhaanamasi/  

Pinda Daana and Pinda Nisheddhas: Pinda Daana is stated as the sixth step viz. Archanaantara,      Agnou Karana, Bhojanottara, Vikirottara, Swadhaa Vachanottara, and Vipra Visarjanottara. To     Apastamba Hiranya Keshiyas, Pinda Daana is after Vipra Visarjana while Ashwalaayanaas consider it as before Bhoktaachamaniya or later and so do Kakatiyas too. To the North of the Dwija-Ucchishtha Sthaana and nearby the Paani-Homagni, the Pinda Daana Sthala is allotted with a hand-long of straight line with Darbhas spread out with tilodakas with the Mantra of Shumdhantaam Pitarah Pitamaha Prapitamaha so that three round Pindas, representing three generations of father-grand father and Great rand Father,  as prepared by the Karta’s wife, or brother or a close relative could be placed in the distinct squares one by one as lifted by ‘Angushthangula Madhyama’ or between the thumb and the forefinger; these Pindas that are offered to the Pitras are made of the Agnoukarana seshaanvita Sarvaana with Ghrita, Madhu, Tilas. The Pindas are offered to the Pitru Devas with Mantras like Yetattesmat pitarathyaa naama gotra rupaye cha twaamanu/ Pitrey Amuka naama gotra rupaayaayam pindaswadhaa namasteybhyas cha Gayaayaam Shri Rudra Paadey dattamastu/ Then  for the satisfaction of the Karta, the Pindas are then made to contact the darbhas again and he performs ‘Anumantrana’ from the left to North stating Atra Pitaromaadayadhyam Yadhaa bhaaga maavrushaayadhwam, does Praanaayamaas possible and would do ‘Abhimantrana’ reciting Shundha -taam  etc Mantr leaving water all around. The Pindas are worshipped with Gandha- Dhupa-Deepa-Sarva Prakaara Naidedya Taamboola-Puja. Yat kinchitpachyatey Bhakshyam Bhojyamannama garhitakam, Anivedyana bhoktavyam Pinda muley kathamchana/(None should eat without performing Naivedya of all the Bhakshya Bhojyas to the Pindatraya.) Further to this, Pinda Stuti be done with Namovaha Pitarah—Paretana—Agneytamadyaashwa—Yadantariksha and such other Mantras. Then as per Apastambaas, the middle Pinda is  lifted stating: Apaamtvousha dheenaamrasam praashayaami Bhuta kritam garbham dhatswa/ ;this Madhyama Pinda is to be given to the Karta’s wife for Santaana Prapti. Alternatively, these Pindas are given to Go-Brahmana-Agni-Jalas. Vikiraanna is to be segregated  to be given away to crows with the fond hope of fulfilling the unfulfilled desires of the near and dear Pitru Devatas. Pinda Nisheddhaas: It is stated that Pinda Daana, Mrittikaa Snaana, Nitya Tarpana and Shraddhaanga Tarpanas are not to be done with Tilas, for a year after the performance of Vivaha, six months after Upanayana, three months after Choodaa Karmas, and one month after Garbha daana samskaaraas and Vriddhi Shaaddhas. But Pinda Daana has to be performed at Mahalayas, Gaya Shraddha, Maatru-Pitru Nityabdikaas, Sapndikaranas, and ‘Shodasha maasa paryanta Preta krityas’. In respect of Jeeva Pitrukarta and Garbhinisraava, Pinda Pradaana is not approved. Anukalpa Shraaddhas: In case adequate number of Brahmanas are not available , then in the Deva Sthaana the services of one Vipra be utilised: Aneka Vipraalaabhey Deva sthaaney Shaalagraamaadikam sthaapayitvaika Viprey Pitraaditrayam Maataa mahaadisahita Devataa   -shtakam chaavaahana Sarvam Shraaddham kaaryamityuktam/ Sarvathaa Vipraalaabhye Darbha Vatu shraaddhamityaadyapyutam/ (In the absence of Brahmanas, one could keep one Vipra at the Deva sthaana and perform Avahana to the Pitra traya and consider Darbha as the Vatu and accomoplish the Sarva Shraddha).

Hiranyaadi Shraddha-Anukalpaas: If for any reason, the Pratyaabdi Shraddha is not possible to be performed, then Hiranya Shraddha be made. The Karta would make the Sankalpa: Amuka Shraaddha maamena Havisha hiranyena vaa sakalpavidhaana karishye/ In this case, the prokshana is made to hiranya or gold instead of Anna. In the Sankalpa, the seven Karyas of Avahana, Arghya, Agnou -karana, Pibnda Daana,Vikira, Akshayya, Swadhaa vaachana and Prashnaas are absent, but Suvarna would be present as much as of the value of Shraddha or its multiples according to the considerations  of the Karta.

 Seshaanukalpas:Alternatives to Shraaddha include Pakvaanna Homa with Pitru Sukta etc.; sincere Upavaasa; offering Jala Purna Ghatas to Brahmanas,  grass to cows, Pitru Tarpana with Tilodakas, Swalpa Daana of Dhanya-Tila-Dakshinas, Pathana or Shravana of Sankalpaadi-Sarva Shraddha prayogas, or as a last resort perform: Namesti Vittam na dhanam nachaanyacchhaadropayogiswa pitrunnatosmi, Tripyantu Bhaktyaa Pitaro mayaitou bhujaikrutou vartmani Marutasya/(Pitru Devataas! I am unable to muster money, nor material worthy of performing Shraaddha. I can only lift up my hands with sincerity and complete veneration and faith to the Sky.May you accept my inability to perform Pitru Shraddha and condone my non-performance and may my three generations  of Pitru Devatas be contented!

Shraaddha Vighnas: Nimantranottaram Viprasya Sutakey mrutakewaa praaptey Ashouchanam na/  In case a Brahmana gets the Karta’s ‘Samantrika Nimantrana’ at a Shraadha,  he would at once become immune from any  Ashoucha due to birth or death and this is confirmed in Brahma Purana too. Further: Karthustu Paaka parikriyottora maashou chaabhaavah, Paaka pari kriyaa cha samantrakam Paaka prokshana –mityaahuh/ (Once the Shraddha Karta has done Paaka Parikriya or cooking the Shraaddha Paaka or Mantra Purvaka Prokshana of the Paaka then he would not be subject to Ashoucha) However if bhojana has aleady begun when the Karta receives the news of his Ashoucha, then has to leave the Bhojana and repeat the Shraddha only after the Ashuchi is over.But if both Karta and Bhokta were ignorant of the Ashuchi till Bhojana, then the Prayaschitta would be ‘Panchagavya praashana’or consumption of Panchagavyas. If they were aware of the Ashuchi but still continue the Bhojana, then the Prayaschitta would be intensified. In respect of Maasikas, the Karta when encounters the problem of Ashoucha has the option of redoing the current Maasika along with the next Maasika: Maasikamchoda kumbhamcha yadya dantaritam bhavet, Tattaduttarasaam tantraya danushtheyam prachakshasey/  Some experts opine that if there is a Vighna of a Pratyaabdika, then on the same tithi of the next month the Pratyabdika could be re-done.

Tila Tarpana :  When any Shraddha is addressed to Pitrus, Tila Tarpana is part of the same. In the case of Darsha Shraddha, Tila Tarpana is done before it. In Ugadi-Manvantara-Samkranti-Vaidhruti-Vyateepaata and such other Shraddhas too Tila Tarpana is done likewise. In Vaarshika Shraddha, Tila Tarpana addressed to Pitru traya is preferred on the following day as also on Mahalayas. But: Vriddhi Shraaddhey sa pindyaancha pretashraaddheshu Maasikey, Samvatsara vimokecha na kuryaattila tarpanam/ (In the case of Vriddhi Shraaddha, Sapindi, Preta Shraaddha, Anumasika and Varsha Samaapti, Tila Tarpana is not to be done). In that case, Tarpana is to be on next morning after Snaana, Tarpana be done after or even before Sandhya Vandana. Then, after announcing Sambandha-Naama- Gotras and recite: Swadhhanamat sarpayaami and offer Tarpanas either by right hand in case of Rigvedis or in the Anjalis three times by others. This is the Nitya Tarpana Vidhi. As a component of Brahma Yagna, Tila Tarpana is forbidden on Sundays- Tuesdays and Fridays and on Pratipada, Shashthi, Saptami, Ekadashi and Trayodashi as also in Bharani, Kritthika and Magha; in Ratri Sandhyas, in the houses, in Janma Nakshatras, Shubha Karyas. However,Tila Tarpana is in order at Gaya Shraddha as in Mahalyaas.

Nandi Shraaddha Prayoga:  As already referred to in the previous pages,  Naandi Shraddha Prayoga is performed in various Karyas ranging from Jaata Karma, Upanayana and so on. In Upanayana, this is done on the previous day itself while in Swalpa Karyas like Jaata Karma this is done on the same day. The Sankalpa for this after detailing Desha-Kaalaas states: Satya vasu Sanjnikaa Vishwa Devaah Naandi Mukhaah Matru Pitaamahi Papitaamahyo Naandi Mukhyaha Pitru PitamahaPrapitaamahaa Naandi Mukhaa MaataamahaMaatuh Naandi Mukhaa Etaanuddishya paarvana vidhaanena sapinda Naandi shraddham karishye/ At the Arghya kaala, nine paatras are arranged, place two darbhas in each, recall the previous Mantra stating Usham tastwaa,keep Yavasin the Paatras, perform Aavahana by turns with the Mantra: Amuka Vishwey Devaah preeyantaam/--Naandi mukhaa Maatara Idam vorghya, provide Gandha twice, address the Devas with swaahaa hravyam na mama,keep Annadaana at the Deva Sthaana and keep two each Pindas totalling eighteen  to the Pitrus by way of Pinda daana with the Mantra : Naandi mukhaabhyo Maatrubhya swaha, Nandi Mukabhyah Pitaamahi Swaahaa/ This would be followed by Anumantras also. Thus Sarva Pitru Karmaas are required to be performed in Savyopaneeta position only as a Deva Dharma itself.This conludes the Shraaddha Prakarana.

Ashoucha Nirnaya: Garbha Naasha and  Janana: Within four months of ‘Garbha Naasha’ or abortion is called ‘Sraava’, within six months it is called ‘Garbha Paata’ and thereafter the ‘Prashuti’; the Ashoucha is determined accordingly. If the Sraava is within three months, the  mother, father and the progeny have  ‘Asprushyata’/ Untouchability or Ashuchi for three days; for four months then four days and so on, as Shuddhi is accorded after Snaana. From seven months onward, the ‘Janana -ashoucha’ or birth for all the Sapindas would be for ten days to Vipras, twelve days of Kshatriyas, fifteen days for Vaishyas and one month for others. To the mother of the new born, there should be ‘Karmaadhi- kaara’ or the eligibility to perform ‘Karyas’ only after forthy days in respect of Vipra Strees. The father of the child or the sapindas could however move about freely after Sachela Snaana but would be eligible for performing Danaas, Pujas etc on the fifth, sixth and tenth days. If a child is born in the Stree’s Pitru Griha, then her parents, brothers, her uncle have to observe Janana-Ashoucha for a day but if the delivery is in her father in law’s house then the stree’s parents  have no Ashoucha but her husband’s parents and brothers in law would attract the Ashoucha for a day.If a child is still born, then there would be  no Janana /Mrita- Ashoucha, but if dead before the child’s navel-cut then three days and after the cut then would be ten days of Janana Ashoucha but no Mritaashoucha; the mother of the deal child too need not observe Mritaashoucha. Mritaaashoucha Nirnaya: Those who have this Ashoucha, they should neither be touched nor possess Karmaadhikaara. The child’s death during the  the first ten days and Namakarana, then the parents only need to observe three days of Asuchi for three nights  provided the child is a boy but otherwise for one day in the case of  a girl child. In both the cases of a boy or a girl, the dead child be buried upto Nama Karana. There after upto chooda karma or three years, the dead child has to be either buried or burnt. If a boy is dead before naama karana and the sprouting of teeth then the Sapindas should observe one day’s Mritaashoucha but the parents must observe for three nights. In the case of a girl, the Mritaashoucha would be for one day. As the Nama karana is to be performed on the twelfth day and Dantotpatti by three months, the death of a child upto the sixth month attracts Mritaashoucha for one day. From the seventh month to three years, the parents should observe three nights of Ashuchi while Sapindas for one night in respect of a male child; but for a girl child the rule is the same as in the case of parents but to Sapindaas the Shuddhi is snaana. From three years up to Upanayana in the case of a Putra or upto Vivaha in the case of a Putri, the Mritaashoucha would be for Tri Dinas. After Chooda Karma or upto the completion of three years, Pinda Daana on Bhumi is required. Death before Dantotpatthi then there should be Dugdha Daana to Samvayaska Sishus. Death upto three years or Choulaanta Samskaara, the daana prescribed is Payasa daana and upto Upanayana Bhojana Daana. In the case of the death of  females and Brahmanetaraas from three to sixteen years, the Mritaashoucha is for one day to Tripurusha Sapindaas but to the parents three days. If a girl is dead after Vivaha Vaagdaana but before Vivaha, then the Mritaashoucha it would be for three days to Pitru-Bhartru Sapindaas. As regards ‘Atikranataashoucha’,  or Deshantara-Kaalaantara Maranas or deaths at outside places and timings such as of Anupaneeta boy whose Gayatri Upadesha has not been done or a Kanya whose Vivaha has not been performed of one’s own parents,  there would be Dasaahaashoucha or Ashuchi for ten days followed by immediate snaana. Upanayanaantahara marana attracts Dashaaha for Sapindaas. In case a married daughter dies in the Parents’ house, then the parents and her brothers should observe Triratraas of Ashoucha. To the married daughter the death of a parent attracts Ashuchi for Three Nights if known within ten days or later ‘Pakshini’ ie. a day and half. Deaths of Upaveeta Bhraata/brother or Vivahita Bhagini or sister attact Triraatra Ashoucha. Deaths of married sisters require snaanaas. Vivahita Kanyas require snaana at the deaths of paternal grand father or paternal uncle.If mother’s brother dies or sister’s son/ daughter dies, then Pakshini is observed. If maternal grand father dies, the Douhitras should observe Ashoucha for three nights.But maternal grand mother’s death be observed by the douhitras by Pakshini. But anupaneeya douhitras should observe pakshini only. Son in law at the death of his parents in law should obeserve three nights if the death has taken place before him otherwise one night only. Son in law’s death to parents- in- law warrants one night and snana. But his death in their  own house should be observed by the parents in law with  Tri Raatras. Death of Syalaka or wife’s     brother attracts onbe day’s Ashoucha but if his is Anupaneeta then only snaana. Snaana at the death of Syalaka Putra. Loss of wife’s sister too gives one day’s Ashuchi. Death of mother’s sister involves pakshini. Loss of paternal aunt calls for pakshini for the children-both sons and daughters-of father. Paternal aunt would however get Shuddhi by snaana by the progeny of her brother.If either paternal aunt or mother’s sister dies in Swagriha then the progeny should observe three days of Ashoucha. Among the Bandhu Traya ie. Atma Bandhu Traya, Matru Bandhu Traya, Pitru Bandhu Traya totalling nine the minimum Ashoucha is Pakshini in respect of Upaneeta and one day for Anupaneeta.The Atma Bandhus are the sons of Paternal aunt, mother’s younger sister’s sons, and the sons of maternal uncle; Pitru Bandhus are father’s aunt, father’s mother’s yunger sister, and father’s maternal uncle’and  mother’s paternal aunt, grand mother’s younger sister and mother’s maternal uncle and their sons. In the case of Dutta Putra’s death, the Janakapalaka parents should observe Tri-Ratraas and vice versa, but the Palaka Matru-Pitas should ‘dashaaha’. Achaarya’s death demands Tri Ratras but if out of town only pakshini; Acharya is defined as he who conducted Upanayana and Vedadhyayana; it is he who teaches the ‘nirvahana’or the conduct of Smarta Karmas.Acharya’s Patni-Putra mrithyu,also demands one day’s Ashuchi. In reverse too, the death of a Sishya calls for Tri Ratras and so on.Sahadhyaayis death requires pakshini. A Sanyasi’s death requires snaanantara Shuddhi. Death of a  household cow requires ‘Grihaasoucha’ till the body is cleared followed by Griha Suddhi. A house hold dog of a Vipra entails ten days of Ashoucha. Jaati Bhrashta mrityu’ demands two months of Ashuchi to the house.‘Shastra ghata Mrityu’in battles involves only Snana without  ‘Antya Kriyas’ excepting on Dashaaha Karma. [As an Over-view, Ashoucha for Three Days should be observed for the deaths of Mother’s father-mother-sisters-brothers; daughter or her sons; Father’s sisters, parents in law, own sisters, sister’s husband / son; Pakshini for daughter-in-law, daughters in laws of maternal uncles/ sisters/ their progeny; daughters of father’s sisters; daughters of sons/ sisters/ brothers; daughters of paternal uncle, daughters of daughter and daughters of maternal uncle. Married women have to observe Pakshini in the deaths of mother’s  father or mother, maternal uncle / wife/ son / daughter, mother’s sister or son or daughter; father’s brother/ son/ daughter; own sister / son / daughter; own brother/ son / daughter; daughter’s daughter; father’s father; father’s mother; uncle’s wife, brother’s wife, sister’s daughter in law etc. In all these cases, the principle of reciprocity be observed].  

 Krantaashoucha or Lapsed Ashoucha:  Krantaashoucha denotes the death  of person in a distant Land and the Impuriy ascribed to it. There is no Jananashoucha in this case and a father would get Shuddhi on the news of a birh. But there are regulations governing deaths of Krantaashoucha. The deaths of parents to a distant son involves ‘Purnaaha’ or fullfledged twelve days followed by Antya Kriyas. So is the case of wife and husband. A married daughter needs to observe Pitru Marana for three days during the Dashaaha on learning of the news, but beyond that period,  pakshini is to be observed . In the case of paternal uncle, news after ten days upto three months then observance of Ashoucha for three days; upto  six months then Pakshini; upto a year one day  and after a year then only a bath for Shuddhi . To a mother’s brother or maternal uncle as in the case of  Anya Gotreeyas, the Ashouchi is for a pakshini. To Samanodakaas, news of death before ten days would involve three nights of Ashoucha, but upto one year threafter  it would be one day and beyond one year only snaana for Shuddhi. In fact much depends of the time of receiving the news of deaths in the case of Deshantara and Kaalaantara conditions and decisions taken as per the normal code detailed above.  Pancha Bheda-Ashoucha: Sa Panchaghaa: Kartrutah, Karmatah, Dravyatah, Mritadoshatah, Vighaanatah /  ( The five kinds of Ashouchas are on account of Kartru Bheda, Karma Bheda, Dravya Bheda, and Vidhana Bheda. ‘Kartru Bhedaashouchaas’ are related to Sanyasis and Brahmacharis; Sanyasis are immune from Ashoucha in reference to the births and deaths of anybody excepting however only the Parents. As regards Brahmachaaris they have to observe Ashoucha respect of the deaths of Parents as also of sapindas, as they not only participate in treating the dead bodies of the Parents but in the Antya Kriyas also. Now in the case of Karma Bheda, Kings who are involved in various  administrative tasks like punishments to wrong doers including even deaths have no Ashoucha; those performing Shanti Karyas to offset fears from Kings or from illnesses  have no ashoucha; to a Vaidya who examines the body parts of a patient to check diseases has no Ashoucha; those Brahmanas who perform Naandi Shraddha for tasks like Devata Pratishtha, Upanayana or Vivaha have no Ashuchi; and Grahana nimitta or Sankrantaadi Shraddha Karmas including Daanas do not attract Ashoucha. Dravya Bheda due to Kraya Vikraya like buying a host of material ranging from flowers and fruits, food materials, clothes etc.from a person with Ashoucha would not invite Asouchya. Instances of Vidhana Bhedas are plenty as they could be Sparsha Dosha, Mrita Dosha and so on. In respect of the last two doshas which are the worst, several prayaschittthas are prescribed to atone the Asuchis from Para Stree gamana, Maha Paataka Karana, Shava Sparshana,  Preta Karya Karana etc. and such prayaschittas  include Chandrayana Vratas, Krucchra Vratas, Go-Bhu-Dravya-Vastu Danaas etc.

Antya Karma  Prakarana: Narayana Bali: Before initiating a gist of Antya Karmas, Dharma Sindhu describes Narayana Bali which is stated to follow forced and cruel deaths like in water, fire, falls from heights, suicides , attacks by wild animals or by snake bites. To offset the evil effects of such unnatural deaths, Prayaschittha Daanaas and Narayana Balis are performed with the Sankalpa: Amuka Gotraamuka Sharmanomuka durmarana doshanaa shaardhamourdhvadaihika sampradantwa yogataa sidhyartham cha Naraayana Balim Karishye/ After installing two Kalashas and the Pratimas of Vishnu and Vaivaswata, performing Aavahana by Purusha Sukta, Yamaaya Soma Mantra and Puja with Shodashopacharas,  invoking the Preta in the Swarupa of Dakshinaagra Darbhas with the Mantra Sumdhamtaam Vishu Rupyamuka Pretah and offering water at ten sthaanas, placing ten Anna Pindas soaked with Madhu- Ghrita-Tilas and offering them  with the Mantra: Amuka Gotraamuka Sharman Preta Vishnu Devataayantey pindah in prachhenaaveeti position of Yagnopaveeta. Then the Vipra or the Karta would give Tilaanjali to the Preta Swarupa darbha stating: Amuka gotraayamuka Sharmaney Vishnu rupiney Pretaayaayam Tilatoyaanjali/ Then Brahmanas would have to assure : Anena Narayana bali  karmana Bhagavan Vishnuramukam pretam Shuddhamapaapamarham karotu/ In the case of Sarpa Marana, the Karta has to observe Upavasa on each Shukla Panchamis for twelve months, prepare five-hood Sarpas with rice or wheat flour named Ananta Vasuki, Shankha, Padma, Kambala, Ashwatara, Dhritaraashtra, Shankhapaala, Kaaliya, Takshaka and Kapila; worship them with the Mantra: Namo astu Sarpebhyaha with three Aajyaahutis in Agni, give Paayasa as Naivedya, provide Brahmana bhojana, give a Suvarna Naaga and a Pratyaksha Dhenu as Daana and finally perform Narayana Bali; this is the ‘Sarpahata Prayaschitta Vrata’. Palaasha Vidhi Dahana: In the case of death at a far off place and only the ‘Asthikaas’ were made available, the Asthikas are to be first washed with Pancha Gavya; if even Asthikas are not available a ‘Preta’ or dead body needs to be improvised by spreading three hundred sixty darbhas over a ‘Krishnaajina’or the skin of a deer by arranging from the Southern direction with forty darbhas at the ‘Shira Sthaana’, ten at Kantha Sthaana, fifty eacha at ‘Baahu Sthaana’, ten each as fingers, twenty at the Hridaya, thirty at the belly, four at Sishna, four at the ‘Andaas’, fifty each as thighs, hundred asknees down to feet, and thirty as the fingers of the feet. Then by washing with Panchagavyaas and Panchaamritas, the body is to be seemingly revived with Prana Pratishtha with the Mantra: Punarno Asu, Asuneetey or with the Suktaas Yatteyam—Shukramasi—Aksheebhya, touch the body, perform Snaana, apply chandana, cover with Vastra, provide Yagnopaveeta, touch with Idamchaana and Syopaasa Dhyaana and formally execute Daahaadika. The Karta should then observe Dashaahna- Ashoucha. In the event of Ateeta- Pratyaksha Preta Samskaara:  there is no need of ascertaining the suitable day but during the Asoucha days a day be selected for the Samskaara after the tenth day, failing which at the Annual or there after preferably in the Uttaraayana, excepting Krishna Paksha-Nandaa Tithis of Pratipada,Shashthi and Ekadashis;  Trayodashi and Chaturdashi-dina kshayaas and not on Tuesdays. Also specified Nakshatras are to be forbidden.                   

Pitraadi Mrita kaala Daana Vidhis: The sons have the duty of anticipating the nearness of death of the old parents and make them perform Moksha dhenu daanaas or even Dasha Daanaas if possible. Gavaa mangeshu tishtthanti is the Go daana Mantra; Sarva Bhutaashrayaa Bhumirvaraahena samuddhrutaa, Ananta Sasya phala daata tasshgaantim prayacchamey/ is the Bhu Daana Mantra; Maharshey Gotra sambhutah Kaashyapasya tilaasmrutaah, Tasmaadeshaam pradaanena mama paapam vyapohatu/ is the Tila Daana Mantra; Hiranya garbha garbhastam/ is the Hiranya daana Mantra; Kaama dhenu shusam bhutam Sarva Kratishu samsthitam, Devaanaamaajyamaahaara                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          manasshhaantim prayacchamey/ is the Aajya daana mantra; Sharanam Sarva likaanaam lajjaaya -arakshanam param, Suvesha dhaari vastratwamatasshaantim prayacchamey/ is the Vastra Daana Mantra; Sarva Devamayam Dhanyam Sarvotpatti karam mahat, Praaninaam jeevanopaaya matasshaantam prayacchamey/is the Dhanya Daana Mantra; Tadaarasaanaam pravarassadaiveykshu rasomatah, Mamtasmaatparaam Lakshmim dadaswa guda sarvadaa/  is the Guda/ Jaggery daana Mantra; Preetiryatah Pitrunaam cha Vishnu Shankarayossadaa, Shiva netrorbhavam rupyamata -sshaantam prayacchamey/ is the Rajata daana Mantra; Yasmaadannarasaa ssarveynotkrushtaa Lavanam vinaa, Shambhoh Preetikaram nitya matasshaantim prayacchamey/ is the Lavana Daana Mantra. It is stated clearly that even without performing Praayaschittas, a dying person recites or even thinks of Shiva-Vishnu Naamaas would achieve total purging of sins and Moksha: Yasyaavataara  Gunakarma vidambanaani Naamaaniye sugamey vivashaa grunanti, Teynaika janmasha malam sahasaiva hitvaasam yaantyapaavrutamrutam tamajam prapadye/ ( Those who are at the edge of death remember Bhagavan’s  Avataara Guna Karmas and die in that ecstasy would terminate the sins of all the previous births and take refuge in that Unknown!) Further a son who enables his parents facing death to perform Daanas  would secure Gaya Shraddha Phala and over hundred Ashwamedha Yagna Phalaas! Mumurshum Pitaram  Putro yadi daanam pradaapayet, Tadvishitam Gayaa Sraaddhaa dashwamedha shataadapi/  In addition to the Danaas aforementioned, at the extreme brink of death the following Daanas are of immense value: Taani Tilapatra Daanam, Runa Dhenu Moksha Dhenu Paapa Dhenu Vaitarani Dhenutkraanti Dhenu daanaani/ (These Daanas are Tila Paatraadi Dana, Runa Dhenu, Moksha Dhenu, PaapaDhenu, Vaitarani Dhenu, and Utkranti Dhenu).The Sankalpas and brief procedure of Daana to Vipras are as follows: Tila Patra Daana: Sankalpa:-Mama Janma prabhruti maranaanta krita naanaa vidha pranaashaartham Tila Paatra Daanam karishye/Hasta jala to Vipra:-Mama Janma Prabhruti maranaanta krita paapapranaashaartha midam Tila Paatram Sasuvarna dakshinam Amuka Sharmaney tubhyam sampradadey, Tilaah Punyaaha Pavitraascha Tilaassarva  Karaasmrutaah, Shuklavaa yadi vaa Krishnaa Rushi gotra Samudbhavaah, Yaanikaanicha paapaani Brahma hatyaa samaanicha, Tila paatra pradaanena mama Paapam vyapohatu namama/Runa Dhenu Daana Mantra:Ihikaamushmikam yaccha Sapta janmaarjitam runam, Tatsarvam shuddhi maayaatu Gaamekaadadato mama/ Moksha Dhenu Daana Mantra: Moksham dehi Hrishikesha Moksham dehi Janaardana,Moksham Dhenu pradaanerna Mukundah preeyataam mama/ Paapa Dhenu  Daana Mantra: Aajanmopaarjitam paapam Mano vaakkaaya -karmabhih, Tatsarvam naasha maayaatu Go pradaanena Keshava/ Vaitarani Daana: Sankalpa: Amukasya mama Yama dwaara sthita Vaitaranyaakhya Nadyuttaranaartham Go daanam karishye/ Vipra Pujaanantara-Hasta jala Pradaana- Goprokshana Jala-Vipra daana Mantras respectively are: Shivaa Aaapassantu Sowmanasya mastu Akshataam chaarishtamchaastu yacchreyadasu yatpaapam tatpratihatamastu; Dhenukatvam pratikshaswa yamadwaarey Mahaa Pathey , Uttiteershuraham Devi Vaitarinyai namostutey; Vishnurupa Dwija sreshtha Bhudeva Dwijapaavana, Tartum Vaitarani -metaam Krisnangaam  pradadaamyaham;Vaitarani sanraatanaarthamimaangaam Krishna Vastra rakta   kulyaadyalankrutaam Yathyaa shakti dakshinaayutaam tubhyamaham sampradadey/ Yamadwaara pathey ghorey ghoraavaitarani Nadi, Taantartu Kaamo yacchaami Krishnaam Vaitaranim tu gaam na mama/ Utkraanti Dhenu Daana: Amukasya sukhena praanotkramana pratibandhaka Sakala paapa kshaya dwaaraa sukhena praanotkramanaaya yathaashaktyalamkritaa mimaamutkraanti dhenum Rudra Daivatyaamamu Sharmaney tubhyam sampradadey Gavaamangeshu tishthanti na mama/ This is how the Putra provides Daanas.

Anthya Kriyaas:  After the death, the Son has to secure the ‘Antya Karmaadhikaara’ or the eligibility to perform the Last Rites by way of observing Tri Krucchhaas and all the Kartas should go in for ‘Mundana’ which is a must in respect of the death of parents,  paternal uncles and elder brothers. However the main Karta who would be pioneering the Preta Karmaas should not have Mundana, but some opine that he has the option. The wife of the departed Soul is required to perform Mundana either on the first ot the tenth day of the death. Kumbhey Salilamaadaaya Pancha -gavyam tathaivacha, Sumantrairabhimantraapastena Samsnaapyadaahayet/ Various kinds of Prayaschittas are prescribed in the context of Shava Sparsha: If the dead body has Mutra-Pureeshas, or if dead on a cot, at a far off place, or in a flight, in a prison, if touched by a washerman, or in a state of Ashoucha, in an accident, a battle, in a hospital with illness  and on. The body has to face Dakishna Disha on a Gomaya Bhumi on darbhas, with Chandana Tilakas as Stotras, Bhagavad Gita and Punya Suktas are read out or recited; Amrutatwa praapyartham Punya Sukta Stotraadeenaam paatham shravanam vaa karishye/ In case there is Gruhyagni or Shroutaagni,  the prescriptions of death in the day or in the night become relevant as these are bound by distinct regulations.  Ahead of the Preta, the Agni created at the house as a part of the ‘Pretaadhaana’ process, should be carried by some body preferably the Karta as the Sapindas in the order of seniority walk along / behind the body. The hair and nails of the Preta are to be removed, the final Snaana be performed and applied with chandana pushpas before burning. The Preta should be burnt in naked condition without Vastra which should be given away or left in the Smashaana. Relevant Mantras are recited to  relieve the ‘Preta daaha’ or to quench the thirst of the Preta and at the ‘Daahaanta’ karma, the Karta would perform  ‘Ghata Sphotaka Karma’ or the breaking of the Ghata carried earlier and the Karta would light up the funeral pyre. Following the ‘Mrita Dehaahuti’ the close relatives who are of Sagotra-Sapinda description would make a Pradaksina of the Agni  that consumed the body and take Snaanas  reciting the Mantra : Apanasho shucha dagdhaa . Then they would  offer Tilaajalis to the ‘Paashaana’ or ‘Shila’ with the Mantra: Amuka Gotra---Naamaa Pretastrupyatu/  The women folk need not recite the Mantra while takling bath. Udaka daana is optional for father in law,  maternal uncle, nephews and even friends even belonging to the Community. But Brahmacharis are forbidden excepting in the case of parents, grand fathers or Acharyas. The Udaka daana has to be done in Eka Vastra and in Apasavya condition. After the Udaka Daana, the concerned persons should take bath again, drench out water from their Vastras, eat neem leaves , perform Achamana, touch and view pure water or Lamp or Gomaya, view the picture of Bhagavan, press the stone at the Dwara and then enter the house in a line with the youngers in the lead. On that day, every body is to be on Upavasa in deference of the departed soul. If some body however is unable to overcome the hunger, then he or she might search  for a neighbour’s house and try to secure some Havishaanna and be contented with it. In fact during the Ashoucha period the Bhojana has to be without salt, sugar, oil, ghee, milk, and Taamboola. There should be no consumption of Kshaara Padardhaas; Tila mudgaadritey shoumbyam sasye Godhumako dravou, Dhanyaakam Deva dhaanyancha shami dhaanyam ta daiva cha/ Swinna dhaanyam tathaa panyam moolam khaaragana smritah/ (Tila, moong, shambi dhaanya, sasya with godhuma, dhaniya,yava, shami dhanya, mula etc). Using mirrors, Stree prasanga, dyuta, laughing, crying, loud talk, high seats, are forbidden too. Every body should sleep separately on mats without beds excepting children, aged and patients.  ‘Asthi Sanchayana’ or collection of the bones of the body be done on the first, second, third, fourth,seventh or ninth day as per the family custom, but excepting on the Karta’s  janma nakshatra avoiding Sunday, Tuesday and Saturday. Asthika Sanchayana: should be done only at the time of Palaasha Daaha or at the time of immersion of Asthis in rivers or Seas. Alternatively, the Asthis be buried deep in forests under trees. The Asthis should not come into contact by dogs, pigs or low class persons and if so touched then they should be washed in Pancha Gavya, Saalagrama tirtha or Tulasi Tirtha. Ashoucha  Kaala Vidhis: In the Ashoucha Period, Sagotras should have bhojana together that too only in the day time in earthen plates or leaves but not in metal plates. During the Daaha Dinas or in the ten days, the Kartahas to give away pindas without Mantras. If for any reason during the Daashaaha like illness or wife’s menses period, he might depute Sagotras but to the extent possible, the Ekaadasha Karmas must preferably done by the Karta himself. In the Pindas, the main ingredient should be cooked rice mixed with Tilas, permissible vegetables and fruits. In the Preta Shraaddha, the words of Pitra / or Matra as the case that may be as also of Swadha must be heard often and then only the Gotra naamas of the departed soul. During the Gandha-Dhupa-Deepa daanaas, no Mantras be involved. During the ‘Tryaaha Ashoucha’ or the first three days, one Pinda be only given to the Pretaatma on the first day, four on the Second day and five on  the Third day. But there would be Dashaaha-Ashoucha in all and on these days, and during these days, the Preta Sharira formation would be as follows: the first pinda provides head, the second pinda gives eyes, nose and ears; the third pinda gives the neck, hands, shoulders and chest; the fourth the navel, linga and guhya; the fifth gives knees, ankles and feet; the sixth pinda imparts the Marmaavayas; the seventh the Naadis / nervous system; the eighth pinda provides teeth and body hairs; the ninth bestows veerya and the tenth pinda one grants ‘Purnatwa’ or the completion of the Preta deha which secures Tripti or Satisfaction. On all the ten days, the Preta should be provided with Snaana and Daaha or quench of thirst with the relevant Mantras viz. Pretaatra Snaahi addessed to Jala-Akashaas and milk with Pretotra piba to be deposied in an earthen vessel. During all these ten day-nights there should be provision of  ‘Akhanda Jyoti’ in an earthen plate with lasting supply  of oil and vicks: Tatah pretopakritaye Dasha raatramakhanditam, Kuryaatpradeepakam thailey vaari paatram cha maartikam/ Bhojyaadbhojana kaaletu bhaktamushtincha nitvapet, Naama gotrena sambudhya dharitryam Pitru Yagnavat/ Bhulikaatpretalokam tu gantum Shraaddham samaacharet, Tatpaa -dheyam hi bhavati mritasya Manujasyacha/( There should be an Akhanda Deepa and a constant Jala dhaaraa from pinholed pot full of water on all the  ‘Dashaaha Dina Raatraas’. At the Bhojana Kaala, a Pinda be provided to the Preta by addressing it by the Naama Gotraas. It is also considered  essential to place at the ‘Mrita Sthaana’ some cash to defray the travel expenses as the Pretaatma travels from Bhu loka to Para Loka!) Antya Dainandina Shraaddha Vidhi : The Karta is required to execute ‘Nava Shraddhaas’ on the first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth and eleventh days.These Nava Shraddhas are prescribed by Rigvedis as also Apastamba Shutraites. It is stated that within the ten day period Nava Shraddhas be performed and Nava mishra shraddha be done in the year long period. Akrutwaatu Navashraaddham Pretatvaa- nnaiva muchyatey, Nava Shraaddhgam Tri Pakshamcha shaanmaasika Maasikaanicha/ Nakaroti Suto yastu tasyaadhaha Pitarogataah/ (Pretatwaa would not be liberated if Nava Shraddhas are not performed by Putras  and what would be worse if besides Nava Shraaddha, the Tripakshika and Shaanmaasikaare not done, then the Pitraadis would definitely go down to ‘Adhogati’or the lower abodes.). Now the ‘Preta Shraddha Vidhi’Mantra states:  Arghya heenam dhupam cha Gandhamaalya vivarjitam, NavaShraaddha mamantrasyaadavanejana varjitam/ Aashodwigunaa Darbhaa Japaasheeh Swasti Vaachanam, Pitru shabdasswa sambandhassharma Shabdastathaivacha/PaatraalambhovagaahaschaUlmukollekanaadikam,Truptiprashnaschavikirassesha prashnastathaiva cha/Pradakshinaa Visargascha Seemaanta gamanam tathaa, Ashtaadasha Padaarthaamscha Pretasshraaddhey Vivarja- yet/ (In Nava Shraaddhas, the following  Karyas are forbidden viz. Arghya, Dhupa, Gandha and Maalaas. In Preta Shraaddha the following are also forbidden viz. Ashirvaada, Dwi Kushas, Japa, Swasti Vaachana, Pitru Shabda, Swayam Shabda, Sharma Shabda, Paatraalambana, Dwijaangushtha Nivedana,Ulmukha or burnt wood, Ullukha Lekhana, Tripti Prashna, Vikira  or scattering, Sesha Prashna, Pradakshina, Visarjana and  Seemaanata-Anusarama or polite way of sending off.)  Also, in the Tilosi Mantra the Shabda of Swadhaanamah  should be avoided but by mentally imagining of the Preta Shabda  tilas be just kept in silence. Similarly, Arghya be also simply provided . While Rigvedis take the name of the Preta and perform Paani homa with the Mantra: Amushmai Swaahaa,  other Shaakheeyas leave one Pinda thinking in mind but not uttering the Ninayana Mantra; the Pinda is merely left saying Abhiramyataam and do the Visarjana. In other words, Nava Shraaddha is Mantraheena. Now, in Ekoddhishta Shraddha the Paatrais required to be kept open since placing thePatra upside down is done only in Parvana Shraaddha; Darbhas be kept in the Paatra. On the tenth day Mundana is required to be done especially in respect of parents and Acharya. In the case of the death of husband, mundana is prescribed to the wife on the tenth day. To all the Putras mundana is done on the first and tenth day but this depends on the tradition. In case the death occurred in the night then munadana is stated to be due at the Deha Dahana itself. On the tenth day: Dashamehani Purva Vastra Shuddhim Griha Shuddhim cha krutwaa Goura sarshapa tilakalena sashirah snaanam krutwaa Nava Vastrey paridhaaya parihita vastraani Preta vastraani chaantya -jebhya Aashriteybhyascha datwaa Suvarnaadeeni Mangala vastuni sprushtwaa Griham pravishewt/   (On the tenth day, there should be the discarding of the earlier vastras and performing of Shuddhi of the house, and the karta(s) should smear  white sarasa/mustard powder on the body and take head bath, adorn new clothes and after touching gold and other auspicious materials, enter the home afresh). Asthika Samkshepana Vidhi: Having done the Asthi Sanchayana as referred to above, the son or douhitra (daughter’s son) or the Karta’s brother ie any body of the Maatru-Pitru Vamsa should carry the Asthis for immersion in the Sacred Waters like Ganga; any one other than the Vamsheeyas performing the immersion should do prayaschitta of Chandrayana Vrata. If done properly, the Asthi Samkshepana would achieve Brahma Loka: Gangaa toyeshu yasyaasthi kshipyatey Shubha karmanah, Natasya punaraavritti Brahma lokaatsanaatanaat/ But the immersion should not take place on the evenings of Thursdays and Fridays and in Adhika Maasaas. Dashaahaabhyantareyyasya Gangaa thoyesthimajjati, Gangaayaam maranam yaadruktaa-drukphala mavaapnuyaat/ ( If during the Dashaaha or the Ten day period of death the Asthis of the dead are immersed in Ganga, their Souls would surely accomplish Moksha). As regards the Vidhi: The Place where the Asthis were kept originally should be cleaned up with Gomaya Mutra with Gayatri Mantra followed by Pancha Snaanaas of Gandha dwaaraa; Aapyaayasya; Didhikravrunney; Ghritam mimikshirey/ washing respectively with Gomaya, Ksheera, Dadhi an Ghrita; and four Ruks commencing with Upasarpa/ This would be followed by Asthi grahana Karma by the viniyoga of Rishi Chhanda viz. Shankhah Pitarastrishthup Bhu praarthana Khanana Mriduddharanaasthi grahaneshu kramena viniyogah/ Asthi Shuddhi is then performed with Yetonvindra and three Ruks; Pancha Snaanas more with Devasyatwaa  with kushodakas; Manastokey with Bhasma; Ashvakraantey Radha kraantey with Mritthika; Madhuvaataa with Madhu; and Apohishtha with Shuddhodaka. After the Dasha Snaanaas as above, next Karma would be Asthi Maarjana with the Mantraas: Ato deva and Sapta Suktaas; Yetonvindra; Shuchivo; Natamam hona-Ashta Suktas; Itivaa-Trayodasha Suktas; Swaadishtayaa- Dasa Sutras; Mamaagnevarchovihavey- Nava Sutras;  Kadrudraaya prachasey-Nava Sutraas/ As a part of ‘Asthi kshepa’, there would be a Sapindeekarana, Parvana Vidhi, Hiranya Shraaddha; Pinda Daana; Tila Tarpana; Pancha Gavya-Panchaamruta-Shoddhodaka Snaanaof the Asthis; Pushpa-Patra Puja; Dwadasha Karshas with Chandana-Kumkuma-Karpura- Kasturi-Swarna-Rajata- Mukta-Neelaadi; Ashtottara Shata Tilaajyaahutis; Sankalpa of Amuka gotrasyaamuka Sharmano Brahma lokaadi Praaptayemuka Trthey Kshipra kshepamaham karishye/; and finally uttering Namostu Dharmaaya---Namo Preetostu perform the Asthi Kshipana followed by Surya Darshana. Ekaadasha Dina Karya: After Griha Shuddhi and ‘Sachela Praatah Snaana’, the Karta and Sapindaas would secure ‘Adhikaara’ or eligibility of performing Sandhyaa Pancha Maha Yagnas and Darsha vaarshika Shraaddhaas. However Naandi Shraadha cannot be executed  by the Karta and Sapindas unless Sapindeekarana is done to the ‘Chatushpurusha’ ie the four generations. The next Karya would be Vrishotsarga   or donation of a bull: Ekaadashaahey Pretasya yasyanot –srudjyatey Vrishah, Pretatwam Susthiram  tasya datthai sshraaddha shatairapi/ ( If donation of a bull is not done preferably on the eleventh day of a parent’s death, then even hundred Shraaddhas would not yield the same effect!)  Mahaikoddishta: Quite different  from Shodasha Shraaddhaas and    distinct from‘Sarvaikoddishtaas’, this is done with ‘Paaka’and if possible with a provision of bhojana to two Vipras or of Agni Homa since the Vachana is: Brahmanam bhojayedaadye hotavyamana- lethavaa/  In this case,  the Vipra is provided with a Mundana,  Nakhaccheda, ‘Snaanaabhyanjana’; Arghya-Padya-Aasana-Gandha-Pushpa-Vastras without Dhupa-Deepas without Mantras. This kind of Ekoddhishta Shraaddha is devoid of Devas and as such only one Brahmana is engaged. There should not be any of the Swadha Shabda, Nama Shabda and Pitru Shabda. In this the Arghya Patra is imaginary and Abhishravana too.The Karmaas are all performed with Praacheenaaveeti position , sinnce  Vishwa Deva Karya is not involved.  Agnoukarana is optional. In that case, in Paani Homa there should not be any bhakshana of the ‘Paaka’  but should be consigned to Agni. There should be only one pinda. Thereafter, the Karya ends up with Snaana as the Nava Shraaddha is without Mantra. Maasika Prakarana:  At  the end of the month of the death of the Parent when the apprehension of Ashoucha is long ended,  the Prathama Shraaddha becomes due as the Sapindeekarana of the Preta Swarupa would be the sole objective in the mind of of the Karta and the initial step the Prathama Shraddha is to be observed by treating Brahmanas to hearty Bhojanas and kindling the Homaagni. However, depending on the  determination at the Ekaadasha Dina  Karmas, the Karta resolves whether the ‘Apakarshana’ or lessening  and postponing the pace of Sapindikarana be done in the eventual monthly Shraaddhas numbering as many as Sixteen in the Prathama Varsha. Thus the intensity of the Prathama Maasika is decided on that decision. Teshaamekaadashaaha eva karana pakshey tu Shodasha maasikaanaam Shodashaavrittaya nekam mahaikodidushtamati Sapta Dashaa- Vrityaapatyaa dwiraavrutirbhaveydi hetyukteyrasangatey/ Tathaa cha Sapindyadhikaaraarthaapa- krishyaanaam maasikaanaam dwaadashey karana ‘Ekaadashaahey Mahaikoddhushtottaramati kraantammaadya maasikam karishye’ iti Sankalpamaadya maasikamaatra mannenaamena vaa Viprey Darbha vatou vaa pretamaavaahya kaaryam, na twaadyamaasikasyaagnou homah; Punascha bhojayedwipamiti vishesha vachanaat/ Ityam cha Mahaikoddhishtameka maadya maasikamityeko-ddishtasya dwiraavrittih spashtaiva/ (If the intention at Ekaadashaa is to execute Sixteen Maasikaas, then sixteen Aavrittis’ or slow downs be performed with an extra seventeenth one for Ekoddishta   ‘Aavritti’ or recurrences or repeats too.  Thus the Sankalpa at the Ekadashaha would be that after the Maha Ekoddhishta, I shall perform Atikranta Adya Maasika. Then  at the Adya Maasika, only Paakaanna would be served to a Brahmana or a ‘Kusha Vatu’ or a Preta in the form of a Kusha Vatu which would be invited by the ‘Aavaahana’. Thus there would neither by an imagined Brahmana and need for Homa; since Brahmana Bhojana would be repeated again and again). Some experts opine that a the Ekaadasha time itself, a Sankalpa be made to perform the Prathama Maasa as also Prathama Vaarshika while others feel that a Sanakalpa could be made that the Prathamaabdika would be done  after the Masika Shraddhas are completed one by one.In any case, it is clear that after the Dwadhasaah  sixteen Masikaas be performed viz. Aadya Masika, Unmaasika, Tripaakshika,  Triteeya Maasika, Chatrutha-Panchama-Shashtha Maasikaas, Unshashtaa Maasika, Saptama-Ashtama-Navama -Dashama- Ekadasha-Dwaadasha and Unaabdika). Rudra Gana Shraaddha:  On the Prathama Maasika itself, there should be Ekaadasha Rudra Shraaddha to be performed by addressing Rudra Rupi Preta. The worship of Rudra Deva is required to be done with Savyopaneeta while that of the Ekadasha Preta Rupaas of Rudra Ganaas be addressed in Apasavya position. The Preta Swarupa Rudra Ganaas are called Veerabhadra, Shambhu, Gireesha, Ajaikapaat, Aahirdjyudhna, Pinaki, Aparaajita, Bhuvanaadheeshwara, Kapali, Upasthaanu and Bhaga. If the Karta has the ability then he could commission eleven Brahmanas to represent each of the Rudras or otherwise one Brahmana be engaged to deputise in the place to be treated for normal Bhojana. In this Shraddha there would neither Agnoukarana nor Pinda daana. Ashtaavasu Shraaddha: This is basically an Ekaadashaaha Kaarya which is purely optional but provides ‘Sukha Gamana’ or comfortable passage to the Preta on way to the Para Loka: Aasanopaanaha cchatram Mudrikaacha Kamandaluhu, Yagnopaveetaajya Vastram bhojanaamchanna bhaajanam/Dashakam padameytatsya –at padaanyevantrayodasha, Deyaanivaa Yathaa shakti teynaasou preenito bhavet/ ( The Preta would be delighted at the comfort provided by the daanaas of footwear, umbrella, ring, kamandalu, yagnopa -veeta, Aajya or Ghee, Vastra, Bhojana and Anna Paatras.) Additionally, fourteen Upadaanaas  viz. a Kumbha or Pot with Anna or Cooked Rice,  Paada rakshas, water carrier, Chhatra, Clothing, walking stick and a Metallic Rod, a Burnt wooden piece to light up the way, a Deepa,  Tilas, Tamboola, Chandana and a Flower garland would turn the Preta’s  trans-world  journey worthwhile. If not already done at the Avasaana Kaala of the Jeeva by the assistance of children and other family members, then the Vaitarani-Dhenu Kraanti- Dhenu Moksha-Dhenvaadi daanaas, Go-Bhu-Tilaadi ‘Dasha Daanaas’and Tila Paatra Daanas be done as thefinal opportunity. On this occasion, the other Daanaas be also given away the the comfort of the Pretatma viz. Ashvam Ratham Gajam Dhenum Mahishim Shibikaadikam, Daasi Ratnam Bhushanaadi Shayyaam Chatram cha Chaamaram, Dadyaa-Vittaanu saarena pretattat sukham labhet/  Besides Shayaadi Daanaas, the Karta’s Deepa daana is stated to bestow year-long contentment: Pratyaham Deepakodeyo Margetu vishamey Naraih, Yaavatsamvatsaram vaapi Pretasya sukha lipasayaa/ Praangmukhota mukham Deepam Pitrai Adbhi-ssankalpya susthiram/ (The  year long  ‘prati dina’ deepa would provide to the Preta Swarupa ample illumination and indeed  that would facilitate the safe passage of the Preta). Deepa should be placed in the Eastern or Northern sides at the house of a Brahmana or Devaalaya, while in Pitru Karmas he should face Dakshina Mukha. Shayyaa Daana: The requirement of  Shayya Daana on the Eleventh day of the death needs to be fulfilled along with comforts of vastra-vessel-and other material by keeping the Preta Purusha on the bed. There should be the puja of a good Brahmana couple on the Shayya along with Gandha-Pushpa-Vastra-Tambulaadi and give a new bed. Swargey Purandara purey Loka Paalaalaye tathaa,Sukheva satya soujantusshaayya daanaprabahavatah/ (This kind of Shayyaa Dana addressed to the Preta would make him happy in Swarga and in the Cities of Dikpaalakaas till Pralaya time!) Kumbha Daana and Kumbha Shraaddha: Right from the Eleventh Day of the death, the Karta should arrange for a Kumbha or Earthen Pot with water and Anna so quench the thirst and hunger of the Preta for a year even if Sapindeekarana has been done earlier; Ekaadadashaahaat prabhuti Ghatasto -yaanna samyutah, Diney Dineypradaatavyo yaavatsam vatsaramsutaih/ Yasya samvatsaraadarvaak Sapindeekaranam bhavet,Maasikamchoda kumbhamcha deyantasyaapi Vatsaram/ Apishrouddha Shatairdatteyrudakumbham vinaa Naraah, Daridra duhkhinastaata bhramanticha bhavaarnavey/ Yaavatabdamchayo dadyaaduda kumbham vimatsarah, Pretaayaanna samaa yuktam soshwamedha phalam labhet/ ( Thus the year long provision of Kumbha is not provided and Uda Kumbha Shraadda is not done then it would be a negation of the phala of hundred Shraadhaas and worse still the dead Souls would be lost without moorings in the huge Oceans of Samsaara!) If the Karta were to have executed the Kumbha Shraaddha then  he would reap the fruit of Ashwamedha Yagna.This Kumbha Shraaddha is to be done before Sapindeekarana in Ekoddhishta Vidhi followed by Paarana Vidhi.  As per Bhatta the expert, this needs to be done daily from the thirteenth day onward; this is with or without Pinda daana and also Deva Heena or without the restriction of Deva Puja and could be done on daily basis without Sankalpa-Kshana Daana-Paadyaasana Gandhaacchaada tamboola dakshinas. Only some small quantity of Anna is kept on Bhumi with the simple Mantra of Ptithvitey Paatra---Yesha Uda Kumbha idamannam duttam cha/  and leave it. As Kumbha Shraddha is only a Preta Shraaddha, this could be done daily and if inconvenient, then adequate ‘Nishkriaya Dravya’ be apportioned for the purpose to be given away.  Sapindeekarana:  In case any one of the three generations of father or mother has left, then the normal requirement is to proceed with Sapindeekarana on the twelfth day and perform Pinda Pitru Yagna at the ensuing Darsha Shraadha day. This requirement is alike for ‘Saagnikas’ or ‘Niragnikaas’;  Saagni-kastu yadaa Kartaa Pretovaapyagnimaan bhavet, Dwaadashaahey tadaa kuryaat Sapindeekaranam Pituh/ (In case both the Karta and Preta are Saagnikaas then Sapindeekarama is done on Dwadasha.) However in the event of neither Kartha nor the Preta being Saagnikaas, then there could be many alternatives:  Sapindikaranam kuryaad yajamaanastwa nagnimaan, Anaahitaagneyh Pretasya purney Samvatsarethavaa/ Ekaadashey Maasi Shashthey Trimaasevaa Tripakshakey, Maasaantey Dwaada -shye Vaahni kuryaadekaadasheyhani/ Yadaharvriddhiraapanna tadahaareti nischitam/ (If both the Preta and Karta are not ‘Aahitaagnis’, then Sapindeekarana could be done at the Samvatsa -raanta, or in the eleventh month, or sixth month or in the third paksha or at the end of the month or the twelfth day or even in the eleventh day itself. ) If Sapindeekarana is not done on the twelfth and other alternative days as mentioned, it could also be performed other wise: Sapindeekarana Shraaddha-muktakaaley kritam na chet, Hastaardraa Rohinibhevaanuraathaa yamcha taccharet/( If not, it could be done in the Nakshatras of Hasta, Ardra, Rohini, and Anuraadha.) If the elder son is abroad the younger sons are forbidden to perform Sapindikarana, although the latter could do Shodasha Shraaddhaas. In that case on return from elsewhere, the elder need not repeat the Shodhasha Shraaddhas. But if the younger brother happens to be ‘Aahitaagni’ then he could be qualified to perform Sapindikarana. Further, Deshaantarastha putraanaam shrutwaatu vapanam bhavet, Dashaaham Sutakam chaia tadantecha Sapindanam/ (As soon as the news of the death reaches the Deshaantara Putraas , they should at once get Mundana and Snaana besides observe Ashuchi for ten days and then only be qualified for performing Sapindana.)  Prathamaabda Nishiddhaas: During the  first year of the death of Parents till the Prathamaabda, the Karta has to following tasks are forbidden: Eating outside the house, Gandha Maalya and such luxuries, Abhyangana Snaanas or oil baths, Ritwik Karmaas, Laksha Homas, Maha Daanas,  Kaamya Karmas, Tirtha Yatras, Vivaahaadi Shubha Karyas, Shiva Puja. Sandhyo paasana Deva Pujaa Pancha Mahaa yagnaatirikta karmamaatram varjyayem/  Prameetou Pitarouyasya Dehastasyaashuchir bhavet, Na Daivam naapi vaapitryam yaavatpurno na Vatsarah/ ( Barring Sandhyopaasana, Deva Pujas, and Pancha Mahaa Yagnas, all other Karyas are forbidden. This is so beacause a person’s body suffers from impurities for one year as the parents  are dead). Tirtha Yatras and Upavaasa-Vratas are also forbidden during the Prathama Vaarshika; Gayaa Shraaddham Shraaddhamanyaccha Paitrukam, Abda madhye na kurveeta Mahaa Guru pipattishu/  (Even Gayaa Shraaddah which is basically of Paitruka nature should not be performed before the Prathama Vaarshika. Besides Tirtha Shraaddhas, Mahaalayaadi Paitruka Shraaddhaas too are  barred  during this period. As regards Vriddhi Shraaddhas are concerned, even if Sapindeekarana is done on the twelfth day itself, the Paitruka Deha would still not be achieved till the Prathama Vaarshika is over;  thus Vriddhi Shraaddhaas are forbidden till the end. Panchaka Mriti: Mrityu during the Panchaka Nakshatra viz. during the first of Dhanishtha till Revati and the four intervening Nakshatras and since ‘daaha’ is not favourable to Vamshaabhi Vridddhi, the Karta has to materialise a ‘Putali’ or an effigy made of darbhas, smear it the the paste of yava dhanya powder surrounded with woollen threads, apply Gandha Pushpaas with prokshana and at the time of daaha consign it along with  the Preta’s  body to flames with the Sankalpa: Amukasya Dhanishtaa panchakaadi marana suchita vamshaarishta vinaashaartham Panchaka Vidhim karishye/  The process of  keeping the Putali or doll first on the Preta’s head, followed by the eyes,  the belly on the left side, then the navel and finally on the body’s feet pouring Ajyaahutis addressing the Putali ( image) as Preta Vaaha, Preta Sakha, Pretapa, Preta bhumipu, and Preta harta; the Mantras to be recited at this Karma would be Yamaaya Somam; Traiyambakam / Then a Pratima of Yama already kept inside the Kumbha be taken out and be worshipped by way of Aajyaahutis saying Yamaaya Swaha, Dharmaraajaaya, Mrittavey, Antakaaya, Vaivaswataaya, Kaalaaya, Sarva Bhuta kshayaaya, Aoudumburaaya, Dadhnaaya, Neelaya, Parameshthiney, Vrikodaraaya, Chitraaya and Chitra guptaaya swaaha/ At the end of the Shanti Prakriya make daana of a black cow for Shanti saying Yamomey preeyataam/  Like wise, Shanti be performed at the Mrityu of Tripaada Nakshatraas viz. Punarvasu, Uttaraashaadha, Krittika, Uttara Phalguni, Purbaabhaadra and Vishakha; or during the Dwipaada Nakshatra of Mrigasirsha, Chitra and Dhanishtha; or Bhadraa Tithi of Bhanu-Bhouma and Shani Vaara Dinas.

Sanyaasa Prakarana:  Brahmacharyaa Deva pravrajeydgrihaadvaa vanaadwaa Atha punaravrativa snaatakovaa Utsanaagniranagnikovaa yada hareva virajettada hareva pravrajet/ (Be it a Brahma –chaari or who has done samavarta or returned home after studies or a Snaataka, Grihsta, Saagnika, Anagnika, or Vanastha- any person could  get Vairagya and take to Sanyaasa on that very day). Any body who is anxious, on the threshold of death, or highly disturbed in mind or other-worldly wise, is qualified to assume Sanyaasa. In taking ‘Aatura Sanyasa’ or in a restless mind, there would not be duties to observe except declaring themselves as Sanyasis. But in the case of those  Brahmanas who are in the quest of  ‘Atma jnaana’ and are ready for ‘Danda Grahana’and such formalities are only  eligible and are called Vividisha Sanyasis. ‘Vidwat Sanyasa’ is open to Kshatriyas and Vaishyas too. Basically there are four classifications of genuine Sanyasis viz. Kuteecha, Bahoodaka, Hamsa and Parama Hamsa. Kuteecha is the one who stays away aloof from normal life in a seperated Kuteera or an abode, wearing Yagnopaveeta and Shikha as also Kaashaya Vastra and Tridanda, eating from relatives and observing Atma Nishta. Bahoodaka is the one who deserts family members, observes the niyamaas of Kaashaya Vastra etc. and receives alms and Bhojana from among seven houses while being fully engaged in absorbing Tatwa  Jnaana. Hamsa Sanyasi is similar to Bahoodaka but also wears a single Danda. Parama Hamsa is distinguished without Shikha-Yagnopaveeta and is a concentrated version of a Superior Sanyasi to whom it is immaterial to wear Kaashaya vastra or not but does adorn with Danda Dharana. Eka Dandam samaashritya Jeevanti bahavo Naraah, Narakey Rouravey Ghorey Karma tyaagaatpatamtitey,Kaashtha Dando Dhrutey yena Sarvaashi Jnaana varjityah sayaati Narakam ghoram/ (  Those who have no Vairagya but assume the ‘Vesha’ or outfit of a Sanyasi for his livelihood would indeed visit Narakas; Sriti Vachana states: by merely adorning with Danda without Karma Tyaaga those who who show off as Sanyasis would definitely visit Ghora Narakas.)

Sanyaasa Grahana Vidhi:  Uttaraayana is stated to be the preferred time for initiating into Sanyasa, especially for those who have Grihyaagni. Having located a Sadguru who possesses Shanti and Danti or Placidity and Self Restraint, the aspirant Sanyasi should learn Sanyasi Dharmas from the tutelage and  keep on practising Gayatri Japa, Rudra Japa and Kushmanda Homa for three months and after attaining Bahyaantara Shuchi on one Rikta Tithi make the Sankalpa: Amukasya Mama karishya -maana Sanyaaseneydhikaaraartham Chatuh krucchaatmakam praayaschittam Pratikruccham tatprachyamnaayaika Gonishkriyadwaaraaha maacharishye Krucchaprtayaamnaaa Gonishkraya dravyam Viprebhyo daatumahamtsrujey/ Thus having given Go-Pratyaamnaaya,commence series of Shraaddhas on Ekadashi or Dwadashi at Brahma Ratri. Ashramasastha has to perform ChatuhKruccha followed by Ashta Shraddhas; Aapastambas and Hiranyakeshiyas follow the Saankalpa Vidhi without Agnoukarana Pindaas and by Sankalpa Vidhi only. But Ashwalaayanaadis follow Sapinda Paravana  Prayoga; in this in Savya position they perform Shraddhaanga Tarpana with Yava mishra jala in rivers and waterflows stating: Brahmaanam Tarpayaami, Vishnum--; Maheshwaram--; Devarsheen--; Brahmarsheen--;Kshatrarsheen--; Vasoon--;Rudraan--;Adityaan--; Sanakam--;Sanandanam--; Sanaatanam--;Pancha Maha Bhutaani--; Chakshuraadi Karanaani--;Bhutagraamam--; Pitaram--; Pitaamaham--;Prapitaamaham--; Aatmaanam-/ Having returned home the Karta would then announce Desha Kaalaadi and make the Sankalpa: Karishyamaana Sanyaaasaangatvey noushtaa shraadhhani paarvana vidhinaannenaameynavaa karishye/ This would be like Naandi Shraaddha and hence in Savya positionitself by using yavaas in place of Tilas. The opening Shraaddha is meant for Satya Vasu Sanjnika Vishwa Devas involving two Naandi Mukha Brahmanaas and naming (Vaana) of one of them to organise the  Eight Shraaddhas. In the Prathama Deva Shraaddha, the ‘Ucchaarana’ or recital would be Brahma Vishnu Maheshwaraa Naandi Mukhaah Sthaanekshanah priyataam/ The Second one is Rishi Shraaddha with the Uccharana of Deveshi Brahmarshi Kshatrarshi yo naandi –mukhaah Sthaanekshana priyataam/ The third one is Divya Shraddha addressed to  Vasu Rudraa- ditya Rupaa naandhi mukhaaya--/ The fourth one is Manushya Shraddha to Sanaka Sanandana Sanaatanaadi----; the fifth one is Bhuta Shraaddha to Prithivyaadi pancha Mahaa bhutaan –yekaadasha chakshuraadi karanaadi chaturvidha bhutagraamaa naandi mukha;the sixth one is Pitra Shraaddha to Pitru Pitaamaha Prapitaamahi naandi mukha----; the Seventh Shraaddha is directed to Maatru Pitaamahi Prapitaamahyo naandi mukha---; and finally the Eighth Shraaddha being Atma Shraaddha  and the Uccharana is: Atmaantaraatma Paramaatmaanah Naandi mukha----.  

After the Naandimukha, Padya is given to Vishwa Devas with the Mantra : Sanyaasaartha maham Shraaddham kurvey bruta Dwijottamaah, Anugnaam praapya ushmaakam siddhim praapyaami shasvateem/ Then one Vishwa Deva Patra and Ashta Patras for  are arranged  for Deva-Rishi-Divya-Manushya-Bhuta-Pitru-Maatru-Atma to provide Aasana-Gandhaadi Ahutis are offered. This method  is by way of Sankalpa in the case of Apastambaas but Ashvaayanas perform with ‘Arghyapaatraa- sadana’. Pinda-daanaadikas also are not applicable to Apastambaas. After the Ashta Shraddha on the first day, the Sanyasa Karmas on the following day include kesha khandana , Nadi Snaana, koupeena dharana, danda dharana, kamandalu dharana, Achhadana Vastra  dhaaranaadi karmas. Then the Sanyasa Grahana Karya is followed by the Maha Sankalpa : Asesha duhkha nivrutti niratishaya -ananda praapti rupa Parama Purushaartha praaptaye Parama Hamsa Sanyaasa grahanam karishye/ Tadangatayaa Ganapati pujana punyaahvachana Maatrukaa pujana Naandhi Shraaddhaani karishye/ The procedure is as follows: Recite the Mantra viz.  Brahmaney  namah, Vishnavey namah, Rudraaya namah,  Suryaaya, Somaaya, Atmaney, Antaratmaney, Agnimeeley, Ishetvorjetwaa, Agna Aayaahi Shannodevi etc.; take three fistfuls of ‘Satthu Pishta’ or mix of cereals, millets and pulses,  eat the Sattu thrice and touch the naabhi ; recite again the Mantra: Atmaney swaha Antaraatmaney swaaha Paramatmaney Prajaapataye swaaha; eat the mix of milk-curd-ghee-water by the Mantras of trivridasi once, pravridasi twice, divrudasi thrice, then drink water saying Aapah punantu and finally state: Upavaasam karishye/  

Savitri Pravesha: The Karta would recite : Om Bhuh Savitrim pravishaami; Om Tat Savaturvarenyam Om Bhuvah Savitrim pravishaami;  Bhargodevasya dheemahi; Om Swaha Savitrim pravishaami; Dhiyoyonah prachodayat Om Bhurbhuvaswah Savitrim praveshayaami; Tatsavatur varenyam Bhargo Devasya dheemahi dhiyoyonah prachodayat/ Before Suryastamaya, the Karta would secure ‘Prajjvalitaagni’ or fully blown up Agni and perform Brahma-Anvaadhaana with the Sankalpa: Sanyaasam kartum Brahmaan- vaadhaanam karishye/ Brahmaanvaadhaanma’s procedure is to invoke Agni first , perform Ajya Samskaara, take ‘sruk’/ladle-fuls of Ajya four times, carry out the Homa with Om Swaahaa Paramatmaney idam and do the ‘Agni Parishechanadi’. Then follows Sayam Sandhya homa, Vaishva Deva and Ratri Jaagarana. Next morning, the Karta would resume Nitya Homa, Vaishva Deva, Sthaalipaaka, Agni Dhyaana with Chakshu- Aajyena and Pradhaana Homa. Thus  concluding the Homas, the Karta would do japa with taratsammadi and perform Snaana with ‘Suvarna Rajita Kusha-Yukta jala’ or water with gold, silver and Kushas. Then he would perform the Sankalpa: Sanyaasaanga bhutam Praanaadi homam Purusha Sukta homam Virajaa homam cha tantrena karishye/  After the Sankalpa and Anvaadhaana, Pancha Praana Devatas are pleased with Samidha-Charu-Ghrita Homa; Purusha Suktaanvitha shodasha Samidhaadi homa, and Virajaa Mantranvita  Prajapati homa with special ‘dravyas’ were also excecuted . This is followed by hundred and eight Mouna(Silent) Homas with Aajya, perform Praanaaya Swahaadi Pancha Prana Homa and conclude with Sahasra Sirsha Purushaadi sixteen Ruchas utilising distinct three materials in the homa stating Purushaayedam na mama at the end.

Viraja Homa: This is a highlight Homa in the context of Sanyasa Grahana Vidhana and is more or      less the conclusive component of the Vidhana. Viraja Mantra : It is with this Mantra that forty climactic Ahutis to Agnideva are executed with a wide variety of Dravyas : Praanaapaana vyaanodaana samaanaamey shudhyantaam jyotiraham Virajaa Vipaasmaa Bhuyaasam  swaahaa-Praanaadibhya idam/ Vaagmanaschakshusshrotra  jihvaa ghraanareto buddhyaa kuti sankalpaamey shudhyantaam jyotiraham swaahaa-Vaagaadibya idam/ Twakcharma Maamsa rudhiramedo majjaa snaayavostheenimey shuddhyantaam jyotiraham swaahaa-Shira Aadibhya idam/ Uttishta Purusha harita pingala lohitaaksha dehi dehidadaapayitaamey shudhyam, Purushaadibhya idam/  Prithivyaapatejo vaayu raakaasho shudhyantaam swaaha-Prithivyaadi idam/ Shabda sprasha rupa rasa gandhaameyshudhyantaam swaahaa- Shabdaa –dibhya idam/ Mano vaakkaaya karmaani mey Shuddhyantaam Jyotiraham swaahaa- Mana Adi Karmabhya idam/ Avyakta bhaavairahankaarair jyotiraham swaahaa-Avyaktaadibhya idam/ Aatmaamey shuddhyantaam swaahaa-Antaraatmana idam/ Paramaatmaamey shudhytantaam swaahaa-Paramatmana idam/ Kshudey swaahaa-Kshuda idam/ Kshutpipaasaaya swaaha-Kshut pipaasaayedam/ Vinidyai swaahaa-Vinidyaa idam/ Rukvidhaanaaya karshotkaaya swaaha/ Kshut-pipaasaamalaam Jyeshthaamalaamalakshim naashamaamyaham, Abhutimasamriddhimcha Sarvaam nirnudamey paapmaanam swaaha-Agnayam ida/ Annamaya Praanamaya Manomaya Vignaana mayaanandamaya Aatmaamey Shuddhyantaam swaaha-Annamaadibhya idam/   After the forty Ajyaahutis thus, the Karta would offer the final Ahuti to Prajapati: Prajaapatou tanmanasi juhomi Muktoham Deva kilbishaat swaahaa-Prajaapata idam/ ; recite Purusha Sukta; perform ‘swishtakrut’ to the Homa Sesha; give awaytheLoha Patraas to Guru; burn the six patraas that have been the aids in the Grihaagni Homaas; donate Go hiranya vastraadi to Brahmanas; pray to Guhaagni; do Agni Samaropa, recite the Yajus thrice : Yaatey Agney yajniyaa tanustayehyaarohatmaana/ ; consume by his mouth the Agni Jwaala; bless the sons family members stating: Sarvey bhavantuVedaadyaa –ssarvye bhavantu Somapaah, Sarvey Putra mukham drushtwaaSarvey bhavantu bhikshukaah/; reach a water-body for handful of Jalagrahana with the ‘Abhimantrana’ by the Sukta of Aashushishana/; and leave the water in the Flow saying:  Sarvaabhyo Devataabhyah Swaahaa/

Sarva Tyaaga Vidhi’ : Total Renunciation starts with the recital of  the Maasa-Tithi-kaalas by the Karta as he would leave three handfuls of water in a Jalaashaya : Aparoksha Brahmaavaaptaye Sanyaasam Karomi/--Yeshahavaa Agnissurayah praanam gacchaswaa, Om swaamyonimgaccha swaahaa/  He would then perform Jala-prokshana providing ‘Abhaya’ to all present: Putreyshanaa Vitteshanaa Lokeshanaa Sarveshanaa mayaatyaktaa/ Abhayam Sarvatebhyo matta swaaha/  This would follow the Karta’s Vachana to all concerned as a Final  Expression of Acknowledgement : Yatkinchidgrandhanam Karmakritamagjnaana to mayaa,Pramaadaalasya doshottham tatsarvam santyajaamyaham/ Tyakta sarvo Vishuddhatma gata sneha shubhashubhah, Esha twajaamyaham Sarvam Kaama Bhoga Sukhaadikam/ Rosham Tosham Vivaadam cha Gandha maayaanulepanam, Bhushanam Nartanam geyam daanaamaadaanamevacha/ Namaskaaram Japam homam yaascha nityaah kriyaa mama, Nityam Naimittikam kaamyam Varnadharmaarthaschamaas-chaye, Sarvameva Parityajya dadaamabhaya dakshinaam/ Padbhyaam Karaabhyaam viharannaham Vaakkaaya maanasaih, Karishye Praanimaam peedaam raaninhah santu nirbhayaah/ (I now leave behind all my Karma Bandhas or the shackles of my previous actions performed by ignorance, or accidents or carelessness or even with full consciousness. Having repudiated my erstwhile actions of blemish totally, I now resolve with my Conscience that here-onward I shall  leave all comforts and luxuries, disengage from controversies, quarrels, and questionable actions; Gandha Maalya Chandanaadi Alankaras and Ornamentations, Nritya-Gaana- Daana- Sweekaara-Namaskaraas; Jala-Homa-Nitya Naimittiaka Kamya Karmas, Varnashrama Dharmaabhimaanas and soon. I shall provide refuge to the weak and disabled beings including animals and other beings and offer help by way of physical, mental, vocal and heartfelt actions) Having announced the resolve by swearing before Suryaadi Devatas and keeping  Vipras and others as witnesses, the Sanyasi would then descend into waters navel-deep with East face and enter Savitri Pravesha and leave waters with the resolve: Putreshanaaya Vitteshanaayaa Lokeshanaayaascha vyutthitoham bhikshaacharyam charaami/  and leave water in the Water Flow.

Praishocchaara: The terminal acts of Sanyasa Vidhaana of Praishocchaara  of the new Sanyasi are as follows: First with leaving water in the Flow with the Mantras thrice in three tones of low-medium and loud voice: Om Bhuh Samnyastam mayaa,  Om Bhuvah Samnyastam mayaa, Om Swaha Samnyastam mayaa, Om Bhurbhuvaswah Samnyastam mayaa/  Then the Shikha is unfurled and cut; the Yagnopaveeta is taken out by the raise of his hands above the shoulders and kept in his  hands reciting the Mantra: Aapovai Sarva Devataah Sarvaabhyo Devataabhyo juhomi swaayaa, Om Bhu Swaahaa/ Then he should offer both the Shikha and Yagnopaveeta  to the waterflow as though the Samidhjaajyaas are provided to Agni in a homa. Subsequently, the new Sanyaasi would pray to  Purushottama: Traahimaam  Sarva Lokesha Vaasudeva Sdanaatana, Sanyastam mey Jagadyoney Pundarikaaksha Mokshada/ Ushmaccharana maapannam traahi maam Purushottama! So saying  he should walk five steps in complete nakedness. Then as he greets the Acharya requesting the latter to bestow Atma Gyaana to him, the Acharya would provide a Koupeena and a Up Vastra . The latter also donates a Danda to the Nava Sanyasi with the instruction  that the latter should never ever  leave  the Sacred Danda as a Grand and Unique Symbol of Purity, Piety  and Integrity. The Sanyasi would accept the Isignia saying: Om Indrasya Vajrosi sakhemaam Gopaaya/ The Acharya futher bestows a Kamandalu stating:Vaartaghna Sharmamey bhavayatpaapam tannivaaraya/ As the Sanyasi squats on the ground before the Acharya wth folded knees and hands, he requests the Acharya to teach the intricacies and nuances of Vedanta and Traayaswabho Jagannatha Guro Samsaara vahnina, Dagdham maam Kalaadashtam cha twa maham Shranam gatah/ Yo Brahmanam Vidadhaatipurvam yo vai Vedaamscha Prahinoti tasmai, Tam ha Devamatma Buddhi prakaasham Mumukshurvai sharana maham prapadye/  The Acharya would keep his hand on the Sanyasi’s head , recites Purusha Sukta  stating: Mama vratey hridayamtey dadhaami/ and bestows his Upadesha into the ears of Pranava, its Pancheekarana followed by Pragnaanam Brahma, Ayamatma Brahma, Tatwamasi, Aham  Brahmaasmi and so on as well as the ‘Goodhaarthaas’ or the Concealed Meaning and Implications!

Sanyaasi Dharmas:  Following the early morning Japa of  Brahmanaspatey, observance of extreme clealiness in ablutions by four times more than in the case of  others , Aachamana, Dantadhavana with Pranava excepting on Dwadasis, Mrittikaa Snaana without Jala Tarpana, Vastra Dharana, Keshavaadi naama smarana, tarpana with Bhustarpayaami, Bhuvasstarpayami  etc. and dwikaala Vishnu Puja. Then the Sanyasi should visit well after Aparahna either five or seven houses for Bhiksha after the Grihastis should have by then eaten their food; the Yati who seeks Atma gyana has necessarily to secure Maadhukara Bhiksha. It is stated that even of he is quite unconcerned of Danda Vastras, he has to necessarily care for Bhiksha Paatra. Having thus secured the Bhiksha, he should do prokshana with Bhusswaddaanamah  along with the Samasta Vyahrutis, offer portions of the Bhiksha toSuryadi Devas, some to Bhumi, some to Vishnu,  perform nivedana to Chandi-Vinayakaas, consume the rest, do Achamana and finally resort to sixteen Pranayamas. It is said: Yati hastey jalam dadyaacchi -kshaam dadyaatpunarjalam, Bhaiksham Parvata maatram syaattajalam Saagaropamam/ ( If the Grihastis offer Bhiksha  then that should be deemed as it were a mountain and the water that is provided by the Grihasti be compared to Maha Sagara!). Eka raatram VasedgraameyNagarey Pancha Raatrakam, Varshaabhyo nyatra Varshaasu Maasaamstu Chaturobvasdet/ Ashtamaasa  anvihaara -syaadya  teenaam Samyataatmanaam, Mahaa Kshetra pravishtaanaam Vihaarastu na Vidyatey/  (Excepting the ‘Chaatur maasaas’ or the four months of the monsoon season, the Yati is required to tour eight months a year; while on the Sanchara, he could stay overnight in a Village, five nights in a town, and as many days as he wishes in a Kshetra. )Bhikshaatanam Japa Snaanam Dhyaanam Shoucham Suraarchanam, Kartavyaani shadeytaani sarvadhaa Nripa dandavat/ Manchakam Shukla Vastramcha Stree kathaa loulyamevacha, Divaaswaapasha  yaanam cha Yateenaam patanaanisha/ Vridhaa jalpam Paarta lobham sanchayam Sishya sangraham, Havyam Kavyam tathaannancha varjayeccha Sadaa Yatih/   (Bhikshaatana, Japa, Snaana, Dhyana, Shuddhi and Devarchana are the six major duties by Law. But Shayaa nidra, Shuddha vastraas, Stree related matters, storing of materials, sleep during the day time and travel by vehicles are the causes of a Sanyasi’s downfall. Also, Vridha Sambhashana, Parta lobha, Dravya Sanchayana, Sishya Sangrahana and  Havya-Kavya Bhojana are forbidden. Yati patraani mridwenu darvalaa bumayaanicha, Na Tirtha Vaasi Nityamsyaannopavaasa paroyatih/ Nachaa dhya –yana sheelasyaannavyakhyaana parobhavet/  (Yatis are to retain wooden or earthen vessels only; they should always observe Tirtha Nivasa, Deergha kaala Upavasaas  and engage themselves  in the studies of Vedarttha Granthas and related discussions only ).  

Aatura Sanyasa Vidhi: In thiscase, the procedure in brief involves Sankalpa, Preshocchaarana and Abhaya Daana. The Karta would take Mantra Snaana and Sankalpa: Jnaana Prapti dwaaraa Moksha Sidhyartha maatura Vidhina Sanyasamaham karishye/ Following the Sankalpa, he would go in for Kshavara except for six hairs on his sikha , take Snaana again, and after Aoupsosana, Agni Prajaparthya, Purnahuti,  perform  Udaka Homa or Ahutis with water in a water body itself with the Mantra: Yeshahavbaa Agneryoniryaha Praanaha Praanam gaccha swaaha, Apovaisarvaa Devataassarpaabhyo Devataabhyo juhomi swaahaa Bhu swaahaa/  There after, the Karta performs Abhimantrana of the remaining water from the palmful, the Karta makes the resolve: Putreshanaa Vitteshanaa Lokeshanaa mayaatyaktaa/ sips some water, recites another Mantra Abhayayam Sarva bhutebhyo mattha swaahaa/  consumes some more water  and finally  drinks full reciting Sanyastam mamaayaa/  He would face Eastward, lifts up his  hands to perform Priashocchaara as above, discards Yagnopaveeya with the final Bhu Swaaha, takes up the danda and thus becomes an Atura Sanyasi while the Mentor would give Maha Vakyopadesha as he takes over as an Atura Sanyasi; the Do’s and Don’t’s  of a Sanyasi mentioned above would become operative instantly.


UTTARAARTHA BHAAGA

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