Markandeya Puranam

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MADALASA said: – Hear now with reverence, O my son, as to what should be procured for paternal manes and what should be given up on their behalf, and what encompasses their gratification. (1) By living on rice mixed with clarified butter one gratifies the paternal manes for a month and by living on meat and fish gratifies them for a couple of months. (2) Deer’s flesh brings about the gratification of paternal manes for three months; hare’s flesh nourishes them for four months. (3) Bird’s flesh (nourishes) them for five months and boar’s flesh for six months; goat’s flesh for seven months; Ena’s (a kind of deer) flesh for eight months. (4) Ruru’s (another kind of deer) flesh certainly gratifies them for nine months and Gavaya’s (another kind of deer) flesh for ten months. (5) Mutton gratifies the paternal manes for eleven months and cow’s milk of Payaca for twelve months. (6) My son, the flesh of the rhinoceros, black hares, honey, flesh offered by a daughter or any descended from the same line, Gaurisuta (a kind of Sraddha) or Sraddha performed at Gaya – these undoubtedly encompass the eternal gratification of paternal manes. (7-8) Syamaka (3), Rajashyamaka and as well as Prasatika, Nivara and Puskala these various sorts of rice are agreeable to the paternal manes. (9) Besides these, barley, Vrihi rice, wheat, sesame, Mudaga, mustard, Pryangu, Kovidara and Nishpava can also bring about their gratification. (10) Makala, Rajamansa, Knuviprusika and Masuru should not be used in a Sraddha. Garlic, turnip, onion, carrot, powdered barley mixed with cards, any thing devoid of color and moisture, Gandharika, the bottle gourd, salt, treacle and red exudations should be discarded in a Sraddha. Things got by bribe, from a fallen person or obtained by money exacted unfairly by marrying one’s daughter, are to be eschewed in a Sraddha. Water that gives out bad odour or that is frothy, that is small in quantity, from which a cow does not obtain gratification, that has been got at night, that has been rejected by every one, that is unfit to be drunk, that has sprung in a Nipana (a ditch near a well) should, my child, be always eschewed in rites for paternal manes. (11-16) A deer’s milk, goat’s milk, camel’s milk, that of an animal with a single hoof, buffaloe’s milk, Chamaru’s milk, the milk of a cow within ten days of her giving birth to a calf, milk that has been got by saying “Do you give me milk for my father’s ceremony” should not be used in a Sraddha. The earth of a spot that gives out bad smell, that is filled with worms, rough, or burnt by fire, that is full of disgusting and vicious sounds, must be eschewed, in Sraddha. (16-19) Those who have disgraced the race, those who have engaged themselves in injuring another’s family, those that are nude and that are sinful, injure ceremonies for ancestral manes by their presence there. (20) An impotent one cast off by his parents, a cock, a wild boar, a dog and Rakshasas despoil a Sraddha by merely looking on it. (21) Therefore well guarded by people should a householder scatter sesame seeds on earth. By doing this, O my son, protection in Sraddha is obtained by both the parties. (22) A person, impure for the birth of a child or by the touch of some unclean animal, a valetudinarian, or a fallen, an impure person cannot bring on the nourishment of a paternal grand-fathers. (23) A woman, in menses, should not be seen, on this occasion; one with his head shaven as well as a drunkard should also be avoided by a sacrificer. (24) The food, that has been polluted by the touch of hair or worms, that has been looked at by the dogs, that gives out bad smell, that is stale or that has been touched by the wind of the cloth, must be eschewed in a Sraddha. (25) Whatever is dedicated reverentially to the ancestral manes in their name and Gotra, becomes their food. Therefore in a ceremony for the manes selected articles should be duly kept in a vessel with the object of affording gratification to the ancestral manes. (26-27) A learned man should entertain Yogis (at a Sraddha). Because the ancestral manes are the receptacles of Yoga they should

1 The eight Muhurtta or a portion of the day. It is an eligible time for the performance of rites for the manes.

always be entertained. (28) If a single Yogi is entertained in the place of thousands and thousands of Brahmanas, he delivers the sacrificer as well as those who feed like a boat which carries people in a river. (29) The Brahmavadins chant a hymn which had been sung by the manes in honour of the king Aila. “When shall such a good son be born to us who will offer for us funeral cakes on the earth out of the leavings of the Yogis, or for affording us gratification every month in Gaya offer us excellent Havis in the shape of rhinoceros, black herbs, Tiladhyas or Krisara. (30-32) In offering food in the Vaishwadeva and Saumya ceremonies the flesh of the rhinoceros is considered as the best Havi. When we get the flesh of a rhinoceros having no horns we feed on it so long as the sun is in the sky.” (33) On the thirteenth lunar day of either fortnight when Magha is in the ascendant one should perform the Sraddha according to the prescribed ritual. And during the southern solistice Payasha mixed with honey and clarified butter should offered. (34) With a view to accomplish his object and liberate himself from sins, a man, my son, should reverentially adore his ancestors. (35) When the ancestral manes are pleased with a Sraddha they make Vasus, Rudras, Adityas, stars, planets and other constellations favourably disposed towards the people. (36) When the ancestral manes are pleased with Sraddha they confer longevity, wisdom, riches, learning, heaven, liberation and happiness as well as kingdom. (37) Thus, my son, I have described all about the Sraddha ceremony I shall now describe to you the lunar days regarding Kamya Sraddha. (38)