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Shraaddh and Tarpan (Pitri Paksh)-4
See also     Shraaddh;      Shraaddh Niyam;      Shraaddh in Gayaa

Information given by sage Jaabaali about Mahaalaya Shraaddh.

When the Sun is in Kanyaa Raashi during the Krishn Paksha, Shraaddh has to be performed daily. The 5th day from Aashaadh Poornimaa is very appropriate for performing Shraaddh. By performing Shraaddh on that day we can get longer life, health, sons and wealth.

When Soorya enters Kanyaa Raashi, it is considered as auspicious. It is sufficient if it is in the beginning, middle or end of the Raashi. Some saints tell that Shraaddh has to performed for 16 days starting from the Day 1 (Poornimaa) to Amaavasyaa. Both views are acceptable. But follow either one Shaastra.

When Soorya enters Kanyaa Raashi, the manes reach their sons. At that time Yam's place is completely empty. The manes come with the belief that their sons will feed them by doing Shraaddh and they will not be hungry, so in the Pitri Paksha Shraaddh should be at least performed for the day on which it should be done. If not done on that day they will be waiting till the last day of the month - Amaavasyaa. If we do not do Shraaddh even on that, they would not be happy and go back to their own world.

Bharanee Nakshatra,  Vyateepaat Yog and Ashtamee and Dwaadashee Tithi are considered more important days among the 16 days. The Shraaddh performed during this period is called "Sakruth Mahaalaya Shraaddh". In Mahaalaya Shraaddh, the following manes are addressed Vishwedeva, father, mother, mother in law, The manes of the mother's family, Pitri, 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, Aachaarya, Swaamee and friends. These are called Kaarunikaa Pitri. The specialty of Mahaalaya Shraaddh is that each of them is worshipped separately. Mahaalaya Shraaddh should not be performed before the Shraaddh of mother and father.

Nandee Shraaddh
The Vishnu Puraan gives the following information about Nandee Shraaddh. The father has to do Jaat Karm and Naam Karan for his sons. At that time he can perform Nandee Shraaddh. When performing Naam Karan, Annapraashan, Chaulaa, Samvartan, Som Yaag, Upanayan, Snaan Karm, Kanyaa Daan and Vivaah, Nandee Shraaddh should be performed. These are done by the father for the sake of the son. Most of us perform Nandee before Upanayan of the son either in Kerala or Tamilnaadu and a few perform it just before the marriage ceremony in Tamilnaadu. I am not sure whether Nandee Shraaddh has become a Deshaachaar because of its specialty. Nandee Shraaddh should be performed in the Poorvaahan. This is the first 10 Nazhigai (i.e 4 hours) of the day from sunrise.

In Nandee Shraaddh, yogurt, Paayasam and Akshat should be mixed with the Pind and Pind Pradaan done. Gingely oil and the Swadhaa word should not be used, and it should not be performed with sacred thread on right shoulder (Praacheen Vidhi). The Darbhaa grass 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. Nandee Shraaddh need to be done only once. It is not sure whether Nandee is done in Hiranya Roopam before marriage. I have a thinking it is done so.

That which is given with devotion to a good Braahman, is aimed at manes (Pitri) is called Shraaddh. Shraaddh performed aimed at only one mane is called Yekodisht and the one performed aimed at three ancestors is called Paravan. The place and time performed, the suitability of the Braahman, money, the performer and Pitri are the reasons for proper completion of a Shraaddh.

Sage Deval on Shraaddh Food
Pitri become happy in Shraaddh performed in natural surroundings, mountains, sacred waters, sacred places and in places which are clean and has solitude. It is better to perform it in the mud floor cleaned by cow dung in one's own house. One can use the following items in cooking for Shraaddh - wheat, paddy, barley, Gingely, garden peas, mustard, Paryangu, Govidhar and Avarai (lab beans) are suitable for the Shraaddh food.
Shraaddh cannot be performed without black gram. Yogurt, milk, cooked rice, ghee and Jaggery should be used in Shraaddh. These satisfy the Pitri for one month. The Pitri who are satisfied by honey give all that want, so honey definitely be used in Shraaddh. 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 be used in Shraaddh cooking. Presenting cloth according to our financial capability is considered good.

When one cannot afford to do proper Shraaddh, one should feed sufficient grass to cows. They can be fed with rice balls (Pind). One can do Til Tarpan also addressing the Pitri. When one does the Tarpan, he should take bath first and wear dried cloths.

According to the sage, Yam he who worships Pitri, Dev and fire are worshipping Lord Vishnu who is in all beings. By performing the worship of Pitri they get long life, sons, fame, heaven, name, health, strength, luck, cows, money and grains. So Grahasth (married people) should perform Shraaddh with devotion.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 11/15/12