śrāddha श्राद्ध

Definition: n. a ceremony in honour and for the benefit of dead relatives observed with great strictness at various fixed periods and on occasions of rejoicing as well as mourning by the surviving relatives (these ceremonies are performed by the daily offering of water and on stated occasions by the offering of piṇḍa-s or balls of rice and meal [see piṇḍa-]to three paternal and three maternal forefathers id est to father, grandfather, and great grandfather;it should be borne in mind that a śrāddha- is not a funeral ceremony[ antyeṣṭi-]but a supplement to such a ceremony;it is an act of reverential homage to a deceased person performed by relatives, and is moreover supposed to supply the dead with strengthening nutriment after the performance of the previous funeral ceremonies has endowed them with ethereal bodies;indeed until those antyeṣṭi-,or"funeral rites"have been performed, and until the succeeding first śrāddha- has been celebrated the deceased relative is a preta-or restless, wandering ghost, and has no real body [only a liṅga-śarīra- q.v ];it is not until the first śrāddha- has taken place that he attains a position among the pitṛ-s or Divine Fathers in their blissful abode called pitṛ-loka-, and the śrāddha- is most desirable and efficacious when performed by a son;for a full description of the śrāddha- ceremoniesSee ) etc.

Dictionary: Monier-Williams
Literary Sources: RTL. 276 , 304 , Gr2S3rS., Mn., MBh.
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