• This forum contains old posts that have been closed. New threads and replies may not be made here. Please navigate to the relevant forum to create a new thread or post a reply.
  • Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

importance of rituals

Not open for further replies.
i have a small doubt.my inlaws are not in a position to do pitru karyam ie shrardams for their parents. so they just feed two brahmins on that theethe. is that right ?
secondly they except their son to bear the expenses for the shrardam may it be hiranya shrardam or with homam. what is right ? should he bear it somehow for the betterment of the family or it is negligible if it is a burden to him.
pls guide.:
Hiranya Shrardham,the feeding of Brahmins,contributing to Anadha ashrams for feeding destitudes on the Thithi day are recent developments and they can never replace the shrardham.Infact you can do them in addition to doing Shrardham.It is not clear whether your father-in-law and yr husband's elder brothers are available?
This is purely my view and I dont wish to confront with others on this.
As details of why unable to do shradham has not mentioned it may be difficult to anwer your querry. But as far as the dharma is concerned upto my knowledge, everyone are liable to do shradham to their parents. If anyone lives in the joint family then, it says the eldest should perform the shradham & others should support. If it is a devided family, eveson should perform the shradham (either hiranyam worst case).

Feeding two brahmins are concerned, if in no case a man can perform the shradham then it is also allowed but this should not a routine. Performing just feeding has also some procedure.

Secondly, collecting finance from son is concerned, it's purely internal matter & if the parents are not in a position to bear the expences, it will be the duty of childrens to provide the necessary assistance. Also if there is income from the grand parents will /property, then the grand children must bear the expenses. It's only my openion.
I hope , this is not just a hypothetical question put by the member , for entertainment.

Considering it as a genuine concern I would like to respond.

I may approach the matter in different ways.

1)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]The member’s in-laws are absolutely poor, and their son is reasonably well financially. The in-laws genuinely want to conduct sradha in traditional elaborate way(parvana vidhi).It may entail some expenses ,and the son, who is in the family and who also will get the supposed benefactions of the ritual, is morally bound to contribute for the family ritual.
2)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT] As in above situation, due to some reason ,elaborate prescribed ritual is not possible, due to genuine and unavoidable reasons- then hiranya sradham can be performed.
3)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]If (god forbid that) the in-laws and son are all financially very strained, then they can perform in whatever way they can—this is only an aapatdharma and not to be used always for an excuse.
4)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]After all said and done , everything melts down to one’s own faith. The thithis and sradha etc are in vogue to remember one’s parents/forefathers with gratitude at least on that day
I am of the opinion that if one can celebrate , birthdays, wedding days, anniversary of joining in the job, or any other similar thing,(some even celebrate the birthday of their pet dog or cat)-- they are morally bound to give priority to perform the sradha and tharpanam for forefathers as a gratitude for the good things we enjoy in life. As it is not possible to directly interact with the dead, we use symbols--- pitru brahmana,and for (the conductor and pilot)-Viswadeva etc.

If one does not have any belief in all these , he is just free to ignore all these.

(The best person who can be a practical guide in the present case may be the genuine local vadhyar)

At best, rituals can be to engage oneself purposefully, because an idle mind is a devil's workshop.

Several other alternative ways of engaging oneself usefully and purposefully do exist.
But, since we have choice and liberty to follow them or not to follow them, we do not take them seriously.

At least due to social or family pressure, one may perform certain rituals, so as to make oneself busy.

As far I am concerned, - it is my personal opinion - for a person without any feeling of guilt, rituals are unnecessary (Please do not interpret my words 'feeling of guilt' as to mean only 'feeling of guilt, but real guilt could be hidden somewhere').

Again, performing certain rituals yield some dramatic results - ecologically, psychologically and socially. Certain other rituals involve philanthropy too.

My request is, do not perform any rituals out of somebody's compulsion. Perform them, only if you understand them in the right perspective, only when you believe them, only if you are able to concentrate on them.

Everything is purely voluntary and by one's informed choice.
Last edited:
My request is, do not perform any rituals out of somebody's compulsion. Perform them, only if you understand them in the right perspective, only when you believe them, only if you are able to concentrate on them.

Everything is purely voluntary and by one's informed choice.

Hundred per cent in line with my thoughts.

But it can start as pretence, show or a feeling to be like peers, conforming to general behaviour.

Pretence when repeated, over time , becomes habit.

Habits when critically reviewed and analysed with external inputs can be enlightening. Then the knowledge , to continue or not comes.

Conviction is the base for everything.One way or other.
Weak and wavering minds cannot have right direction.

Hiranya Sradhham is not a very recent development.In the good old days when the grihasta was old and had no wife then hiranya sradhha was resorted to.
What is reuired is Sraddhai in whatever form you do
I would like every one to know, as far as possible, the real picture behind the religious rituals prescribed, and which most of us have been doing. In the case of Sraaddha, the rule is as stated above by Srinikam in post #3 above. But I asked vaadhyaar why each son is required to perform Sraaddham for parents when only the eldest son is entitled to perform the antyakarma? Does it not follow that Sraaddham also is to be done by the eldest son only and not each of the other brothers? (For your info. I am the eldest son and this was not to escape from doing Sraaddha.) He just could not explain. I pointed out that among Namboodiris it is only the eldest son who should perform Sraaddham but other brothers used to participate and share the food, when all of them were living in nearby villages. I understand that now this requirement is not followed when many are in distant places or abroad and still only the eldest son performs the Sraaddham.

I feel the system of all brothers performing the Sraaddham in their respective houses was a deliberate effort to increase the earnings of the purohit class.

According to the sastras, sraaddham has to be performed in one's own residence if it has to reach (and satisfy) one's manes. It may be done in a sapinda's house தாயாதி வீடு with equal effectiveness. If it is performed in any one else's house only the pitrus of that householder will come there but they will not accept the offerings from someone not entitled to do it for them; so the entire Sraaddham will go waste. If performed in any common place other than those prescribed by Saastras/Puranas (like Kasi, Gaya) it will similarly go waste. The funeral rites performed in common places (jnaana vaapi, etc.) are, similarly, of no use in satisfying the pitrus.

Hiranya Sraaddham has, as per Saastras, no use in satisfying the Pitrus; it may at best be annadaanam.

Last but not least, there is a mantra in the Sraaddha Paddhati which reads as under:

யன் மே மாதா ப்ரலுலோபாஸ்சரந்தி அநனுவ்றதா
தன் மே ரேத: பிதா வ்றுங்க்தாம் மாऽபுரன்யோऽவபத்யதாँ ஸ்வதா நம:
பித்ர இதம் ந மம

yan me mAtA pralulobhAScarantyananuvratA
tan me reta: pitA vr^ngktAm mA/bhuranyo/vapadyatAg^m svadhA nama:
pitra idam na mama

Agnihotram Ramanuja Thathachariar has given the following as its approximate meaning:

"எங்க அம்மா ... யார் கிட்டெ படுத்துண்டு என்னை பெற்றாளோ தெரியாது. ஆனால் நான் ஒரு உத்தேச நம்பிக்கையில் தான் அவளை என் அப்பாவின் மனைவியாகக்கருதுகிறேன். அவளுக்கு என் சிராத்தத்தை செய்கிறேன்..."_சடங்குகளின் கதை, ந்க்கீரன் பப்ளிகேஷன்ஸ் வெளியீடு

(I do not know who really is my father. still I am considering her as my real father's wife and am doing this Sraaddham.)

But the actual meaning is different and still worse. I do not want to put it in black and white here. One elderly person, a sanskrit scholar, does not perform Sraaddha because he feels so much revulsion for this sort of despicable thinking behind the Sraaddham ceremony. Members may find out if this mantram is still recited during Sraaddham by their purohit and what it exactly means.
Not open for further replies.

Latest ads