by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes general rules of shraddha performance which is chapter 9 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the ninth chapter of the Srishti-khanda (section on creation) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.
2. I shall narrate to you the best family of the manes. In the heaven there are seven groups of the manes. Out of them three are incorporeal.
4. They are (whom groups of gods worship) called Vairāja. They fallen from Yoga, attained eternal worlds.
6. Again by means of deep and abstract meditation they would attain the state of perfection, (reaching) which rebirth is not obtained. Therefore, givers of gifts should offer obsequial oblations to the Yogins only.
8-10. He is remembered to have held together the fourth Dvīpa, viz. Krauñca. Menā gave birth to three daughters possessing deep and abstract meditation, viz. Umā, Ekaparṇā and Parṇā, engaged in severe vows. Himavat gave these daughters, superior due to their austerities, (marrying) one to Rudra, another to Bhṛgu and the third to Jaigiṣavya. I shall now tell you about the music in the world of manes; listen to it.
13. Formerly the manes also fashioned there a lake named Acchodā. Acchodā practised penance for one thousand divine years.
14-15. The manes, having divine forms, having divine flowers and unguents, all pre-eminent, strong and resembling Cupid, came there and being pleased would indeed grant her a boon. That lady, having seen among them a mane named Amāvasu being oppressed by passion and desiring a groom, longed for him.
16-18. Due to that violation that beautiful lady deviated from her concentration, went (down) to the earth, though she never touched the ground. And Amāvasu due to his steadiness did not long for her who had bowed to him. She came to be known in the world as Amāvāsyā. Since she was dear to the manes, she made the gift (given on Amāvāsyā) inexhaustible.
19. Acchodā, helpless and with her face hung down due to the loss (of the merit) of her penance, again entreated the manes for her prosperity.
20. The bashful and miserable one was thus addressed by the manes taking into consideration her future and her worship of gods.
21. The magnimous ones thus spoke to her with words auspicious due to their favour:
22. “O you of excellent complexion, the fruit of whatever is done with a divine body in heaven is to be enjoyed with that (body) only. The deeds done in human life give their fruits instantly after death, in the divine life.
23. Therefore perform good deeds whose fruits you will obtain after death. In the twenty-eighth Dvāpara-period you will be born in the fish species.
24. Due to your disregard for the manes you will obtain (birth in) an evil family. Thence you will certainly be the daughter of king Vasu.
25. As a maiden you will certainly obtain the divine worlds difficult to get.
27-28. Having begotten these two sons, viz. Vicitravīrya and Citrāṅgada, to that intelligent Paurava, viz. Śantanu, the secondary incarnation of Śiva, you will be again born as Prauṣṭhapadī and Aṣṭakā in the world of manes.
29-30. In the (mortal) world you will be Satyavatī and Aṣṭakā in the world of manes. You will be giver of (long) life, health and wealth and will always fulfil all desires (while) in the other world; and you will become the river named Acchodā of holy water and the best river in the worlds.”
31. Thus addressing her the groups (of manes) vanished there only; and she also obtained the fruit of her bad deed which I have already told.
32-34. In heaven there are other very lustrous worlds called Vibhrāj, where there are manes called Barhiṣad, of good vows, where (i.e. in these worlds) there are thousands of aeroplanes equipped with seats of Kuśa grass, where there are desire-yielding trees, in the halls for festive occasions in which those groups of demons, gods, Gandharvas, Apsarasas, also groups of Yakṣas, fiends, making obsequial offering are delighted and worship deities in heaven.
36. They are magnanimous ones and give security to their devotees.
37. Their mind-born daughter is known as Pīvarī. She, a contemplative saint and a divine mother, of abstract meditation, practised a very severe panance. The lord was pleased with her, and then she asked for a boon.
38. “O god, the foremost among the eloquent, if you are pleased, give me a husband possessed of abstract meditation, handsome and one who has controlled his organs of sense”.
42. They will be (regarded as) holy even among the specially respected ones who have all their desires fulfilled and are devoted; what to speak of the devoted brāhmaṇas who make obsequial offerings and perform (religious) rites?
43. They have in heaven, a mind-born daughter named Gau. She is a good daughter, a loving wife and adds to the fame of the Sādhyas.
44. In the orb of the sun there are worlds named Marīci-garbha where the manes getting oblations and sons of Speech live.
45. To these worlds go the best Kṣatriyas performing obsequial rites at sacred places; they are the ancestors of kings and are givers of fruits like enjoyments in heaven.
48-50. There live sonless manes named Susvadhā. In the worlds named Ājyapā of Kardama Prajāpati, there are the elderly relatives of Pulaha and the Vaiśyas honour them; those who perform the obsequial rites go there and simultaneously meet their mothers, brothers, fathers, sisters, friends and relatives, thousands of whom, not known before, are seen there after myriads of existences.
52. Later, she, having gone to the Brahmaloka, became Aṣṭakā. I have told you about these three groups. I shall (now) describe the fourth.
54-57. All they were further than Brahmā and were piety embodied. Born at the end of deluge, they, practising deep meditation having reached Brahman, and having fashioned the world etc. have now settled in Mānasa. Their daughter is the river Narmadā, who purifies beings and flows to the Western Ocean. Men, knowing that all beings and whatever is created at the time of creation are (created) from them, always devoutly offer obsequial offerings to them. From them only due to their favour a man gets devoted children.
58-59. Thus Śrāddha had been created at the first creation of the manes. Whatever is offered with the utterance of Svadhā to all these manes in a silver pot or a pot of imitation silver always pleases them. The wise should always satisfy the Āgnīdhra and the Somapā.
61. The proper place for the manes is said to be the southern direction. (While making offerings to them) the sacred thread should be worn over the right shoulder and passed under the left arm and offering of sesamum (should be made).
62-63. The flesh of rhinoceros, food, śyāmāka and śāli-grains, barley, nīvāra grains, kidney-beans, sugar-cane and white flowers and fruits are always dear to and commended for the manes, and also, Darbhas, beans, Ṣaṣṭikā-rice, sweetened milk, honey and ghee.
64-65. I shall now tell you things to be avoided at the obsequial rite. Masūra-pulse. hemp (seeds), winnowed bean and Kuluttha grains, lotuses, bilva, flowers of sun-plant, of Duttūra, Nimba-leaves, Aṭarūṣa, and also goat-milk.
67. Him, who pleases the manes with devotion, the manes also please. The manes give him the fruit in the form of nourishment, health, and progeny.
68. Again the rite in honour of manes is superior to that in honour of gods. It is said that manes are to be satisfied before gods.
69. They are pleased quickly; they are wrathless; are unattached and of a steady affection, of a tranquil mind, intent on purity, and always speak pleasing words.
70. The manes, the deities of the Parvans always love their devotees, give them happiness; and the Sun, the god of the obsequial rite, is said to be the chief of those who receive oblations.
71. I have narrated to you all this account of the family of manes. It is meritorious, holy and leading to health. It should always be recited by men.
72. Having heard all this, a great devotion has again arisen (in me). (Tell me about) the time of Śrāddha, its rite, and the Śrāddha itself.
73-74. Which kinds of brāhmanas are to be fed at Śrāddhas and which ones are to be avoided; at what division (i.e. time) of the day should one begin the Śrāddha in honour of the manes? O best of brāhmaṇas, how does the food offered at a Śrāddha proceed? With which procedure should it be offered? How does it please the manes?
75. Having love for the manes one should everyday offer Śrāddha with food and water, or with milk, roots and fruits.
76-77. Śrāddha is said to be of three kinds: Nitya (regularly performed); Naimittika (occasionally performed); and Kāmya (performed for some particular desire). I shall explain to you the Nitya (Śrāddha). One should know it to be without a respectful offering and invocation and deity. The Śrāddha performed on the change of the moon is called Pārvaṇa. O King, the Pārvaṇa is said to be of three kinds. Please listen to them.
78-81. Listen O king, as to who are to be appointed at a Pārvaṇa: a Brāhmaṇa who keeps the fires; one who has returned from the preceptor’s house and become an initiated householder; one who has studied the Trisuparṇa; one who knows the six limbs of the Veda; one who is well-versed in the Vedas or his son; one who is proficient in the ritual; one who knows everything; one who possesses (the knowledge of) the Vedas; one who knows the incantations, endowed with knowledge and belonging to a good family, Triṇāciketa; Trimadhu; well-settled in other scriptures also; knower of the Purāṇas; knowing Brahma; studying Vedas; eagerly engaged in muttering prayers; a devotee of Brahma; obedient to his father; devoted to the Sun and Viṣṇu; having firm faith in abstract meditation; having control over his mind; and of a good character.
82. These are to be satisfied with effort. Now listen to those who are to be avoided: a brāhmaṇa who is fallen, or his son, an impotent brāhmaṇa, a wicked one, and a deformed one.
83. All these are to be avoided by those who know what is right. Either on the previous or on the same day one should invite the learned brāhmaṇas.
84. The manes turning themselves into air remain by those brāhmaṇas who are invited; they go to them and sit by them when they (i.e. the brāhmaṇas) sit.
85-88. Kneeling with the left leg by touching the right knee of the brāhmaṇa he should invite him. (He should tell the brāhmaṇas) ‘You should be wrathless, intent on purity, well-bathed and reciting the Vedas. I should be also like that at the obsequial rite’. One who maintains the fire, should, having performed the sacrifice in honour of the manes called Tarpaṇa (satiating), and having done Piṇḍānvāhāryaka (i.e. having offered a meal in honour of the manes), perform a Śrāddha at the wane of the moon. Having besmeared with cow dung (a spot near the) bathing place in the south, he should devoutly begin the Śrāddha either in a cowpen or (at a place) near water. He, maintaining the fire, should offer the (rice or barley-flour cooked in) the saucepan in honour of the manes with handfuls of barley-flour.
89. Saying, ‘I am offering this to the manes’, he should keep all that in the southern direction. Then having restrained himself, he should, in front of him, thrice make offerings in honour of the manes.
90. The length of these (fires) should be of the measure of twelve aṅgulis and the breadth should be four aṅgulis. He should also make three laddies of Khadira wood, fixed with silver. Its length should be a cubit; it should be smooth, excellent and its end should have the shape of the hand.
91. He should make the vessels of water of bell-metal, and also a wooden stick (for stirring up the Caru) and sacred fuel and Kuśa.
92. Making the sacred thread hang down towards the left part of the body over the right shoulder he should slowly place all (these things, viz.) pots containing sesamum, a good piece of cloth, incense and unguent at his right hand.
93-94. Having procured all these, he should, at the northern part of the house, on the ground besmeared with cow-dung and encircled with cow-urine, wash with water (mixed) with whole rice grains and flowers, the feet of the brāhmaṇas when they are duly seated on Darbha-seats, saluting them again, placing his sacred thread once on the right and once on the left shoulder.
95. Having (thus) seated the brāhmaṇas, who have sipped water, he should invite them.
96. He should give food to two brāhmaṇas for a rite in honour of gods, to three for a rite in honour of the manes or one at each of these two rites, even though he is rich; a wise man should avoid multiplying (the number).
97. Having first performed the worship in honour of gods and having made to them respectful offering, permitted by the wise brāhmaṇa he should duly make offerings into fire.
98-99. Performing all rites according to the rules in the Gṛhya-sūtras of his branch the wise brāhmaṇa should (offer worship) to satisfy Agnīṣoma and Yama, when the southern fire is kindled, that is not the same fire. Then the best brāhmaṇa changing the sacred thread from the left shoulder to the right should do the sprinkling round of water silently and without uttering any ritual formula etc.
100-101. Then taking from it (some fire) discriminately he should prepare the Piṇḍas and offer water. He should offer water from the water-pots with his right hand. Being restrained and free from hatred he should offer all this.
102. Carefully drawing a line he should, facing the south, offer oblations in honour of the manes and (after feeding the brāhmaṇas) (give them water for) washing (their hands etc.)
103. Then placing the darbhas he should place serially one piṇḍa each on all the darbhas. Then he should offer libation on the darbhas by uttering his name and family.
104-105. Then he should touch the darbhas meant for the paternal ancestors of the 4th, 5th and 6th degrees; and also he should mutter prayers and having worshipped (the brāhmaṇas) reverentially with fragrance, incense etc. he should again wash (his hands etc.).
106. Having thus invoked all that he, maintaining a fire, should also offer the spoon with water, and with Vedic hymn as mentioned. Then the wise man, preparing Kuśas should offer them to the manes.
107-108. Then preparing piṇḍas etc. he should invoke and allow (the deities) to go. Then taking portions from the piṇḍas serially and feeding these very brāhmaṇas first, the man should praise the food, desired (by the brāhmaṇa) and pure.
110. Then picking up food, he should place it on the ground with water and sesamum. When they have rinsed their mouths, he should again offer water and flowers and whole rice grains.
111. Then declaring the oblation of food to the manes he should worship the piṇḍas. He should complete (the Śrāddha) by honouring the gods, otherwise the Śrāddha perishes.
112-114. Having given leave to the brāhmaṇas and going round them keeping them to his right, and desiring the southern direction and mentioning the manes the man (should pray): “May our donors increase; may the Vedas flourish; may our progeny increase; may our faith not go away from us; may we be able to give much; have ample food; may we have guests; may sufficient be ours (i.e. come to us); may we not beg of anyone.”
115. This is called the Anvāhārya (i.e. the monthly Śrāddha performed in honour of the manes on the day of the new moon). As it is said on the new moon day it is also said to be performed on other days.
116. The piṇḍas should be given to a cow, a goat or brāhmaṇas or may be cast into fire or water, or near the rampart.
117. He should make his modest wife eat the middle piṇḍa. (If this is done) the manes deposit a foetus into her womb which would increase the sons and (other) progeny.
118. Till the brāhmaṇas are dismissed the oblation should stand (should not be removed). Having performed the rite in honour of the manes, he should then make an offering to all gods.
119. He should then calmly eat the food partaken of by the manes, along with his dear persons.
120. One who performs a Śrāddha or eats at it should avoid eating again, should avoid journey, (or) going in a vehicle, exertion and coitus, study, quarrel and sleep by day.
122. Wherever Sapiṇḍa Śrāddha is to be offered it should always be offered according to this procedure by one who maintains a fire.
123. Hereafter I shall explain (to you) the Sādhāraṇa Śrāddha as told by Brahmā and giving enjoyment and salvation.
124-126. (Śrāddha should be offered) during the solstices and the sun’s equinoctial passage, on a new moon day, and during the sun’s passage from one zodiacal sign to another; on an aṣṭakā (i.e. a collection of three days, viz. 7th, 8th and 9th beginning from the seventh day after the full moon, new moon day, and the 15th day of the dark half, and on the days of Ārdrā, Maghā and Rohiṇī when the materials and brāhmaṇas are available; on Gajacchāyā day (when an elephant’s shadow falls in the east), on the Vyatīpāta (i.e. new-moon-day when it falls on Sunday and when the moon is in certain Nakṣatras), on a rainy day, on the day of Vaidhṛti (i.e. the day of the conjunction of the sun and the moon), the third of Vaiśākha, the ninth of Kārtika, the fifteenth of Māgha, the thirteenth of Bhādrapada.
127-131. These are said to be the Yuga-tithis and favourable for the fortnight of the manes’. So also Śrāddha should be offered on the Manvantara tithis i.e. the ninth of the bright half of Āśvina, the twelfth of the bright half of Kārtika, the third of the bright half of Caitra, the third of the bright half of Bhādrapada, the new moon day of Phālguna, the eleventh of the bright half of Pauṣa, the tenth of the bright half of Āṣāḍha, the seventh of the bright half of Māgha, the eighth of the dark half of Śrāvaṇa, and the full moon days of Āṣāḍha, Kārtika, Phālguna and Jyeṣṭha. These are Manvantara tithis making the gifts inexhaustible. A restrained man should give on these days at least water mixed with sesamum.
132. The manes say that the secret is that such a man has performed Śrāddha for a thousand years.
133. A wise man should offer Śrāddha on the full moon day of Vaiśākha and on fast days, during festivals and in sanctuaries, at sacred places and in cowpens, in islands, gardens and houses, in solitary places that are besmeared.
134. Politely he should invite the brāhmaṇas, endowed with character and (good) behaviour and virtues and age and form, either on the previous or the same day.
135. Even though he is very rich he should feed two brāhmaṇas at the rite in honour of gods and three at the rite in honour of manes or one brāhmaṇa at (each of) the two; he should not indulge in multiplying (the number).
136. Having worshipped the Viśvedevas with barley (-flour) and flowers after offering them a seat, he should fill a couple of pots (with water) and place it on the darbha-blades.
137. Reciting (the hymn) ‘Śan no devīḥ’ (may the deities be to our welfare) he should offer water; reciting ‘Yavaḥ asi’ (you are barley) he should offer barley grains. Having worshipped Viśvedevas with sandal and flowers he should place them.
138. Having invoked them with these two (incantations) ‘Viśvedevā saḥ’, he should scatter the barley-grains.
139. Reciting ‘you are barley, the king of grains dedicated to Varuṇa, and mixed with honey, destroyer of all sins, holy and praised by the sages’, and adorning them with sandal and flowers he should scatter them.
140-141. Having (thus) worshipped them and having cast away the sandal etc. he should commence the rite in honour of the manes. Making seats of darbha etc. he should first consecrate three pots; putting the darbha blades in them he should sprinkle water reciting the incantation ‘Śan no devīḥ’. Reciting ‘Tilosi’ (you are sesamum), he should again put sesamum, sandal etc.
142. He should make a pot made from a tree or of leaves or of silver or gold.
143. A golden pot or a silver pot or a copper pot is said to be the pot of manes; or even the mention of silver, seeing it or its gift (delights them).
144. Even water given with faith to these manes in silver pots or pots (of metal mixed with) silver becomes inexhaustible.
145. Even now among the pots meant for (making offerings to) manes, one having silver in it, is excellent and dear to the manes, since it has originated from Śiva’s eye.
146. Thus securing the pots as available, he, without ill-feeling, should place the darbhas in his hand reciting the incantation ‘yā divyā’; (mentioning) the name and family of the manes (he should say) ‘I shall invoke the manes’.
147. When they (brāhmaṇas) say ‘all right’ he should invoke the the manes with the two ṛcs ‘Uśantastvā’, ‘Āvantu (naḥ pitaraḥ)’.
148. Having made a respectful offering with (the incantation) ‘Yā divyā’, he should offer sandal etc. First the darbhas, then a piece of cloth should be offered, and a resting place from the beginning.
149. Keeping (these) in the pot meant for manes, then having bent he should keep it to the north. Saying, ‘You are the place for the manes' he should serve up meals (to the brāhmaṇas).
150. There also he should first, free from ill-feeling, perform the rite with reference to fire. Holding the pots of the food with both hands he should serve up (the brāhmaṇas).
151. With the (hymn) ‘Uśantastvā’ he should keep the food in his hand on the darbha, along with subordinate dishes, vegetables etc., and eatables of various kinds.
152. Brahmā said that food with curds, milk, ghee made from cow's milk, and with sugar pleases all the manes for one month.
153. They are pleased for two months with the flesh of fish, for three months with the flesh of deer, for four months with the flesh of ram and for five months with bird’s flesh.
154. They get excellent satisfaction for six months by pig’s flesh, for seven months by red goat’s flesh, for eight months by a lamb’s flesh.
155. The flesh of a spotted antelope gives (them) satisfaction for nine months. They are satisfied for ten months with the flesh of boar and buffalo.
156. (They are satisfied) for eleven months with the flesh of hare and tortoise; for a year with cow’s milk or sweetened milk.
157. They are satisfied for fifteen months with hog’s flesh and satisfaction for twelve years is brought about by the flesh of rhinoceros. Eternal satisfaction comes by the potherb ocimum sanctum and also by the flesh of a rhinoceros.
158. The old deities—the manes—say, ‘Whatever cow’s milk, curds and sweetened milk, mixed with honey is offered becomes eternal’.
159. One should narrate the passages sacred to the manes and all the Purāṇas.
161. So also Bṛhadrathantara, Jyeṣṭhasāman, Rorava, and propitiatory passages and Madhu brāhmaṇa.
162. So also Maṇḍala brāhmaṇa which is agreeable. He should narrate all this to the brāhmaṇas and himself.
163. He should listen to the chapters from Bharata very dear to the manes.
164. O Prince, when the brāhmaṇas have eaten, he should bring carefully food of all kinds and water etc. He should spread it on the ground before the brāhmaṇas who have eaten.
165. ‘Those who in my family were Agnidagdhas (i.e. a class of pitṛs, who, when on earth, maintained a sacred fire) and those who were not, may be pleased with (the food) given on the ground and may get the highest place as a result of satisfaction.
166. This food is offered on the ground for the satisfaction of those who do not have mother, father, brother, not a friend; since they may go in for abstract meditation from wherever they are.’
167-168. Giving a seat to them who died without any purificatory rite being performed over them, also to the relatives who have left the family, and partaking of the remaining; knowing them to be satisfied one should offer water on the scattered (food), when the surface of the earth is besmeared with cow-dung, cow-urine and water.
169. Placing carefully the darbhas with their tips facing the south he should offer the piṇḍas of all the varieties as in the rite in honour of the manes.
170-171. After washing (his hands etc.) the man uttering his name and family, offering flowers etc., doing the washing off again, with the thread on the left and then the right shoulder should go round thrice. One should perform with darbhas in one’s hands the rite in honour of one’s mother like that of one’s father.
172. In the same way the wise one should burn the lamp and should worship with flowers; then when they have sipped water he should, having sipped water, offer water once.
173. Then he should offer flowers and whole rice-grains and inexhaustible water along with sesamum and uttering the name and family and should give presents according to his capacity.
174. He should give cows, land, gold, garments, large beds and whatever is dear to the brāhmaṇas, to himself and to the mane.
175. Void of perfidy due to wealth he should have love for the manes, then should do the recitation of ‘Svadhā’ and offering of water to Viśvedevas. Offering prayers to the brāhmaṇas the wise one should accept blessings from them.
176-177. He should say, ‘May the manes be amiable’, when the brāhmaṇas in return say, ‘May they be so’; ‘May my family increase’, when they in return say, ‘Let it be so’. He should make the complimentary present after devoutly lifting up the piṇḍas.
178. The remainders should remain till the brāhmaṇas are dismissed. Then he should make the domestic oblation (i.e. offering of the remnants to all creatures and household deities). This is the settled practice.
179. The remnant on the ground, the portionof the piṇḍas, is said to belong to honest and diligent servants.
180. This act of satisfying was formerly prescribed by the manes for those not practising any vow, and for the sonless and the wifeless, O King.
181. Then standing ahead of the seat and washing the water-pot, one should dismiss with the tip of a Kuśa muttering ‘Vāja, Vāja’.
182. He should circumambulate and walk eight steps with his relatives, sons and wife.
183. Then returning and saluting, he, knowing the incantations, employing the fire, should offer the Vaiśvadeva (rite) and make the daily offering.
184. Then at the end of the Vaiśvadeva (rite) he should, along with his servants, sons, relatives and guests eat what was enjoyed by the manes.
185. Even one who has not undergone the thread ceremony should offer this Śrāddha called Sādhāraṇa (general) fulfilling all desires on all parvans (the eighth and fourteenth day of each month and the days of the full moon and new moon).
186. Even one without a wife or while journeying, or even a Śūdra should devoutly offer the Śrāddha according to this procedure, without the accompaniment of the sacred prayers. The third Śrāddha that is enjoined is Vṛddhiśrāddha leading to prosperity.
187-188. In a festival or a happy sacrament, at a sacrifice or an auspicious celebration like marriage one should first worship the divine mothers and then the manes, then one’s mother and then the Viśvedeva, by circumambulation and with curds, whole rice-grains, fruits and water.
189. He, facing the east, should offer the earlier and the later piṇḍas. He should declare ‘It is accomplished’ and should make respectful offering to two brāhmaṇas.
190. The brāhmaṇas should be honoured in pairs with pieces of cloth or clothe etc.
191. He should speak auspicious things to the brāhmaṇas. In the same way a wise Śūdra should always perform the general Vṛddhi-śrāddha (an offering made to manes on prosperous occasions such as the birth of a son) and make presents with salutation and incantations.
192. The lord said: ‘For a Śūdra, giving gifts is the principal thing, since all his desires are fulfilled by giving in charity’.