Different kinds of Shraddh in the ancient India are as follows:
1.Pind Pitri Yageya: This is the monthly yageya (Aashvlayan Greh Sutra (215.10).
2.Maha Pitri Yageya: This kind of Shraddh was performed in Chetra during the months of Mar-April or Magh during the months of Saak Magh-Dec-January.
3.Ashtaka Shraddh: This kind of shraddh was performed on the eighth day after full moons or Purnima. "Gautam" texts in the chapter of 8.19 have divided this into seven paak yageyas and forty sanskaras or Sacraments. It has great importance and there is no change of opinion about its days, governing deities, months, offerings and rituals.
4.Pavaran Shraddh: This kind of shraddh is of great importance, because its ritual has been recognized as the ritual for other ashtkas or Shraddh. Shathpath Brahamana in the chapter of 2.4.2 describes the Pind Pitri yageya or Pavaran Shraddh ritual in details. When the moon is not seen in the East or the West, then that donor offers food to the forefathers every month. He executes this in the afternoon. Sitting before the fire, facing the South and initiates the sacred thread on his left shoulder, he gets the eatables from the carriage and spreads out. Then facing the North South and facing South, he removes the husk form the paddy according to the custom. He cleans the rice only once. Later, he boils the rice, facing Southwards and puts ghee or clarified butter.
Moving away, he makes two offerings to the fire or Agni in order to please Gods and then by their consent, he offers food to his forefathers. The two oblations are to Gods Agni and Soma. The offering to Agni is with the recitation of Svaha mantra and thus recites, "Svaha to Soma, who lives with the forefathers."
Then he keeps the spoon on the fire and then draws a line towards the South, which compensates the absence of the altar. Then he places the fire at the end of the Southern line. If this is not done, then the Asuras or Rakshasas will make the food impure. Simultaneously he recites, "Asuras, small or big, in any form, disturbed; by oblations to the forefathers and roaming here and there, May Agni flee them away." Then he lifts up the pitcher full of water and washes the hands of the forefathers, pronouncing the names of the father, grandfather and great grandfather. This is done in the same way, as is done for the guests.
Then he offers three Pinds of rice to the forefathers and says, "This is for you," gives it to the father of the donor and says, "O' ancestors, enjoy this and partake your share." Then he faces the South and gets aside. He should hold his breath and stand still. He then turns left and says, "The forefathers are satisfied and have occupied their own places." Then pouring water on the Pinds, he asks the forefathers to wash their hands, requesting each by name. Pulling downwards his dress, he bows the forefathers six times. The forefathers cherish this act, because the seasons are six and the forefathers are the seasons. He says, "O' Fathers; give us home," because forefathers are the monarchs of the house. Then Pinds are positioned separately in a broad dish and the donor smells them, because smelling happens to be a part of the donor and keeps the fire at the end of the Southern line into the fire of the yageya or Baajsnayee Samhita in the chapters of 18.104.22.168.
Ekodidasht Shraddh: This kind of shraddh is only an amendment of Pavaran Shraddh, the only change being that there are three forefathers in Pavaran, whereas there is only one in this Shraddh. Only one oblation is given in this ceremony and that very one is purifying. Only one Pind is thus offered. Brahmins are not invited in this ceremony. This Shraddh can be of three kinds; Nava on the lOth-llth day; Navamisr from 11th day of the death that takes place till one year and finally the Purana.
Abhyudeepak Shraddh: This Shraddh is completed on Manglik occasions. Brahmins are invited in even numbers. The performance is from right to left direction. Instead of 111 (Sesamums), barley is used. This Shraddh is an amended form of Pavaran, according to Uprark (514). Similar rites are observed on favorable occasions like Nandi Shraddh and Brihadi Shraddh, these are the miniature forms of this Shraddh.
Mahalaya Shraddh: This famous and popular Shraddh is mentioned in the PurZims. K'rsna Paksh (meaning fortnight) of Aswin-Bhadrapada (held during months of Sept.-October) is exact for this Shraddh to be performed. It is executed on any day from first to fifteenth Amavaseye. The rites are according to Pavaran Shraddh. If this may not be possible, then all rites of Pavaran Shraddh may be observed, except praise, oblations and offering of Pinds. The leading deities of this Shraddh are Dhuri and Lochana. This Shraddh is not only for male forefathers, but also for the female ancestors, also other relatives and their consorts. It is usually not be observed in Malmas.
Other Shraddhas: Shraddhs mentioned above like the Pavaran, Ekadidasht, Abhiyudayik, and Mahalaya are hardly performed these days, but Dehhitr Pratipada Shraddh, Matameh Shraddh, and Ashidhavanvami Shraddh are performed nowadays. The individual, whose parents are alive, performs Dehhitr Pratipada Shraddh and he pays homage to his grand maternal uncle, on the first of Shukl Paksh or Moonlit fortnight. This shraddh is usually performed in the month of Aswin or October. Wearing in of sacred thread is not necessary.
Abhidhavnavami Shraddh: is performed in respect of paying homage to one's mother or other married ladies, in the month of Bhadrapad Aswin during Sept.-October on the ninth day of K'rsna Paksh. However, the practise is no more in use and the husband of the dead married lady dies. Sanghat Shraddh is performed in respect several members dying on one and the same day, like in some disaster, plague or accident.
Jeev Shraddh: own Shraddh, while still alive, is mentioned in Boddhayan. It can be performed by anyone for his own welfare, even when his successor is alive. Another person performs this with the recitation of R'Gveda hymn 10.16.9.
In the modern times, many changes have been made in the performance of Shraddhs and are more dependent on the Brahmins. Steel utensils have been brought into use for cooking, as against brass and bronze ones; but still fundamental elements of Shraddh are observed religiously.
Eligibility For Performing Shraddh: Eligibility for performing shraddh depends on diverse considerations. Vishnu Dharamottar Purana mentions that those who can attain the belongings of the dead, should perform the Shraddh. Also those who can perform Shraddh should be successors or be authorized to get the property of the dead. In the chapters of 3.70 and 2.104 of Gobhil Smiriti, a sonless mother on death, should not be offered Shraddh by her husband or by the father in the place of his son or by an elder brother in the place of his younger brother. As stated earlier, Nimi performed Shraddh in respect of his dead son, but later on repented, having gone against religious customs. Vrihatprashar in chapter 153 has reasoned out that such an ordinary rule have to be overlooked, under exceptional circumstances. However, Boddayan and Vrihadshatatap in the section of Smiriti Chandrika 337 mentions that a Shraddh, particularly at Gaya, can be performed in respect to anyone, out of regard and affection. A grandson can also carry out Shraddh according to Mitakshara.