Jeevita Putraadhikara: After ‘Aahnikaachaaraas’and Shaantika-Poushtika-Nithya-Naimitthikaas in the earlier pages, Dharma Sindhu now describes the Shraadhi Vidhis, Saangopa-Ashoucha Nirnayas and Antya Samskaaras. Before these aspects, it is necessary to ascertain the ‘Karmaadhikaara’ or the eligibility to perform Karmas in reference to Jeevita Putra or Jeevita Bhraata or those whose father and elder brother(s) are alive. The requirement for such a person is wear an ‘Uttareeya’ or an additional cloth over and above ‘dhoti’ or the main garment on the body of a Brahmana; in fact an Uttareeya is a symbolic additional Yagnopaveeta or the Sacred Thread. It is asserted : Eka Vastro na bhunjeeta na kuryaad devatya archanam/ ie. there should not be a single garment on a Brahmanas’s body for performing various Karyas especially in Devataarchana and bhojana. A person whose father-grand father and elder brother is alive is not qualified to perform ‘Agnyaadhaana’ earlier to them; the same is applicable to the Karta’s juniors like a son, a grand son or younger brother(s). Like wise, when father or his elders should performYagnas or SomaYaagas, the younger ones should not execute the same. The same is applicable in the context of Purnimaaneshti, Darshaneshti, and Agnihotra Homaas. This regulation is applicable to the juniors of the Jeevita Pitras too. However, the Jeevita Putra could be allowed to carry out the duty with the permission of the elders concerned alive except in the specified cases of Pitru Krityas, Darshaadi Shraaddha-Tarpanas and Pitru Daanas. There might be cases, when father might be available but not the mother, then Shraaddha Karmas at Places like Gaya Kshetraas might have to be done by the Jeevita Putra as an exception since the Shraddhas have to be done not only to the three generations of the dead mother but also to the grand father and the great Grand Father/ Similarly, yatras by the Jeevita Pitra to Maha Nadis and Tirthas would involve Gaya- like situations and there again, the Jeevita Putra should exercise similar dispensation despite the fact that the father was alive. Also, the Jeevita Putra is required to perform ‘Pinda Sahita Prayabdika Shraadda’ to the dead mother. In the event of the father assuming Sanyasa or having become a vagabond, then too the Jeevita Putra is required to perform Darsha Shradda, Mahalaya-Sankranti-Grahanaadi Shraaddhas addressed to the grand father and the great-grand father and the Matru Varga; but these Shraddhas would be without Pindas and the Sankalpa should be also like wise. A ‘douhitra’ or the son of a daughter even if his father were alive should perform Shraddha with pinda to his grand father on the maternal side on the Ashwina Shukla Pratipada besides yearly ‘Abdika’. In the same way, one should perform Sapinda Pratyaksha Shraaddha to his paternal uncle if the latter does not have children. Thus a Jeeva Pitru has to perform four Shraddhas on the paternal and maternl side if needed in the special circumstances. Interestingly, a woman is empowered to do the Sharddha to her dead husband if the couple had no children rather than by her the husband’s brother’s progeny! Also if there is no son, the husband has to do his wife’s Shraddhaha ; but some opine that his brother’s sons could take up the task.To Jeevata Pitruka, there is no ‘Adhikara’ or right to perform Tarpana to Pitrumahaadis orManushyaPitrus, since that right is reserved only to his father, but he is not debarred from Agnishwaattadi Devarshi Pitru Tarpana. Thus he (Jeevita Pitruka) he has the Snaanaanga Tarpanaadhikaara in the Brahma Yagna-anga Tarpanaadhikaara and hence the Shraaddhaanga Tarpanaadhikaaraa too as a corrollary.Thus even as a Jeevat pitra he is authorised to offer Tarpanaas to Yama and Bheeshma: Jeevat Pitraapi kurveeta tarpanam Yama Bheeshma yoh/ However the Jeevita Pitruka cannot perform tarpanas other than ‘Shraaddhanga Tarpana.’ In the ‘Shraddha Prayoga’ in general, there is no requirement of bending the left knee. Another general regulation is that the Shraaddha Karta should not resort to ‘Vastra Nishpeedana’ after last Snaanaas in rivers or water bodies. Normal regulation is to perform Pitru Karma with Apavasya- Yagnopavita dharana; but in the case of Jeevita Pitra, the Apavasya is only upto the elbow level. In the case of Jeevita Putra if the mother and her father are not alive, then the sons should perform Mahalaya or Darsha Shraaddhas, they are required to state: Pituh Pitamah Prapitaamahaanaam Pitamah Prapitaamahanaam Pitur MaatruPitamahPrapitaamahaanaa;PiturMaatruPitamahaanaamPiturMaataamahaMaatruPitaamahaMaatruPrapitaamahaanaam;Sapitneekam/aand make ‘Paarana Trayam’. If one’s father or the his brothers are nodoubt alive but unable to perform the Shraddhas, then the eldest son of the family could proxy stating: Piturmuka Sharmano Yajamaanasya Pitru Pitaamaha Prapitaamahaanaam/ It is emphasised: Sarvatra Jyeshthassaivaadhikaarah, Vibhakteshu pruthak pruthak/ (As a rule, the elder is eligible in the Shraaddha Karmas, unless the brothers perform the Shraddhaas individually). In the rare event of one’s father-grand father and Great Grand Father are all alive, then there is no reference to shraaddhas at all. If the father is dead but grand father is alive, then the Shraddha Karma is aimed at the father and the great grand father only.If both father and grand father are gone but the great grand father is alive, then the Karma is to be adjusted accordingly. In case the Shraddhaas are preformed by divided brothers, then Vaishvadeva Karya needs to be done individually. In such a case, Vaishvaanara is to be done in Pitru Yagna as a part of all the Pancha Yagnas, like Deva Yagna, Bhuta Yagna, Manushya Yagna and so on. This Regulation is in the case of Jeevita Pitrus also. However, Jeevita Putra or Garbhini’s Pati should not participate in the Karmas of Mundana or Head Shaving, Pinda Daana and above all Preta Krama. Sampurana PretaKarma involves burning of the dead body, Vahana or carrying it, and Sapindikarana Paryanta ‘Adhouhrva Dehika Karma’. That is why Jeevita Pitras are not allowed even ‘Raaga Prapta’ or voluntary Mundana too. As a rule,, mundana is done in respect of Choodaa karana-Upanayana- Adhaana- Darsha-Pournaamaasha-Jyotishtoma, Tirtha darshana-Praayaschitta-Matru Maranadi Naimitthika Karmas. Some persons opine that mundana should also be done in connection with Kaamya Naga Bali. Gangaayaam Bhaskara Kshetrey Mataapitaryo Guro Mritou,Aadhaaney Somapaanecha vapanam Saptasu smrutam/ That is: Mundana is required in connection with Seven Contexts viz. Ganga Snaana, Bhaskara Kshetra, deaths of parents and Gurus; ‘Aadhana’ and Somapaana. Therefore, Jeevatptruka is not authorised to perform Pinda daana in Naandhi Shraaddhas and Titha Shraddhas; or in the eventuality of father turning a Sanyasi then Darsha-Mahalaya Shraddhas without Pinda Pradana. It may be noted that Pinda Pradaana is allowed only in Pitru Yagnas, Soma Yagas, Mataamahaadi Vaarshika Shraddhaas, Gaya and other Anvashtakaadis. Vivaha Vrata Choodaasu Varshamartham tadarghakam, Pinda daanam Mrudaa Snaanam na kuryaattila tarpanam/ (In the case of Vivahas-Upanayanas-and Chooda Kaarmas there are restrictions for one year, six months, and threemonths respectively for Pinda Daana, Mrittika Snaana and Tila-Tarpana).
‘Shraadhaadhikaara’ (Entitlement to Perform Shraddhaas): Having discussed at length about the Jeevita Pitra and his ‘Adhikarasas’, Dharma Sindhu now narrates that the fundamental eligibility to various Karmaas like Vaarshikaadi Shraddaas, Daaha-aadi ‘Urthwa Dehika Preta Krityas ’or Trans World / OtherWorldlyTasks resting squarely on the Auorasa Putra or the Putra born of a regular wedlock from the same Kula. In fact, there are eleven other kinds of Putras like Khetraja Putra borrn to a wife of sickly or impotent or even deceased husband, the last catergory of which being Veda Vyasa Maharshi who after his brother Vichitraveerya’s death gave birth by Viyoga Ceremony to the born- blind Dhritarashtra, Pandu Raja the accursed and dead and Vidura the Son of a Servant woman; Dutta Putra or the adopted son; the Krittrima Putra or the artificial son; Godhupanna Putra or the one born of a secret wedding; Apaviddha Putra or the one abandoned and subsequently accepted; Kaaneena Putra or the one born out of illicit relationship; Sahoda Putra or born out of pregnancy; Kreeta Putra or a son bought over; Pournabhava Putra or born of a widow or a destitute; Swayam Dutta Putra or somebody’s son offering himself and seeking adoption and finally, the twelfth kindIn the event of the Jyeshtha Aourasa Putra is unavailable at the time of the death, the Sarva Kanishtha is deemed eligible for Sapindeekarana Paryanta Preta Kriyas and await the eldest to return till Sapindeekarana even for a year and if need be perform the Maasikaas meanwhile. But if the youngetst is a ‘Saagnika’ then he could perform Sapindeekarana on the twelfth day itself as scheduled. In the event of there being no ‘Aourasa’, his douhitra or even any body among the Kshetraajaadi Putras, the next choice would be of a ‘Datta Putra’; Maataa Pitaabhyaamanyatarena vaa Vidhi :Purvam dattah Pratigruheeta Suvarno datthakah / (He who was formally taken and given by the consent of the Parents is called Suvarna Dutta Putra and hence the obvious choice next to Aourasa Putra is Dutta Putra alone who is eligible). While there seems to be unanimity of Dutta Putra in the absence of Aourasa Putra, such unanimity is unavailable in respect of the Auorasa Poutra or Dutta Poutra. Some intrepret that between the Poutras, those who are ‘Upaneetas’ already are more eligible while others argue that being of tender age, Upanyana or Chooda Karma would not confer the eligibilty as they have to be tutored and trained by the Brahmanas either way since the differentiation should not be on Upanayana or other wise. Another feeling of the wife of the deceased states that in the absence of a Dutta Putra or Poutra, she migt as well perform the last rites – viz. ‘Daahaadyuttara Kriyas’ just as her husband would have performed if she would have died!
‘Daahaadhya-Adhikara Nirnaya’ to Strees: To those of feminity, the father is the Karta to the unmarried women, or alternatively her brother(s). To those who are married, her sons have the eligibility to attend to the post-mortem thirst of the mothers. In case, they are not there, her Sapatni (Co-Wife) Putras have the responsibility or their sons or grand sons. Otherwise the Bharta or the husband or the daughter or her douhitras/ sons or grand sons could perform . In any case, all acts including the thirst at the time of her depature or the end of life, and the other requisite tasks be fulfilled till ‘Sapindeekarana’ as the last mentioned Karma could be fulfilled by her son only. In the absence of her son, any of other acts from Daaha to Dashaaha could be done by Sapinda Kartas to the King of the Land but from Ekaadasha Daaha to Sapindikarana has to be done by the progeny. The Anumasika Samatvatsaraadi Uttara Kriyas need to be done by either Sapindikaas or others against payment of money like the dead woman’s own putras. The King also could perform the needful kriyas. If some body like the King or his agent / Karthas usurp the money and do not perform the Preta Kriyas properly, the curse to the Karta and his Vamsha would be too heavy. Kechit putra patyorabhaavey Streenaam Douhitraadibhihi Sapindikarana Rahitaa Evottaraah Kriyaah Kaaryaah, Sapindikaranam tu taasaam na Karyam/ Sapindikaranaabhaavepi Ekodrushta Vidhaanaa Vaarshikaadikam Kaaryamityaahum/ ( In the case of women who neither have husband nor sons, Douhitraadi should perform Uttara Kriyaas but not the Sapindeekarana; in the absence of this Ekoshti Vidhi-Vaarshikaadi be executed or the Saamvatsarikaadi be done formally). Brahmanas should never indulge in Paitruka Karma; if they do so, either by lobha /greed or bhaya or fear or any other consideration, then they are doomed in their current and next lives.
If a person has no son to the Janaka Pita or the father by birth and if both the fathers are no more, then the Dutta Putra has to perform both the Samvatsara Shraaddhas separately; In Darshana-Mahalaya Shraaddhas, he has to make the Sankalpas distinctly although in respect of Pinda Daanas the Karta has the option of stating the to sets of Pitru-Pitamaha- Prapitamaha Sankalpas together or independently. If the Janaka Paalakaas have sons otherwise then the Dutta Putra need not perform the obsequies or Anthya Kriyas or Vaarshika Shraddhas. Brahmachaari Vishaya Shraadda:
The onus of Brahmacharis Shava Nirvahana, Antya Kriyas, Maasika-Vaashika Shraaddhas is on the Parents or Maternal Grand Father or Guru; their Ashuchi would be for ten days and their Bhojanaas are forbidden to outsiders. Brahmana Stree Vidhi:
Shraaddha Vidhis need to be done by Brahmanas as Strees are to recite Mantras of Pouranik content only in connection with Vratas without Vaidika Mantras. Recital of Vedika Mantras is futile and would have adverse impact.