SHRADDHA, SANSK., from Shraddha, firm faith. It is the Latin Credo and English Creed. The Shraddha is a Hindu ceremonial for the repose of the dead. The oblation consists of rice, flowers, water to the manes of the deceased. There are three shraddha for the dead,—one eleven days after death, another every month, and another at the close of the year after a person's decease. During the ten days of mourn ing the relations hold a family council, and consult on the means of performing the shraddha. On the last of these days, after making an offering for the dead by the side of the river, they are shaved. This offering consists of boiled rice, sugar, curds, sweetmeats, milk, plantains, etc., made into ten balls, and presented with prayers. Menu says, What sort of oblation given duly to the manes is capable of satisfying them for a long time, or for eternity, I will now declare, without omission. Brahmans are unclean for ten days after the death of a relation ; Kshatriyas, twelve ; Vaisyas, fifteen ; and Sudras, thirty.' The next day, after bathing, the family prepare an open place for the ceremonies. If it be the shraddha of a, rich man, all the learned Hindus and respectable people of the neighbouring villages are invited. The company being seated under an awning, the sons and other relations of the deceased, dressed in new garments, place themselves in the midst of the company with their faces eastward, having near them sixteen different gifts, as brass cups, candlesticks, umbrellas, shoes, etc. Next are brought seeds of sesamum, a small piece of gold, and another of a different metal, wrapped up in new cloths. The son of the deceased now puts a piece of new cloth across his neck, and offers a,n atone ment for the sin of having killed insects, in sweeping the room, in cooking, grinding spices, and in moving the water jar ; then follows an offering to the sun ; then, rising and bringing his hands forward in a supplicating posture, he solicits leave from the company to make the offering, after which he offers the sesamum, gold, and metal for the happiness of the deceased ; takes the kosha, and sprinkles the sixteen gifts with water ; then, placing a flower on each, and repeat ing prayers, he offers them in the presence of the shalgrama or saligrama, one by one, in the name of the deceased, that he may obtain heaven. The son after this, if in circumsta,nces sufficiently affluent, presents large gifts to the Brahmans, as elephants, horses, palanquins, boats, etc., the receiving of which, however, is not honourable. A Brahman then marks the foreheads of all present with sandal powder, and puts round the neck of each a garland of flowers. To the Ugrudanee Brahmans and others are now given, amidst much confusion among the receivers, the sesamum, the morsel of gold, the metal, a large basin full of cow ries, and a conch or two, as well as the sixteen different gifts ; after which the assembly breaks up. The son then goes into the house, and,
placing a Brahman and his wife on a seat, covers them with ornaments, worships them, and, adding a large present of money, dismisses them. After this the son of the deceased requests five Brah mans, of some note for learning, to offer a male calf ; in doing which they take two cloths each, four poita, four betel-nuts, and some cowries provided for the purpose, and go with the com pany to a spot where an altar has been prepared, one cubit high and four cubits square. Four of the Brahmans sit on the four sides of the altar, and then worship certain gods, and offer a burnt sacrifice. Near the altar are placed the saligrama four female calves, a male calf, and a vilva post: The fifth Brahman reads certain parts of a Purana, to drive away evil spirits. The female calves are tied to four vilva posts, and the male calf to a vrisha post. To the necks of the female calves four small slender baskets are suspended, in which are placed, among other things, a comb, and the iron stilette with which the Hindu women paint their eyebrows black. A sheet of metal is placed under the belly of the male calf ; on the back a sheet of copper ; the hoofs are covered with silver and the horns with gold, if the shraddha be performed by a rich man. On the hips of the male calf marks of Siva's trident are impressed with a hot iron. After this the son of the deceased washes the tail of the male calf, and with the same water presents a drink-offering to his deceased ancestors, and afterwards marries the male calf t,o the four female calves, repeating many formulas, in which they are recommended to cultivate love and mutual sympathy. The son next liberates the female calves, forbidding any one to detain them, or partake of their milk in future. In liberating the male calf, he says, I have given thee these four wives to live with them. Thou art the living image of Yama ; thou goest upon four legs. Devour not the corn of others, go not near a cow in calf,' etc. The female calves are generally taken by Brahmans ; the male calf is let loose, to go where he pleases. To this succeeds what is peculiarly termed the shraddha. The river side, or the cow-house, or some retired place, is chosen ; after cleansing which, they collect all kinds of eatables, cloth, sesamum, flowers etc., and place them into dishes made of le excavated trunks of the plantain tree. The son then washes his feet, and sits with his face towards the east, with a sali grama before hitn, and repeats many prayers to purify himself. He then worships the sali gmma, presents to his deceased parent the seven dishes placed to the east, repeating various prayers, and worships Ga,nga, Vishnu, and the household gods, adding an offering to the an cestors of the king as an acknowledgment for using the king's land at worship.