Types of Shradhas
1.parvana Sradham is done to please the Viswe devas and Pithrus for three generation. From mothers and fathers side,
- Yekodhishta is a sradha aimed at the person who is just dead and has not become pithru and is haing Pretha roopa.IN SApindi karana both re there.
3.Both in the first annual sradha and subsequent sradhas first we seek permission to do the Sradha in the Parvana way.
4.The eight Vasus , eleven Rudras , rwelve adithyas and twelve Viswa devas protect the Sradha.
5,In each Sradha we choose two of the viswe devas and one Brahmin will represent them and another top represent our Pithrus
6.In the first annulal sradha and subsequent annual sradhas we choose Puroorardhava and Samjnaka Viswe devas.
7.In Mahalaya Sradha we choose Thuru and Ruchi Samjnakas
8.In SApindikarana we choose Kala-Kamuka SAmjnakas
9.In SAnya saanga Sradha we choose Sathu –Guru samjakas
10.In Naandhi sradhas Sathyavasu and in Yagas Krathu-Daksha samjnakas are chosen
11.People who are not monretarily well off can do it in HIranya or Aama sradha way. Now in practice people do it only as Hiranya
- Another form is Sankalpa Sradha where Aavahana , homa , arghya , vikira, panda dhana and Tharpana are not there
Mahalaya Shradha (Pithru Paksha)
13.It is essential to do Sradha in Mahalaya Paksha.Atleast do Hiranya SRadha
14.During Mahalaya Paksja at least daily do tharpanam
15.The most important days of Mahalaya Paksha or Maha Bharani, Madhyashtami and Vyadheepadham ,The thryodasi of Mahalaya Paksha is Gajachaya.If you do sradham on that day, you will get the effect of doing Gaya Sradha
16.In Mahalaya Pakshna Even Karunya Pithrus (Father’s brothers, elder vrother, younger brother. Paternal aunt, maternal uncle, mother’s sisters, own sisters and their sons, wife , father in law, mother in law, sister’s husband, daughter in law, brother in law, Guru , Master under whom we have worked and friends) also receive varanam, pindam and tharpanam.
17.In mother is alive during Mahalaya SRadha , sradha is not do the maternal side
18.In normal sradha we offer six pindas(rice balls) but in mahalaya sradha 13 pindas are offered to Pithru Varga(fathers clan), Mathru varga(mothers clan), Sapathneeka Mathamaha varga(The clan of in laws of other wives) and Karunya pithrus.
19.Nandi sradha needs to be done during Garbha dhana , Seemantha, Jatha karma, Nama Karma, Anna prasana, Choula, Prapthyadhi pnances, Samavarthana, Vivaha and graham pravesa to new home.
20.In Nandui Sradha the mathru Varga is first offered and then the Pithru varga
21, In Nandi the varana is in the reverse order, prapithamaha, pithamaha and Pitha
- Nandi sradha is an auspicious function Instead of Gingelly Yava is used. Parishechana is not done anticlockwise .The word “Swadha” is not used
23.For Viswedevas we have to select two Brahmins and for each Pithru Two Brahmanas are selected
24.If a kartha performs one Nandi Sradha , he can do another only after 6 days
25.The person who does Nandhi sradha does not do Anna Sradha for three months during Amavasya, Sankramana , manvadhi and Yugadhi, Some people do not do tharpanam for 6 months
- The person who does Nandhi should not touch Gingely or Durbha.He can do it using Akshathai and Arugam pul.
27.The person who does Nandhi can do Sapindeekaranam and Prathyabdheekam in his home
28.When wife is in periods, husband is not supposed to do Nandhi
29.In Nadhi you face eat and in Dhurbhas facing east , he has to keep two pindas .The pindas are by fruits(Elandhai pazham/Jamoon) and curd
Duties of Kartha(one who performs) and Boktha(one who consumes)
30.Kartha is the person who does the Sradha
31.Bhoktha is the one who is selected by us for worship in the Sradha
32.There are some common rules for Kartha and Boktha
33.Both of them should not eat any food after taking meals in the Sradha
34.Both of them should lead a religiously disciplined life for Sradha Paksha (waxing or waning 15 day period in which SRadha falls) or at least one week(or three days ) before the Sradha
Who can become a Bhoktha
36.The two Bokthas should not be brothers
37.A widower without son is not elegible to become a Boktha
38.If a person’s wife is in periods, he is not eligible to be a Boktha
39.Once a person becomes Boktha in a home , for next three days, he is not elegible to become a Boktha
40.Those who do not know Veda, those who are ill and those who want you to make the Boktha are not elegible.
41.It is not permissible to one person being BOktha in another house and that person becoming Boktha in his house by mutual agreement.
42.Those who have a wife who is pregnant for more than three months also are not elegible to be a Boktha
43.He who has not o performed first year death ceremony after their death and he who has shaved himself that day are not eligible as Bokth
44.Among the Bokthas , the younger one should be selected to represent Pithrus(manes) and the elder one the Viswe devas.
Duties of Kartha
- He who performs Sradha(the kartha) should not brush his teeth using a brush or stick on the day of SRadha.
46.The Kartha should change his scared thread before starting the ceremony.
47.To the Bokthas we should give Vasthra(cloth) of the quality we ourself wear.
48.The Kartha should not take meals in other’s homes ( Guru, Uncle, sister brother are not others) for one month(Or one Paksha or one week or three days ) before the Sradha.
49.He should not take oil bath in the week previous to the Sradha
50.If you cannot afford to give cloths to the Bokthas, give them at least new sacred threads.
51.The Dakshina(fees) is according to the Kartha’s monetary ability
When to perform Shradha?
52.Sradha should be performed in the Thithi, month and Paksha in which the death has occurred.
53.If in the Paksha, the thithi occurs twice , perform the SRadha on the day when the thithi is at 1.30 PM(aparahna) on that day.
54.If both thithis are suitable perform it in the later thithi
55.In the Panchanga in the right most section the Sradha thithi would be mentioned
56.If we are not able to observe SRadha on the correct thithi, that day we should perform Upavasa(starvation) and perform the Sradha on the next day.
57.If we forget the Thithi , SRadha can be performed on the Ashtami thithi of Krishna Pakasha, Ekadasi or Amavasya(Maha Periyava is of the i opinion that the Sradha should be performed only in India)
58,If we get death or birth taint during SRadha, SRadha should be performed at the end of taint period.
59.Brothers who have divided the wealth of their parents should do Sradha Seperately
60.But if mother is alive , it can be done together
61.If a sradha is done on behalf of a lady , there is no homa,Only Pinda is offered
62.SRadha for Sanyasis are to be done during dwadasi
- Sradha for those who meet bad death is to be done during Chathurdasi
Rules of performance of Shradha
64.In Sradha special importance is given to Gingelly(Til) and Daughter’s son(dauhithra) .
65,Black Til should be used in plenty. Dharbha grass and Til is supposed to have come from Lord Varaha
66 For cleaning of the area for .Pada Prakshalanam ,( means washing of feet of Boktha.) with cow dung for Viswedevas square pattern should be drawn and for Pithrus round shape should be made on the floor
67.You should not wash the feet of Boktha along with Pavithra. It should be removed and kept on the right ear.
- The water used for washing feet of the two bokthas should not join together .
69.Wash the heels of the feet of the Bokthas and not the inside feet.
70.The ghee that remains after using for Homa should not be used for anything
71.The sound of bell should not be heard during Sradha time . The ladies should not put Thilaka. As these two will drive away Pithrus.
- After 12 noon the Kartha should perform madhyahneekam and after giving Ellu Urundai for clearing the mind of the Bokthas , THamboola for purifying their face and oil for cleaning their body and request to take bath and bathe himself and start the Sradha.
73,All upacharas are first to be done only to Viswe devas
74,After sradhha the first to get up wold be Pithrus
75,In Sradha for mother Matha, pithamahi , prapithamahi are invoked.Arghyam and GRahanam is for them only but HOma is for their male Pithrus
76.If there is a need to do Sradha to the sister, younger brother, son, uncle and Guru, Only they should be invoked and sradha is done in a Sankalpa way
77.The sradha of mother and father has to be done in Parvana way and never as Sankalpa Sradha
78.In Sradha of the brothers of father, they , grand father and great grand father are invoked..
79.In the sradha of elder brother, Elder brother, father and grand father are invoked
80.In case of Sradha of maternal grand father along with maternal grand father , his father and grandgrand father are invoked
81.IN dangerous situations , or when wife is in periods or away, SRadha with Homa need not be done but it can be done as Aama Sradha or Hiranya Sradha
82.Every month during Amavasya sradha for fathers and mothers clan can be done but in practice only tharpanam is done
Rules for cooking in Shradha
83.Some one who is not a relative or a servant should not cook for Sradha
84.A lady in periods or who has taken bath on the third day should not cook
85.The person who cooks should not wear wet cloths
86.Do not cook crying or laughing or pulling your hair
87.Cooking should be done in new or well cleaned vessel which is not made of steel. Silver vessels are the best.(Please remember that Stainless steel is steel)
88.The Rice should be cooked at the end.When it is served steam should come out of it.
- Both ends should not be cut of the Banana leave used to serve food during Sradha. The top end should be on the left.
- Vegetables and other material for cooking in Sradha
a.Suitable for cooking
Black gram, Black Til , wheat, green cow pea, Bitter gourd, Jack fruit, Mango, Pomegranate, Curry leaf, Lime, Banana fruit, Mango fruit Grapes, Plantains, Snake Gourd , Kandakathiri, (Brinjal with thorns) , Sundakkai, pepper, ghee , brown coloured sugar, , jiggery, sea salt,Gooseberry, ILanthai Pazham(Jamun) , honey, cow’s milk , curd made from cow’s milk , Karanai kizhangu(?) Colocasia tubers, Jeera, cardamom, Lablab beans, THoothuvalai(?) , Banana pseudostem, coconut, mustard, sweet potato , Groundnut, wood apple, hillies, rice, gingely oil , turmeric , tender coconut, Chiru KIzhangu(?) , ginger, Amaranthus leaves, Amarathus stem., Betel leaf , cardamom , dried ginger, Clove, Jathikkai(?),Jathipathei(?)
b.Not suitable for cooking
Dried cow pea seeds, horsegram , asafoetida, Drum stick, Tur dhal,Bottle gourd, Banana flower, Radish, onion , garlic, Buffalo mlk, goat milk, Curd made of Buffalo milk, ghee made of Buffalo milk
c.Very important and greatly preferred
Honey, jack, black gram, Kandankkathiri, Chundaikkai, Jasmine leaf, Pirandai , Mugattayilai , Karayilai, Thulasi
Some conventions in performing Shradha
91.The pithrus would be greatly pleased because we add Vasu, Rudra , Adithya devas
92.The father is considered as Vasu, grand father as Rudra, and great grand father as Adithya and jopining them all together we normally say Vasu rudra Adithya Swaroopa Asmad pitha, Pithamaha , Prapithamaha
93.When we choose a Brahmin as DEva , then poonal is worn in the normal fashion
- When we choose a Brahmin as representing Pithrus, the poonal should be Prachereena Vidhi(Ie it should be worn on right shoulder
95.When we offer Dharbha to devas it should be given straight
96.When Dharbha s offered to Pithrus , it should be folded in to two and offered to them (Tips connected)
97.When we do Pada Prakshalanam (Washing of feet) of Brahmins , since devas and Pithrus comew from their LOkas , The place where the Brahmanas sit is worshpped by Dharbha , Sandal paste, Akshatha(rice) and Gingley
98.When we are doing Aavahanam(Making them come) , we should put Akshatha( rice starting from their right leg and going clockwise
99.When we are doing Avahanam of Pithrus , the til should be put starting from their head till their feet,
100.Arkhya grahanam. For Viswe devas and Maha Vishnu water in a pot should be kept in the southern side of the fire.
101.For Pithrus water should be kept in another vessel
102.The vessel of Arkhya water should not be kept open and they should never be moved from their place
103.Suppose lot of Arkhya water spills out , the entire water should be emptied , then we have to keep it again by chanting manthras. If a small quantity spills out, it can be ignored
104.Sradha Brahmanas(Bokthas) should not touch each other
105.Suppose (a small portion of food taken-Yechil) of one Brahmin falls on another Brahmin’s leaf , both leaves should be removed, the place cleaned by cowdung and frsh leaf should be put and the food served again,
106.Till the Bokthas complete their food the fire should keep on burning
107.If By chance the fire is extinguished, that day you should not take food and SRadha carried out again
108.To remove the Rakshasas who may be present , the Brahmins should be requested to do Abhisravanam and chant Vedas.After the Sradha separate Dakshina(fee) should be given for that.
109.During Ekodishtam , SApindikaranm , Masigam , Anumasikam , Nandi SRadham and Gayasradha Abhisravana should not be done
110.The Bokthas should not talk while eating food, They should point out what they want by their finger. Since they should not eat afterwards during the day, they should be made to eat slowly and in plenty.
111.The Leaves in which Bokthas have taken food, should be buried in the soil
- In cities where this is not possible , people offer the leaves to the cow., SinceYechil should not be given to cow this is wrong.Please do according to tradition
113.Before the final SWasthi Vachana at the end of taking of food , the leaves should be removed
114.After Pinda pradhanam(offering of rice balls) only the area should be cleaned
115.It is a practice to keep Vikhranna (sme rice) before the leaves of the Brahmins. This gives happiness to those in Naraka(hell)
116.Performance of Sradha gives happiness not only pithrus but the homa gives happiness to devas, The eating of food by Brahmins to those who are in heaven , Pinda dhana to those in Yama LOka and Anna Dhana to human beings and Uchishta(left over) to ghosts and devils
117.WE say , “Let those born in clan who were burnt in fire and those that were not be satisfied by this Vayasa Pinda kept on earth and reach salvation .Let those who were burnt in fire according to rituals and those who were not burnt as per rituals but who were born in my clan become happy by this Pinda.”
118.Kaka pindam is for Pithrus not known to us and should be protected till the crow takes it.
119.After the pinda pradhana, put little of the cooked rice in the mouth saying manthras. Since it is part of Sradha, there is no sin in that but Some people only smell it but not eat it.
120.Even if is Ekadasi , the food offered to the Pithrus can be eaten. There is sin in it..Jnathis ,(People belonging to our clan) can smell that food and it will give them same effect as eating it.
121.Even after marriage girls can take the food offered to Pithrus in case of their father, mother and elder brother.But Widows should not eat it.
122.Fruits, vegetables , milk, curd and honey do not have Pithru Sesha. I e the defect food which remains after being offered to Pithrus
123.Clan people should not eat in Ekodishta
124.The relations who have only three day taint cannot eat the Pithru sesha
125.Paraheni tharpana should be performed next day morning only ,If it is not possible , it can be done after the Sradha
126.If Father is alive and sradha is done to mother , there is no tharpanam
127.Paraheni tharpanam should be done using Dharbha and gingely used during Sradha, next day early morning before bath.But if it becomes morning, then it can be done after bath and Sandshyavandana
- During Amavasya only Tharpanam is done
129.Even those whose father is alive should do Pithru Tharpanam during Brahma Yajnam.
130.The gingelly should not be picked by thumb and third finger
131,If you do tharpanam on Sunday , Tuesday and Friday, rice should be mixed with Gingely.
Compiled by Shri PR Ramachander.