(Last Updated on : 05/03/2010)
Vishnu Purana narrates that the Sraddha, which is called Ekoddistha, should be formed monthly for one year after the death of a person. And at the expiry of one year the ceremony called Sapindana should be observed. This ceremony should be celebrated in the same way as monthly obsequies are performed. Only four vessels should be placed with water perfumes and sesamum. One of the vessels should be dedicated to the deceased and the remaining three to the manes, and the contents of the former should be transferred to the latter three. After the deceased has included in the list of manes, the ancestors should again be worshipped with all the ceremonies of the Sraddha. The persons connected by the offering of cake who are competent to celebrate the obsequial ceremonies the son, grandson, great grandson, a kinsman of the dead, the descendants of a brother or the prosperity of one connected by funeral offerings. And when all these relations are wanting, the ceremony may be performed by those allied by offerings of water only or those allied by offerings of cakes or water to maternal ancestors. When males are absent in both the paternal and maternal side of the deceased person in that case the funeral rites are performed by women or by those who are related to the deceased in terms of some religious or social institutions or by some one who inherits the property of the deceased.
Ekoddistha is an intermediate rite which is performed for the deceased. It is performed every month and it is necessary that during the ceremony of Ekoddistha sons and other relations like daughter's sons and their sons should take part in the ceremony. The ceremony needs to be performed by males or females.
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