Ekothistam Othan Eleventh Day Ceremony for The Dead


Having made the Pretha get disgusted with the basic urge for Food,one should now look for measures to help the Pretha to join the ancestors.

The Pretha,which had turned away from food now has nowhere to go and keeps loitering.

On the Eleventh day ceremony for the dead the Pretha is made to be present in the body of a Brahmin and the Brahmin is fed.

This is called Ekothishta,Othan in Tamil.

Daughters must be present.

Sraddha food is prepared and the Brahmin is offered the food.

Uthishta means Brahmins in this context Ekothista means one Brahmin.

After the Brahmin is asked to take the food,he walks away to eat the food.

Those present are not to see him.

Shanti Homa in the form of Sri Rudram is performed after this.

Some perform it on the twelfth day.

Why should not one see the Brahmin who is offered the food?

The Brahmin is treated as the Pretha.

Mantras are chanted asking the Pretha to descend in the body of the Brahmin.

Originally 32 Kavalas (32 palmful),were offered.

The Brahmin who took the food died as soon as he finished eating the food.

Hence the practice of offering food instead of Kavala palmful) has been followed.

And as the Brahmin is the personification of the Pretha and a Brahmin having died taking the food,the practice of  not looking at the Brahmin has come into vogue.


Hindu Tenth Day Ceremony பத்து Mangalya Removal

The death ceremonies of the Hindus, especially. Brahmins on the Tenth Day consists of three parts.

1.Tharpana by Gnayathis, by those related by the same Gotra.

2.Offering of food to Pretha by daughters.

3.Removal of Mangalya Sutra.

The Pertha had been offered Water and Seasame seeds and water to quench their thirst and satisfy their anguish, Thaapa.

On the Tenth Day food is offered by daughters and women to the Pretha.

The Pretha, having been offered water and Seasame seeds for the past nine days retains the taste for food.

IT is time that it is made to move away from food to enable it to join the ancestors.

Satras declare that food is be prepared by the following for consumption(even for those who are alive)

1.Preparation by Self Swayam Bhaaga,

2.By Mother


Food prepared by others are not considered nourishing and are to be avoided.

So, on the Tenth Day rice, and Raw plantain வாழைக்காய் is prepared and offered to Pretha.

The preparation is without Salt.

Women who are not related may also take part in this ceremony.

The Pretha tastes this and becomes disgusted with food as it contains no Salt.

Next is essentially a mundane practice.

That is the removal of தாலி, Mangalya Sutra.

Mangalya is not a part of Vedic marriage.

Please read my article on this for details.

Traditionally the Thaali was removed on the midnight of the Tenth Day from the wife of the deceased.

A widow in the family of the deceased removes it from the wife of the deceased and kept in a bowl of Milk.

The lady may wear a chain instead.

Or the Mangalya Sutra from the chain may be removed and the chain may be worn.

Those whose husbands are alive are not to be present during this process.

This is solemn ceremony and has to be done quietly.


Hindu Death Ceremony Days 2 to 9 Daaha Thaapa Upachamanam

The ceremonies performed after collection of bones/ashes and immersion in the sea,the Rites of Hinduism addresses three issues.

Seasame seeds. Image

1.The Saisfying of the Pretha,the subtle body that remains after the body is turned to ashes and immersion in the sea.

2.The gradual process of making the Pretha getting disgusted with what is offered and moving/joining ancestors.

3.The process of purification of Home and the relatives from the impurities attached to Death and the attendant ceremonies.

As explained in the last article,the Subtle body,Pretha remains after life is snuffed out and the physical frame becomes Sava and is cremated.

The Pretha,without the medium of Body is unable to satisfy its urges.

(It may be noted that the Subtle body,when Life is present is called Sookshma Sarrera and is nourished by what we eat.It becomes Pretha only after Death).

There are two cravings in any Human Beings in terms of what they experience.

Daaha and Thaapa.

Daaha may lossely translated as Urge,Thirst,Obsessive Desire to enjoy.

Thaapa is anguish,disappointment,frustration in not getting what one desires.

These two are resolved,to a limited degree,when one is alive,has body.

Even if what one desires does not materialize,one has mind,when alive,to understand and compromise.

Pretha,with no body and mind can not do this.

However the urge,Daaha and Thaapa remain with it.

It is to be met if the,Pretha is to move forward and join the ancestors.

The death ceremonies of Hindus ,from Day one to thirteen address these.

On the day of death,at the cremation ground,after consigning the body to flames,the son of the deceased makes a rough sketch of human body with sand on the ground.

The Pretha is made to come into this,by chanting mantras requesting the,Pretha to come in and accept what is offered.

Water,Tender Coconut Water and Seasame seeds with Water are offered to the Pretha in the Human sketch formed on the ground.

After immersion of ashes in the sea,the Pretha is made to descend in a small stone placed in a corner at the home of the deceased.

A small area is selected inside the house,where the deceased lived,roughly one foot by one foot,the area is paved with sand and a thatch of Coconut leaf is placed as the roof.

The son offers water,water and Seasameseeds to the Pretha in the stone daily.

Water is offered to quench Daaha and meet with desires of the Pretha .

Sea same seeds with water is offered to satisfy Thaapa, anguish.

The water and sea same seeds with water is increased every day till the tenth day.

The Pretha is believed to be hovering around the house till it is sent to join Pitrus, ancestors on the twelfth Day.

Mahalaya Amavasya Amavasya Sankalpam Text With Seasons Thithis

FeaturedRig Vedamurthy.image

Sankalpa,according to Hinduism,is Right Determination.

Any act,auspicious or otherwise is to be preceded by Sankalpa.

While Abhivadana Mantra is Geotagging the individual,Sankalpa is Event specific,where the Time of the occasion,location where it is performed is pinpointed.

Year,Season,Month,Thithi(phases of the Moon),Nakshatra(Star),Day,the Gotra,the founder of the Family are mentioned.

I am providing the Sankalpa for Amavasya .

For Grahana suitable changes as in Soorya/Chandra Grahana Punyakaale may be made along with month,day,Thithi,Nakshatra ,Ayana,Year may be made.

I am providing names of seasons and Thithis

Year,month,day,Nakshatra may be found in daily calendar.

Ayana are.

Dakshinayana and Uttarayana.

Uttarayan begins from the day of Makar sankranti. Days are longer and nights are shorter during Uttarayan. This period involves pilgrimages and festivals. The period of Uttarayan collides with the Paush Magh month. Uttarayan is known to be the period of Devas. Yagyas, donations, charities, austerities, marriages, mundan etc. are considered to be auspicious during this period.


Dakshinayan begins from 21/22 June. The sun travels from Uttarayan to Dakshinayan on 21st June. According to religious beliefs, Dakshinayan is the night of Kal Devas. Nights and longer and days are shorter during Dakshinayan. During Dakshinayan, Sun travels with an inclination toward the southern direction.

Dakshinayan is the period associated with fasts. Many kinds of auspicious works are prohibited during Dakshinayan. This period is auspicious for Tamsik activities. Dakshinayan is a symbol of lust and desire. Therefore, fasts, yagyas, worship and other religious activities cure diseases and sorrows.

For inauspicious occasions, Lord Vishna as Govinda is invoked,while for auspicious occasions ,Shiva as Parameshwara is invoked by those who worship Shiva and Narayana by those who worship Lord Vishnu.

As in,

Sree Parameshwara Prretgyartham,

Sree Narayana Preethyartham.

For Mahalaya paksha,the same format is to followed with changes for month/Thithi/Nakshatra/Year/Season/Ayana(movement of Sun to Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn).

And chant Mahalaya Punyakaale…..Thithi,Vara etc.

nama samvathsare ,utharayane/dakshinayane , rithou(season),  mase(month),   pakshe(phases of Moon), adhya Amavasyam     punya thidhou , …..vasara(day)yukthayam,  nakshatra (Star)yukthayam, shubhayoga, shubhaKarana evam guna viseshena, visishtayam asyam Amavasyam    punya thidhou, amavasya  punyakale, darsa sradham , thilatharpana roopena adhya karishye

  1. Vasantha Ruthu – Spring season
  2. Greeshma Ruthu – Summer season
  3. Varsha Ruthu – Rainy/Monsoon season
  4. Sharad Ruthu – Early Autumn
  5. Hemantha Ruthu – Winter season
  6. Sishira Ruthu – Late Autumn


Sl.No Krishna paksha
(dark fortnight)
Shukla paksha
(bright fortnight)
Deity and properties[citation needed]
1 Prathama Prathama The presiding deity of the first lunar day is Agni and it is good for all types of auspicious and religious ceremonies.
2 Dwitiya Dwitiya Vidhatr or Bramha rules this lunar day and is good for the laying of foundations for buildings and other things of a permanent nature.
3 Tritiya Tritiya Gauri is the lord of this day and is good for the cuttings of one’s hair and nails and shaving.
4 Chaturthi Chaturthi Yama/Ganapati is lord of the 4th lunar day, which is good for the destruction of one’s enemies, the removal of obstacles, and acts of combat.
5 Panchami Panchami The Naaga or Serpents rule this day, which is favourable for administering medicine, the purging of poisons, and surgery.
6 Shashthi Shashthi Karttikeya presides over this day and is favourable for coronations, meeting new friends, festivities, and enjoyment.
7 Saptami Saptami The 7th lunar day is ruled by Surya; one may begin a journey, buy conveyances, and deal with other such things of a movable nature.
8 Ashtami Ashtami The Rudra rule this day, which is good for taking up arms, building of one’s defenses, and fortification.
9 Navami Navami The Ambikaa rules this day, which is suitable for killing enemies, acts of destruction, and violence. Inauspicious for ceremonies and journeys.
10 Dasami Dashami The day is ruled by Dharmaraja and is auspicious for acts of virtue, religious functions, spiritual practices, and other pious activities.
11 Ekadasi Ekadashi Rudra rule this day; fasting, devotional activities, and remembrance of the Supreme Lord are very favourable. This day has special religious significance in Hinduism and Jainism—usually observed by fasting.
12 Dvadasi Dwadashi The Vishnu or Aditya rules this day, which is auspicious for religious ceremonies, the lighting of the sacred fire, and the performance of one’s duties.
13 Trayodasi Thrayodashi The day is ruled by Cupid and is good for forming friendships, sensual pleasures, and festivities.
14 Chaturdashi Chaturdashi Kali rules this day, suitable for administering poison and calling of elementals and spirits.
15 Amavasya
(new moon)
Purnima or Paurnami
(full moon)
The Pitru-devas rule the New Moon, suitable for the propitiation of the Manes and performance of austerities. Purnima is ruled by Moon and is suitable for merry making and fire sacrifice.

Hindu Death Ceremonies Day One Two Details Meaning

FeaturedWho Realize God? Bhagavad Gita

Death is just a hairbreadth away from Life.

What does happen just before death, at the time of Death and after death?

For the first two points and signs of Death, according to Hinduism, please read my articles Signs of Death,Hinduism.

What does Hinduism say on Life just afer death?

Soul has five layers.

Annamaya Kosa, the subtle body made of the essence of Food,

Pranamaya Kosa, of Life’s breath,

Manomaya Kosa, made of mind’s impressions,

Vignanamaya Kosa, the subtle reposited impressions of Knowledge and

Gnanamaya Kosa, the level of wisdom, discerned knowledge.

The last one Anandamaya Kosa is an immediate Attribute of BrahmanThe Reality.

When all the other Kosas( sheaths) , except Gnanamaya Kosa are dissipitated, the Gnanamaya Kosa gets merged, in case of Realized Souls, with Brahman or the knowledge that it is different from Brahman disappears.

The Death ceremonies conducted for the first twelve Days in Hinduism, more specifically in the case of Brahmins,relate to these aspects.

Once the life leaves the body it becomes Sava,without Auspiciosness,Shiva.

The human body has two aspects,Sthula,Gross and Sookshma,Subtle.

The physical frame is the gross aspect of Atman.

Sookshma Sareera,Subtle body is a conglomeration of  the essence(Rasa) of Food(Anna),Prana(life energy),Mind(Manas),Knowledge(Vigyana) and Consciousness(Ananda).

All these subtle aspects draw their nourishment from the  Five Gross elements,Earth,Water,Fire,Air and Ether(Prithvi,Appu,Agni,Vayu and Akasha).

Each of these subtle essences nourish the body and facilitates the enjoyment,both pleasant and unpleasant,depending on one’s actions,Karma,by the Unrealized.

Once Life ebbs away,the physical frame called Sava is cremated and the subtle body is called Pretha.

The functions of the Sava ceases but the subtle body,Pretha remains,though it remains invisible.

On the day of death,after the ceremonies are conducted at home ,officially christening the body as Pretha,washing it,removing everything worn,adorning with Vibhuthi or appropriate castemark,declaring the son and if the deceased had no son,the one who shall conduct the Andhima Karma,Final Rites is designated as such, along with symbolic fire which was lit as soon as the person died,the body is moved to the Crematorium,with the Grandson/s showing the light with a torch.

At the crematorium,the body,before consigning to flames,is addressed as Pretha by the son,thanking the person for bringing up the children,declaring that the son would perform all Karmas to enable the Sookshma sareea to join the ancestors.

At the crematorium the body which has sprung from the five elements,Earth,Water,Fire,Air and Ether is retuned.

The body is laid on the ground and rites are performed and mantras chanted returning the body to Earth.

Water is filled ( half pot),son walks around the body in an anticlockwise direction three times,a hole is made in the pot at each perambulation(total three) and water is allowed to flow to the earth signifying the return to Water.

Fire is lit from the brazier to the body returning it to Fire in the condition the body came into being,that is bereft of anything.

Air,Vayu is worshipped along with Aakasa,Ether praying they take their composition in the body.

Food, in the form of Rice is offered to the body by relatives as the last food offered to the body stating that further food will be for the subtle body.

If the Thithi when cremating is different from the Thithi when death occurred,the ashes/bones are collected by the son wearing Kandankathri Vegetable,( which incidentally is an antibiotic to prevent infections from the bones that mat may be found in the ashes),on the day of death and is consigned to ocean.

There is no Theetu for the first two nazhikai from the time of death(40 minutes)

The Kartha must take bath after entering house,( he must enter the house  after washing his feet outside the the house,so must the others)

He should change to fresh Dhoti,not new and take light refreshments,no meals.

The light which was lit at the time of death near the body must be kept burning till 12th Day ceremony is complete.

Food is not to be prepared at home and it can be received from relatives.

Sandhyavandana is not to be performed for the first two days,the day of death and collection/immersion of ashes.

It has to be performed from day three.

If collection of Ashes is done on the same day of death,Sandhyavandana may be performed from the next day.

No other Vaidika Karma must be performed till the 13th day function is over.

The karmas to be performed from The Third day follows with meaning behind them