The Punya Kaala of Bhadrapada Maasa is counted sixteen ghadiyaas after Kanyaa Sankramana. Observing ‘Ekaannaahaara Vrata’or One Meal a day Vrata in this Month would bestow ‘Dhana-Arogya Phala’ or wealth and health. In this Month, Guda-Lavana Daana or charity of jaggery and salt in favour of Hrishikesha would yield far reaching results. Haritaalikaa Vrata is performed on Bhadrapada Shukla Triteeya. If even one Muhurta less for Triteeya then the Vratakaala is to be counted on the next day viz. Chaturthi. Gana Yoga on the Vrata is considered as auspicious. This Vtata is mainly observed by House wives by Upavaasa and Puja aiming Parvati- Parameshwara with the oft repeated Puja-Mantra viz. Mandaara Maalaa kulitaalakaayai Kapaala Maalaankita Shekharaayai Divyaambaraayaicha Digambaraaya Namasshivaayai cha Namasshivaayai/
Siddhi Vinayaka Vratais celebrated all over Bharata Desha on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi with the Chaturthi extending upto Madhyaahna. If Triteeya and Chaturthi are on both the days, then the determining factor is whether Triteeya is longer or Chaturthi is on that day. If the Vrata falls on a Sunday orTuesday, it has an added significance. Atra Chaturdhyaam Candra darshaney Mithyaabhi dushana doshastena Chaturthaamuditasya panchamyaam darshanam Vinaayaka Vrata dinepi na doshaaya/ Purva diney saahaynamaarambhya pravruttaayam haturtheem Vinaayakavrataabhaavepi purvadyureva Candra darshaney dosha iti sidhyati/ Chaturthaamuditasya na dasrshana miti pakshetu Avishta panchashnarmuhurtamaatra Chaturthi dinepi nishedhaapattih/Ideenaam lokaastu eekatarapakshaashrayena Vinaaka Vrata diney eva Chandram na pashyanti na tudaya kaaley darshana aaley vaasatvaa satvey nyamenaashrayanti/ Darshaneyjaatey taddosha shantaey: On this Chaturthi, Chandra darshana is believed strongly to ‘Mithyaapavaada’ or false allegations. In case, Chaturthi occurs in that evening and Chandra Darshana was performed but Vinayaka Vrata is performed on the Chaturthi day, it does not matter. But Chandra Darshana on the next morning must be avoided at any cost. People tend not to do so and this would result in the ‘dosha’; the ready remedy is to perform the Vrata sincerely and avoid Chandra Darshana on that day but certainly witness the same on Panchami Raatri on Chandrodaya. If by mischance, Chandra darshana is seen on Chaturthi, then the atonement Mantra be recited viz. Simhaha Prasenavadheessimaho Jambavataah hatah, Sukumaarodeestavahyeshas- shamantakah/ Iti Shlokla Japa Karyah/ ( A lion killed Prasena the younger brother of Satraajit; Jaambavanta killed the lion and gifted away the ‘Shyamantaka Mani’to you Kumara! This Shloka be rendered for the Praayaschitta definitely). Vrata Vidhaana: After accomplishing ‘Praana Pratishtha’ the formal Mantrik- Way of according life to Ganeswhwara Idol, the Devotees of each and every of family-relations and friends should then perform ‘Shodaashopa-chaara’ or the formal Services to Ganesha with Dhyaana-Aavaahana-Vaahanaadis and Shoddhodana Snaana- Vastra-Yagnopaveeta-Gandha-Pushpa-Phala- Naivedya of Modaka-Laddu and so on with twentyone ‘Durva Yugmaas’ reciting Ten Names of Ganesha viz. Ganaadhipa, Umaaputra, Aghanaashaka, Vinayaka, Isha Putra, Sarva Siddhi Pradaayika, Ekadanta, Hastimukha, Mooshaka Vaahana and Kumara Guru.
Rishi Panchami: This Vrata is observed on Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami. Besides performing worship to Rishis, the Karta should consume the leaves of vegetable plants grown on untilled land. On Bhadrapada Shukla Shashthi,Surya Puja be performed: Snaanam Bhaskara pujanam, Praashnam Panchagavyasyachaaaswamedha Phalaadikam / (After Snaana and Surya Puja, Pancha Gavya praashana should be take in to qualify the Phala or the Punya of executing Ashwamegha Yagna). On this very day of Surya Shashti, darshan of Kumara Swami would bestow relief for Brahma Hatya too. On Shuklaashtami Durvashtami Vrata is observed. This Vrata is performed by women aiming Jyeshtha Devi with primacy on Ashtami and on Jyeshta but not in Jyeshtha- Mula Nakshatra yoga and when Surya is not in Kanya Rashi. Persons in Dakshina Bharata normally observe theVrata with importance on Jyeshtha Nakshatra. This is a three day Vrata with Aaaahana on Anuradha, Puja on Jyeshtha and Moola for Visarjana.
‘Vishnu Parivartanotsava’: is implemented on Bhadrapada Shukla Ekaadashi or Dwadashi. Parivartana means inter-change of phases; in Kaalamaana, the Supreme Energy called Vishnu changes the course of Kaala’s Yuga-Manvantara- Samvatsara-Raashi-Maasa- Tithi-Nakshatras. The Vishnu Parivartana is executed every year’s Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha’s Ekaadashi or Dwadashi and keeping in view the ‘Vachana’ (Statement) viz. Shruteccha madhye parivartameti, the Shravana Nakshatra’s coincidence of either of the three parts of Ekaadashi or Dwaadashi would be the appropriate time for the Vishnu Parivartanotsava. At the Sandhya Kaala of the Dwadashi, Vishnu Puja is performed reciting: Vaasudeva Jagannaatha praapteyam Dwaadashi tava, Paarshvena parivartasya sukham swapihi Madhava! ( Vaasudva! Jagannaatha! Your Dwadashi has arrived. Now you may turn around / or perform the Parivartana and resort back to your Yoga Nidra comfortably!)
‘Vamana Jayanti’: ‘Vaamanaavataara’ occurs on Bhadrapada Shukla Dwadashi’s Shravana Nakshatra in the ‘Madhyaahna’. Thus whenever Dwadashi extends to Madhyahna coinciding with Shravana yoga is to be reckoned as the Vamanavatara. If Shravana Yoga is on both the Tithis of Ekadashi and Dwadashi then Ekadashi be finalised as the Avatara Jayanti. At the Madhyaana time the Karta should purify with ‘Nadi Sangama Snaana’ and offer Arghya to a Vamanamurti with a Golden Vessel and initiate the Puja with the Prayer: Deveshwaraaya Devaaya Deva sambhuti kaariney, Prabhavey Sarva Devaanaam Vamanaaya namo namah/ Then Arghya is offered with the Mantra: Namastey Padma –naabhaaya Namastey Jala shaayiney,Tubhyamarghyam prayacchaami Bala Vamana Rupiney/ Namasshaaranga dhanurbaana paanaye Vamanaayacha, Yagnabhukphala daatrey cha Vamnanaaya namo namah/ On the following day, the Karta and family members should give away the Daana of the Suvarna Vamana with the Daana Mantra : Vamanah pratigruhnaati Vamanohamdadaami tey, Vamanam sarvatobhadram Dwijaaya pratipaadaye/ Thus the Deva Puja is concluded on the Dwadashi night itself, but if not possible then Dadhi Vrata is dedicated to Bhagavan Vishnu by performing Dadhi Daana and accomplish Dugdha Vrata; in the Payo Vrata, ‘Anna Paayasa’ is offered too. But milk of those cows which yielded a calf within ten days of delivery is prohibited for use in this Vrata.
Ananta Vrata: This Vrata is performed on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturdashi when Chaturdashi should exten atleast by three Muhurtaas of the Morning or atleast by two Muhurtaas. Otherwise, the Vrata Kaala should be determined as the previous day; if the Tithi is on both the days, then the suitable time for the Vrata is stated to be on the previous day; but the Tithi must be at the Madhyahna Kaala either way. The Vrata Vidhana as explained in Koustubha grandhaas requires that ‘Torana’/ String of silk of twenty four grandhis / knots on the wrist for the Puja as per the Puja Vidhana. The Procedure requires Homaas numbering hundred eight and by reciting as many Vaasudeva Dwaadashaakshara Mantra. Any shortcoming in the Procedure is recoverable by ‘Krucchaadi Prayaschitta Vrata’.
Proshthapadi Shraaddha: On Bhadrapada Purnima day, Proshthapadi Shraaddha is performed addressed to Pitru Devas in Vasu-Rudra-Aditya Swarupaas of three generations with their wives ie. ‘Saptneekaas’. As this Shraaddha is of Paarvana type, Pinda daanas are required to be done recalling ‘Pururava- Aardra Devaas too. Some believers invoke Vishwadevaas too and perform ‘Naandi Shraaddha’.
Mahalaya Pakshas: Shraaddhaas are required to be observed in the Mahaalaya Paksha starting from Bhadrapada Krishna Pratipada till Amavasya. Shraaddham Kanyaagatey Baanou yo na kuryaad Grihaashrami, Dhanam Putraa kruta tasya Pithru kopaagni peedanaat/ Yavaccha Kanyaa Tulaayoti kramaadastey Divaakarah, Shunyam Pretaapuram taavad yaavad vrischika darshanam/ ( If a Grihasti does not perform Mahalaya Shraaddha, how could he deserve prosperity, propitiousness and excellent progeny! He would surely by subject to the severe curses of Pitru Devataas as their Souls are not liberated when Surya moves from Virgo and Libra to Scorpio. In turn they should most certainly rebuff their golden opportunities in their lives). Those who have the ability execute the Ceremonies are indeed blessed.Those who are unable to do so might perform from Panchami or Shashthi or Ashtami or Dashami or Ekadashi till Amavasya. If even this is not possible, then atleast Mahalaya Amavasya might be the last resort but those must be ‘Sakrun -Mahalayas’ or with pinda pradaana. In case only Mahaalya Amavasya Shraaddha is performed, then the avoidable Tihis are Pratipada, Shashthi, Ekaadashi, Chaturdashi and Shukravaara besides the tenth and nineteenth Tithi from one’s own Janma Nakshatra as also Rohini, Magha and Revati. Some believe that Trayodashi, Saptami and Sunday/ Tuesday too are avoidable. However, if the Tithis of Father’s or Mother’s Death anniversary falls on any of the Mahalaya Paksha Tithis there should not be any objection to perform fulfledged Shraddha. Another important aspect of Mahalaya Paksha Shraaddha is expectedto be performed on the same lines as the Abdika Shraaddha as explicit in the Stanza: Mahaalaye Gayaa shraaddhey Maataa Pitrormriteyhani, Krutwedaahopi kutveetapinda daanam yathaavidhi/ (Mahaalaya Shraaddha is just like that which is performed as ‘pratyaabdika’ or an Annual Ceremony). The Out line of the Deva Sankalpa Mantra- which needs to be amended as applicable to individual cases – is as follows: Pitru Pitaamaha Prapitaamahaanaam Maatru tatsapatni pitaamahi tatsa patni prapitaamahi tat sapatni naamastatsaaptnya maatuditivaa Maataamaha Maatuh Pitaamaha Maatuh prapitaa-mahaanaam sapatneekaanaam yathaa naama gotraanaam Vasu Rudraaditya rupaanaam paarvana vidhinaa Patnyaaha Putrasya Kanyaayaah Pitruvyasya Maatulasya Bhraatuh Pitrushvasuh Maatrushvasuraatma Bhaginyaah Pitruvya putrasya jaamaturbhaaginey yasya swasurasya swasrwaah Achaaryasya Upaadhyaayasya Guroh Sakhyussishyasyai teshaam yathaa naama gotraanaam purusha vishaye sapatneekaanaam streevishaye sabhatrika sapatyaanaam Ekokodishta vidhinaa Mahalayaapara paksha shraaddham vaa Sa Daivam sadyah karishey/ In case of those who are alive, those designations be deleted from the Sankalpa. However the expression of ‘Saptneekam’ is used in respect of women in case of grand mothers etc are alive but if the husband is alive the expression of ‘Sabhatreekam’ is not essential. Further, Mahaalaye Gayaashraddhey Vruddhou chaanvashtakaasu cha, Nava Daivata Manreshtam sesham shaatpourusham viduh/ Anvashtakaasu Vruddhoucha Prati Samvatsarey tathaa , Mahaalaye Gayaayaamcha Sapindikaramaatpuraa, Maatusshraaddham Pruthakkaryamanyatra Patinaa saha/ (In respect of Mahalaya Shraaddha, Gaya Shraddha, Vriddhi Shraaddha / Nandi Shraaddha and Anvashtaka Shraaddha there are Nine Pitru Devataas and for the rest, there should be ‘Shaddevataas’or Six only . In case of the above mentioned Shraaddhaas and the Regular Abdikaas, Sapindikarana for Maatru Shraaddha is accounted seperately. For other Shraddhaas there should be three Paarvanaas as mother’s Shraaddha is already included among all the three generations of father-grand father and great grand father. Some opine that there should be four Paarvanaas as the fourth one represents the wives of the three generations in which case, Pitru Devataas are counted as twelve. (Anvashtaka Shraaddha relates to the nine Navami Tithis of Bhadrapada, Margaseersha, Pushya, Maagha and Phalgunaas in Bahula Paksha. Nandi Shraaddha is performed during the start of any happy occasion or Sixteen religious rites like Karmaanga Shraaddha at Garbhaa Daana or Vriddhi Shraaddha at the birth of a Child. Tirtha Shraaddha is like Gaya Shraaddha ).Thus the procedure of determing the nine Pitru Devataas for Mahalaya Shraaddha is the same as that of the afore-mentioned Anvashtaaadi Shraaddhas too. Now, in the case of Mahalaya, Vishwa Devataas are called ‘Dhuri Vilochanaas’ and if one could afford in terms of money or availability of Brahmanas then two extra priests could be arranged. At the close of the ceremony, one Brahmana be detailed to represent Vishnu. Incidentally, if there is no availability of adequate number or none of Brahmanas, then at the ‘Swagriha Deva Shtaana’ one could improvise a Brahmachari with Darbhaas Mahalaya Shraddha be performed as a last resort but the Sankalpa should not include Arghya daana, Samantrakaavaahana, Agnoukarana, pinda daana, Swadhaa vachana Sananklpa ought to be avoided!
(Background of Shraddhas : There are Shannavati Shraadhaas (Ninety Six) viz. Fourteen Manvantasaas; Four Yugaadi days of Krita-Tretaa-Dwapara-Kali; Twelve Sankramana Days of each year; Twelve Amavasya Days; Fifteen Days of the Krishna Paksha of Bhadrapada Maasa; Twelve Vyatipata Yoga days in a year when calamities might happen; Twelve Vaidhruti or forbidden days of the Year; Five Purvavedu or Saptami days of Krishna Pakshas of Bhadrapada, Margashira, Pushya, Maagha, and Phalgunaas; Ashta Tithis of Krishna Pakshas of the afore-mentioned Maasaas; and Anvashtaka Krishna Navamis of the same Months. These include Ardhodaya days of Sundays associated with Amavasya-Shravana Nakshatra and Vyatipata Yoga/ and Mahodaya. Matsya Purana mentioned Nitya,Naimittika and Kamya Shraddhas viz, Daily /Regular, Periodic and Kaamya Shraaddhas. If daily Shraaddhais not possible, Darsha Shraddha be performed at least on Amavasya days; if not do perform on Chaitra-Bhadrapada-Ashviyuja Amavasyas; even this is not possible, do accomplish Mahalaya Amavasya Shraddha atleast or at any suitable day of Mahalaya Paksha! Additionally there could be any number of Kamya Shraddhas ranging from Shuddhi, Pushti, Yatra , Ghrita- Dadhi, Daivika, Hiranya or Gold / Uncooked food, Hasta or foodgrains and so on.)
[ Brahma Purana describes Shraaddha Kalpa Varnana as follows: At the Naimisha forest at the congregation of Munis requested Veda Vyasa to explain in brief the procedure of Shraaddha Karma: and the latter explained as follows: those who belonged to the Vranaas of Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vaishyas were required to perform Shraaddhaas as per their own Kula Dharma according to the prescribed ‘Veda Mantrocchaarana’. When done by only Women , the relevant Mantras were not to be recited nor Agni Homas done while doing Shraaddhas on their behalf. The hallowed places where Shraddhas could be performed included Tirthas like Pushkara, Holy Temples, Mountian tops, Sacred Places, Holy Rivers, Sarovaras, Sangamas, Sea shores, own residences, Holy Tree root bottoms, and Yagna Kundas. There are three kinds of Shraddhhaas viz. Nitya, Nimittika and Kaamya Shraaddhas. At Jaata Karma and such other occasions, Abhudaayika or Vriddhi daayika Shraaddha too is required to be performed. When Surya is in kanya Rasi, Saaddhaas are best performed for fifteen days: Padyami Shraddhaas bestow Dhanalaabha, Vidiya Pashu sampada or the benefit of cattle, Tadiya Putras, Chaturthi Shatru Naashana, Panchami Aaishwaryaprada, Shashthi Loka Pujya, Sapatami Ganaadhipatya, Ashtami Jnaana prada, Navami Stree Labha, Dashami Sarvaabhistha, Ekadashi Veda Sampannata, Dwadashi Vijaya Labha, Trayodashi Santaana Vriddhi and Deerghaayu, Chaturdashi Shraaddha blesses those who perform to appease the Souls of those who died in battles and Amavaasya Shaaddhyaas provide all-round well-being. Gaya Shraaddhas would yield long term benefits, especially when performed with jaggery, honey and black ‘tilas’, since Pitru Devas would look forward to such opportunities to their ‘Vamseeyas’; they crave for tarpanas in the rainy season of Magha-Phalguna months and Gudaanna / Rice-Jaggery Payasas mixed with honey; they hope that atleast one son might turn up at Gaya to offer Pinda Pradaana and that was their desire when alive to procure many sons; they wished that at least one kanyaa daana or one Nila Vrishabha Utsarga might be executed! Pitru Shraaddha during Krittika Star provides paasage to Swarga; Rohini Nakshathra gives good progeny; Mriga Shira Nakshatra Shraaddha gives Tejas, Ardra secures Shourya; Purvasu Kshetra darshana prapti, Pushyami Akshayadhana, Aslesha purnaaryrdaaya, Magha Santaanapushti, Purvaphaluni sowbhaayga, Uttara phalguni uttama santaana, Hasta Shraaddha yields Shasrtra vidya phala, Chitra secures tejas and santaana, Swaati Vyaapaara laabha, Vishakha putraprada, Auradha Nakshatra Shraaddha provides Chakravartitwa, Jeshtha gives Aadhipatya, Moola excellent health, Purvaashadha gives fame and name, Uttaraahaashaadha demolishes grief and troubles, Shravana provided Shubha lokas, Dhanisdhtha dhana samruddhi, Abhijit gives knowledge Vedas, Shatabhisha Vaidya Siddhi, Purvabhadra gives goat-sheep sampada, Uttaraabhadra provides Go Sampada, Revati Rajata samruddhi, Ahwavi Ashwa Sampatti, and Bharani nakshatra shraaddha provides ‘Deerghaayu -raarogya’; thus Gaya Shraadha at any time during any Nakshatra bestows all kinds of auspicious tidings! When Surya is in Kanya rashi, those who offer Shraaddhha Pindaas would fulfill all their desires as Pitras look forward to them; in fact the entire fornight during this Mahalaya Period, Tarpana Pinda Pradaanaas are stated to be of high value resulting in Raajasua -ashwamedha Phalaas. Shraaddhas are to be offered at this time with water, leafy vegetables and ‘kanda mulaas’ or ground sprouted ones only. Devotees would do well in performing such Shraaddhaas as Surya enters Uttara-Hasta Nakshatra timings; such offerings when Ravi would enter Hasta in Vrishchik Raasi, but beyond Vrischika raashi, Pinda pranaanaas are not only counter-productive but might have adverse effects as Pitru Devas might even curse them for belated offerings! ]Also, Shraaddhaas need to be performed during Ashtakaas, Manvantaraas, and Anvashtakaas; Ashtakaas are known as Krishna Paksha Ashtamis of the months of Pousha, Maagha, Phalguna and Chaitra. Manvantaraas denote Ashadha Shukla Dashami, Shraavana Krishna Ashtami and Bhadra Shukla Triteeya, since Utsavaas / celebrations were organized at these Manvantaraas. Anvashtakaas signify the Navamis followed by the Ahtakaas. Abhuyudayas denote the above three categories of Ashtakas-Manvantaraas-Anvashtakaas as these are first and foremost addressed invoke Maata- Pitaamahi- Pramitaamahi and then by Pita-Pitaamaha-Prapitaamaha. In other words, Maatru Varga would be addressed first, followed by Pitru varga and finally to Mataamaha- Pramitgaamah- Vriddha Mataamaha.Shraaddhaas are also required to be performed at Grahanas or Solar-Lunar Eclipses, Vyatipatas, Surya-Chandrama Sangamaas, Janma Nakshatraas, and Graha Peedaavasaras; these Shraaddhaas are to be Paarvana Shraaddhaas. At the timings of Aayana -kramana or change of Dakshinatana-Uttaraayana as also the two Vishus (or when Surya reaches the line when the day-night calculations are equivalent) as also on Samkraanti day, vidhi purvaka Shraddhas need to be performed in a full-fledged form, but minus Pindapradaada. Shraaddhhas are required to be performed on Vaishakha Shukla Triteeya and Kartika Shukla Navami as per the Samkraanti Vidhi; again on Bhadra Shukla Trayodashi and Magha Amavasya days, Paayasa Shraadha or Cooked rice in boiled sweet milk should be offered to Pitru Devaas. When ever a VedaVetta or Nityaagnihotriya Brahmana arrives at a Brahmana’s house, then too a Shraaddha would better be given. On the days of death of one’s own parents Shraaddhhas are required to be performed in a fulfledged manner every year including to Pitru devatas and Vishva Devatas separately.Prati Samvararam Kaaryam Maataa Pitrormrotey hani, Pitruvyasyaapya putrasya Bhraatur Jyeshthasya chaivahi/ Paarvanam Devapuryam syaadekoddhishtam Surairvinaa, Dyuodevey Pitrukaaryea Treenakaikamubhayatravaa/ ( On the day of the passing away of one’s own father or mother, one has to perform Ekoddishta Shraaddha; if father’s brother had no male issue then too the Ekoddishta Shraaddha be performed. In the Parvana Shraaddha, Vishva Devas are to be invoked first and their puja is to be performed.But without Vishvadevas in Ekoddishta Shraaddha, Brahmanas are arranged in Deva Pitru Shtaanaas and worshipped. In the Deva Kaarya, two Brahmanas are to be arranged and for Pitru Karyaa three Brahmanas; Or at least one each of the Karyas are required as minimum. Pretajeeva deeds to be kept in the form of a Pinda ón Bhumi beneath Kushaa grass with black Tilas and water. On the termination of Sutaka or Asuddhi, Brahmanas should perform Ekoddishta Shraddha on the twelfth day, after a month, after Traipaksha or three weeks and every month thereafter for a year. Then the action of ‘Sapindeekarana Paarana Vidhhana’ must be followed, when the departed Soul would abandon the ‘Pretha Swarupa’ and attain the status of ‘Pitru Devatva’.The Pitaras are of two types viz. Amurtaas (Formless) and Murtimaan ( with Form). Naandimukhaas are stated to be Formless and Paarvanaas are Murtimaans. Now, the procedure of Sapindeekarana is as follows: In the context of Sapindeekarana, Vishwa Devaas are not invoked, only one ‘Arghya’/ water is given, no Agnikarana or invocation of Agni is done, four Patras or small vessels are used with Tilodakaas or water with black Tilas and chandana; three of the Paatras are to invite to three generations of forefathers and one for the Preta: Paatratraye pretapaatraadarghyam chaiva prasechayet, Yesamaanaah iti japanpurva -vacchhesha maacharet/ ( while reciting the Mantra ‘Yenamaanaah’, the Kartaa should perform ‘Jala Prokshana’ (sprinkle of water); even in respect of the diseased women the same procedure of Ekoddhishta should be adopted, but no need for Sapindeekarana is required in respect of women without children and the concerned relatives of husband or her own brothers could take up the task of Shraaddha. In case, there is none, the King becomes responsible as he would be the relative to all the prajaa who are helpless and execute all the related actions including the annual Shraaddhaas. Even related women could assume the charges, provided no Mantras are recited’.
Nitya Naimittika Shraadhhas would follow sapindeekarana, when the departed father would join the ranks of the earlier three generations viz. the Karta’s departed father, grand father and the great grandfather who would all be the ‘Pinda bhuks’`; actually, seven previous generations of the Karta would be eligible for the fruits of the shraddha: Pindasambandhino hyetey vigjneyaah Purushaatrayah, Lepa sambandhinaschaaney pitaamah pitaamahaah/ Prabhrutyuktaa -strayasteshaam yajamaanascha saptamah, Ityesha Munibhih proktah sambandhaha Saapta Pourushah/ But those who were beyond the three earlier generations viz. those of Sapta Pourushaas of four further earlier generations would be satisfied with the particles of ‘Anna’ or rice grains spread along and around the leaf above the kushagrass on which three pindas are placed in a line; the water drops from the clothes after taking bath by the Karta would provide relief to those who might have turned as Piscachas; those who might have been born as trees would be satisfied too by the water drops from the body of snaana of the Kartha; and those who might have been born as Pashu-Pakshis would be satisfied from the water drops while performing prokshana around the pindas in the process of worship. As the bhojana of the Brahmana bhoktas would be complete, the water drops to wash the hands and feet of the Bhoktas would relieve those who might have been born otherwise. Thus each Shraaddha would liberate the Souls of Seven Generations and none indeed would be dis-satisfied in the ‘Kula’for seven generations! Those who perform Shraaddhaa even by the low caste human beings with Shraddha or Faith would relieve the misery of the departed Souls, while those Brahmanaas who are virtuous observing daily tasks would indeed be responsible for the certain salvation of the ancestors. Now, the Bhahmanas who are selected as bhoktas must also have proper qualfications; they should preferably be Veda vettaas, maatru-pitru bhaktas, Acharyas, Panditaas, father-in-laws, brothers-in-law, Purana TatvaVetta, and such others. Those who are selected as the representatives of Vishwadeva Pitraas too should be equally learned. The Kartha should feed such ideal Brahmanas as would indeed alleviate the miseries of the departed ones and hence the care for the selection. The services provided to the bhoktas are as good as those given to the departed parents or others concerned. In this context, Vastra daanana was emphasized: Vastraabhaavey kriyaanaasti yajgnaa Vedaastapaamsicha, Tasmaadwaasaamsi deyaani Shraaddha kaaley viseshitah/ Kauseyam kshaama kaarpaasam dukulamahatam tathaa, Shraaddheytwetaani yo dadyaat kaamaanaapnotichottamaan/ (Without the charity of Vastraas, no task of Shraaddhha would be complete; in fact, no sacred task like Yagnaas, Vedaas and Tapaas would be complete without Vastra daanaa. More particularly so, in respect of Shraaddhhaas as Pitru Devas would not be appeased otherwise. Silk Vastraas or at least new cotton Vastraas constitute a definite input in Shraaddhas. Yathaa goshu prabhutaasu vatso vindati maataram, Tathaannam tatra Vipraanaam janturyatraavasishthatey/ Naama gotrancha mantraascha datthamannamnayantitey, Aapiye nidhanam praaptaas trupistaanupatishthatey/ (Just as a calf reaches its mother’s udder on a group of cows, Anna daana to Brahmanaas too is an inclusive input in Shraaddhaas to enable the relief of the departed Souls; recitation of Naama-Gotraas in the formal medium of Mantras would reach the fruits of Shraaddhaas to the concerned Vamsha-Gotra-Naamaas so that the respective categories are satiated.) The relevant Mantra further states: Deataabhyah Pitrubhyascha Mahaa Yogibhy yevacha, Namah Swadhhaayai Swaahaayai Nithyameva bhanantiti, Adhaavasaaney Shraaddhasya traavruttvaa japettadaa, Pinda nirvahaney vaapi japedevam samaahitah/ Kshipramaayaanti pitaro Raahshasaah pradravanti cha, Preeyantey trishu lokeshu Mantroyam taarayatyuta/(My obeisances to Pitraas and Devataas; to my homage to Swadhaa Devi and Swaahaadevi; May these be always with me; This Mantraa must be recited thrice at the time of Pinda-Nirvahana of while performing the Task of Pindaas as also at the time end of the Shraadda. The recitation of this Mantra would instantly respond to the Pitra Devas and the Rakshasaas would run away; the Tri Lokas would be satisfied and the Performer would fully bless with salvation. Offering away the Pindaas to Agni in the Homakunda would bless the Karta would secure Bhoga Vriddhi or enhance pleasures; offering the Pindas to the Karta’s wife would result in Putra Prapti; offering them to Cows would ensure ‘Tejovriddhi’; immerse the pindaas would increase Keerti /fame; feeding them to crows would provide long life; and some Pandits stated that ‘Pindaagraas’ or tops of the Pindaas should be lifted. Tasmaatsam Pujayet bhaktya swapitruunvidhivannarah, Kaamaanabhhepsinsakalaan –paadaatma vimochanam, Vasuun Rudraamstathaadityaan Nakshatra graha taarakaah/ Preenayanti Manushyaanaam Pitarah Shraaddha tarpitaah, Aayuh Prajaam Dhanam Vidyaam Swargam Moksham sukhaanicha/ Prayacchanti tathaa Raajyam Pitarah Shraaddha tarpitaah, Tathaapahaarnah Purvaahnaat pitruunaamatirichyatey/ Sampujya Swaagateynaitaan sadanebhyaagataandvijaan, Pavitra paaniraachaantaa nasaneyshupa –vesayet/ Shaadhham krutwaa vidhaanena sambhojya cha Dwijottamaan, Visarjaeyt priyaanyukaa pranipatya cha bhaktitah/ Aadwara manugacchhecchaa gacchhedan moditah,Tato nitya kriyaamkuryaad bhojayeccha tathaa tithheen/ Nithya kriyaam pitruunaamcha kechidicchanti Sattamaah/ (As the Shraddha Karta is anxiously awaited by the concerned Pitru Devaas, he should worship them with faith and devotion as prescribed so that the desires of Karta are fulfilled; the Ashtaa Vasus, Ekaadasha Rudraas, Dwadasha Adityas , Nava Grahas and Nakshatraas would all be satisfied with the Shraaddhhas and bestow long and healyhy life, good progeney, prosperity, Vidya, over-all fulfillment and Swarga. As ‘Aparaahna’or mid-day is the appropriate time, the Kartha should welcome the Brahmanaas with devotion, make them feel comfortable and conduct the proceedings with perseverance and fortitude, perform the duties till the end and then take the Nitya Karmas after duly sending them off with reverence). In conclusion, Veda Vyasa Maharshi assured: Aajaaramaacharedyastu Pitru medhha shritam Narah, Ayushaa dhana putraischa vardhastyasu na samshayah/ Pitrumedhaadhyaaya mimam Shraaddha kaaleshu yah pathet, Tadannamasya pitaroshnanti cha tri-yugam dwijaah/ Yevam mayoktah Pitrumedha kalpah paaaapahah punyavivaddhanascha/ Shrotavya yesha prayatainaraihscha shraaddeghachainaapyanu keertayet/ ( Those who observe the traditions of Pitrumedha Kalpa, are blessed with Dhana-Dhanya-Ayuraarogya- Putra Poutra-Vardhana. Those who read ‘Pitrumedha-adhyaa’ of this Purana, would be blessed with the contentment of Pitru Devatas of the past three yugas! The recitation or patient hearing of the contents of the Adhyaaya itself would bestow the boon of demolishing sins and of and ushering propitiousness).]
Having discussed the significance of Mahalaya Pakshaa, Dharma Sindhu narrates the Bhadrapada Krishna Shraaddhas with the orientation of Nakshatras. Bharani Nakshatra Shraaddha is as good as of Gaya Shraaddha phala. This is of ‘Sapindeeka’ variety in which Shaddaivata Sankalpa is involved ie . of three generations. This Kamya Vratais performed aiming Pururavaadrava Pitru Devaas or Vishva Devaas who are Dhuri Vilochanaas as described in the context of Mahalatya Paksha Shraaddhaas. Normally , this ceremoney is executed in the first year of the demise of a parent. But not in the Second year as suggested by some but actually Dharma Sindhu opines that the second year might be a better optionfor the reason that during the course of the first year of demise, the dead parent might not have secured Pitrutwa Siddhi yet; more over the Gaya Shraaddha is expected to aim at three generations but that status of joining the two higher generations would not have attained before the close of first year of the death; nor one Paarvana which was to be offered to Devas was not acceptable to Devaas before the first anniversary of the deceased. Maghaa yukta Trayodashi is performed in either of the Trayodashis of Bhadrapada Maasa. This ceremony is performed with the Sankalpa of ‘Pindarahita Shraaddha’and should be restricted to the Mantra: Eshaam trupyartham Brahmana Puja karishey; Pitru rupiney Brahmanaaya gandham samarpayaami/ Thus having provided ‘Panchopachaaraas’, the Karta would recite the Mantras: ‘Brahmaarpanam Brahma havi’-Anena Brahmana Bhojanena Pitraadi rupeshwara preeyataa etc. and then satisfy the Brahmanaas with ‘Madhura Padaadhaas’sweets only without cooked Anna Bhojana. Like wise Shastrahata Mahalaya Shraaddha is performed on Krishna Chaturdashi of Bhadrapada Month is performed to father or his brothers by sons or cousins as the formers die on account of weapons, poison, Fire, water, snakes or cruel animals. Shraaddhhas in respect of such accidental deaths are performed on Ekoddhishta basis with the Sankalpa viz. Amukanimittey namrutasya chaturdashi nimitta –mekoddhishtam shraaddham sa Daivam sa pindakam karishye/ ( I shall perform Shraddha with Arghya etc.and on ‘Sa-pinda’ and ‘ Sa-Daiva’ basis but by offering a single Pinda). However, this Shraaddha is not to be considered as a substitution of repetitive and regular Shraaddhas on the death anniversary Tithis. Kapilaa Shashthi Shraaddha: In case a Tuesday with Rohini Nakshatra appears in Krishna Bhadrapada Month on Shashthi, it is considered as a very significant and Sacred day; when Surya is in Hasta Nakshatra then too that day is extremely fruitful. Kapila Shashthi Homas and Daanaas are stated to yield Koti-Koti Phala! Asyaam hutam cha duttam cha Sarvam koti gunam bhavet! Atra Shraaddham kaaryamiti visesha vachanam nopalabhyatey tathaapi Alabhyagogey Shraaddhavidhaanaaddarshavat Shaddevatam kaaryam/ ( There would be no betterdeed that could be described in words leading to ‘Alabhya Yoga’ than performing Shraaddha on this day and that Karya is to be like what is executed on the lines of Amaavasya Shraaddha aiming at ‘Shaddevataas’ or the Six Devataas).
In the context of observing Kapila Shasthi, Surya Vrata Vidhaana has also been described by Dharma Sindhu. Addressing Surya Deva in the ‘Sankalpa’, the Vrata Karta proposes to observe ‘Upavaasa’ and take Sacred Bath by applying the paste of Devadar Tree Bark, Khusha, Cardamom, Manassila, Padmakaashtha and rice mixed with honey and Cow milk while reciting the Mantra: Ataswamasi Devesha Jyotishaam patirevacha, Paapam naashaaya mey Deva Vaagmanah kaaya karmajam/ (Devesha! You are the Jala Swarupa and Jyotishpati! Kindly destroy my ‘Trikarana Paapaas’ involved in Speech, Thought and Action). Thus beseeching Surya, the Vrata Karta smears ‘Pancha Gavya’ made of the five cow products, cleanses the body with ‘Pancha Pallavaaas’ or five kinds of tender leaves, smudges the body with ‘Mrittika’ or Earth, takes bath again, performs Tarpana and other Nitya Karmaas, worships Varuna Deva, arranges a ‘Kalasha’with rice in the center of a platform, draws a Lotus with eight leaves and recites from the East invoking Sun God in the form of a Golden ‘Pratima’ with his eight names as follows: Suryam, Tapanam, Swarna lepanam, Ravim, Adityam, Divaakaram, Prabhakaram, Suryam aavaaha –yaami/ Later invoke Aruna Deva who is the charioteer of Surya and to ‘Ashta Dikpaalakaas’ viz. Indra-Agni-Yama-Nirruti-Varuna-Vaayu- Kubera and Ishaana with ‘Karaveeraadi’ flowers, offer twelve ‘Arghyaas’standing before him and perform worship to Surya with the Prayer as follows: Prabhakara Namastubhyam Samsaaraanmaam samuddhara, Bhukti Mukti prado yasmaattasmaa- chhaanti prayacchamey/ Namo Namastey Varada Ruksaamayajushaam patey, Namostu Vishwa Rupaaya Vishwa dhaatrey namo Namah/ ( Prabhaakara! My obeisances to you. You are the bestower of Bhoga and Mokshaa; do grant me peace, fulfillment and Salkvation. You are the Master of Three-Vedas; Jagadrupa! Jagatposhaka!). The Vrata Karta then observes ‘Raatri Jaagarana’ reciting ‘Soura Sukta’and other Prayers and next morning takes bath, executes Nitya Karmaas and performs Homaas with ‘Arka Samidhaas’ / twigs, ghee, tila and so on. Then he ushers Kapila Cow bedecked with decoratives, colourful ‘Vastraas’, jingle bells and so on, performs Puja and gives it away as ‘Daana’ to a Brahmana saying: Namastey Kapiley Devi Sarva paapa pranaashani, Sasaaraanavamagnam maam Gomaatastaatu marhasi/ ( Kapila Devi! Gomaataa! My worshipful respects to you; do relieve me of my sins and save me from the Ocean of Samsaara). The Daana be given with satisfactory Dakshina along with the Golden Pratima of Surya Deva thus concluding the SuryaVrata successfully.