Describing the proper way of performing Shraddh rituals, sage Yagyavalkya told the assembled sages–‘A performer of Shraddh rituals should invite able Brahmins and offer them seats of Kusha grass. First of all an invocation is made to ‘Vishvedeva’ by chanting a mantra in his praise, an action which is followed by scattering grains of barley in the vessels kept in front of the Deity’s idol. Subsequently, some water and a small quantity of barley is taken in a small vessel, which is then handed over to the Brahmins along with other articles such as ghee lamp, garland, incense, etc. There are specific mantras for this particular ritual. After that he should offer seats of Kusha grass to all his ancestors one by one beginning from the left hand side and subsequently moving on to the right hand side. All the ancestors are then invoked with specific mantras.

The scriptures allow the use of sesame seeds in place of barley if latter is unavailable due to some reason. These sesame seeds should be kept in a ‘Ardhya patra’ and placed to the left side of each ‘Pitras’ (ancestors) in an inverted position. While performing ‘havan’ he should make offerings of ‘ghee’ and other articles in the ‘havan kunda’. Finally, Brahmins are fed after which the performer of Shraddh rituals offers Pindadan in the name of his ancestors. After that he helps all the Brahmins perform ‘Achaman’ and gives donations to them. The idol of Vishvedeva is immersed in a nearby river or pond and the inverted pots are kept back in the normal position. Finally, all the Brahmins are seen off with respect. Shraddh rituals performed in the above mentioned way immensely satisfy the ancestors and help them attain to heaven.

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