‘Shraadhaadhikaara’ (Entitlement to Perform Shraddhaas): Having discussed at length about the Jeevita Pitra and his ‘Adhikarasas’, Dharma Sindhu now narrates that the fundamental eligibility to various Karmaas like Vaarshikaadi Shraddaas, Daaha-aadi ‘Urthwa Dehika Preta Krityas ’or Trans World / OtherWorldlyTasks resting squarely on the Auorasa Putra or the Putra born of a regular wedlock from the same Kula. In fact, there are eleven other kinds of Putras like Khetraja Putra borrn to a wife of sickly or impotent or even deceased husband, the last catergory of which being Veda Vyasa Maharshi who after his brother Vichitraveerya’s death gave birth by Viyoga Ceremony to the born- blind Dhritarashtra, Pandu Raja the accursed and dead and Vidura the Son of a Servant woman; Dutta Putra or the adopted son; the Krittrima Putra or the artificial son; Godhupanna Putra or the one born of a secret wedding; Apaviddha Putra or the one abandoned and subsequently accepted; Kaaneena Putra or the one born out of illicit relationship; Sahoda Putra or born out of pregnancy; Kreeta Putra or a son bought over; Pournabhava Putra or born of a widow or a destitute; Swayam Dutta Putra or somebody’s son offering himself and seeking adoption and finally, the twelfth kindIn the event of the Jyeshtha Aourasa Putra is unavailable at the time of the death, the Sarva Kanishtha is deemed eligible for Sapindeekarana Paryanta Preta Kriyas and await the eldest to return till Sapindeekarana even for a year and if need be perform the Maasikaas meanwhile. But if the youngetst is a ‘Saagnika’ then he could perform Sapindeekarana on the twelfth day itself as scheduled. In the event of there being no ‘Aourasa’, his douhitra or even any body among the Kshetraajaadi Putras, the next choice would be of a ‘Datta Putra’; Maataa Pitaabhyaamanyatarena vaa Vidhi :Purvam dattah Pratigruheeta Suvarno datthakah / (He who was formally taken and given by the consent of the Parents is called Suvarna Dutta Putra and hence the obvious choice next to Aourasa Putra is Dutta Putra alone who is eligible). While there seems to be unanimity of Dutta Putra in the absence of Aourasa Putra, such unanimity is unavailable in respect of the Auorasa Poutra or Dutta Poutra. Some intrepret that between the Poutras, those who are ‘Upaneetas’ already are more eligible while others argue that being of tender age, Upanyana or Chooda Karma would not confer the eligibilty as they have to be tutored and trained by the Brahmanas either way since the differentiation should not be on Upanayana or other wise. Another feeling of the wife of the deceased states that in the absence of a Dutta Putra or Poutra, she migt as well perform the last rites – viz. ‘Daahaadyuttara Kriyas’ just as her husband would have performed if she would have died!
‘Daahaadhya-Adhikara Nirnaya’ to Strees: To those of feminity, the father is the Karta to the unmarried women, or alternatively her brother(s). To those who are married, her sons have the eligibility to attend to the post-mortem thirst of the mothers. In case, they are not there, her Sapatni (Co-Wife) Putras have the responsibility or their sons or grand sons. Otherwise the Bharta or the husband or the daughter or her douhitras/ sons or grand sons could perform . In any case, all acts including the thirst at the time of her depature or the end of life, and the other requisite tasks be fulfilled till ‘Sapindeekarana’ as the last mentioned Karma could be fulfilled by her son only. In the absence of her son, any of other acts from Daaha to Dashaaha could be done by Sapinda Kartas to the King of the Land but from Ekaadasha Daaha to Sapindikarana has to be done by the progeny. The Anumasika Samatvatsaraadi Uttara Kriyas need to be done by either Sapindikaas or others against payment of money like the dead woman’s own putras. The King also could perform the needful kriyas. If some body like the King or his agent / Karthas usurp the money and do not perform the Preta Kriyas properly, the curse to the Karta and his Vamsha would be too heavy. Kechit putra patyorabhaavey Streenaam Douhitraadibhihi Sapindikarana Rahitaa Evottaraah Kriyaah Kaaryaah, Sapindikaranam tu taasaam na Karyam/ Sapindikaranaabhaavepi Ekodrushta Vidhaanaa Vaarshikaadikam Kaaryamityaahum/ ( In the case of women who neither have husband nor sons, Douhitraadi should perform Uttara Kriyaas but not the Sapindeekarana; in the absence of this Ekoshti Vidhi-Vaarshikaadi be executed or the Saamvatsarikaadi be done formally). Brahmanas should never indulge in Paitruka Karma; if they do so, either by lobha /greed or bhaya or fear or any other consideration, then they are doomed in their current and next lives.
Dattaka Kartavya: If a person has no son to the Janaka Pita or the father by birth and if both the fathers are no more, then the Dutta Putra has to perform both the Samvatsara Shraaddhas separately; In Darshana-Mahalaya Shraaddhas, he has to make the Sankalpas distinctly although in respect of Pinda Daanas the Karta has the option of stating the to sets of Pitru-Pitamaha- Prapitamaha Sankalpas together or independently. If the Janaka Paalakaas have sons otherwise then the Dutta Putra need not perform the obsequies or Anthya Kriyas or Vaarshika Shraddhas. Brahmachaari Vishaya Shraadda: The onus of Brahmacharis Shava Nirvahana, Antya Kriyas, Maasika-Vaashika Shraaddhas is on the Parents or Maternal Grand Father or Guru; their Ashuchi would be for ten days and their Bhojanaas are forbidden to outsiders. Brahmana Stree Vidhi: Shraaddha Vidhis need to be done by Brahmanas as Strees are to recite Mantras of Pouranik content only in connection with Vratas without Vaidika Mantras. Recital of Vedika Mantras is futile and would have adverse impact.
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the lotus feet of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamy ji and also my humble greatulness to Brahmasree Sreeman V D N Rao ji Philosophic Scholar for the collection)