[Advaita-l] QUESTION ON THARPANA&SRADHA
anandhudli at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 16 02:14:48 CDT 2016
First, I would like to clarify the term "leniency" which I used a few times
in my previous post. The shAstras certainly do not encourage laziness by
any means. Leniency is extended only when one is not able to do the
regular, required karma due to some difficulty or inability. Leniency is
certainly not a license to choose the "path of least effort". There should
be some genuine hardship in performing the regular, full-fledged karma in
order to opt for an abridged or simpler substitute karma. For instance, a
well-to-do person cannot choose to go to a forest, throw up his hands,
claim he is unable to do any kind of shrAddha, and beg the pitRs to be
satisfied with his Bhakti. This option is specifically for a person in
> 2.What about homa ? Should that be performed on the 96 days also ? Or
only on annual death anniversary of parents ?
Homa is part of the shrAddha and hence one would be doing the homa if he is
doing the regular shrAddha. However, I would like to add that homa in agni
per se is not done these days for most Rgvedins. Rather the practice is to
do homa in the right palm of the pitRbrAhmaNa, as per the instructions of
the AshvalAyana gRhyasUtra. This is called pANi-homa. Those who maintain
the shrauta agnis may do the homa for certain shrAddhas, but not all, in
the dakShiNAgni. Rgvedins who maintain gRhyAgni have to do the homa in the
gRhyAgni. Followers of the Apastamba sUtras (yajurvedins), if they maintain
shrauta agnis, have to do the homa in the dakShiNAgni, else if they
maintain gRhyAgni, the homa is to be done in the gRhyAgni. Among the
yajurvedins, those who do not maintain any agni must do the homa in laukika
agni. The visarjana of the agni has to be done upon completion of the homa.
Yajurvedins must not do pANihoma.
> 3.What if one cannot (due to occupation, school, etc) perform at alloted
time after Madhyanika or even the concession time during Sanghavi kala ?
May Tharpana be perfomed in succession after Pratah & Madhyana SV and
Brahma Yagna; all during prataah kala before 8am ?
This is one of the quite common mistakes being committed today. shrAddha
should not be performed that early in the morning as 8 AM. shrAddhas are
mostly to be done in what is called the aparAhNakAla. There are two ways of
determing the aparAhNakAla. One method is to divide the duration between
sunrise and sunset into five equal parts. In this case, the fourth part is
the aparAhNakAla. The second method is to divide the duration between
sunrise and sunset into three parts. In this case, the aparAhNakAla is the
third part. Certain shrAddhas are best performed in what is called the
"kutapa"kAla. In this method, the duration between sunrise and sunset is
divided in 15 equal parts. The eighth such part is the kutapakAla. The
ninth such part is called rAuhiNa and is also suitable for shrAddha.
The exception to the rule above is the vRddhi shrAddha which is performed
before auspicious events such as marriage. This is also called the
nAndIshrAddha. Such type of vRddhishrAddha should be performed early in the
morning, ie. prAtaHkAla or sangavakAla preferably and not later than
madhyAhnakAla. It should not be done later.
> 4.If mother is not alive but father is living; what should be done ?
One whose father is alive should do the shrAddha of his mother only, but
not other shrAddhas. There are differences of opinion here. Some say one
whose father is alive can also do nitya shrAddhas as "sAnkalpika
shrAddhas", without any piNDapradAna. He can also do the mAtamaha shrAddha
for his maternal grandfather on Ashvina shukla pratipada. Also, the
mother's mahAlayapakSha shrAddha should be done on the "avidhavanavamI"
day. This avidhavanavamI shrAddha for the mother is done only as long as
the father is alive, not after his demise.
The question of PitRdoSha is not appropriate because, as was rightly
pointed out, there is a RiNa or debt owed to the pitRs. This debt has to be
repaid in the form of shrAddhas after the parents have departed. However,
if the RiNa is not repaid out of laziness, disrespect, lack of faith,
neglect, etc., one is likely to incur the wrath of the pitRs, which could
result in pitR shApa or curse of the pitRs. Already the shAstras have made
available several concessions for those who have genuine difficulty in
performing a full-fledged shrAddha. One should, however, not exploit the
concessions as "loopholes" in the rules and try to get away with it.
On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 4:24 PM, Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 3:13 AM, ravi chandrasekhara via Advaita-l
> < advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > Pranam to all,
> > As Pitru Paksha is approaching, I have some questions. Fortunately as my
> parents are alive, I do not need to perform any rituals.
> > Questions for Shan Nava (96) dates.
> > 1.Is only Tila Tharpana performed ?
> Short answer: TilatarpaNa is allowed under certain circumstances instead
> of a regular shrAddha.
> Long answer:
> The dharmasindhu lists the 96 shrAddhas or ShaNNavati shrAddhas as
> follows. amAvAsya- 12, yugAdi or kalpAdi- 4, manvAdi- 14, saMkrAnti- 12,
> vaidhRti yoga- 12, vyatIpAta yoga- 12, mahAlaya- 15, aShTakA- 5,
> anvAShTakA- 5, and pUrvedyu (aShTakA)- 5.
> Apart from these, which are nitya shrAddhas, there would be the annual
> (pratyAbdika) shrAddhas of parents. Realizing that people may not be able
> to do all these shrAddhas, the shAstras have shown leniency in the form of
> prAyashcittas. For instance, if one is not able to do the nitya shrAddhas,
> the dharmasindhu prescribes, as a prAyashcitta, that one should recite the
> Rgvedic mantra, "tvam bhuvaH pratimAnam..." 100 times while standing in
> Also, among the 15 mahAlaya shrAddhas that are to be done every tithi in
> the mahAlaya paksha, one may opt to skip the first few days and start from
> the 5th, 6th, 8th, 10th, or 11th tithis, or even do a "sakRnmahAlaya" which
> is a single shrAddha done during the pitRpakSha. This is usually the tithi
> of the father, even though he may have passed away in a different month.
> For instance, if the father has passed away on Dashami of JyeShTha mAsa,
> then the sakRnmahAlaya is to be done on the Dashami of the mahAlaya pakSha,
> etc. The exception to this rule is the Chaturdashi tithi of the pitRpakSha,
> which is reserved for those who died due to unnatural causes, such as
> Shastra (weapons), etc. Those who do sakRnmahAlaya shrAddha should not do
> it on the Chaturdashi, but pick another tithi, such the dvAdashi. To this
> exception, there is another exception which says that if the father's
> annual (prativArShika) ceremony falls on the Chaturdashi of the pitRpakSha,
> it has to be done exactly on the Chaturdashi, disregarding the earlier
> exception. Another exception is that if the father's annual ceremony falls
> within the pitRpakSha, the sakRnmahAlaya has to be done only after the
> annual shrAddha, not before. The extreme case occurs when the father passed
> away on mahAlaya amAvAsya itself. In this case, the father's annual
> shrAddha must be done on mahAlaya amAvAsya, followed by the sakRnmahAlaya
> shrAddha on the same day. The food cooked should be separate for the two
> shrAddhas. Since doing two shrAddhas on the same day is not easy for many
> people, the shAstras have provided leniency here too. They say the
> (sakRn)mahAlaya shrAddha can be done even up to ashvina shukla Panchami or
> even up to the entry of the Sun into the VRshcika rAshi, which is
> approximately November 15 of every year.
> With the exception of sapiNDIkaraNa, mAsika (monthly), annual
> (prativArShika),mahAlaya shrAddhas, and the three types of aShTakA
> shrAddhas, other nitya shrAddhas may be done according further leniency
> provided by the shAstras. Instead of a regular shrAddha, one may do an Ama
> shrAddha where uncooked rice, vegetables, etc. are given away to a
> brAhamaNa or brAhmaNas so that a meal may be cooked and consumed. If one is
> unable to do even this he may do the hiraNyashrAddha where he gives hiraNya
> (money/gold) to a Brahmana(s) to enable him to cook a meal and consume it.
> Some say the money given should be a multiple (8,4, or 2 times) of the cost
> of raw materials for cooking a meal, perhaps to compensate for the labor
> involved in the process of buying the materials and preparing meals. Ama
> shrAddha is also the preferred choice for grahaNashrAddhas (done during an
> eclipse), since no Brahmana would be willing to eat during an
> eclipse. There is also provision to do a sAMkalpikashrAddha, where there is
> no agnaukaraNa (pANi-homa, to be explained later) and mainly
> brAhmaNabhojana, ie. feeding brahmaNas. This type of shrAddha is suitable
> for Sankranti, yugAdi, manvAdi, and vRddhi shrAddhas.
> Further leniency/concessions/waivers: When suitable brAhmaNas are not
> found, darbha grass can be used as a substitute. When both brAhmaNas and
> materials for shrAddha are scarce, one may perform a homa of cooked rice
> with the paitRsUkta hymn. If one is so poor that he cannot afford to do any
> kind of karma, he can fast during the shrAddha day and give a pot filled
> with water as dAna to a Brahmana. Or, he may even give grass, or just offer
> piNDas to the pitRs. Another option is to have a bath and offer
> tila-tarpaNa with darbha grass. Yet another option is to just recite the
> shrAddha mantras. Obviously, this option requires the kartA to be
> conversant with Vedic mantras related to the shrAddha.
> Finally, if one is utterly poor and cannot afford even the basic
> necessities of life, he may go to a forest or a wooded area, lift his hands
> up high, and say the following simple prayer, confessing his penniless
> condition and abject poverty, and effectively asking the pitRs to be
> satisfied with his Bhakti rather than anything else:
> na me asti vittaM na dhanaM na ca anyat shrAddhopayogi svapitRn nato asmi|
> tRpyantu bhaktyA pitarau mayaitau bhujau kRtau vartmani mArutasya ||
> I will address the other questions in a separate post.
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