Puraan | 8-Agni Puraan
Paatak; Shuddhi from Unnatural Deaths.
Pushkar said - "Parashuraam Jee, The Paatak (uncleanliness on somebody's death) for miscarriage is that it takes only that many days as the number of months of miscarriage. After the 7th month this Paatak is for 10 days. From 1st to 3rd month, Paatak for Braahman is for 3 nights, for Kshatriya it is 4 nights, for Vaishya it is 5 nights and for Shoodra it is 8 nights. These Paatak are only for women, not for fathers. Fathers become clean only by taking bath. The household men are not in Paatak for 6 months. After that they also get clean after 3 nights.
If a child dies before his teeth have come out, then the family men have immediate cleaning; before Choodaakarn there is 1 night A-Shauch (uncleanliness); before Yagyopaveet it is 3 nights; and after this it is 10 nights. If the child dies before his teeth have come out or before Chodaakarn, his parents are in A-Shauch for 3 nights. If a Braahman boy dies before he is 3 years old and his Choodaakarn has not been performed, his family members are clean after 1 night. For Kshatriya, it is 2 days; for Vaishya it is 3 days; and for Shoodra it is 5 nights. If a Shoodra dies before marriage, his A-Shauch is for 12 days. In whatever situations a Braahman is in A-Shauch for 3 days, in the same situation, a Shoodra is in A-Shauch for 12 days, a Kshatriya for 6 days and a Vaishya is for 9 days. A 2-year old child should not be burnt, he should be buried in the ground. Jalaanjali is also not necessary for him. Burning and Jalaanjali are for that child whose teeth have come out.
A Braahman who daily performs Agnihotra and studies three Ved, he becomes clean in 1 day only. Who are lower than him, they become clean in 3-4 days. Who doesn't do Agnihotra, he becomes clean in 5 days. Who is Braahman only for namesake, he becomes clean in 10 days time. If servant and student live with their master and Guru, then they also are in A-Shauch according to their master and Guru's families A-Shauch. Who has no connection with Agni (fire), means who doesn't do Agnihotra, he is in A-Shauch immediately after the death of a family member; but who do Agnihotra daily, they are in A-Shauch after the burning the corpse.
All Varn people can touch after 1/3rd part of their A-Shauch period is over. According to this rule Braahman etc Varn can be touched after 3, 4, 5 and 10 days respectively. Collection of bones for these Varn should be done on 4th, 5th, 7th and 9th days respectively.
If a girl dies before her Lagna (Vaag Daan, or fixing the marriage) and after her Choodaakarn, then her people are in A-SHauch for 1 day only; but whose Lagna is done but the marriage has not yet taken place, her A-Shauch is for 3 days. If a married sister or daughter dies, then her A-Shauch is for 3 days and 2 nights. The right to offer Jalaanajali for a married woman is for both the families - her parents and her in-laws.
All rules related to A-Shauch for Sa-Pind only, now you listen to for other people, other types of sons and other types of wives. A woman who has left her husband and is united with other man, or the woman who has come leaving her husband and has married to one, if she dies, her A-Shauch is for 3 days. Who have not followed their their own Varn Aashram Dharm; or who are hybrid (Varnsankar); or who are the children of higher Varn father and lower Varn mother; or who are Sanyaasee; or who have committed suicide by taking poison, one should not offer Jalaanjali to them. They do not deserve this. Two brothers, who are from the same mother but from two fathers, have 1-day A-Shauch for their birth, and 2-day A-Shauch for their death.
Sa-Pind rule does not apply after 7 generations, and all family relations are over after 14th generation, only Gotra relationship remains. If Maamaa (maternal uncle), or son-in-law, or daughter's son, or sister's son, or wife's brother, or the son of wife's brother dies, one becomes clean after taking bath. If mother's mother, or mother's father or Aachaarya dies, then there is 3-day A-Shauch. Who do Yagya, or are Vratee, or Brahmchaaree or great saints are clean after taking bath only. Who dies at the time of Daan, Yagya, marriage, war and riots, only 1-day A-Shauch is necessary for him. Who has been killed by Raajaa, or cow, or Braahman, or who has committed suicide, there is no specific time needed for their cleanlinees - it is immediate.
Who are patients of incurable diseases, or are even unable to study, they don't need Shauch (cleanliness or Shuddhi), they are immediate clean. Who has no awareness of even his being, if he dies, only 3 days of A-Shauch is prescribed for him. First day is for his burning, 2nd day is for his bone collection, 3rd day for his Jalaanajali and 4th day is for Shraaddh. Who die of electricity or lightning or burning in fire, their A-Shauch is for 3 days only. If one gets the news of one's mother or father even after 1 year, then he should take bath with clothes, keep fast for a day and perform Pret Kaarya (ceremonies after death) properly.
If somebody carries the dead body of a family member, he should take bath with clothes, touch Agni, and eat some Ghee; and he becomes clean. If he eats food from that family then he also takes 10 days to be clean. Whoever Dwij carry the dead body of an orphan Braahman, they earn the fruit of Ashwamedh Yagya on every step, and they become clean just by taking bath. Whoever Braahman follows the dead body of a Shoodra, he becomes clean in 3 days. Who weeps with the relations of the dead, he should not give any donation and should not do any Shraaddh for 1 day and 1 night.
If any Shoodra woman gives birth to a child, or any Shoodra dies at one's house, then he should throw his household pots and pans after 3 days and smear the floor of the whole house. If some Braahmans are present, then one should not allow Shoodra to carry the dead body of the Braahman. Bathe the dead body, cover him with new clothes, worship him with flowers, then carry him to the cremation ground. Never burn the dead body naked, a part of the cloth covering of the dead body should be given to the cremation ground man. Whether one is son or daughter or somebody else, he should offer Pind to the dead like a son. [Shlok 56]
After returning from burning the dead body, one should control his emotions, chew some Neem leaves, do Aachman, touch Agni, or water, cow dung or yellow mustard, then he should enter the house by stepping on a stone. All family members should not eat salt and meat from that day, they should sleep on floor and eat only bought food.
As Paatak is applied to all family members, Sootak (uncleanliness on birth of a child) does not apply everyone. It applies only to parents of the child, and especially to mother, because only she becomes untouchable. Father becomes clean by taking bath only. One must do Shraaddh on the day when a son is born. That day is auspicious for Shraaddh, Daan of cow, gold or clothes etc. Sootak and Paatak are over with their own periods.
If somebody dies in the period of birth, then birth A-Shauch should be over with the death A-Shauch. If somebody dies and then another man dies, then the second one ends with the first one. If two alike A-Shauch fall in one time - if there are two births, or there are two deaths; then the second A-Shauch is over with the first one; and if there are two different A-Shauch - birth in a death period, or death in a birth period; then the latter one should be finished with the first one - this is Dharm Raaj's guidelines.
If during a Sootak or Paatak period, another Sootak or Paatak falls during the midnight of the last day, then both finish in the remaining time of the night and all family members become clean the next day.
During the unclean period, one should not donate anything, one should not eat at other's places."
Shuddhi of Abnormally Dead People
Pushkar says - "Till a dead person's bones are in Gangaa water, his soul attains Punya. While Jalaanjali and Pind rites are is not prescribed for the people who are fallen or have committed suicide, still if their remains remain in Gangaa water, it is good for them. Whatever food is offered to them, it disappears in the sky, therefore one should offer "Naaraayan Bali" for them. Thos gives them good fruit. Since Naaraayan is eternal, that is why whatever is offered to Him, it is eternal. "All have to die one day", thinking thus one should follow one's Dharm. Except Pativrataa wife, nobody else can go with a dead man, because the path for Yam Lok is separate for everybody. Wherever Jeev will go, only his Dharm will go with him.
Whatever one plans to do tomorrow, he should do it now, because the death doesn't wait to see that your work is finished or not. In whatever condition a Jeev is, Death takes him just like that. For Kaal neither favors anybody, nor hates anybody. As soon as the age of a being is over, Death takes him; but whose Time has not come yet, he does not die in spite of being pierced by hundreds of arrows; and whose Time has come, nobody can stop him even for a minute. He dies just sitting like that. No medicine or Mantra does anything to save him.
Nobody knows or has seen its beginning and end, only its middle part is seen. One should never grieve for Death.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 05/21/13