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Namaste/Vanakkum

The following few pages I would highly recommend to print for the 12/13th day
ceremonyandgiveacopytoevery familythatattends theceremony.Thiscopywill
explainlotsofritualsthatwedowithregardstodeath.Thankyou.JaiHind...

TheLastRites(QuotesfromtheGarudaPurana)
GoDan: Sesameseed, iron, gold, cotton, salt, seven typesof grains, earth and acow. The
personshouldgivethese8preciousgiftstoabrahmana.Thewisehaveprescribedthegiftofsalt
tobegivenfreelyanditopensthedoorwaytotheotherworld.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter4verses78,14)

WhenhereachestheVaitaraniriver,theboatmanasks,Haveyougiftedacow,ifhehashe
getsintoaboatandcrossestheterrifyingriver.Butifhasnotgiftedthecow,heisbrushedaside
bytheboatmanandisforcedtoswimtheriver.Intheriverbirdswithsharpbeaks,ants,etcbite
him.Thegiftofacowatthetimeofdeathservesasareliefforthedeceased.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter5verses123126)

Sesameseeds,ironandsaltpleasesYamaraj,thegiftofcottonwardsoffdangersfromghosts,the
giftofacowenablethegivertocrossalldifficultiesandsavehimfromthethreefoldafflictions,
thegiftofgoldandgrainsyieldshappinessintheafterlifeandthegiftofearth(plotofland)one
shallneverexperienceanytortureordistressinhell.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter30verses1216)

Ifahealthymanmakesthisgiftitsefficacyisincreased1000fold,ifasickmanmakesthegift
itsefficacyisonlya100fold.Ifhissongiftssomethingonbehalfofthedead,thegiftisindirect
anditsefficacyisrenderednormal.Hencegiftsshouldbemadebyonesownself.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter47verses3738)

Onweeping:Oneshouldnotweep.Iftheyweepandspitphlegmthesoulofthedeadpersonis
compelledtoeatthat.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter15verse58)

Upondeath:Thesoulwithoutthebodyislikeaflamewithoutfire.Afterleavingtheearthly
body,thesoulimmediatelyobtainsanairybody.Inthatactionlessbodyhemovesinaironly.
Pindas are offered unto the airy body of the deceased. Whatever pinda the son givesto him
duringthe10days,thesameunitestheVaayuja(airy)bodywiththepindaja(formmadefrom
pindas)body.IfthepindajabodyisnottheretheVaayujabodysuffers.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter10verses7283)

Heshouldoffersixpindasonthedayofdeathintheserialorder.Bygiftingawaythe6pindas,
thebodyachievessanctityandfitnesstobesacrificedinthefire.Otherwise,thesixpresiding
deitiesofthepindas,causelargescaledestruction.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter15V3039)

Untilthefuneralritesareproperlyperformedthedeadman,everhungry,roamsaboutdayand
nightintheformofairymatter.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter13verse23)

Ifthefuneralritesarenotperformedproperly,he(thedeceased)returnstohishome,stayson
theroofandwatchtheactivitiesofhiskins.Hethencausesdiseasesandgrieftohisrelatives.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter20verse8)

Ifthefuneralritesarenotperformedintheprescribedway,thesoulofthedeceased(inrebirth)
deviatesfromtherighteouspathandfallsinthecompanyofthewicked.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter20verse42)
The10dayobservanceofaashauca(impurity):Thesonsandrelativesofthedeceased
shouldobserveaashaucafor10nights.For10days,withoutintermittence,thesonshouldoffer
pindaandpourhandfulofwater(waterinasaucer)infavourofthedeceased.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter15verse6162)
Heshouldofferninepindasinninedaysi.e.onepindaoneachday.Aftergivingthetenthpinda,
onebecomespureafterthenightexpires.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter5v.1819)
Withtheofferingoftenpindas(in10days)bythedescendantsofthedeceasedthesoulacquires
anewbody.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter34verse44)
Indeathimpuritylastfor10days,Obird.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter39verse12)
Ifthesoulisnotpropitiateddulyduringthe10daysitwillhavetowanderintheetherwithout
food,agitatedbyhunger.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter34verse33)

The12th/13thdaypuja: Aslongasthepindasarenotmerged,oneremainsimpure.The
deadmangetsa newappellation (name, designation) after themerge. The twelfthday after
death is appropriate for the sapinda rite. No joyous ceremony such as marriage, etc. can be
performedifthehouseholderdiesandthesapindahasnotbeenperformed.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter26verses1113)

Once sapindya is completed, the pretahood ends. On the thirteenth day, Yamas attendants
capturehim.Soin348dayshereachesYamascity,beingdraggedbyYamasservants.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter5verses7889)

Ontheeleventhdayandthetwelfth,thesoulofthedeadeatstohisfill.Whileofferinggiftsof
lamp,food,water,etc.tothedeceasedoneshouldmutterthenameofthepreta.Whateveris
offeredtothedeceasedshouldbedonebythenameofthepreta,fordoingsogivesdelighttothe
deceased.Onthethirteenthday,thesoulofthedeadistakentotheHighWay.Now,heassumes
abodybornofthepindaandfeelshungrydayandnight.
(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter15verses7476)

Feeding the Brahmanas: Whosoever be the brahmana invited for the feast, they (the
forefathers)enterhisbody,eatandreturntotheirabode.DuringtheperiodofShraddha,Yama
releaseeventheghostsandtheforefathersstayinginhellwhobeinghungryruntothemortals
toreceivetheofferingsmadebytheirrelatives.Theyrepentfortheirmisdeedswhiletheydesire
tobeservedwithmilkrice,bytheirdescendents. Therefore the descendentsshouldgratify
themwiththemilkrice.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter10verses2630)

Giftstothebrahmanaonthe12/13thday:Anumbrella,shoes,clothes,aring,awater
jar,astoolandavesselthesesevenarecalledpadas.
Umbrella Thereisterribleheatontheway,whichscorchesthedeceased.Bythegiftofthe
umbrella,thedeceasedreceivesshelterofshadeandfeelscomfortable.
Sandals the deceased passes over the swordedged forests, mounted on a horse. On
AsipatravanaNarakathesandsareveryhotandsinnershavetodashoverthehotsands.Butby
donatingsandalsthedeceasedismountedonahorse.
ClothesThemessengersofYamabecomesverypropitiousandcourteousbythisgiftandwhen
satisfiedtheydonottormentthedeceasedalongtheway.
IronRingThemessengersofYamawieldterribleweaponsandtheyrunhereandthere.Bythe
giftofaringtheyvanishfromthepresenceofthedeceasedandtheyallowhimtotravelathis
ownpace.
Waterjarthedeceasedgetsenoughwaterontheway,whichisfullofheat,devoidofairand
water.
Stool(seatAsana)Thedeceasedobtainstastymealsintheintervaloftimewhilehewalksover
thepathathisleisure.
Avessel (sameasthewaterjar)(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter18verses1624)
The1yearceremony: At the end of the year he (the deceased) eats the annual shraddha
offeredbyhisrelatives.Intheshraddhaofthe11thmonthmanybrahmanasshouldbefeasted
becausethenthedeceasedisveryhungry.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter5verses140&152)

Thosewhoworshiptheforefathers,deities,brahmanasandfire,infactworshipMewhoamthe
soulofallbeings.ByperformingShraddhaaccordingtothemeansandmethod,themanpleases
theuniversesasfarasBrahmaloka.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter10verses5965)

Afewfrequentlyaskedquestions:

Q:Canafuneralbeperformedon***Ekadashi?
A:AbsolutelyNOT!!!AnyshraddhaPuja(i.e.afuneral,the10thdaypuja,the12/13thpuja,the
6thandthe11andmonthpujasshouldNEVERbeperformedonthismostholyofdays.The
pujashouldbeperformedonthefollowingday.ThisisstatedintheBrahmaVaivartaPurana.If
oneperformstheshraddhaceremonyofoblationstotheforefathersontheEkadashitithi,then
the performer, the forefathers for whom the shraddha is observed, and the purohita, or the
familypriestwhoencouragestheceremony,allgotohell.Theshraddhaceremonyshouldbe
heldnotonEkadashibutonthenextday,orDvadashi.Thereareverygraveconsequencesfor
thosewhoperformshraddhapujaonEkadashi.
***Ekadashi(forthosewhodontknow)istwodaysinamonththatwedontconsumegrains.

Q:WhatonecanorcannotdointhismourningperioduntiltheSapindaprayers?
A:LordVishnusaidOfferingofAshirbaad(blessings),Deityworship,directcontactwiththe
public, giving of Daan (charity/gifts), Hawan, Tarpana, Fasts, and Brahmin bhojan (feedings
Brahmins)areforbiddeninthisperiod.(GarudaPuranaPretaKhandachapter13verses2021)

Q:Whendowestartcountingthedaysfortherituals
A:AccordingtotheGarudaPurana10.21FromthetimethePindaisplacedinthehandofthe
corpse,thedepartedsoulassumesthenameofPreta,untiltheSapindiPujaisconcluded.Inthe
antechambertheclaimantplacesthe6thandthelastpindaintherighthandofthedeceased.
WhenthatPindaisplacedintherighthandthecalculationofthenumberofdaysfortherituals
arethusdetermined.

Q:Isthereaneedtodoa40dayceremonyafterbirthordeath?
A: Definitely not! Thereisno suchobservanceinourscriptures.Afterthe Sapindi Puja (the
12/13thdaypujathehousepujascancommenceasnormal)

Q:DowehaveathreedayHavanafterdeathinourscriptures?
A:Thisisaconcoctionandcertainlynotprescribedinourscriptures.Ifonedoesthisthenhewill
incurthewrathofthedeceased.Bythe3rddaywhenoneoffersthedailypindaonlyuptothe
neckisformed.Thenewsubtlebodyofthedeceasedisonlyformedin10days,thusthenewbody
isincomplete.

Q:DoesthewidowhavetowashoffherSindooronthedeathofherhusband?
A:Thereisnoscripturalbackingforsucharitual.However,thewidowceasesusingtheSindoor
inthetraditionalmanner.

Q:Cannonsattvicfoodslikemeatbeofferedinthe10thor13thdays?
A: AbsolutelyNOT!!! BeforeoneoffersfoodtoonesancestorsonemustofferthefoodtoLord
Vishnu which then becomes Vishnu prasad and then a portion of that food is offered to our
ancestorsNowaskyourselfwoulditbecorrecttooffermeat,cigarettesandalcoholtoLord
VishnuOFCOURSENOT.Itsaverygreatsintoofferanyunsattvicfoods(e.g.Meatandany
typeofintoxicants)toonesancestors.ThefollowingthreeversesareproofinVedicsastras.
ItsnotDharmathatintheShraddhafeastoneshouldoffermeatnorshouldoneeatmeat.Only
vegetarianfoodmustbeofferedbecausemeatisobtainedbykilling.
(SrimadBhagavatam7.15.7).
Vegetarianfoodpreparedwithpurebutter,milk,sugarandcurd,etc.aremostpleasingtothe
Pitrs(Ancestors).(MatsyaPurana17.30).
Cows milk, honey and the sweet pudding made of milk and rice and sugar with dry nuts
satisfiesthePitrs(Ancestors).(MatsyaPurana17.36)

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