Friday, February 19, 2010

Sradha Dharma Prakarana

Sradha Prakaranam 2
(Details of after death and death ceremonies) 2
I. Mumukshur Prayachitha vidhi 2
The redemptive acts to be done by one who is nearing death 2
II, Mumukshor Dhana Vidhi 4
(The rules of Dhana for the dying soul) 4
III. Paryooshitha prayachitham. 4
(Redemptive acts for late cremation) 4
IV. Karthru krama:- 5
(The order of eligibility for carrying out death ceremonies) 5
V. Agni nirnaya. 7
The determination of the proper fire. 7
VI. Upavithadhi Niyama 7
(Those acts which should be done with normal wearing of sacred thread (On the left shoulder) 7
VII, Pretha nirharana prakara 8
The method for carrying the corpse. 8
VIII. Dahana Prakaranam 8
(The method of burning) 8
IX.Vapana Vidhi 9
(laws for shaving) 9
X. Dasama dina paryantha karthavyani 10
The rituals to be got done on tenth day. 10
XI. Karthru vishaye niyama 11
Some rules to be followed by the Kartha(the man who does rituals) 11
XII. Dampathyo saha mruthyu krama 14
Rituals when couple die together. 14
XIII. Garbhini Samskara 14
Cremation of a woman in pregnancy. 14
XIV. Ekadasahe vrushothsarga 14
The Vrushabha uthsarjana on the eleventh day 14
XV. Shodasa Sradhani 15
The sixteen Sradhas. 15
XVI. Sapindeekaranam 16
Merging the corpse to the manes 16
XVII. Sapindye Adhikarina 17
(the people entitled to do Sapindeekarana) 17
XVIII, Sapinda prakara 17
(the method of doing Sapinda) 17
IXX. Pinda samyojana Vidhi 18
(The rules for merging Pinda) 18
XX.Sothakumbha vidhi 20
Method of performing Sothakumba sradha. 20
XXI Abdhika Sradham 20
Annual ceremony of death 20
XXII Soura mase thithi dwaya sambhava anushtana krama 21
(the procedure when two thithis occur in the solar month 21
XXIII Sradhe thithi kaladhi niroopanam 22
(The analysis of suitability of Thithi to Sradham) 22
XXIV Sradha kadhinaam vibhakthai pradhaganushtanam 22
(Performance of sradha separately by brothers) 22
XXV. Mala masa niroopanam 23
(the particulars of Mala masa) 23
XXVI. Darsa Sradham 24
(Amavasya Sradham/tharpanam) 24
XXVII. Ardhodhaya mahodhaya punya kala niroopanam 24
Finding out of Ardhodhaya and mahodhaya punya kalas. 24
XXVIII. Ashtaka Sradha niroopanam 24
The time for Ashtaka Sradha 24
IXXX. Mahalaya Sradha Niroopanam 25
The particulars of Sradha during Mahalaya Paksha 25
XXX. Vrudhi sradha niroopanam 26
Sradha performed for progress – particulars 26
XXXI Sradhe Desa kaladhi niroopanam 26
The differences in Sradha according to time and place. 26
Some important points in performing Sradha:- 28
XXXII Sradha Prasamsa 28
Praising Sradha 28

Sradha Prakaranam
(Details of after death and death ceremonies)

Translated by


(Though most of us are familiar with most of the day to day rituals, few of us know anything about death related rituals and after death ceremonies. This chapter deals with these aspects in great detail.)

I. Mumukshur Prayachitha vidhi
The redemptive acts to be done by one who is nearing death

Since due to health reasons it may not be possible to take bath, the person dying should perform Gowna bath (Manthram Agneyam) as much as his health permits,. These have been dealt in detail in Ahnika Prakarana section of this book.
After taking bath he should wear the caste marks(Urdhwa pundra) before starting the redemptive acts. It is told that even if the person wearing Urdhwa pundra is a sinner, he would shine in the land of Vishnu.
He who applies sacred ash and Rudraksha Garland would reach the presence of Lord Shiva. So before death , these have to be worn .If wise men wear them they would get special blessings.
Afterwards he has to drink the water used to wash the feet of the God. Even If we drink minute quantity water of Ganges along with leaf of Thulasi , Then 24 generations of our ancestors are saved from sin.

If we are not able to do the redemptive acts , they can be got done by other Brahmins. When you are sick or you are weak , or you are suffering due to drought or you are suffering due to war between kings, starving is the only redemptive act. It is also the fire sacrifice at that time. Any act got done by other Brahmins is same as doing it oneself.
Brahmins are the mobile waters and Saints are sacred waters .Water of their words purifies sinners and removes their sins.
The devas agree with whatever is said by Brahmins, because a Brahmin is the personification of the devas. His words are considered equivalent to words from Vedas.
The man nearing death should spread Durba grass on the floor and lie upon it. He cannot do any redemptive acts at that time. He should ask his representative to do Dhana. Giving away a cow (Godhana) is considered as very special and important.
He who gives way a milch cow before death is lead by that cow along the way to Brahma’s world.
Vyasa says that if one looses conscience or dies , the son who is to do the death ceremonies or any other relation should do dhana for the benefit of the dead person
Even if one does great sins or the nine type of sins , if he sees a great soul, his sins would vanish. So at the time of death it is beneficial to see great souls.
In whatever way they say “Govinda”, sinners would get rid of their sins. Those without sins would attain salvation if they utter “Govinda’
At the time of death if one chants , “Shiva, Shiva, Shiva”, then the first chant of “Shiva” removes all his sins and grants him salvation . The other two “Shiva” chants are necessary but give happiness to the one who chants.
At the time of death the son should tell in the right ear , holy Sukthas (Vedic chants) , Mantras and names of Gods as well as Karna Mantra.
When the father is dying , the son should place the head of his father on his right lap and keep on telling in his right ears, holy chants like Ashtakshara, Panchakshara and Rama Shadakshara . This is the help that a son does to his father. After the soul leaves the body, grass should be spread on the floor and the body should be laid on it.

II, Mumukshur Dhana Vidhi
(The rules of Dhana for the dying soul)

Hey Dharmaputhra, between the earth and the land of Yama there is 86000 Yojnas( Each yojana is 10 miles) .The terrain is difficult to travel. Sun would be very hot. There would not be shade of trees. There would not be tank, streams and wells on the way. There would not be villages or houses. Stones and thorns would be strewn on the path besides burning sand. Only Dhana(charity) would help you to cross this road .So we should do Dhana as much as possible. This has to be done by the sons who do after death rituals. If they do the souls will not suffer much in reaching the land of Yama.

Cow, land , Gingelly, gold, ghee, cloth , grains, Jaggery , Silver and salt are called the ten dhanas , which can be given. These can be given at time of birth as well as death .Giving them away after death would give comfort to the departed soul in the land of the dead. Giving them away at birth , gives long and comfortable life to the child.
For him who goes outside his country, knowledge is his friend., for him who stays in his house wife is the friend, for him who is sick, doctor is the friend and for him who is dying , Dhana is the only friend.

III. Paryooshitha prayachitham.
(Redemptive acts for late cremation)
When a person dies in the day time, he should be cremated within 10 hours. If this is done it is not late. If cremation is not done within 10 hours, the body becomes old. To cremate it, permission has to be taken from Brahmins, do three Kruchrams(mortification ) , bath the body washed with Pancha Gavya (Mixture of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee) and further bathed by water and later sanctified by chanting of Pavamana Suktha. If this is not done the entire after death ceremony is a waste.

If a person dies in the day time, he should be cremated in the day time itself. If he dies at night, he should be cremated before 9.45 PM. Afterwards cremation at night is not permitted.

If one dies before sun rise in the morning, he should be cremated in the morning itself. . If it is not done redemptive acts should be carried out. This redemptive act is given by Vaikanasa. So if one dies in the morning , he should be cremated in the day time but if one dies at night , he should be cremated before 9.45 PM. If we do cremation in the day time for one who dies at night, we have to perform redemptive ritual for late cremation.
If one dies in Kumba or meena rasi, he would get good after death life but his relations will suffer. So we have to do Dhanishta Santhi for those dying in Avittam, Chadayam, Pororattathi, Uthrattahi and Revathi.
For death during Dakshinayana, Krisha paksha, night or if death is accompanied by vomiting or passing of stools or death happens due to knife , we have to do Kruchram (mortification) and perform the redemptive ritual with Homa.

4.Kruchra prathinidhi:-
It has been told that we have to give away (as per our means), one cow for Prajapathya Kruchra, two cows for Santhapana Kruchra, three cows for Paraga Kruchram, Thaptha Kruchra and Adhi kruchra and eight cows for Chandrayana Kruchra.(these are described in the chapter o redemptive acts.

IV. Karthru krama:-
(The order of eligibility for carrying out death ceremonies)

1000 holy periods of eclipses, 10000 vyathee padam or one lakh Amavasyas are not equivalent to one sixteenth of a dwadasi. Three half crores of such Dwadasi will not become equivalent to one sixteenth of the death day of parents. This means that the death anniversary of our parents is a very holy day. You have to do the rituals with devotion and interest on that day.
The biological son should perform the rituals after death with proper mantras and utmost devotion.

The son should do offering of food and water to his father. Suppose he is not in a position to do it, he should offer fire (cremate) and get the other rituals done by some body else.

Though there are several brothers the eldest son only has to do Navasradham, Sapindeekaranam and Shodasa sradhams. Even if the sons have divided the property before the death of the father , the right is only to the eldest son. If eldest son is not available nearby, the eldest among the brothers present can undertake the cremation and other rituals associated with it.
If a man has several wives, the eldest among all his sons has only the right to do rituals to his father .The seniority of the wives is not taken in to consideration here. But in case of women, her eldest son only has the right to do cremation for her .In case of twins, the son born second is elder. The adopted son has to do such rites to his biological father, if he does not have sons or grand sons to do the rituals. If after adoption a biological son is born to the couple, only the biological son has the right..

5.Vrudha Manu:-

He who is doing penance during the pregnancy of the wife, you should not get shaved or cremate the bodies of any one except his parents.
He can also do cremation to his elder brother and uncle, if they do not have sons.

The Brahmachari (after sacred thread ceremony) can do the after death rituals to his mother’s father, uncle, Maternal grand mother who does not have sons and maternal uncle’s wife. This would not be considered as breaking of the Brahmacharya vow. Even if he has not received the sacred thread, he should do after death rituals to his parents.
If he is not capable of chanting the mantra, he should cremate their body and authorize some body else by giving them Durba to complete all necessary rituals.
If a man is doing a Yaga as Kartha (That is he has taken austere life for doing Yaga) and if either his mother or father attains death and if he is the only son , he should go and do death rituals of his parents and come back and complete the Yaga. If the parents die in between the marriage, he should offer Gingelly , pinda and do the cremation but should not do , after death ceremonies

The order of preference for doing after death ceremonies for the dead is as follows:-
Son, Son’s son, Son’s grand son, Daughter’s son , brother of the wife , son of the brother, father , mother, daughter in law , sister, sister’s son , member of the paternal clan and those who receive money, If the first one is not there, the subsequent one will get the right. If during marriage of the daughter , a mantra is told that her son would be responsible for after death ceremonies, that son will be called Dwayamushnan. He would be from both the paternal and maternal gothras.

In the world, there is no difference between son’s son and daughter’s son and so the daughter’s son inherits the wealth of those who do not have a son. So the daughter’s son should be considered as having the right to do death ceremonies of his mother’s parents.
Even if the maternal grand father does not have wealth , the daughter’s son should do the after death rights of his maternal grand parents.
The wife is considered to have more right to do death ceremonies of her husband than their daughter’s son. The son should do death ceremonies for his father. If he is not there, the person’s wife should do it. The next order is daughter’s son , brother , brother’s son etc,
If the wife without a son dies, her husband should do death ceremonies for her. If a daughter’s son is there, he can be asked to do it. If one person has several wives and one wife has a son, he should do death ceremonies for all his step mothers.

V. Agni nirnaya.
The determination of the proper fire.

1,Vrudha Manu:-
The Ahithagni (fire made at that time) should be lit with other three agnis , Anahithagni with Oupasanagni and others by Loukikagni.(normal fire from other sources)

The man who dies before his wife should be created by Oupasanagni.
If the wife dies earlier than the man should be cremated by Uthbhanagni (see next para for definition) .Similarly if the wife dies after her husband she should also be cremated by Uthbhanagni. If the wife dies before the collection of bones from the pyre of the husband and if fire is still there in the pyre of the husband , the wife should be cremated in that fire. If fire is not there a new funeral pyre should be set up.

If a fist of Durba grass is burnt in the domestic fire , and in that fire another fist of Durbha is lit and in that fire , if another fist of Durbha is lit , then the resulting fire is Uthbhanagni. If head of the corpse is burnt in fire made out of paddy shell and this fire is lit in a Durbha it is called Kapalagni.
The fire made out of the head is Kapalagni and that made with paddy shell is called Dushagni and the fire caught in the third fist of Durbha grass is called Uthbhanagni .The widower and widow should be cremated in Uthabhanagni. The bachelor should be cremated in Kapalagni. The boy who has not received sacred thread and also an unmarried girl should be cremated in Dushagni . If the husband takes Sanyasa and if his wife dies before him, she should be cremated in Oupasanagni.

If the cremation rtes cannot be performed in one’s own Sutra,, it can be done in any other Sutra. If we observe Bodhayana Suthra, we get the same effect as if it is observed in our own Suthra.

VI. Upavithadhi Niyama
(Those acts which should be done with normal wearing of sacred thread (On the left shoulder)

Bathing , Aachamana , Pranayama , Namaskara (saluting), Pradakshina (going round) even if it is done during a ritual of Manes (pithrus) should be performed with Normal fashion of wearing sacred thread.

In the ritual connected with the corpse (pretha) , Aachamana should be done in the beginning and end. This is true for every ritual for the success of the ritual. For having internal cleanliness Pranayama should be done.
In the case of ritual with Corpse, the sacred thread should be worn in the opposite shoulder (pracheena vidhi) When you are carrying the corpse, it should be worn as a garland (neevithi) . This rule is meant for people who carry the corpse.
In case of Avahanam , argyam , Sankalpam , Pinda dhanam , Thilodhaka Dhanam , Akshayam , Aasanam and Padhyam, the names and Gothra should be definitely mentioned.

VII, Pretha nirharana prakarana
The method for carrying the corpse.

A Rig Vedi should cover the corpse with cut cloth and a Yajur Vedi with a cloth that is not cut.

2. Prachetha:-
The son should bathe the corpse , worship it , applied sandal paste and make it wear flower garlands, If Ahithagni (Fire made at that time ) is used, shaving (kshouram-could also mean hair cut) should be done. Other wise there is no need for this.

The corpse should be kept on a platform made of Athi wood facing the sky. The corpse should not face the village or the place below. It should have its head facing the south.
We have to walk in front of the corpse of people elder to us. Ladies and younger people should walk behind. All people should go with untied hair and tying the upper cloth on their waist carrying a lighted torch. No body should be there between the corpse and the fire which is being taken to light it.
First fire , then necessary materials. Gingelly , rice , branch of Palasa tree , Pieces of Hiranya, Ghee vessels , Stone , sand should be sent. This should be followed by the corpse . You should always walk away from the village and not towards the village.

VIII. Dahana Prakaranam
(The method of burning)

1.Vyagra pada
The corpse should not be lit with down looking face, without cloth , when it is dirty .It should not be burnt with wood not suitable for yaga , brought by sinners and that which is spoiled by worms as well that which is very old. Half the cloth which the corpse wears should be burnt by torch and the other half worn to the corpse.

Afterwards the corpse should be kept on the funeral pyre. In the sense organs either gold or ghee should be kept.

Curds, ghee, Gingelly and rice should be placed in the mouth of corpse.

Fire should not be kept on the corpse. In the Veda Corpse is considered as that which is offered to the fire and so is should be offered to the fire. If this is not done, nothing good will come out of the act. So the fire should be put on the pyre . Afterwards chant the Upasthana Mantra and the rest of the fire should be put on the pyre.
The pyre should be lit from all directions. Please understand that the man who died will reach the world of Brahma by this.
After cremation, the cloth one wears should be washed and the one who does the cremation should take bath. Then he should take bath wearing cloths and this would make him clean. That is he becomes one with a clean mind.
When going to the cremation ground, the youngest should go first and while coming back home, the eldest should come first.

If we follow the corpse or go along with his paternal clan , we should take bath, eat food along with ghee and again take bath. If ghee is not available , chant Gayathri 10 times and drink water. After this Japa and Homa should not be performed for one day.

IX.Vapana Vidhi
(Laws for shaving)

Without shaving we should not do rituals with corpse. Similarly Offer of water, rice balls and Sradha should not be done without shaving.
If one shaves himself just before cremation , he troubles his manes. So shaving should only be done after cremation. Immediate shaving has to be done to the man who does the cremation. All paternal clan members should shave themselves on the tenth day.

Even if it is elder brother, his son , sibling or disciple , if the cremation is done by a younger person, he should definitely shave himself. If the cremation is done at night, after sacrificial offering of water, Shaving should be done next day because at night no body should shave himself.

If the cremation is done for mother or father , whether it is a Friday or on the tenth day or even if the cremation was done at night , the water offering and shaving should be done then itself. In case of others shaving has to be got done next day morning. These bans are not applicable in case of father/mother. Sasthra tells that even in case of parents, shaving should not be done after two Yamas at night. But this is not applicable to son. If the person who was cremated is younger , the elders and paternal clan members do not have shaving.
In case of Maternal grandfather , Maternal grand mother, Father’s brother , Uncle , Elder brother, Father in law , Teacher and his wife , Father’s sister, Mother’s sister and sister , even if the one who cremates has a pregnant wife he should undergo shaving . If he is not the one who does the cremation , the husband of a pregnant woman should not undergo shaving. In case of elderly paternal clan members , father in law , mother in law, elder sister, and her husband, there is shaving in case of their death. Even if wife dies early or even if the father and mother in law do not have children , there is taint for one day but no shaving.
If the tenth day happens to be a Friday, the clan members have to get shaved on the previous day. This rule is not applicable to the son.
If Sapindeekaranam is done on the 12th day to the mother and father then shaving is not necessary , If this is done in other times like Tripaksha, shaving has to be got done.
In case of cropping Sashti, Ashtami , Prathama , Chathurthi , Navami and Chaturdasi are to be omitted. Monday, Thursday , Wednesday and Friday are suitable. The shaving for the taint because of touching the corpse should not be got done on Fridays.

X. Dasama dina paryantha karthavyani
The rituals to be got done on tenth day.

1.Akhanda darsa,
Reach the village with wet clothes and give brass vessel , cloth, ghee , vessel full of rice as gift to a Brahmin as part of the Prachadana Sradha.
Carry new cloth , Gingelly , Durba grass, pot take bath in the river , then chant Mantras on the river bank , do Avahana of Pretha on the ritualistic stones, do Vasodhakam thrice, Thilodhaka thrice, consecrate it there, do Vasodhakam thrice and offer Pinda and Bali.

Till you have taint, water and rice ball offering should be done to the Pretha(Corpse) The clan members and the cremator should do Thilodhaka thrice on first day , four times on the second day , five times on third day and so on.(total of 75 Thilodhakas) This is not applicable to Vasodhakam, It has to be done only thrice a day. The Dhoti should be folded thrice and water expelled from it.

Place the Durba facing south , sit south facing and offer the Pindas at the door step. You have to be silent and clean before the Pinda. The rest of the rice should be thrown in the river.

The size of the Pinda (rice ball should be that of a Bilwa fruit in case of apthika (first annual ceremony) , Parvana , Gooseberry size in case of Gaya Sradha and Mahalaya, size of a coconut in case of Yekodishta and Sapindeekarana and in case of other annual ceremonies it should be of the size of a hen’s egg.
If the cloth stone or the pot in which the water is being brought or the vessel used for cooking or the man who does the ritual changes the entire procedure from the beginning needs to be repeated, Devala says like this
The stone in which the dead body is consecrated should not be moved for ten days. If the stone is lost , a new stone should be consecrated and the entire procedure repeated, If the stone moves from the place it is consecrated then the man who does the ritual should do three pranayamas touching it.
Yekothara Vruthi dhana depends on the number of Udhaka dhana and that many sradhas are to be done in aama roopa(?)
The nava sradhas should be done on 1,3, 5,7,9 and 11th day. So six nava sradhas are done. If these nava sradhas are not done on the specified days, they should be done on the 11th day.

The Asthi Sanchayana (collection of bones) should be got done on the next day, third day , fifth day or 7th day, This should be done in the morning time. It is recommended that it should be done within four hours after sun rise.

6.Yoga Yagnavalkya
The son who does the cremation should deposit the bones collected in river Ganges or Yamuna or Kaveri or river Sathadruthu or river Saraswathi, In case of parents proper day for Asthi Sanchayana need not be observed. In other cases it is a must.
On the tenth day because the Pretha has all its organs it gets very great hunger. To appease this hunger several dishes should be offered as Prabhoothabali. This has to be done before Udaka and Pinda Dhana on the tenth day. After the Pinda Dhana, the pretha should be removed from the consecrated stone.

In case of cremation other than parents , if Darsa Sradha (amavasya) comes within ten days , Udaka and Pinda dhana have to be completed before it. Asthi Sanchayana should be done before Amavasya.
But in case of parents this is not applicable and the ceremony should not be cut short but continue for ten days.

XI. Karthru vishaye niyama
Some rules to be followed by the Kartha(the man who does rituals)

People who have taint should not consume salt , pungent food , oil , betel leaf , should not have any relation with woman nor should sleep in a cot.
In case Savagni (fire of the corpse) is put out, the ordinary fire can be used for rituals of redemption (prayachithahoothi) .

1. If younger son does the cremation and the elder one arrives before Sanchayana, , he should shave himself , do the Sanchayana , do extra udaka dhanas and continue with the full cremation ritual. But if he comes after the Sanchayana, he should do all the rituals up to Yekodishta starting with extra udaka dhana , then observe ten day taint and do the Sapindeekaranam in the tripaksha period.
2. If the cremation is done by some others , the son should again do cremation and do the rituals for ten days.
3. If the cremation is done by some one else re cremation (Punar dahanam) has to be got done.
4. If the one who is entitled to do cremation (other than son) comes before Sanchayana , there is no re cremation. . That is rule number 3 is applicable only in case of sons.
5. If a man who does not belong to the paternal clan does the cremation and if the chief Kartha (who does rituals) comes before Sanchayana, then to the man who does the cremation there is neither taint or Udaka dhana. But if he comes after Sanchayana and if the outsider had taken the tainted food, he has to observe ten day taint and Udaka Dhana.
6. But if the cremation is done by brother , nephew etc who have normal three day taint , they have to observe ten day taint and offer Udaka Dhana, even if the Kartha comes and takes over.
7. If the chief Kartha does not come, he who does the cremation should do all rituals up to Yekodishta. Unless this is done he will remain tainted.
8. If the younger son does the cremation , if the eldest one comes on the tenth day , he should shave , offer Udahaka and Pinda Bali , Prabhoothabali , shave himself completely , perform Yekodishta on the tenth day , and then observe ten day taint and do Avruthathyam and Sapindeekaranam. But if the Kartha is not the son, his taint goes away on the tenth day.
9. If the son comes after 10 days but on the eleventh day , he should shave do Yekodishta and do the Thilodhaka rites that should have been carried out during the first ten days , If no ritual has been done and he comes within ten days , he should do Udahaka Dhana for ten days after he reaches and do Yekodishta on the eleventh day. Then he should do Sapindeekaranam in the tripaksha (45th day) If he comes on the night of the tenth day , he should first do the rites to be carried out for first ten days in the eleventh day morning .
10. If the cremation has been done by an outsider and also first day ten day ritual has been performed and if the son comes before Sanchayana on the tenth day , he should start with Punar Dahanam (re cremation) and do all rites up to Yekodishta. Including Udaka dhanam He also should observe taint for next ten days . If he comes after Sanchayana , he should observe Vrushithsarnam , Yekodishta , observe ten day taint and also Udaka dhana.
11. If the son is abroad and either his father or mother expires and if the rituals up to Yekodishta has been performed by an outsider or another son , as soon as he hears about it, he should shave , observe ten day taint , do Udaka dhanam and Sapindeekaranam. If Sapindeekaranam has also been done, the eldest son should again repeat the rituals up to Sapindeekaranam. If the rituals have been carried by the elder son, the younger son need not repeat them again.
12. if the Sapindeekaranam has been done by an outsider, if the eldest brother is not near by , then if the younger ones share the property of the deceased , then each of them have to do Sapindeekaranam separately. If the wealth is not going to be divided, only the eldest among them need to do it.
13. If the son who lives abroad hears about the death of his father/mother only after one year, he should observe ten day taint and do all the rituals. But Masika and Sothakumba need not be performed, He can directly do the Apthika (first year death anniversary ceremony).But if he hears before one year, he has to do all rituals including Masika and Sothakumba .If the son is younger and the rituals have already been performed by elder son, he need not repeat them again. He needs to observe three day taint and do Udahaka dhana.
14. If the biological son of a step mother is not nearby, the step son has to do the rituals. If the biological son comes in the middle, he has to complete the rituals. If he comes after Sapindeekaranam, he has to repeat it. If you hear about the death of a step mother within a year, ten day taint and Udaka dhana has to be performed. If you hear afterwards only taint period need to be observed.
15. If you hear the death of an elder brother, where rituals have been performed within six months of his death, you have to observe three day taint. If you hear afterwards, Bakshini taint only need to be observed.
16. If somebody goes away some where and nothing is known about him , after 12 years , the death ceremonies long with prithi kruthi dahana should be done within three days. This has to be done after doing Narayana Bali. In case of father or mother this should be done only after 15 years .The months of Ashada, Magha Margaseersha , Badra pada and Krishna Paksha Ekadasi or Amavasya can be taken as the day of death and annual ceremonies performed
17. In case of Ahithagni, the taint is ten days after cremation and in case of Anahithagni the taint is ten days from death.
18. If the person who does cremation does another cremation within ten days , then the second taint will go away along with the first taint. But if the cremation is being done to the parents, full ten day taint has to be observed.
19. If father dies during the taint days of mother’s death, the sons have to observe ten day taint from the day of death of father. But if mother dies during the taint of father’s death, the taint of mother’s death would pass away after one and half days after the ten day taint of father.
20. If mother dies first, on the eleventh day after her death Yekodishta has to be performed for her. For the father who dies during the taint period, again Yekodishta has to be performed ten days after his death .But if father dies first , on the tenth day of father’s death , do Pinda dhana and Udahaka Dhana for mother and on the eleventh day after father’s death , perform Yekodishta for father, and on the eleventh day of mother’s death do Adhya Sradha for the mother.

XII. Dampathyo saha mruthyu krama
Rituals when couple dies together.

If the couple dies together or if one of them dies before the cremation of the other , cremation has to be done together. But if one of them died after the cremation , rituals have to be performed separately.

2.Pithru medha sara
Hiranya Sakalam, Nagna prachadana sradham, Vasodhakam, Thilodhaka , Pindam , Ekothara vrudhi sradham , nava sradham , Sothakumba, Vrushith sargam , and Shodasa sradham have to be done separately. Charukaryam , Funeral pyre , Kundam, Asthi Sanchayana and Santhi Homam have to be done together. Yekodishta. Sapindeekaranam and Nimithvaranam have to be done separately. Paka Homam and Vaiswadevadhikam have to be done together.
In case, the one to do death rituals is the same and two person of the same clan die together , depending on the relation between them , the death rituals have to be performed

In case of death together the son has to Sapindeekaranam to his parents on the 12th day. For others he can do it on the 45th day.

XIII. Garbhini Samskara
Cremation of a woman in pregnancy.

If a pregnant woman happens to die , take her to the cremation ground , arrange the funeral pyre and on the west side of the pyre , split open the stomach of the deceased chanting the mantra “hiranyagarbha” on the left side. And also telling “Jeevathu mama puthro Deergayuthwaya (let my son live long)” . If the child is alive take it out , bathe it , give it milk and take it to the village. Then pour ghee in the deceased’s stomach and do Aajyahuthi , stitch the stomach and then cremate her. Also give cow as gift.

XIV. Ekadasahe vrushothsarga
The Vrushabha uthsarjana on the eleventh day

On the eleventh day with an aim of sending the dead soul to the heaven , leave away to the public (Temple?) a bull for pleasing Rudra and then feed Brahmins in the Sradha.

If a bull is not left on the eleventh day , that soul remains as Pisacha (ghost) . Even if you do 100 sradhas it does not help. So Vrushbaha uthsarjana is very important.
On the eleventh day Yekodishta Sradha has to be necessarily performed, If it is not done , later the entire death ritual has to be repeated.
If you do not get Brahmin for Yekodishta on the eleventh day , you have to take hand full of Payasanna and offer it to the fire 32 times chanting “Yamayasomam”. The performer should observe silence , face the south and do the homa. If this is done, then the Yekodishta is well done.

In the adhya Sradha the Brahmin has to be fed. or at least homa should be done in the fire . And again Brahmin has to be fed.

The adhya Sradha has to reach a Brahmin or fire and again offered to a Brahmin.

XV. Shodasa Sradhani
The sixteen Sradhas.

The sixteen Sradhas can all be done on the eleventh day. The sapindeekarana has to be done on the 12th day.

1. Gowthama
Due to the possible problems created by time as well as the place that we live and also due to possibility of disease and death the sixteen sradhas have to be performed on the eleventh day.
The adhyam (first) on the eleventh day , the 12 masikams, the tripakshikam (forty fifth day ceremony) , the shan Masika (the sixth month ceremony) and the one performed before the annual ceremony are the sixteen sradhas.
When we are doing Sapindeekaranam on the 12th day, on the eleventh day these sixteen sradhas are to be abridged and performed as Yekodishta and one rice ball (pinda) given. Then for each of the 16 sradhas pinda dhana has to be performed. In the fire Prethahuthi is done once and all the other fifteen are combined and performed once. After Sapindeekaranam , again the monthly and other Sradhas have necessarily be done. If you do no get Brahmins for the sixteen sradhas it can be done in the Aama form also.


Within day or two from the Oona day, Oona Masika has to be performed. This is true for Unapthikam also. The first oonam should be performed within 3 days of the 27th day of death. The tripakshikam should be performed within 5 days of the 40th day. The oona shan Masika has to be performed within ten days of the 170th day. The oona apthika has to be performed within 15 days of the 340th day. Oona masikams have to be performed on odd days . It is good if the day to be performed is selected properly. If good events take place in the house, the oonams can be done after Akarshana(?). But it should not be redone after the good event.

The sixteen sradhas should be done before Sapindeekaranam. The sradhas which are performed after Sapindeekarana should be performed like Pratyapthika sradhas. (annual ceremonies) They should be carried out in the parvana method. The Sradha done aimed at three ancestors viz pitha (father), pithamaha (grand father) and prapithamaha (great grand father) is termed as Parvana.

For the Sanyasis the son should not perform Yekodishta and sapindeekarana. On the eleventh day Parvana Sradha should be performed. On the twelfth day Narayana Bali has to be performed.

XVI. Sapindeekaranam
Merging the corpse to the manes

The Sapindeekarana can be done on the 12th day or after one year.

The sapindeekarana can be performed on the 12th day , 11th month, 6th month ore 4th month.
If the parents have only one son and he does the cremation, it would be better if sapindeekarana for parents is performed on the 12th day. This is because there is no guarantee for the son’s life.
If the doer is one who is entitled to do cremation and if the dead one was one entitled for cremation and in case of mother and father Sapindeekaranam should be performed on the 12th day.
Even if both of them are not entitled to do cremation , the sapindeekarana can be done on the 12th day. It could be done later also. But due to convention it is normally performed on the 12th day.
The man who carries out death ceremonies , is not entitled to perform any good rituals without doing Sapindeekaranam.

Sapindeekaranam can be performed from 11th to 16th day. It could be done on 17th day also.

If it is not possible for some reason to do Sapindeekaranam on the proper day, it could be performed in the Panchami, Ashtami , Amavasya or Ekadasi in the Krishna Paksha.

5.Smrithi rathna
Sapindeekaranam can be performed on Amavasya, on the thithi when the body expired or in Mahalaya Paksha. In such cases , the unsuitability of Thithi and day need not be seen. If Sapindeekaranam is done after completion of one year the 16 sradhas have to be redone.

6. Gobhila
If the does is Ahithagni and the dead one is Anahithagni , then the Sapindeekaranam should be done on the 12th day

XVII. Sapindye Adhikarina
(the people entitled to do Sapindeekarana)

The Sapindeekarana should be either done by own son or adopted son .If one of them are there it is improper for others to do it.

The son has to do sapindeekarana for his father. If son is not there, the grand son or wife or brother in that order are entitled to do it.
In case of death of the woman, if son is not there, her husband is entitled to do Sapindeekarana for her.
Without bothering for the age , if man or woman is married Sapindeekarana is to be done for them

3.Vrudha Vasishta
In case of Brahmachari , eunuchs, sinners, bad woman, Nastikas (atheists) and Sanyasis, Narayana bali has to be done. Upakurvana Brahmachari is entitled to sapindeekarana. In case a Brahmachari dies before the age of 12, he is entitled only to Narayana Bali.

XVIII, Sapinda prakara
(the method of doing Sapinda)

1.Brauhad Vishnu
Sapindeekaranam has to be done on the 12th day after the death of the father. For the father to come out of the corpse state(pretha) and joining with his forefathers as Sapinda and attaining equality , son should adopt Parvana method for manes and use the Yekodishta method in case of father , This Sapindeekarana is a mixture of Parvana as well as Yekodishta .

In case the father has died but the grand father is alive , he should do parvana Sradha for three generations above great grand father and merge the pinda for father along with them.
In the case of a wife who does not have sons., the husband should do sapindeekarana to his wife.

Two sradhas should be started and Sapindeekarana has to be done. Parvana has to be done first and Pretha Varna Sradha using the Yekodishta method should then be done. Combination of these two is Sapindeekarana.
In Sapindeekarana sradha , first Kala agamaka Viswedeva, then pithrus and in the end Pretha should be recognized and called.
In all parvana sradhas a Brahmin should be recognized as the form of Vishnu. Devala and Chandilya say that any Sradha where Vishnu is not recognized would not lead to any purpose.

IXX. Pinda samyojana Vidhi
(The rules for merging Pinda)

1. Pithru medha sara
Make 7 Pindas using the cooked rice remaining after performing Homa. If two people die together 8 Pindas should be made. If many people are going to be made Sapinda then that many Pindas have to be made. These should be kept on three rows of Durba (with tip pointing towards the south) in the south of the fire. Then we have to face south and with left knee kept on the floor keep on the middle row of the spread Durba grasses chanting the mantra “Marjayantham mama pithu pithra”, on the column on the west side chanting the mantra “Marjayantham Mama mathara” and then on the column of the south do Marjanam. and In the same order keep the six Pindas and chanting Yeschatwamanu and Yachatwamanu clean below the Durba with whatever is remaining in hand , then chanting Marjayantham mama Pitha Pretha(in case of father) or Marjayantham mama matha pretha pour water and say …. Gothra…… Sarman , pretha yetham pindam upanishta and offer the Pinda and in case of mother …… gothre ………..naamni prethe , offer the Pinda.
After being permitted by Brahmins chanting the two mantras “Samano mantra” and
“Samaneva”,The argya for pretha should be merged with Argya for Pithrus and the merged pretha Pinda should be divided in to three , kept before the pinda of father etc , perform the Gift of cow for crossing Vaitharani and get permission and using mantras “Madhumathi” , Sangachathwam , Samano manthran and Samaneeva merge the three parts of pretha Pinda in to one using the two stretched hands.
After merging pretha panda like this chanting the two manthras “Yesamana” and Yesajatha”, again do marjanam as mentioned earlier. In case of Tripindism there would be four pandas.

In case of Sapindeekaranam of mother the sons should merge the pinda for mother with that of paternal grand mother Similar action should be done in case for Sapindeekaranam of maternal grand parents.

If you do not know the Gothra tell as Kashyapa Gothra. This is because Veda says that all beings originated from Kashyapa.
If we do not know the name of the father , tell “pithivishath”. If grand father’s name is known tell “antharikshasath” and if great grand father’s name is not known say “Divishath”.

The river Vaitharani has bad smelling blood flowing in it , is black in colour and tides are extremely fast. It also contains bones and hair in it. This is on the way to the land of Yama. If Cow is given as gift during sapindeekarana, the pithrus cross this river easily. So gifting of cow is important during sapindeekarana.
The sapindeekarana of the parents have to be done by the eldest son. That which is performed with the permission of all using the undivided wealth , is considered as having been done by everybody. The Sapindeekaranam of the parents should not be done by all brothers.

For the mother, father maternal grand mother, maternal grand father and eldest brother, the Sapindeekaranam should be performed in Oupasana fire. The eldest brother is equivalent to the father. The Sapindeekaranam to the paternal grand parents also should be done using Oupasana fire.
For a Brahmachari and a widower, the Sapindeekaranam should be done on Loukika fire. This is the opinion of sage Apasthamba.
If Oupasana fire is far off then some people feel that the homa can be performed in hand itself. This is not correct. The homa done with the sacred thread worn over right shoulder , should be done only in fire.
The remnants of the Homa should be kept in the meals plate of Brahmins, meditating on Lord Vishnu.
The one who does not have a wife or the one whose wife is very far away or the one who is a Brahmachari can do Sradha in Agni but should use only Loukika fire.
If wife is having periods, after she has taken purificatory bath , we have to raise fire afresh and do Sapindeekarana. Even if the fire is there, it is not proper to do it before her bath as there is sufficient time period given to do Sapindeekaranam. That is, it should not be done during the unclean period.
If there are several brothers and if the eldest one is not maintaining Oupasana fire, the next one who maintains Oupasana fire should do the Sapindeekaranam. If there is only one son and if he does not maintain Oupasana fire, then he can do it in Loukika fire,
If for the one who is to do the Sapindeekaranam, wife is not amenable , he can wait up to one year for her and after her coming do the Sapindeekaranam. If this is not possible the next brother who maintains Oupasana fire can be asked to do it. If there is only one son and his wife does not come within a year , he can make some one represent his wife and do the Sapindeekaranam.
If the wife is amenable doing Sapindeekaranam leaving her out is a useless exercise. He does not have the right to do Sapindeekaranam.

XX.Sothakumbha vidhi
Method of performing Sothakumba sradha.

That Sradha where Viswadeva and Vishnu are not considered and done aiming at three men is done with Udhakumbha and is called Sothakumba sradha. In this case there are no special rules to be followed by the performer nor the Brahmin who comes to do it. The performer can do Sothakumba Sradham after Brahma Yagna and regular worship, The first one should be performed on the twelfth day and then it should be done daily for one year.

If it is not possible to do it , it should be at least done once in a month. It could be done during Darsa or before Masika Sradham. When you are not able to do it in a particular time, it can be done along with the next . People may question that once the Pretha status is removed on the 12th day by doing Sapindeekaranam , there is no heat generated by Janitha Kshudragni. It is said that even though Pretha status is removed, in the mind there will be fear of pretha status for one year,
After Sapindeekarana and before Apthika (annual ceremony) Darsa , Mahalaya and Manvadhi Sradha should not be performed. But Tharpana can be done. Ashtaka Sradha also could be done.
The death taint while performing death ceremonies is for 12 days. So during these 12 days Worship of God, Pithrus , Homa Dhana , and Japa should not be done.

XXI Abdhika Sradham
Annual ceremony of death

1.Dharma Sudha nidhi
The Abdhika should be done in the same Thithi and in the same month and same Paksha in which the death occurred.

The Abdhika should be done in the same Thithi in which death occurred. Among the Thithi , Vara (day) and Nakshatra , thithi is the most important.

The month-paksha –thithi combination in which death occurred is observed as the death anniversary day every year. This is the advice of elders.
The time between Amavasya (darsa) to another Amavasya is the lunar month. Depending on the solar movement , the solar month also is defined. This is called Soura month.
The lunar month is classified as Darsantham and Poorni mantham. This has been decided based on caste difference and regional differences. South of Narmada river Darsantha Chandra masa is observed and to the north of the river Poornimantha is observed. In case of Vrutha (penance) Chandra masa(lunar month) is considered superior. But in case of Sradha, it should not be considered. This is because due to occurrence of Athimasa, Lunar month is not stable. The solar month is stable. So for death related functions solar month is used,
The Dakshinayana and Utharayana are determined based on the movement of the Sun.
For observing death related ceremonies stick to either lunar or solar month. This should not be changed in the middle. This has to be chosen as per the practice of the elders of our family. Those who use lunar month , should observe it in Athimasa thithi or Nija masa thithi.

XXII Soura mase thithi dwaya sambhava anushtana krama
(the procedure when two thithis occur in the solar month

If two thithis come in the solar month Apthika, Masikams and Pratyapthika should be observed in the later Thithi. If Grahana or Sankramana comes in the later Thithi , it becomes bad and then the Sradha should be performed in the first Thithi.
If both thithis happen to be bad , if Sankramana occurs in the Aparahna (see XXIII-2) , the former Thidhi should be chosen. If not the later Thithi can be chosen. If in both the Aparahnas are bad , then that thithi which has more relation with the month should be chosen.
If both parents die in the same thithi and if Sankramana comes after Aparahna, we can perform sradham. If both thithis are faultless, the later one should be chosen.

If in a solar month Mrutha thithi is not available then , sradha can be performed in the previous month but not in the later month. If we do sorrow will come to us.
Sradha should be performed annually in the thithi in which the person dies. If he does not do , he would take birth as Chandala in the next one crore births. So even if the danger comes to our life, we have to perform Sradha.

XXIII Sradhe thithi kaladhi niroopanam
(The analysis of suitability of Thithi to Sradham)

In the thithi which extends to the afternoon , Yekodishta should be performed. In thithis which are in the Aparahna, parvana sradha should be performed.

Three muhurtha or Six Nazhigais or 144 minutes is considered as morning. The next three muhurtha is called Sangava kala. The next three muhurthas are termed as Madhyahna period. The next three muhurthas is called Aparahna and the next three is called Sayahna. Sayahna is not suitable for rituals.
In the day time there are 15 muhurthas. Each Muhurtha is 2 Nazhigai or 48 minutes . These 15 muhurthas are called Chaithra, Salaghara, Savithra, Jayantha , Gandharva, Kuthabha, Rouhina, Virincha , Vijaya , Nairutha, Mahendra, Varuna and Bodha.

3.Kala Nirnayakara
The week days are divided in to two, three and four parts , But Vedas recognize only the split in to five parts . So that is the most superior.
The eighth muhurtha n the day time is Kuthabha. Kuthabha and the four muhurthas following it is the proper time for doing Sradha. So the time between 15 Nazhigai *each of 24 minutes) to 24th Nazhigai is the proper time for Sradha. Aparahna in the period from 19 Nazhigai to 24. That is the most suitable for Sradha. (approximately after 12 noon)
The periods starting from Kuthabha kala till Sayahna is the most suitable period for Sradha.

If the previous and following days are such that thithi spreads in Aparahna , then Sradha has to be performed in the Aparahna thithi. If the second one is a kshaya thithi and the first one is an Aparahna thithi, the sradha should be performed in the first thithi. If the second one is an Aparahna thithi and the first one is a vrudhi thithi ,Sradha should be performed in Aparahna Thidhi. If in both days thithi is not found in Aparahna , the Sradha should be performed in the first thithi.

In rituals for Pithrus , the thidhi which is connected to the asthamana (setting of sun ) is considered as poorna.(complete)

XXIV Sradha kadhinaam vibhakthai pradhaganushtanam
(Performance of sradha separately by brothers)

If brothers divide the father’s wealth or if they eke out a living by money earned by themselves , then such brothers should perform Darsa (Amavasya) , Apthika(First annual ceremony) and Pratyapthika (usual Sradham) separately.
If the widow who does not have sons is in periods, she should perform the Sradha after the fifth day.
Even if we are in deep trouble, the first annual Sradha should not be performed in the Aama Roopa. If it is not possible to perform it in the Thidhi, it could be performed, in the Amavasya or Krishna Ekadasi. If these come within a taint period, it could be performed after the taint period.
In the sradha for father the importance is for father, grand father and great grand father. Similarly in the mother’s sradha the importance is for mother, grand mother and great grand mother.

Apasthamba prescribes homa and Pinda for father, grand father and great grand father in the Sradha for mother. But Arghya and Varana are done for the mother’s side also.
In Yekodishta , Sapindeekarana , Masika and Apthika , The Tharpana with Gingelly is not performed But in case of other Sradhas including Mahalaya Sradha , Tharpana has to be done.

XXV. Mala masa niroopanam
(the particulars of Mala masa)

From the Shukla Paksha Prathama (that Prathama following Amavasya) till the next Amavasya is the lunar month. If the first day of solar month does not occur within a lunar month , that lunar month is called Mala Masa. This month is not suitable for any rituals.
If two Sankramana (solar month first) comes in a lunar month it is called Kshaya masa. This also is not suitable for rituals.
The Kshaya masa is also called Amhaspathi. This is very rare. The lunar month in which is Kshaya ends suddenly and the next month will come.
A solar moth with two Amavasya is called Samsarpaka masa. The first month of the athi masa which is samsarpaka is not suitable for any rituals. The next month is suitable. Similarly in case an athimasa is a Kshaya masa , the first month is suitable and the second month is not.

1.Vrudha Vasishta
The inauguration of streams, well and tank , soma yaga and great Dhanas should not be performed in the mala masa.

2.Kala Nirnaya
Jatha Karma, Pumsavana , Seemantha and Vruthas can also be performed in mala masa. The death ceremonies also can be performed.

XXVI. Darsa Sradham
(Amavasya Sradham/tharpanam)

1.Vishnu Purana
Oh King, he who does Darsa sradha every month in the Krishna Paksha as well as Amavasya satisfies the entire world.
One whose father is no more, should definitely do Darsa sradham. If a Brahmin does not perform Darsa Sradham on Amavasya , he has to perform redemption.
In the Darsa sradha we have to choose father, grand father, great grand father as well as mother, grand mother and great grand mother. There is no separate aim for the maternal grand parents in darsa sradha.
In Darsa, Ashtaka , Sankramana , vyatheepatha and Grahana (eclipse) , we have to take bath , do Tharpana with Gingelly and then do Darsa Sradha.
All Pithru rituals have to be done in Aparahna. If Amavasya sets before performance of Sradha , then it is not suitable.
Leave out that day where less amavasya is there in Aparahna and perform it on the day when it is more in Aparahna.

2. Narada
If Amavasya is spread in Aparahna of two days , the first thithi has to be chosen for fading and next for increase.

XXVII. Ardhodhaya mahodhaya punya kala niroopanam
Finding out of Ardhodhaya and mahodhaya punya kalas.

If in the month of Pushya or Magha , the Vyathee patha ends in the first part of Amavasya , or middle period of Sravana star (thiruonam) or during sun rise or on Sunday , that period is known as Ardhodhaya punya kala If the first four occurs on a Monday , it is Mahodhaya punya kala (?)
If Amavasya occurs on a Monday , Sapthami thidhi occurs on a Sunday , Chathurthi occurs on Tuesday and Ashtami on Wednesday these days are equivalent to the solar eclipse.

XXVIII. Ashtaka Sradha niroopanam
The time for Ashtaka Sradha

The Ashtami thithi which occurs in the months of spring and autumn are Ashtaka Punya kala. i.e Ashtamis occurring in the months of Margaseersha, Pousha, Magha and Phalguna. In each of these sradha has to be performed in Poorvethyu (previous day to ashtaka), Ashtaka and Anvashka (next day to ashtaka).i.e on Sapthami, Ashtami and Navami days.
In the Pournami of Magha month , Ashtami and Kettai concurrently occur in the Krishna Paksha, This is called Yekashtaka .Apasthamba is of the opinion that it is an important ashtaka.
In the Ashtami of Bhadrapada and Magha masa, people who cannot afford to do Sradha should at least do a Gingelly Tharpana.

IXXX. Mahalaya Sradha Niroopanam
The particulars of Sradha during Mahalaya Paksha

Sradha has to be performed for 15 days when Sun enters Kanya Rasi .

When Sun is in Kanya rasi during the Krishna Paksha , sradha has to be performed daily. The Fifth day from Ashada Pournami is very appropriate for performing Sradha. By Performing sradha on that day we can get longer life, health , sons and wealth.
When Surya enters Kanya rasi , it is considered as auspicious. It is sufficient if it is in the beginning, middle or end of the rasi. Some saints tell that sradha has to performed for 16 days starting from one Prathama to another Prathama. Both views are acceptable. But follow one Shastra. In Madhaveeya is mentioned that it could be done either for 15 days or 16 days. But Paksha consists of only 15 days. This is accepted by everybody. When Surya enters Kanya Rasi , the manes reach their sons. At that time Yama’s place is completely empty. The manes come with the belief that their sons will feed them by doing Sradha and they will not be hungry.. So in the Pithru paksha sradha should be at least performed for one day. If not done they will be waiting till the beginning of the next month. If we do not do sradha, they would curse us and go back. Bharani , Ashtami , vyatheepada and Dwadasi are considered more important among the 15 days. The Sradha performed during this period is called “Sakruth Mahalaya Sradha”.
In Mahalaya Sradha the following manes are addressed. Viswedevas, father, mother , mother in law , The manes of the mother’s family , Pithruvyaya, aunt , uncle, mother’s sisters, Woman of the family, sister, daughter ,wife , father in law, mother in law , Sister’s husband , daughter in law m brother in law, Guru, Aacharya, Swami and friends. These are called Karunika Pithrus. The specialty of Mahalaya Sradha is that each of them are worshipped separately.
Mahalaya Sradha should not be performed before the Sradha of mother and father. Mahalaya should not be performed in that month. Mahalaya should be performed only after performing the Sradha of mother and father. Some people because they should not do it in the Parvana way, do it in the Hiranya form, do Tharpana and feed the Brahmins, Understand that this is also proper.

XXX. Vrudhi sradha niroopanam
Sradha performed for progress – particulars

1.Vishnu Purana
The father has to do Jatha Karma and Nama karana for his sons. At that time he can perform nandi Sradha.
When performing Namakarana, Annaprasana , Choula, Samavarthana , Somayaga , Upanayana, snana karma , Kanya Dhana and Vivaha, Nandi sradham should be performed. These are done by the father for the sake of the son.
Nandi sradha should be performed in the Poorvahnna. This is the first 10 Nazhigai (i.e 4 hours) of the day from sun rise. In Nandi sradha Curd , Ilandai pazham and Akshatha should be mixed with the pinda and Pinda pradana done. Gingelly should not be used, The Swadha word should not be used, And it should not be performed with sacred thread on right shoulder (Prachina vidhi).The Durba should not be spread facing south .It could also be done in the Hiranya form, if one cannot afford . When you do several rituals together Nandi Sradha need to be done only once.

XXXI Sradhe Desa kaladhi niroopanam
The differences in Sradha according to time and place.

That which is given with devotion to a good Brahmin , aimed at manes (Pithrus) is called Sradha. . Sradha performed aimed at only one mane is called Yekodishta and the one performed aimed at three ancestors is called Parvana.
These are further divided in to Nithyam , Naimithikam and Kamyam. one in which a Brahmin is given meals daily for the sake of Pithrus is called Mruthaha sradham. Darsa Sradha and Mahalaya Sradha are called Nithyam, Pretha Sradham, Sapindeekaranam, Sankramana Sradham , Grahana Sradham are classified as Naimithikam and Manvanthi sradham , yugadhi sradham, mahodhaya sradham and Vyatheepada sradham are called as Kamya.
The place and time performed, the suitability of the Brahmin, money, the performer and Pithrus are the reasons for proper completion of a Sradha.

Pithrus become happy in Sradha performed in natural surroundings, mountains, sacred waters, sacred places and in places which are clean and has solitude,
It is better performed in the mud floor cleaned by cow dung in one’s own house.

Sradha , Japa, Homa, Thapas performed in Pushkara , mahodhadhi, prayaga, Kasi and Gurujangalam gives one non decaying strength.

4, Pithru Gadha
The Pithrus will always wish for some man to be born in their family who will do sradham for them in Gaya Seersham and Akshaya vatam.

Manu says that we should never test a Brahmin in sacred waters. Any one coming with a request for food should be fed.

Amavasya, vyatheepada, Sankramana , Vaidruthi, Ashtakas, Manwadhis , Yugadhis , Mahalaya Paksha, Eclipse of sun as well as moon, Gajachaya , Money and learned Brahmins determine the apt time to perform Sradha.
In rituals of God, the Brahmins can be used without testing them but in case of Pithru Karmas (rituals of manes) they have to be tested. We should find out whether they have clean lineage , whether they have learned Vedas and whether they observe aacharas.

Among the son who has learned Vedas but his father who has not learned Vedas, and one who has not learned Vedas but his father has learned Vedas, who should be called for Sradha? The man who has not learned Vedas fully but whose father is a learned Vedic pundit should be invited.
The money given to one who has learned Vedas and who is fit to be worshiped , would grant us great strength. So in Pithru Karmas we should call great Brahmins.
We can call that Brahmin who is interested in chanting of Gayathri and who leads his life according to religious rules. That Brahmin who though is an expert in Vedas but who eats in all places, who leads a life selling everything and who does not take bath or do Sandhya Vandhana should not be chosen for the Pithru Karmas,
He who does Agnihothra, He who knows Nyaya Sasthra, he who knows the six branches of Vedas, He who knows Manthras, He who protects Dharma, He who worships Guru, God and fire, He who is wise, He who worships Lord Shiva and he who has devotion to Vishnu are termed as Pankthi Pavanas (holy people). They can be called for Pithru karmas. If a Sanyasi lives in a village we should inform that we are performing Sradha to him.
Those who tell Vedas during the banned times of Amavasya and Prathama , Those who do not have good Aacharas and are unclean and those who eke out a living from the fourth caste are people who are finding fault with Brahmins.
In the month or Paksha in which Sradha comes , one should not crop and shave and also avoid having sexual relation with women.
The place where Sradha is to be performed should be cleaned using cow dung and water. Then we have to sprinkle Gingelly (til) on that space.
Wheat , Paddy, Barley , Gingelly , garden pea, mustard , Paryangu (?) , Govidhara (?) and Avarai (lab lab beans) are suitable for the Sradha.
Without black gram Sradha cannot be performed.
Curd , milk, cooked rice , ghee and Jaggery should be used in Sradha. These satisfy the Pithrus for one month.
The Pithrus who are satisfied by honey, give us all that we want. So honey should definitely used in Sradha. Jack fruit, banana fruit , Pomegranate , Mango fruit , Grapes , Bitter gourd, cucumber , Avarai , snake gourd , Plantain , Curry leaf , Elephant foot yam (karunai Kizhangu) , ginger and Lime should definitely be used in Sradha.
Presenting cloth according to our financial capability is considered good.

Some important points in performing Sradha:-

1.After 12 Nazhigais (about 11 am) , you have to give oil and Choorna (powder soap/shampoo) to the Brahmins and they should be requested to take bath. Then the man who performs the Sradha should take bath. In Dwadasi powder of gooseberry should be given.

2.When performing Avahana, Argya, Sankalpa, Pinda Dhana , Thilodhaka , Akshayya , asana , Padhyam and Annadhana , we have tell our name and that of the Gothra.

3.When you are doing Avahana of Devas , rice has to be sprinkled on right foot, left foot, right knee, left knee and head of the Brahmin. When we do Avahana of Pithrus sprinkle Gingelly on head, left shoulder , right shoulder, left knee, left foot and right foot.

4.The Brahmins participating should not gossip or talk unnecessarily.

5.For devas we can hold the thumb and in case of Pithrus they should be invited (amanthranam) along with the thumb.

6.They should neither praise or find fault with the food.

There are many such rules. Consult elders in your family about them.

Veda says that Pithrus are Vasus, Pithamaha (grand father) are rudras and prapithamaha ( great grand father) are Adhithyas. Except the Mruthaha Sradha others can be performed as Ama Roopa or Hiranya Roopa.
When you cannot afford to do Sradha, feed sufficient grass to cows. They can be fed with rice balls (pindas) . We can do Thila Tharpana addressing the Pithrus. When you do Tharpana , you should take bath and wear dried cloths.
He who is not able to do Sradha , if he performs the representative of the rituals with devotion, he gets the same effect as having performed Sradha.

XXXII Sradha Prasamsa
Praising Sradha

There is no other rituals which gives comfort to the man greater than Sradha. So he who seeks comforts should perform Sradha.

He who worships Pithrus, devas and fire are worshipping Lord Vishnu who is in all beings. By performing the Worship of Pithrus they get long life, sons, fame , heaven, name , health , strength, luck , cows, money and grains. So Grahasthas (married people) should perform Sradha with devotion.

Thus ends the chapter on proper worship of manes in Samkshepa Dharma Sashtra.


  1. good one... thanks alot for the detailed information. what if the kartha's wife's close relative passes away and they have not seen us personally. shall we go there to see them or participate in the rituals?

  2. Sir, I am residing in madhya pradesh in Itarsi can u plz give us the sradha mantras as the mantras recited by local pundits are very short and yearly sradha is over by 10 minutees i feel very sad that i could not perform properly can u plz give me the mantras sir so that i can perform and feed the brahmin

  3. Sir, My mother passed away last week. We plan to do the Shradda on 11th day. I have three brothers and three sisters. On the Shradda day, should the brothers gift dresses to the sisters and husbands, and vice versa? Or this is not correct. Should the in laws of brothers gift dresses to their son-in laws (us). If any one can provide a correct information, I will be thankful.

  4. If the eldest son is unwell and the youngest son do all the rituals by taking darbha from kartha(eldest son). if on the 11th day the eldest son dies but youngest son has already started Ekodishta rituals whether the same will get affected.

  5. can we do santhyavandhan during first 12 days of death ?

  6. can we do santhyavandhan during first 12 days of death ?

  7. Sandhyavandanam should be done on all the three times of the day. Instead of 108 gayathri per time, it should be 24 gayathri mantra. Normal days, gayathri mantra should be chanted 108 times during morning, afternoon and evening to get sandhyavandana benefit. 24 times is only during pollution. Morning sandhya benefit goes to Pitrus, afternoon to the doer and evening to the progeny. If one skips any time of the day, he can understand to whom he has not given the benefit (duty) during that day. In sandhya vandanam, there is no short cut or compromise. Infact, in Kaliyuga, apart from performing thrikala sandhya vandanam, one should also chant Gayathri Shhapa Vimochanam to get the benefit.

  8. Sandhyavandanam should be done on all the three times of the day. Instead of 108 gayathri per time, it should be 24 gayathri mantra. Normal days, gayathri mantra should be chanted 108 times during morning, afternoon and evening to get sandhyavandana benefit. 24 times is only during pollution. Morning sandhya benefit goes to Pitrus, afternoon to the doer and evening to the progeny. If one skips any time of the day, he can understand to whom he has not given the benefit (duty) during that day. In sandhya vandanam, there is no short cut or compromise. Infact, in Kaliyuga, apart from performing thrikala sandhya vandanam, one should also chant Gayathri Shhapa Vimochanam to get the benefit.

    1. Sir, in Siva Maha Purana, it is indicated that minimum chanting of Gayatri Mantra during Sandhyavandana is 28 times. Regards,

  9. Sir, can you create a manual for hiranya srartham - iyer -abasthambam- Yakur vedham with manthra

  10. Thank you sharing information. Wonderful blog & good post. Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!
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  11. What mantras to be recited on 10thday tharpan as my paternal chittappa(my fathers younger brother's)passed away yesterday.Pl.reply is same as amavasyaday

  12. If by unforeseen circumstances, pradyabthika sradha could not be performed on the death thithi, can it be performed on krishna paksha ashtami,Ekadasi or amavasyai of next month? Or on the thithi of next month?
    Thithi is Krishna Panchami of panguni. Due corona lockdown , could not be performed on 12th April 2020. Can we perform it on 15th of May 2020,Krishna paksha ashtami? Or on the panchami of Chitra month? My mail Id is

  13. Can son in law eat from the maha Vishnu leaf placed in srardham?

  14. Can we immerse the bones and ashes in Ganga after 12th day of death.

  15. Father dies n rituals r performed by first son, except 13th day due to unforseen circumstances. After 40 days youngest son dies. His son performs the ceremonies. Can subha sweekaram b performed for both the dead persons together or separately. Only kartha of ceremonies has to perform the pooja

  16. Head of family dies first. He has 3 sons. 13 th day subha sweekaram cdnt b performed due to unavoidable circumstances. Rest ceremonies were performed by all three. All r married. After nearly 40 days youngest son dies n his son performs the rituals. Karthas r different in both. Can subham b performed separately by both the kartas

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