The Markandeya Purana

by Frederick Eden Pargiter | 1904 | 247,181 words | ISBN-10: 8171102237

This page relates “madalasa’s exhortation (continued)” which forms the 30th chapter of the English translation of the Markandeya-purana: an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with Indian history, philosophy and traditions. It consists of 137 parts narrated by sage (rishi) Markandeya: a well-known character in the ancient Puranas. Chapter 30 is included the section known as “conversation between Sumati (Jada) and his father”.

Canto XXX - Madālasā’s Exhortation (continued)

Madālasā explains to Alarka the ceremonies to he performed by a gṛhastha, which are of three kinds, continual, occasional and periodical—She explains the occasional śrāddha, which is celebrated for men and women.

Madālasā spoke:

“Now what the gṛhastha’s ceremonies are, the continual, and the occasional, and the periodical, listen thereto, my son.

“The continual are comprised in the five sacrifices,[1] these that I have described to thee: and the occasional are the others, such as the ceremony on the birth of a son, and so forth. The periodical[2] are recognisable by the learned as the sacrifices at the moon’s changes, the śrāddha and others.

“Here[3] I will tell thee of the occasional śrāddha celebration, of the birth-ceremony that should be performed similarly by men on the birth of a son; and everything duly related in order that should be done at marriages and on other occasions. And in this the Nāndīmukha pitṛs[4] must be worshipped; and he should give the piṇḍas mixed with curds and containing barley, facing northward or eastward, with composed mind making the oblation. Some men like it with the offering to the Viśvadevas omitted. And in this ceremony the dvijas must he arranged in pairs, and must be worshipped in dextral circumambulation. This is the occasional ceremony during growth, and the other is the funeral obsequies.

“And the śrāddha for a single deceased person should be performed on the day of the death; listen to that. And it should be performed omitting the offering to the gods, and with a single vessel. And the oblations-with-fire[5] should not be made in the fire without the ceremonies. And he should give one piṇḍa to the deceased person near the fragments of food, and sesamum-seed and water on the right, accompanying them with the recollection of that person’s name. ‘May he be exempt from decay,’ let the celebrant say, and ‘may enjoyment be his,’ let the others delighted say, at the place where the brāhmans are dismissed. Men must do this every month for a year. Now at the expiration of the year, or whenever the ceremony is performed by men, the śrāddha for deceased sapiṇḍas must be performed for him also: so the rule is stated; and that must he without the offering to the gods, and accompanied with a single argha offering in a single vessel. And that ceremony must not he performed there in the fire without offering the oblations-with-fire: and on the right there, he should feed the single dvijas.

“And there is another distinction, consisting in an extra ceremony every month; do thou listen attentive to me, as I tell thee of it, while it is being described. He should fill four vessels there with sesamum-seed, perfume and water, three for the pitṛs, one for the deceased person, my son. And he should scatter the arghya-oblation in the three vessels, and in the deceased’s vessel,[6] uttering the words ‘Ye samānā&c., he should perform the rest as before.

“This śrāddha for a single deceased person is ordained precisely the same for women also. The śrāddha for deceased sapiṇḍas does not exist for them, if they have no son. The śrāddha for a single deceased person must be performed every year for a woman by the men, duly on the day of her death, as has been here mentioned for men.

“But if there are no sons, the sapiṇḍas; if they are wanting, the sahodakas,[7] and those who may be the mother’s sapiṇḍas and those who may be the mother’s sahodakas, should duly perform this ceremony for a man who has no son, and for one who has begotten only a daughter. The daughters and their children should in this way perform the ceremony for the maternal grandfather. But those who are designated as the sons of two such persons should worship their maternal and paternal grandfathers fittingly with the occasional śrāddhas.

“When all these relatives are wanting, the women should perform the ceremony without the mantras for their husbands; when they too are wanting, the king should cause the ceremony to be performed by a member of his own family, and the cremation and all the other ceremonies to he performed properly by men of that caste; for the king indeed is kinsman to all the classes.

“Thus these continual and occasional ceremonies have been described to thee, my child. Hear the other periodical ceremony appertaining to the śrāddha. The new moon is just the cause there, and the time is the moon’s waning: the fixed time indicates the constancy of that ceremony.”

Footnotes and references:


Brahma (i. e. Veda)-yajña, deva-yajña, pitṛ-yajña, manuṣya-yajña, and bhūta-yajña (all created beings.)


Read nitya-naimittikam for nitya-naimittika.


Read atra for tatra?


Nine pitṛs, via., the six parents, grandparents and great-grandparents on the paternal side, and the grandfather, great-grandfather and great-greatgrandfather on the maternal side.




Read preta-pātre for preta-pātram?


The samānodakas.

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