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Final RITES

asadu

Active member
Can anybody through some light on the rituals /rules / process existing or laid down for a person who wants to perform the after death rituals by self before death when the person is sound and able to conduct them, when the person has no one to be heir apparent to perform such rituals after the death. viz. orphan or neglected or thrown out by the family or unmarried or widowed single.
If no one performs the rituals after the demise of such person, what happens to his Aathma. Does it brings sin to someone unknown, who might be in the lineage as Waris ?
 

prasad1

Well-known member
If, taking into consideration your unique situation someone suggests that you perform your last rites during your lifetime, it might sound sacrilegious or downright blasphemous. Why not, for who wants to be considered 'dead' though alive? Well, one would not readily opt for it because such an alternative option shakes the age-old belief that liberation is not determined by extreme unction with the holy waters of the Ganges and the rites and rituals meant to be performed by one's son or next in close male kin. Each of the several samskaras have their respective significance and ought to be performed with all sincerity and sanctity for the segment of life it is meant to be. No rites and rituals meant for a particular stage of life can be performed for another stage of life for it is not meant nor should it be performed prior to the stage of life for which it has been prescribed in the sacred shashtras. Hence rites and rituals meant to be performed after death should not be performed prior to one's death. In case one resorts to such an action while living, there's a typical Indian tension expressed in the interrogation, "Log kya kahenge? (What shall the people say?) Performance of such a ritual might brand the performer insane or imbecile or iconoclast or one indulging in black magic or tantra-shastra and therefore not fit to be a member of society. In precise, it is widely believed that performance of death-rituals prior to actual death are apparently meaningless in determining liberation of the Soul from the cycles of birth-death and the fruits of karmas.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Hinduism is a way of life. The Shastras have solutions for all kinds of problems, the only problem being that the class of wise men who are well-versed in the scriptures have depleted over the years and have been replaced by 'media-hyped' gurus who not only have superficial knowledge but are literally dunked in commercialism. Without malice to none, it's an admitted fact that materialism, commercialism, consumerism, etc. have taken in its tentacles the common man, the world across and Hindu society or its 'godmen and god-women and even godchildren' cannot be exceptions. Religion, morality, ethics and the like are at their lowest ebbs. So how does a person who has no male in direct line or next in kin ensure that his soul is not agonized after death and that he does not have to hover between this world and the next as a 'pretatman'? The Shashtras ordain that for a person who is so precariously placed either because he is childless, or because he has no son or because there is no male child in the extended family or even if they are available, he cannot rely on them for the performance of his last rites, for any reason that might be, he should not be dismayed. For such a person, the way out is the performance of Jivachchraadha. With time, money and energy apart from a sincere and dedicated will at his disposal, such a person can conduct his last rites in front of his eyes during his life-time and live in peace in the remaining days of his life and thereafter too.


When a person performs his last rites in his life-time for the sake of his spiritual welfare, it is called Jivachchraadha (last rites while alive). (Baudhayanagrihasutra, Pitrameghsutra 2/9/57/1) It should be performed for self-welfare or the welfare of his 'jiva', in accordance to his placement in a particular geographical location, time, wealth, faith, livelihood, etc. When a person becomes aware that he is near to Death, he should opt to perform his last rites somewhere in a hilly top or river shore or forest or at his abode. Subsequent to jivachchraadha, whether such person performs a deed or not, whether he is wise or ignorant, whether he is Kshatriya or non-Kshatriya, whether he is Brahmin or Vaisya, he is free from the bondage of action at par with a true yogi. He is neither perturbed on the demise of relatives and friends nor is he defiled but is purified by way of a simple bath. On his death, whether his last rites are performed or not, it is immaterial because in his life-time he has liberated himself from human-bondage. A person performing jivachchraadha is not 'dead' but is 'alive' for all practical purposes. He does not become an ascetic but 'lives' normal life as far as possible ascetically every moment of his being and performs his worldly chores and routines without impediment of any kind. He is relieved of the tension and the depression of the thought of having no one or no one willing to perform his last rites. He is not liberated from the cycle of life and death nor is he above the feelings of joys and sorrow. He is liberated to the extent of not having to worry as to who shall and who shall not perform his last rites in accordance with the shastras. If in the course of leading a normal life, he procreates a son or a daughter, then he shall be duty-bound to perform the entire prescribed samskaras writ in the shastras for such offspring; and such son shall become Brahmvit and daughter Suvrata Aparna, as the case may be and they shall be the reason for the deliverance of their Jivachchraadha parents from the snares of hell. Jivachchraadha persons are freed from the matr-pitr rin. Three or four wise Brahmins who are well-versed in Dharmashastra, Vedas and Lokdharma should be invited to establish an assembly called Parshad, which shall ensure the Prayaschit (confessional repentance) of the Jivachchraadha. If after the performance of Jivachchraadha the person dies and unexpectedly or so his son or next in male kin performs shraadh as per shastric injunctions then the deceased as well as such person performing the shraadh are spiritually benefitted. On the contrary, if no one performs the shraadh, then Jivachchraadha person has nothing to lose. The ritual of Jivachchraadha may not be known to several of us, but sooner or later with the acceleration of globalisation with all its ill-impacts, the general deterioration of ethics and morality, paucity of time for loved ones for various reasons and intensity of avarice and selfishness, the day may not be far when Jivachchraadha shall be in vogue. Jivachchraadha is twin-pronged in the sense that it brings to end the tension and depression of aged parents who all along have prized their son or hankered for a male child or pampered a male kin in their lifetime so that they are blessed with 'mukhagni' by him but have to depart from the world with the burden as to who shall perform their last rites after death on the one hand and relieves the male child of his guilt of not having performed religious rites for the peace of his deceased parent, for reasons he cannot be squarely blamed.


The Jivachchraadha can be performed in five days from the Krishnapaksh Dwadash to Shuklpaksh Pratipada of any month. On the first day, one has to perform Prayaschit Anushtan for Adhikaarprapti which includes Purvanga and Uttarang kritya for Prayaschit; Das Mahadaan, Ashta Mahadaan and Panchdhaneydhudaan etc. On the second day, Shaalgrampujan, Jaldhaneydhu sthapan and pujan, Vasurudradityapavanashraadh and Bhagvatsmaranpurvak Raatrijaagran etc. On the third day, Putulka Nirmaan, Shashtpindaan, Putaldaahkriya on the funeral fire, dashgatr pindadaan and shyanaadi kritya. On the fourth day, Madhyamshodashi, Aadhyashraadh, Shhayadaan, Vrishotsarg, Vaitaranigodaan and Uttamshodashshraddha. Finally, on the fifth day, Sapindikaranshraadh followed by Ganeshambikapujan and Kalashpujan, Shhayadaan etc. rituals, Paddaan and Brahmanbhojan and completion of the fulfilment of the shraadh act. Each such act is so subtle that its performance calls for utmost caution and precaution and a good knowledge of why each such act is a necessity.


The procedure for performing the last rites in one's life-time is replete with details of every stage to which such person has to undergo before he can be said to have actually performed his last-rites in his life-time. While I am personally obligated to the Publisher and Printer of Gitapress, Gorakhpur for having enlightened me on the subject; for those interested in further reading, I would recommend " Jivachchraadhapadhati [Mahatmya evam Prayogvidhisahit](No.2067 First Edition) inspired by Pandit Shriramkrishnaji Shastri published by Gitapress, Gorakhpur.

 

seeking

New member
Can anybody through some light on the rituals /rules / process existing or laid down for a person who wants to perform the after death rituals by self before death ... Does it brings sin to someone unknown, who might be in the lineage as Waris ?
I fully understand and appreciate your question. Let us say this person's name is Chiranjeevi. It may be assumed that Chiranjeevi is a strong believer in karma and karma kaanda, one other thing to do might be to do the very best in this life, e.g. daana, dharma, other good things that add to his positive karmic account. Finally, there are organizations that undertake the task of performing shraadha karma for departed souls, e.g. some temples. On the said day, they may donate food to the needy.
 

asadu

Active member
Sir,
Prasad1's reply is abruptly krisp and a hit on the head of the nail. It is absolutely clear as per our sashtras and culture.
The question rose on my mind not only because of one single incident or one person's present day condition, but this is the overall prevailing situation in our country. People are yet to realise or open up their eyes to this fact. We as parents spend our 2/3rd of our life in bringing up, feeding and growing and grooming our children for their better career and future. It is ofcourse natural that we expect that our children take care of our remaining 1/3rd of our life, mercifully. But once, they finish their education and settle in their family life, particularly abroad, they start totally neglecting us and argue and claim that they have 2/3rd of their life before them while we only have 1/3rd left. Naturally, they have to look after their 2/3rd life, so they have to neglect our 1/3rd remaining life i.e. practically dumping their elders and leave them to their destiny. They are passionate and ready to send and spend money on medical expenses and last rites, but can not come and see their elders or perform the last rites as it has no meaning for them. This is the gospel truth in todays' world.
The elders inspite of having everything like money (pension+ bank balance) have no one to look after them and every one of their relatives too face the same grim fact.
So, when one is married, having children, but could not foresee their final rites being conducted or one who is unmarried and single and have no one to perform the final rites, even after volunteering money, which and what is the solution ?
This solution once known in our present generation, will become popular and will be carried out by all as a regular ritual, when one is hale and healthy.
Meare consoling and uttering soothing sweat words, will not gain. Everyone has to introspect. As a Brahmin, we have created this fiasco ourselves. The brahmin is still engrossed into ego and self esteem, very very narrow minded. Cannot think or look beyond his own self and can not even analyse and accept the reality. So, the brahmin today is diminishing in culture and numbers. In this YUG, no rishi or muni or avatar is going to take birth and resurrect the brahminism. Only timely awareness may held slowdown the destruction. Hope never fails.
 
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