Markandeya Puranam

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A father’s grand-father is not entitled to Sapindakarana and being a paternal ancestor of the fourth degree and upwards he is deprived of the paternal Pinda. (1) He is the fourth among them and feeds on the Lepa1 and rice offered by the son; he has no relation and is entitled only to the enjoyment of food. (2) The father, the grand-father and the great grand-father – these three generations are regarded as being entitled to Pinda. (3) The three ancestral generations, beyond the grand-father’s grand-father, can receive only the Lepa; and of these, the one performing the rite is considered as the seventh. (4) This relation of the seven generations has been laid down by the ascetics. Those who precede the sacrificer can receive Anulepa2. (5) Listen, O my son, I shall describe now the different Sraddhas which a sacrificer should duly perform for the gratification of the ancestors preceding them, for those living in the hell, for those born as beasts and those born in other orders of elemental creations. (6-7) Those, who are born as Pishachas, obtain gratification from the food that is

1 The wipings of the hand which has offered funeral oblations to three ancestors and which are considered as an oblation to ancestors in the 4th, 5th, and 6th degrees. 2 That which is offered after Lepa is offered.

placed on the ground by men. (8) O my young boy, those, that have been converted into trees, are gratified by the drops of water that fall on the earth from wet clothes. (9) The drop, of water that falls on the ground from a person’s body, brings about the gratification of those that have been born in the order of deities. (10) Those, that are born as beasts, obtain gratification from the particles of food that fall down on the ground at the time of the taking up of the Pinda. (11) Those, who although worthy of performing rites, had been burnt in their childhood, without receiving the sanctification, obtain gratification from scattered food and water falling from a broom. (12) The others obtain their gratification from water that falls when the Brahmanas rinse their mouths or wash their feet. (13) Thus the ancestors, of the persons who perform duly the Sraddhas born in other species, are gratified by the food or water, pure or otherwise that is cast by the sacrificer or the twice-born. (14) If one performs, the Sraddha of his ancestor with money obtained from another then the ancestor, born in the order of Chandalas or Pukkas, finds gratification therefrom. Thus my child, ancestors born in other species are gratified with meats and drinks that are offered by his kinsmen at the time of a Sraddha. (15-16) The ancestral manes, in numbers, obtain gratification, from drops of water and particles of food which the kindred cast on the occasion of the performance of Sraddhas.

(17) So a person should duly with devotion perform a Sraddha, even with herbs; Sraddha being performed no one, born in the race, suffers privation. (18) I shall now describe to you the proper time for the performance of Nitta and Naimittika rites by men. Listen to the procedure thereof described by me. (19) On the wane of the Moon Sraddha should be performed during the day of the New Moon as also during the eighth lunar day of the dark half of the month, do you hear from me of the optional seasons (for it). (20) If an excellent Brahmana is secured and if the articles for the Sraddha are procured, O my son, a Sraddha should be, of one’s own accord, celebrated on the eclipse of the sun or moon during a half year, during the equinox, during the course of the sun through the Zodiac, on the appearance of an evil omen, on the vision of an evil dream, on the ascension of the natal star, or during the malign influence of any planet. (21-22) An educated person, a Shrotrio1, a Yogi, one versed in the Vedas and singing the Yyestha Saman2, one versed in three Nachiketas3, one who is versed in the three Madhus4, the three Suparnas5 and the six Angas6, a daughter’s son, a priest a son-in-law, a sister’s son, a father-in-law, one who is engaged in the performance of five fire rituals, one engaged in asceticism, a mother’s brother, a person devoted to his parents, a disciple, a wife’s brother, and a relative, – all these eminent twice-born ones are competent to perform the Sraddha. (23-25) A twice-born one, my son, who has not practised Brahmacharya, who is diseased, who has extra limbs, who has not the natural number of limbs, who is born of a twice-married female, who is without an eye, who is the illegitimate child of a female, whose husband is living or of a woman whose husband is dead, who has injured his friends, who has diseased nails, who is impotent, who is possessed of dark and tawny teeth, who has an ugly form, who has been imprecated by his father, who is crooked-minded or malicious, who sells soma, who has sullied his daughter, who practises medicine, who has forsaken his father and preceptor, who teaches for remuneration, who is an enemy, who is the husband of a widow, who has renounced the Veda or fire, who is married to a girl of twelve who has attained her puberty, who is stained, – these, as well as other twice-born ones guilty of transgressions should be forsaken at the performance of the funeral rites of the ancestors. (26-29) The above mentioned best of Brahmanas should be invited on the previous day and should be engaged in ceremonies for the ancestral manes and celestials. (30) These should keep in restraint all propensities as well as he, that is to perform the Sraddha. The ancestral manes, of a person that visits a woman after distributing gifts in a Sraddha and taking his meal, lie on his semen for a good month. (31) The ancestral manes, of a person, who, after knowing a woman, takes his meals or goes to a Sraddha, live on semen and urine

1 A person versed in the study of the Vedas. 2 A portion of the Sama Veda, the recitation of which at a sacrifice secures religious merit. 3 The three Upanishads of Nechiketa. 4 The three classes of spirituous liquors. 5 Three classes of birds, first created by Brahmadikas and included in the daily presentation of water to deceased ancestors. 6 Six branches of learning.

for one good month. (32) Therefore a wise man should first invite people. Even if (Brahmanas) are not had on that day, those who have associated with women must be renounced. (33) After gratifying them with salutation a person should attentively feed the self-controlled ascetics, arrived in due time for alms. (34) As the dark half of the month is more liked by the ancestral manes than the light so is the afternoon more liked by them than the morning. (35) Adoring duly with welcome the invited guests in the house he should, with hands purified, make them take their seats, after they have rinsed their mouths. (36) In a ceremony for the ancestors an odd number of educated Brahmanas, and in a ceremony for the celestials an even number of educated Brahmanas should be appointed. But a person, proportionate to his power, may engage a single Brahmana both in the rites for ancestors and celestials. (37) This is also the procedure to be adopted in rites performed for the ancestral manes on the mother’s side as also in Vaishwadevas. Some people, if they like, may adopt a different procedure in these ceremonies. (38) Rites, for the celestials, should be performed by a person with his face towards the east and the rites for the ancestral manes with his face towards the north. This is also the practice in the rites for maternal ancestral manes as laid down by the wise. (39) Having handed over Kusha for seats a wise man should adore them with Arghya etc.; offering a rope of pack thread a wise twice-born one, with their permission, should invoke the deities with Mantras. Having offered an Arghya containing barley and water on behalf of the Vishwadevas one, after dedicating garlands, incense, lamps, and water, should perform all the ceremonies for ancestral manes on the right side. (40-42) Then offering a double quantity of Darbha grass and with their leave a wise person should invoke his ancestral manes with the recitation of some Mantras. (43) O great one, desirous of gratifying his ancestral manes he should, on the right, dedicate an Arghya of barley mixed with sesame. (44) Thereupon commanded by the twice-born to celebrate the fire rite, with saying “Do it” he should, as directed, offer to the fire rice devoid of curries and ashes. (45) (Then saying) “To the bearer of Kavya (offering of food) fire – Swaha” the first oblation should be offered. (Then saying) “To the Moon having Pitris – Swaha” the second oblation should be. offered. Then what remains, after the oblations have been offered, should be made over to the vessels of the twice-born. (46-47) “Do you to your desire feed on these” with these sweet words spoken to them he should duly offer to them the food placed in their vessels. (48) And they, as desired, will intently and silently take the food. (49) Tempting them gently and casting off anger a man should gradually offer them the food most liked by them. (50) He should then recite the Mantras that are capable of slaying the Rakshasas, and then scatter on earth sesame seeds as well as white mustard for them, for there are many impediments in a Sraddha. (51) Then he should address the Brahmanas saying “you have been gratified with nutritious and delightful food” and they should reply “we have been.” Then permitted by them a man should scatter rice all over the ground and duly offer water for rinsing their mouths. Then with their permission, he, restraining his body, mind and words, should make a funeral cake containing sesame and place it on a Darbha on the southern side, near the leaving, for his ancestral manes. (52-54) Then with a concentrated mind he should offer them water from the sacred vessels belonging to the ancestors – he, who, O prince, performs with devotion a sacrifice on behalf of his ancestral manes. (55) Then in the same way offering duly Pindas for the ancestral manes on his mother’s side he should offer water for rinsing, together with perfumeries, garlands etc. (56) Then conferring upon them gifts according to his power he should say “may this prove an agreeable swadha” and on their, being gratified, saying “So be it” he should make them recite the Vaishwadeva Mantras – “O Vishwadevas, be you pleased. May you farewell.” And after they have said “So be it” he should pray for their blessings. (57¬58) Then with sweet words and saluting them reverentially he should dismiss them. They must be followed to the door; and when they shall bid him adieu he should come back. (59) Then the daily rites should be performed and the sacrificer should entertain his guests. Some good people get the daily rites performed for their paternal manes. (60) Others say they should not be performed for them. The remaining portion should be gone through in the aforesaid way. Some say there is no necessity of separate cooking in paternal rites, while according to others it must be done. (16) Then a man should take that rice along with his servants. O you conversant with piety, in this way or in any other way you should attentively perform the Sraddha of your ancestral manes, so that the leading twice-born ones may be

gratified. (62-63) In a Sraddha three things are sacred, a maternal grandson, a Kutapa1 and the sesamum seeds; and three according to the leading Brahmanas, are to be cast off, viz anger, walking and hurry. (64) My son, in a Sraddha silver vessels are best and silver should be seen and given away. (65) It is said on, earth, Swadha was milched by the ancestral manes with a silver vessel; therefore the silver vessel is acceptable to them and it increases their delight. (66)