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If Shraddha falls on ekadashi day, should it be done on same day or done on dwadashi? What does puranas, smritis say about it? If done on ekadashi, how to feed Brahmana while they are fasting?

Some Madwa discourses say it should be on dwadashi, and they said it's in Puranas. And, as Ekadashi is fasting, one cannot feed Brahmin and without feeding brahmin Shraddha cannot happen.

But I also heard counter argument saying Smritis say it must be done on Ekadasi (and smriti takes precedence over any Purana).

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  • You accepted answer which I'd not related question
    – Prasanna R
    Jun 18, 2022 at 11:43

2 Answers 2

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As per the Paurāṇika & the Aitihāsika scriptures, there's no prohibition on performing a Śrāddha on Ekādaśī, or for that matter, on any tithi. However, certain tithis are considered better suited for certain types of deaths.

This follows from the injunctions found in numerous Purāṇas and the Mahābhārata.

Consider the following excerpts.


1. Mahābhārata

Chapter 87, Anuśāsanaparva

नवम्यां कुर्वतः श्राद्धं भवत्येकशफं बहु । विवर्धन्ते तु दशमीं गावः श्राद्धानि कुर्वतः ॥१३॥ कुप्यभागी भवेन्मर्त्यः कुर्वन्नेकादशीं नृप । ब्रह्मवर्चस्विनः पुत्रा जायन्ते तस्य वेश्मनि ॥१४॥ द्वादश्यामीहमानस्य नित्यमेव प्रदृश्यते । रजतं बहु चित्रं च सुवर्णं च मनोरमम् ॥१५॥

Bhīṣma said -

By performing it on the tenth day one acquires much wealth in kine. By performing it on the eleventh day one becomes the possessor of much wealth in clothes and utensils (of brass and other metals). Such a man also obtains many sons all of whom become endued with Brahma splendor. By performing the Śrāddha on the twelfth day one always beholds, if one desires, diverse kinds of beautiful articles made of silver and gold.




2. Vāyu Mahā-Purāṇa

Chapter 89

श्राद्धं नवम्यां कुर्वाणं ऐश्वर्य काक्षितां स्त्रियम् । कुर्वन्दशम्यां तु नरो ब्राह्मीं श्रियमवाप्नुयात् ॥१५॥वेदांश्चैवाऽऽप्नुयात्सर्वान्प्रणाशमेनसस्तथा । एकादश्यां परं दानमैश्वयं सततं तथा ॥ द्वादश्यां राष्ट्रलाभं तु जयामाहुर्वसूनि च ॥१६॥ प्रजा बुद्धि पशून्मेधां स्वातन्त्र्यं पुष्टिमुत्तमाम् ॥१७॥

Bṛhaspati said -

  1. He who performs a Srāddha on the ninth day attains prosperity and a beloved wife. He who performs a Sraddha on the tenth day attains the glory of Brahmin-hood.

16. He shall attain (mastery over) all the Vedas and the destruction of sins for a Srāddha on the Ekādaśī. The Dāna (religious gift) offered on the eleventh-day yields prosperity forever.

  1. They say that he who performs a Srāddha on the twelfth day acquires wealth, a kingdom, and becomes victorious.



3. Skanda Mahā-Purāṇa

Verse 6.1.219.12,13

एकादश्यां धनं धान्यं श्राद्धकर्ता लभेन्नरः । तथा भूपप्रसादं च यच्चान्यन्मनसि स्थितम् ॥ १२ ॥ यः करोति च द्वादश्यां श्राद्धं श्रद्धासमन्वितः । पुत्रांस्तु प्रवरांश्चैव स पशून्वांछिताल्लँभेत् ॥ १३ ॥

  1. A man who performs Śrāddha on the Ekādaśī (eleventh) day gets wealth, food grain, favor of the king, and whatever else he may have desired in his mind.
  1. He who performs on the Dvādaśī day Śrāddha with great faith obtains excellent sons and the desired cattle wealth.



4. Kūrma Mahā-Purāṇa

Chapter 20, Uttarabhāga

स्यान्नवम्यामेकखुरं दशम्यां द्विखुरं बहु । एकादश्यां तथा रूप्यं ब्रह्मवर्चस्विनः सुतान् ॥२०॥ द्वादश्यां जातरूपं च रजतं कुप्यमेव च । ज्ञातिश्रैष्ठ्यं त्रयोदश्यां चतुर्दश्यां तु क्रुप्रजाः । पञ्चदश्यां सर्वकामानाप्नोति श्राद्धदः सदा ॥२१॥

  • 20, 21. He who performs Srāddha on the ninth day obtains single-hoofed animals; he who performs Srāddha on the tenth day obtains double-hoofed animals in plenty. One who performs Sraddha on the eleventh day obtains silver and sons of Brahmanical splendour. One who performs Sraddha on the twelfth day, obtains gold, silver, and base metals. One who performs Sraddha on the thirteenth day, obtains excellent kinsmen, and one who performs Srāddha on the fourteenth day obtains ignoble progeny. One who performs Sräddha on the fifteenth day (i.e. on the new moon day), always obtains all desires.



5. Brahmāṇḍa Mahā-Purāṇa

Verse 2.17.16-17

कुर्वन्दशम्यां तु नरो ब्राह्मीं श्रियमवाप्नुयात् ॥१५॥ वेदांश्चैवाप्नुयात्सर्वान्विप्राणां समतां व्रजेत् । एकादश्यां परं दानमैश्वर्य सततं तथा ॥१६॥ द्वादश्यां जयलाभं च राज्यमायुर्वसूनि च । प्रजावृद्धिं पशून्मेधां स्वातन्त्र्यं पुष्टिमुत्तमाम् ॥१७॥

  • 15b,16,17. A man who performs Śrāddha on the tenth day shall attain the magnificence of the Brahman. He shall also attain (mastery over) all the Vedas and be on a par with Brāhmaṇas. The performance of Śrāddha and the offering of great charitable gifts on the eleventh Tithi yield perpetual lordly affluence. (One who performs Śrāddha) on the twelfth day acquire victory, kingdoms, longevity, wealth, increase in the progeny, cattle, wealth, intellect, freedom, and excellent nourishment.



6. Brahma Mahā-Purāṇa

Chapter 220

स्त्रियो नवम्यां प्राप्नोति दशम्यां पूर्णकामताम् । वेदांस्तथाऽऽप्नुयात्सर्वानेकादश्यां क्रियापरः ॥१७॥ द्वादश्यां जयलाभं च प्राप्नोति पितृपूजकः ।

  • A Śrāddha performed on the ninth day bestows conjugal relations, on the tenth day fulfills desires and on the eleventh (Ekādaśī) day for acquiring Vedic Knowledge, the twelfth day for victory.



As regards the apparent conflict between a vrata on the day of Ekādaśī and the necessity of feeding a Brāhmiṇa to complete the Śrāddha rituals, the following two points may be considered.

  1. Not all Brāhmiṇas of all sects undertake a fast-vow on an Ekādaśī, the mandatory injunction in regards to an Ekādaśī fast is mandatory for the Vaiṣṇavas. So, from that perspective, perhaps a Vaiṣṇava may not perform a Śrāddha on Ekādaśī, but on the next day, after the pāraṇa of the fast.

  2. With point 1 in mind, refer to the Vayu Purana 2.17, which explains who all are eligible to be fed on a day of Śrāddha, and there is provided a list of Brāhmiṇas eligible to be fed. One may be able to find at least one of those may be alternatively fed if a certain Brāhmiṇa has a fast on the Ekādaśī. An ascetic is told to be the foremost of them. We cannot be sure, but surely not everyone will be keeping an Ekādaśī vow, so there might be a possibility to feed an eligible Brāhmiṇa on an Ekādaśī Śrāddha.

Overall, it seems if one is a Vaiṣṇava then the day of Dvādasi might be better suited for a Śrāddha. However, the scriptural stance on this looks vague to me, to my limited knowledge.

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+50

As per Smritis it is allowed. Quoting from Apastambha Dharma Sutras Praśna II, Paṭala 7, Khaṇḍa 16:


  1. Formerly men and gods lived together in this world. Then the gods in reward of their sacrifices went to heaven, but men were left behind. Those men who perform sacrifices in the same manner as the gods did, dwell (after death) with the gods and Brahman in heaven. Now (seeing men left behind), Manu revealed this ceremony, which is designated by the word Śrāddha (a funeral-oblation).1

  2. And (thus this rite has been revealed) for the salvation of mankind.[2]

  3. At that (rite) the Manes (of one's father, grandfather, and great-grand father) are the deities (to whom the sacrifice is offered). But the Brāhmaṇas, (who are fed,) represent the Āhavanīya-fire.[3]

  4. That rite must be performed in each month.[4]

  5. The afternoon of (a day of) the latter half is preferable (for it).[5]

  6. The last days of the latter half (of the month) likewise are (preferable to the first days).

  7. (A funeral-oblation) offered on any day of the latter half of the month gladdens the Manes. But it procures different rewards for the sacrificer according to the time observed.[6]

  8. If it be performed on the first day of the half-month, the issue (of the sacrificer) will chiefly consist of females.

  9. (Performed on the second day it procures) children who are free from thievish propensities.

  10. (If it is performed) on the third day children will be born to him who will fulfil the various vows for studying (portions of the Veda).

  11. (The sacrificer who performs it) on the fourth day becomes rich in small domestic animals.

  12. (If he performs it) on the fifth day, sons (will be born to him). He will have numerous and distinguished offspring, and he will not die childless.[7]

  13. (If he performs it) on the sixth day, he will become a great traveller and gambler.

  14. (The reward of a funeral-oblation performed) on the seventh day is success in agriculture.

  15. (If he performs it) on the eighth day (its reward is) prosperity

  16. (If he performs it) on the ninth day (its reward consists in) one-hoofed animals.

  17. (If he performs it) on the tenth day (its reward is) success in trade.

18. (If he performs it) on the eleventh day (its reward is) black iron, tin, and lead.

  1. (If he performs a funeral-oblation) on the twelfth day, he will become rich in cattle.

  2. (If he performs it) on the thirteenth day, he will have many sons (and) many friends, (and) his offspring will be beautiful. But his (sons) will die young.[8]

  3. (If he performs it) on the fourteenth day (its reward is) success in battle.[9]

  4. (If he performs it) on the fifteenth day (its reward is) prosperity.

As you can see, here the rewards of performing Shraddha on the various Tithis are mentioned. The rewards that one obtains upon performing Shraddha on the Ekadashi Tithi are also mentioned. So it is allowed as per this scripture.

UPDATE:

If we take into account only the Smritis there is no prohibition on performing Shraddha on Ekadashis. Prohibition is there only regarding the 14th Tithis. See:


Manu Smriti 3.276. The days of the dark half of the month, beginning with the tenth, but excepting the fourteenth, are recommended for a funeral sacrifice; (it is) not thus (with) the others.

3.277. He who performs it on the even (lunar) days and under the even constellations, gains (the fulfilment of) all his wishes; he who honours the manes on odd (lunar days) and under odd (constellations), obtains distinguished offspring.

3.278. As the second half of the month is preferable to the first half, even so the afternoon is better for (the performance of) a funeral sacrifice than the forenoon.

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  • If Brahmin cannot be fed on Ekadasi, how can Shraddha be completed? @rickross
    – Kanthri
    Aug 15, 2021 at 20:08
  • That one should fast on Ekadashi is mentioned in Purans not in Smritis. So I don't know how to answer your query but its a valid one. @Kanthri
    – Rickross
    Aug 16, 2021 at 5:13
  • See the update @Kanthri
    – Rickross
    Aug 17, 2021 at 5:48

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