The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Procedure of Sapindikarana which is chapter 225 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the two hundred twenty-fifth chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 225 - Procedure of Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: (v. 15ff) For details of Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa see HD IV, pp. 520-525. Here the treatment is quite sketchy.

Ānarta said:

1. O most excellent one among the eloquents, do tell me the procedure for the Ekoddiṣṭa in detail. O highly intelligent one, narrate it to me just as you have described in detail the procedure of the Pārvaṇa Śrāddha.

Bhartṛyajña said:

2-3. There are three (Śrāddhas) before Sañcayana (collection of bones and remains of cremation). Listen to them now. Śrāddha should be performed at the spot where death takes place. Then Ekoddiṣṭa at the place where the rest was given (made) on the way. Then the third Śrāddha is recommended at the place where Sañcayana (collection of bones and ashes) is made.

4. Then the Śrāddhas are performed on the first, second, fifth, seventh, ninth and tenth days. Thus there are nine Śrāddhas.

5-6. (In view of these) at the time of meeting with Vaitaraṇī, the departed one should become satisfied. The Ekoddiṣṭa is without any deity. Only one Arghya and one Pavitraka. There is no Āvāhana, O excellent king, it should be extended thus. Similarly, the question about satisfaction should be made as Svādita (the utterance of ‘May it be well tested and relished’) once.

7. The Brāhmaṇa is taken leave of with the Mantra abhiramyatām etc. Two leaves of Darbha should be taken together. The end of the grass should not be cut or split or separated. This should be known as Pavitra and it is prescribed in Ekoddiṣṭa.

8. Everywhere the word Pitaḥ (O father) should be uttered; the word Pitā during the rite of Tarpaṇa (libation); the word Pitre at the time of the Saṅkalpa (utterance of the resolve); the word Pituḥ at the time when everlasting benefit is being caused to be given (Akṣayya Dāpana).

9. The word Gotra ends with Svara everywhere. The word is Gotre at the time of the Tarpaṇa rite. At the time of Kalpana (saṃkalpa) the word is Gotrāya and at the time of Akṣayya Dāpana it is Gotrasya.

10. The word Śarman is uttered in Arghya and other activities. The word Śarmā in the Tarpaṇa rite; the word Śarmaṇe when the Sasya (vegetable dish) is offered and Śarmaṇaḥ at the time of Akṣayyaka Vidhi.

11. The words Mātaḥ, Mātre and Mātuḥ are uttered respectively when the seat is offered, when Saṅkalpa is made and when Akṣayya is offered. The words Gotre, Gotrāyai and Gotrāyāḥ are also uttered as well as the nominative and other case endings.

12. The words Devī, Devyai and Devyāḥ are pronounced unto the mother. Thus there Prathamā (actually vocative case), Caturthī and Ṣaṣṭhī should be used to make the Śrāddha fulfilled.

13. If the Śrāddha is performed without the used Vibhaktis (case endings) or contrarily, one should know that it is no better than not performed. It does not reach the Pitṛs.

14. Hence the rites should always be performed in the Śrāddha scrupulously along with the case-endings as mentioned now, by a wise Brāhmaṇa.

15. Then after a year, the Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa rite is to be performed. If any auspicious ceremony ensues thereafter this rite can be performed even before this stipulated period (of one year).

16. O king, Ekoddiṣṭa should be performed in accordance with the injunctions laid down in the Pārvaṇa texts. It is performed with the departed one in view. It may have the three deities or no deities.

17-20. The dish cooked is single. This is my opinion.

The devotee takes up the Arghya utensil intended for the departed one and pours the contents in the three Pitṛpātras in three equal quantities.

Similarly, the Piṇḍa is split into three and put along with the three Pitṛpiṇḍas uttering the two Mantras ye samānā etc. He will no longer remain a Preta thereafter.

The Avanejana rite (sprinkling of water on the Darbha grass) is performed then in due order beginning with the father.

The sweet scents, incense etc. shall be offered once again. The names are uttered beginning with the father and the fourth (ancestor) is dropped.

21. Some people offer the rite unto the fourth (ancestor) and then to the departed soul of one’s own father. The Śrāddha of the father shall be at the outset. But this is not approved by me.

22. Except in the case of Kṣayāha (New-Moon day) and Caturdaśī of those who are killed with weapons, one should not perform Ekoddiṣṭa after the Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa rite.

23. If the son (or descendant) joins with a separate rice-ball, the Preta to whom Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa has already been performed, one should know that it is almost not performed. The son then becomes the slayer of the Pitṛs.

24. In the case of one whose father has passed away but the grandfather is alive, he shall after uttering the name of his father utter the name of the great-grandfather.

25. The grandfather shall take food directly and accept the Piṇḍaka. Pārvaṇa Śraddha is recommended on the Pitāmaha Kṣayāha (day on which the grandfather passed away).

26. The Śrāddha is not offered to him at all discarding one’s own father. If his Śrāddha is not performed there is no bit of fear from the Pitṛs (or from one’s father).

27. If the father is dead, Pārvaṇa is performed in all the Amāvāsyās. In the middle of the latter half of Nabhasya too this is mentioned.

28. One should not perform Śrāddha unless Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa is performed.

29. At the advent of Śrāddhapakṣa if the father passes away the Śrāddha of grandfather etc. is to be performed and there is no Sapiṇḍīkaraṇa.

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