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Rules of Shraddha

Types of Shradhas

1.parvana Sradham is done to please the Viswe devas and Pithrus for three   generation. From mothers and fathers side,

  1. 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

  1. 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.

Nandi Shradha

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

  1. 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

  1. 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 

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Both ends should not be cut of the Banana leave used to serve food during Sradha. The top end should be on the left.
  2. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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.

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