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The Procedure of Sraddha (Continued)
1Brihaspati said: It is said (in Dharma-Sastra) that the vessels of (meant for) Pitris should be made of gold, silver or copper. A silver or silver-coated vessel is said to be befitting Pitris.
2Showing or gifting away of silver is proclaimed to be a suitable Dana for Pitris and it is conducive to the attainment of infinite and everlasting heaven. G Pitris to cross (hell) gift).
3O dear one, it was in silver vessel that Svadha was formerly milked by Pitris seeking to get Svadha. O dear one, if that is gifted, it yields everlasting benefit.
4The nearby presence, sight or gifting away of the hide of a black antelope is conducive to the destruction of Raksasas. It increases Brahmanical splendour and enables Pitris to cross (hell).
5Vessels made of gold, silver or copper, gingelly seeds, Kutapa (i.e. the eighth muhurta of the day) or Kusa grass, sesamum seeds, garments and Tridandi Yoga (i.e. the Yoga of mind, speech and body)—all these are holy objects.
6In the holy rite of Sraddha, the following ritual prescribed by god Brahma is the most excellent and eternal. It is conducive to increase in fame, longevity, progeny, intellect and lineage.
7In the south-east direction, especially at the intermediate point (corner) between them, (should be the place—altar in Bd. P.—for Sraddha). It should be well-situated and square shaped with sides equal to an Aratni (the tip of the fist and the elbow).
8I shall mention the proper spot for the holy rites of Pitris in accordance with the injunctions of the scriptures. It is conducive to the attainment of wealth, health and longevity. It enhances strength and brightness of complexion.
9At the place (intended for Sraddha), three Pitris (should be dug) and three sticks of Khadira wood should be placed. They (the sticks) should be an Aratni (distance between the tip of the fist and the elbow) in length and should be embellished with silver (bands). (The pits) should be a Vitasti (the span or the distance between thumb and little finger when they are extended on either side) in depth and the four sides should be four Ahgulas (fingers) each.
10The sticks should not be hollow and they must be placed on the ground with their faces pointing to the south-east. (The performer of Sraddha) should be pure and should wash them with holy waters or water rendered holy by the use of the ring of Darbha grass (called Pavitra) worn by the performer of Sraddha.
11The purification (Sodhana) may be carried out with goat’s milk or cow’s milk and water. By means of this Tarpana (holy water-offering) the satisfaction (of Pitris) will be permanent.
12He will be prosperous here and hereafter. He will be (blessed with the fruits of) all holy rites. If a person always takes bath three times a day and worships Pitris with Mantras as per prescribed procedure, he gets the fruit of (performance) of a horse-sacrifice (Asvamedha).
13On the New Moon day, the Sraddha materials should be placed in the pit in the ground four Ahgulas square. These rituals are called Trih-sapta-yajna (Three-times seven Yajha). All the three worlds are sustained by them.
14He will attain nourishment, prosperity, longevity and progeny. Various types of fortune will resort to him and he will gradually attain liberation (from Samsara).
15It removes sins. It sanctifies. It has the same fruit as a horse-sacrifice. I shall mention that Mantra composed by Brahma. It is the Amrta (immortal or nectarine) and it is honoured and worshipped by Brahmanas and grants (the fruit of) Asvamedha.
16The Mantra: “Obeisance to all the deities, to Pitris, to the great Yogins, to Svadha. Obeisance for ever to Svaha.”
17At the beginning and the conclusion of the Sraddha, this Mantra shall always be repeated three times. The devotee shall repeat this with purity of mind, when he offers the balls of rice also. Pitris arrive quickly and Raksasas flee.
18Regularly repeated at the time of Sraddha by expounders of Brahman, this Mantra enables Pitris to cross (hell) in the three worlds.
19A person desirous of kingdom, should always repeat this Mantra with alertness. It increases virility, purity, wealth, sattvic qualities, prosperity, longevity and strength.
20I shall mention the Mantra Saptarishis that is auspicious and that bestows all desires. By repeating it regularly, Pitris are propitiated.
21The Saptarishis Mantra: “I always make obeisance to those who are engaged in meditation by means of the yogic vision, to the embodied and unembodied Pitris of brilliant splendour.
22I bow to the Seven Sages and Pitris who fulfil all desires and who are the progenitors of Indra and other (Devas)
23-24After bowing to all the Pitris who bestow welfare on Manu and other lords of Suras and on the sun and the moon, I bow down with palms joined in reverence to Pitamahas, the progenitors of the constellations, the mobile (and the immobile beings) and of the heaven and the earth.
25With palms joined in reverence I bow down to those who bestow fearlessness, to those who are revered by all the worlds and to the progenitors of the divine sages.
26With palms joined in reverence, I bow down to Prajapati, Kasyapa, Soma, Varuna and to the lords of all Yoga.
27Obeisance to the seven groups of Pitris in the seven worlds. Obeisance to the self-born Brahma of Yogic vision.”
28Thus the Mantra honoured by the groups of Brahmarishis along with the Seven Sages has been mentioned. It is highly holy and sanctified. It is conducive to prosperity and destructive of Raksasas.
29The man who (performs Sraddha) according to these injunctions attains three boons. Pitris grant food, longevity and childern (to the people) on the earth.
30He who is endowed with great devotion, who has faith, who has controlled his senses and who always repeats this Saptarishis Mantra with purity, becomes the sole Emperor on the earth consisting of seven continents and oceans.
31If anything is cooked in the house, whether a dainty or ordinary eatable, it should never be eaten in that house without first offering it (to deities).
32Henceforth, I shall describe in the proper order, the vessels intended for oblations to Pitris. Even as I mention listen to the respective benefits (in using oblations) in the different vessels.