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.


Copies of this Books are available only with vaithikasri, 
# New No 488, (old No 175) T.T.K.Road, Alwarpet, Chennai-600 018. Tamil Nadu, Ph: 044 24361210.


Pithru Pujanam English Book Contents  Page No

Greatness of  Human Birth                                      08

Who are Asthiks or Nasthiks ?                                    09

Rebirths - in all religions                                               12   

What is 'Samskar' and why it is necessary?                   13

Who has prescribed the procedures? Why?                 16

Why should one adobe the rules of Sasthras                 17

Pithrus - Jeevan -2                                                    18

What is Jeevan(Soul)?                                                 18

What is Jeevan? Where does it reside in the body?       19

How  can we know Jeevan?                                        20

Jeevan as observed by Scientists                                  21

 The final journey of the Jeevan                                    22

Does the Jeevan  die along with the body -3           23

Efforts of Nachiketas                                                   25

Nachikethas and Lord Yama                                       28

Where does Jeevan go? -4                                       28

Pithrulokam means                                                       29

Jeevan in the 'Sabha' (Court) of Dharmaraj                   29

Mukthi in four ways -5                                             33

The three duties to be performed for parents         36

What is to be done by the children during                    
 the final moments for the parent:                                  38

The two arrangements to be made                          
by the parent on his own:-7                                      39

Results for the deeds performed:                                  40

Can others do for the deceased?                                  41

How to do Prayaschittam (Pariharam)                          41

Praajapathya Kruchrams and its benefits                      42

What can be done by those who                                 
cannot perform Sarvaprayaschittam?                            45

What can be done to the dying  person-8                52

Death pains                                                                 54

Life does not go without consciousness                        55

During death; the Son's duties:` -9                          56

The Good & bad during the dying period -10          57

Donation  is the gift for the deceased -11                60

What are the things which can be donated:                   62

When the donation has to be done:                               64

Samskaram(Karma) is of 2 kinds: -12                     66

Pithru medha Samskaram                                             66

Brahmomedha samskaram - for whom?                       67

Can a garland be placed on the dead body?                 68

Who is Kartha (the person doing the Karma)
Who is Kartha? How to determine?
-13                  69

Karthukramams-Persons who can do Pithru Karmas               71

Determination about the fire: -                                76

Those who have done Yagyam (Yagam)                      76

The wife of the person who has done Yagyams            77

For everyone who has had a marriage                          78

For those who have lost their husbands / Wives            78

For those who have not had 'Upanayanam'                   79

For those who have had Upanayanam                         
but who had not been married                                      80

'Nagnaprachadam' after cremation                               81

Nithya vidhi-process of immension of stones
Nithya vidhi / stone immension on ground: -16       82

Nithya Vidhi / Stone immension when?                         82

How is stone immension done? Where?                      
Vaasadakam / Tilodakam                                            83

Why a different - new body?                                        85

How the new body is to be created? By whom?           86

How the newbody gets created -17                          87

Duties for everyone -18                                            89

Duties of the daughter                                                  89   

Asthi Sanchayanam (Collection of bones) -19         91

What can be done with Asthi (Bones)?                         92

Can we immerse the bones in Gangas?                         93

Can immension be done in the Sea?                             94

When there are no bones for Sanjayanam                     95

Change when relatives do the Karma                           96

Vrishabhothsarjanam (Eleventh day) -20                97

Kamya Vrishabhathsaarjanam                                      98

Aathya(First month) Massikam                                    100

What is "impurity"?  -21                                          103

Why the 'impurity' restriction? -22                          107

What is impurity? Why we observe 'impurity' restriction?107

Why should impurity restriction be observed?

What benefits? How diseases get spread?                    109

Why Karmas have to be done for 12days -23         111

Has the Karma been done properly? How to know?113

What is the corrective act in necessary for a karma
not rightly performed                                                116

Can a visit be made without a invitation? -26          119

Who should enquire about the grief? Why?                   120
What purpose? When can the enquiry be done?           120 

What can be done by those making the enquiry?
What cannot be done?                                                 120 

What are the benefits of the Karmas -27                123