Mode of performing the ancestral rites ||117||

1-5Fire-god said: I shall describe (the mode of performing) sraddha (ancestral rite) as described by sage Katyayana to the sages. One should do sraddha at Gaya especially on the sankranti etc. or on the day of the new moon or on days after the fourth day. After having reached there, one should invite (any one of the following for the sraddha): the mendicants, pious householders one who has completed his studies, learned brahmins, those who are faultless, those who strictly observe the propriety of conduct. Persons afflicted by white leprosy or leprosy should not be invited. So also people who are present uninvited should not be entertained. They should have bathed, be pure and have self- control. They should face the east while doing divine acts. The three forefathers (father, grand-father and great grandfather) should separately be invoked. So also the fore-fathers on the maternal side (to whom one is entitled to offer) should be invoked.
6The performer of the sraddha should observe continence that day. (He should be) gentle, calm, not hasty, true and not intoxicated. (He should) not stir out. (He should) not read the scriptures and practice silence.
7Kind enquiries should be made of the chief among those seated. Even number of darbha should be spread for the forefathers. The (appropriate) deity should be invoked.
8One should ask, “Shall I invoke Visvedevas?” (He should be replied), “you invoke”. After having invoked Visvedevas, and having spread barley, one should repeat the following:
9O Visvedevas! You hear this. I invoke the forefathers. Having asked thus and being permitted to invoke, one should invoke them (saying) “You be pleased.”
10-12After having spread the sesamum, one should invoke the fore-fathers with the repetition of (the mantra), “Fore-fathers” One should sprinkle on’ the kuia with the mantrasam no devi. After having scattered the grains of barley with the (repetition of the mantra) “You are the barley grains”, the sesamum (is scattered) (with the repetition of the mantra) “You are the sesamum. You are permeated with the essence of Soma. Graciously gratify the souls of forefathers. Salutations,” Flowers should be offered with (the mantra “srisca te” in a golden or silver vessel or a wooden (vessel) or sword or vessel made of a leaf. The circumambulation is done clockwise in the case of celestials and anticlockwise in the case of fore-fathers, wearing the savitra (made of darbha) on the hand, one for each one (of the fore-fathers).
13(Then he should recite the following mantra)’. “May the celestial waters together with the waters of the earth and sky and the golden sacrificial waters confer blessing on you.” (Then the waters of respectful offering should be offered to the Visvedevas with the mantra): “O Visvedevas! Here are the offerings for each one of you”, (Similarly, offerings should be made to the forefathers saying) “Here is the offering for you, O Forefathers!
14Similarly, offerings should be made (to the grand¬ fathers) with (the mantra) “Obeisance to the grand-fathers.” The sacrificial vessel is lowered with (the repetition of the mantra) “You are the seats of my forefathers.”
15Then perfumes, flowers, incense sticks, lamps, shawls and food with clarified butter should be raised up (by the per¬ former of ancestral rite). (The brahmins should then be asked) “Shall I offer them in the sacrifice?”
16Being permitted (by the brahmins) to do so, those things should be offered to the fire in the case of those who maintain fire and on the hands of forefathers in the case of those who do not maintain fire with the repetition of the following mantra and (wearing) the savitra (made of darbha worn on the finger).
17The first oblation is (made with the mantra): “Obeisance to the Fire-god, the conveyor of offerings.” The subsequent (mantras) are to Soma, to forefathers, to the god of death and Angiras.
18The remnants of oblations should be collected in the food vessel. “O Nectar! this earth is your receptacle, the sky is the covering. The brahmin is your mouth. I am casting in that mouth permeated with the nectar.” After having repeated (the mantra) “This Vishnu’’, the thumb of the brahmin is placed in the food.
19The sesamum should be scattered with (the mantra) “Removed”, and the food should be given. After saying, “Be pleased”, the gayatri and other mantras should be repeated.
20“Obeisance to the gods, the forefathers, great yogins, Svadha and Svaha always.”
21After having known that they are satisfied, the food must be scattered and water should be given to each one of them. After repeating the gayatri [mantra) as before, (the mantra) “honey, honey” should be repeated.
22-23They should be asked, “Are you all satisfied?”. They should say, “We are satisfied.’ Being permitted by them the residual food should be gathered together and water should be sprinkled by the side of the place where food was eaten. Three pin4as should be placed on kusa, after they have done the acamana (rinsing of the mouth).
24After the rinsing of the mouth, water, flowers and unbroken rice should be offered. The water given may be undiminishing. Then (the forefathers) should be requested (as follows):
25-31“May the forefathers be gracious: May our progeny prosper always. May the donors enjoy prosperity. So also (may) the Vedas and progeny (prosper). May our earnestness never fail. May we have plenty to give. May our food get profuse. May we get (enough) guests. May there be (plenty) seeking alms. May we not seek alms from anybody. The stems of kusa over which the (term) svadha (obeisance) has been repeated are then gathered along with the pavitras and (permission) should be asked to say obeisance (to forefathers). After having been permitted, (the following mantra) should be recited: “Obeisance to the fathers (includes the brothers and cousin of the father) grandfathers and great-grand fathers. Obeisance.” As one is repeating this, water should be sprinkled from the raised pot and fees should be paid according to one’s means. In the ceremonies related to the gods and forefathers one should say: “May the Visvedevas be pleased”. They should be bid adieu (with the mantra) “Vaje vaje”. Then one should accompany the brahmins (with the repetition) of (the mantra) “amavajasya” do circumambulation of them and enter the house. One should do this on the new moon day every month.
32I shall describe (the mode of doing) ekoddista (rite done for an individual only). The sraddha rite is done as before. One Pavitra, argha and one pinda are offered.
33-34In this rite, there is no invocation and the offering is not made in the fire. The Visvedevas are not (invited) here. At the (time of) query about satisfaction (one should ask) “May it be relished”. The brahmin should say, “well relished”. They should be asked to be seated and be pleased with the offering. They (should say), “We are pleased”. The remaining (part of the ceremony) should be done as before.
35-37I shall describe (the mode of performing) the sapindikarana (a rite in honour of the dead person done on the 12th day after death or at the end of one year). (It is done) at the end of a year or in the middle. Three vessels should be kept for the fore¬ fathers and one vessel for the dead person. The four (vessels) should be provided with the sesamum and flowers along with the pavitra. Having filled them with scented water, sprinkle the vessel of the dead person with the mantra “ye samana”. The offering of the pinda should be (done) as before. By this rite (the soul of) the dead person attains the position of fathers.
38-49I shall describe (the mode of doing) the sraddha rite which confers prosperity. Everything is done as before. One should repeat (the mantras) except the mantra of the father and (do) circumambulation in the forenoon. The materials (re¬ quired are) good kusa and barley grains instead of sesamum in this rite. The query about satisfaction is “Is it well done”. The brahmin should say, “well done”. The pindas should be composed of curd, broken rice and the jujube. One should ask, “Shall I invoke the ancestors who are fit to receive nandi (rite)”. They should be requested to be satisfied with the offerings. The manes (who are) the nandimukhas, I shall describe. One should ask the clan of manes, the nandimukhas to be pleased. The nandimukhas are—father, grand-father, great-grandfather, maternal grandfather, maternal great grandfather and maternal great great grandfather (In this ceremony) the term svada should not be added. Even number of brahmins should be fed. I shall describe the country herbs which would satisfy the manes. They would get satisfied with the roots and fruits of the forest for a month, with the fish for two months, with the ominous bird for three months, with the deer for four (months), with the goat for five or six, with the tortoise for seven or eight, with the boar for nine (months), with the meat of the ram, (meat) of the buffalo and the spotted antelope for ten months, with the milk of a cow and payasa (sweat gruel) for one year. They would be satisfied for twelve years with the meat of a sacrificial goat. The meat of a rhinoceros, the kalasaka (a kind of vegetable), (meat) of a red goat, honey and sea crabs offered in the rainy season and sraddha (done) in the (asterism) of magha (tenth in the cycle) (yields) undiminishing benefits. The brahmins who study the Vedas, who do agnihotra, who study their own branch of Vedas, those who are learned in the six ancillary texts (of the Vedas), one who worships the Naciketa fire thrice a day, the three madhu (rks of the rigveda), those who read the dharmadrona, one who knows the trisuparna (sukta) and the jyesthasaman arc those spoken as the panktipdvanas (the purifiers of an assembly).
50-53I shall describe the mode of performing fruit-bearing (rites). (The sraddha done) on the first lunar day confers plenty of wealth, on the second day (gets) beautiful wives, on the fourth day the fulfilment of heartfelt desires, on the fifth day (confers) progeny, on the sixth day (makes the doer) thrive well, on the seventh day (increases) agricultural prospects, on the eighth day (confers) material prosperity, on the ninth day mules, on the tenth day plenty of cows, on the eleventh day off-springs, on the twelfth day wealth and grains, on the thirteenth day (ensures) excellent position among one’s kinsmen. The sraddha of those dead by means of weapons (should be done) on the fourteenth. It is said that one gets all (desires fulfilled by doing sraddha ) on the new moon day.
54-58The seven hunters (who resided) in Dasarna, the deer (which dwelt) upon the mountain Kalanjara, the cakravaka (a species of water birds) in the Saradvipa, the hamsas (ganders) in the Manasa lake were born at Kurukshetra as brahmins well-versed in the Vedas. They had gone a long way. May you excel them.” When this verse is read at the (time of) sraddha etc., the sraddha gets completed and it yields the region of Brahma. A son may perform sraddha of his grandfather even as his father is alive, or of the grandfather when the great grandfather is living, or of the great grandfather when the great great grandfather is living. So also (sraddha is done) for the mother, maternal grandfather etc. Whoever reads the sraddhakalpa (that relating to performance of Mddha) gets the fruits of performing a Sraddha.
59-63A sraddha performed at a sacred place, or on the days of the commencement of the yuga or Manu period gets undiminishing fruits. Similarly, (sraddha done) on the ninth day of bright fortnight in (the month of) Asvayuk (October-November), on the twelfth day in Karttika (November-December), on third day in Magha and Bhadrapada (February-March and September-October), on the new moon day in Phalguna (March- April), on the eleventh day in Pausa (January-February), on the tenth day in Asadha (July-August), on the seventh day in the month of Magha (February-March), on the eighth day of dark fortnight in Sravana (August-September), on the full moon day in Asadha (July-August) and on the full moon days in Karttika, Phalguna and Jyestha (June-July) (confer manifold benefits). The days of commencement of the Svayambhuva Manu periods are also of undiminishing benefits, Gaya, Prayaga, (river) Gahga, Kuruksetra, (river) Narmada, Sriparvata, Prabhasa, Salagrama, Varanasi and river Godavari (are sacred places). Sraddha (done) at those places and also at the Purusottama (ksetra) (Puri) (yields manifold fruits).