VAITHIKASRI has brought out another book on the vedic rituals and practices. This time the topic is on the last rites and the Shraddha ceremony procedures, customs. The rituals for the departed soul has always remained an intrinsic part of the ritual in Hindu custom, perhaps more than the others. The shastras clearly attribute extreme importance to the aspect of performing the rituals like last rites, annual ceremonies etc. This is rightly so as respect and worship of the ancestor is a very ancient and noble tradition of this
In this book, the author Nannilam Rajagopala Ghanapatigal attempts to present the theme with clear and practical clarifications to the common queries and doubts. The book is presented in an easy-to-read FAQ style with good illustrations. One unique feature of this books is the emphasis on quotations from scriptures for the prescriptions of the authors.
From the various clarifications, The author highlights the importance of the customs without becoming rigid in prescriptions. The expertise of the author in this topic can be gauged from the very intricate and unique aspects he selects to clarify. For example, the author prescribes a practical way by which anyone can validate whether the karmas for the departed have been done effectively or not. Such emphasis is refreshing as to be capable of addressing the modern skeptical populace.
This book is not intended to be a DIY guide for the rituals but a refreshing look at the contemporary interpretation to the ancient shastras and a practical FAQ. The book has been nicely packaged in a glossy and colourful edition and is priced at Rs.70. This book keeps the tradition of good quality Vedic scriptural guidance's from VAITHIKASRI publications.
This book details with references to the original source (Scriptures, Vedas, Puranas etc) the various rituals to be performed for an individual who is about to die, just after death, the various ceremonies to be performed during the first 13 days and in the first year. Another highlight of this book, it also explains how the different rituals that can be tailored to suite one’s economic status and the physical constraints..
The book explains the key aspects of our worship of Ancestors in layman’s language, they include:
· What is Jeevan (life energy) mean
· How is jeevan different from the body
Where does the Jeevan travel after death
· Why one has to perform the last rites and the significance of it
· How to determine who is the “kartha” the performer of the rites.
· The significances of various ceremonies and how does it help the Jeevan & the Kartha
· How to choose the agni (fire) for the final rites…..
The author has also considered the current life style of people and has gone to great lengths in explaining how some of the rituals can be adopted to current times without sacrificing the Vedic/Rishi traditions.
Since all the rituals and the process to perform them are detailed referring to the original Rishi sayings and other scriptures, makes “Pithru Poojanam” a valuable asset to all Hindus.
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