Kriya Vidhi: 13 days of Complete Funeral Sanskar- Why and How!

Kriya Vidhi: 13 days of Complete Funeral Sanskar- Why and How!

Kriya Vidhi transforms the deceased soul from Pret to Pitri. A free form of Spirit who has successfully crossed to the other side.

When our life ends, it’s the end for us here in the physical form. But also a beginning for the journey to the Afterlife. We lighten up and float away as the spirit soul. What remains behind is a lifeless body that takes the identity of being us. That too ceases to exist after the Antya Karma.

Perks of being a Hindu Human: It gets interesting after death.

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Kriya Vidhi Funeral Pashupati ghat

Some Information About Hindu Funeral-Kriya Vidhi

What is Kriya Vidhi ‘क्रिया विधि’?

Kriya Vidhi is the second phase of the Funeral. Family members as a Karta, usually the Son of the dead person, does the Kriya as a Kriyaputri for the 13 days after death. All the family members stay as Kriyaputri.

kriya putri in kriya vidhi

The Bidhi of Kriya is a belief System of Hindu Shastra, which states that the dead person is now a ghost roaming around the atmosphere before getting on with the journey to the Afterlife. So, now the family should help the Soul to get on to the “Other side” and get freed from the Hell that is present for the Soul in the initial days.

Preparation of Kriya Vidhi for Kriya Putri

After the Cremation, Antyesti Ceremony of the deceased body, the family members should stay separately without touching or meeting many people. If they live in their own home, then staying in a place separate and following the rules of the Shastra can be practiced.

If on rent, then it is not recommended to stay there for these 13 days. There are Kriya Putri Bhawans built for this very reason, in different places or at Pashupatinath Temple. They can stay in those places.

Why 13 days of Kriya Vidhi Funeral?

A Pret is what the deceased soul is. A ghost that needs to go through ten different levels of  Hell. Those ten days are the period of Kriya Vidhi when the family members pray through the day in purity and offer Pinda through each day to help the Soul pass through each level of Hell.

10 hells for the spirit soul

Kriya Vidhi starts around 2 days after the death. Before that, everything is prepared for the time being of Kriyaputri period. And the allocated place is Kriya Putri Place.

Each day, the Narak “Hell” of the day is offered with a Pinda.

The Narak “Hell” is listed with regard to the day that the soul transits through each day.

First Day- Rauravnamnarkottarnaya “रौरवनामनरकोत्तारणाय“

Second Day- Jatipuskarnamnarakottarnaya “जातिपुष्करनामनरकोत्तारणाय”

Third Day- Hahakarnamnarakottarnaya “हाहाकारनामनरकोत्तारणाय”

Fourth Day- Tamisranamnarakottarnaya “तामिस्रनामनरकोत्तारणाय”

Fifth Day- Andhatamisranamnarakottarnaya “अन्धतामिस्रनामनरकोत्तारणाय”

Sixth Day- Jatisamsravanamnarakottarnaya “जातिसंस्रवनामनरकोत्तारणाय”

Seventh Day- Amedhyanamnarakottarnaya “अमेध्यकृमीनामनरकोत्तारणाय”

Eight Day- Purushnamnarakottarnaya “पुरिषभक्षनामनरकोत्तारणाय”

Ninth Day- Swamamnamnarakottarnaya “स्वमांसभक्षनामनरकोत्तारणाय”

Tenth Day- Kumbhipaknamnarakottarnaya “कुम्भीपाकनामनरकोत्तारणाय”

After the completion of the phases through each of the Narak, the soul gets free of it’s immature impurity and joins other ancestor gang out there in Heaven. So, to fulfill that completion too, the Karta of the Kriya needs to be pure and dedicated for their ancestors.

Before Kriya Vidhi

Kriya Process starts as soon as the Anteyesti ends at the Ghat ‘Cremation site’. Returning back home is the beginning of the process. The Malami people who are going to enter the home are to bite a Neem leaf(Margosa). And a certain ritual to cleanse themselves from attending the funeral is done. Only then can they enter the house.

Antyesthi ritual
  • Shami leaf is touched to wish for cleansing of bad karma.
  • Fire is touched to wish for safety and shield from sadness.
  • Stone is touched with feet to wish strength and stubborn as stone.

The house is now cleansed and purified with smell of GUITHA or Gobar bricks with Jau, Til, Kus and water sprinkled around the house.

That day, nothing should be cooked in the house, it is not recommended to eat for the elder family members. They are to eat a meal a day only from the third day of death. Fruits are an alternative if the Karta cannot stay empty stomach for a long time. As for the children or old people, they should eat outside with food prepared from other kitchen from nearby houses.

Kriya Vidhi Funeral Process

The Karta Kriyaputri starts the Kriya Vidhi the day after the death. Before that preparation of ten days is done. It lasts for the next 10-13 days according to the time of start. It is the time where pure and conscious dedication is offered to the departed soul. Downed in White and pure clothes and isolated from the normal life, the Ritual of cleansing the Jutho ‘Impurity Period’ of death is also observed through this process.

Kriya Putri females in kriya vidhi ritual

First Day of Kriya Vidhi

These steps are taken care by the Pandit Guru whom the family calls to handle the situation of the Kriya ritual. The steps to follow for the beginning of the Morning ceremony:

  • First, the Kriya Putri should take a bath with Kus and Til mixed water. Wearing new pure cloth he should sprinkle water into it.
  • Then, choosing a stone at the spot as a representation of the deceased soul, he should offer Jalanjali ‘Water’ with Til and Kus on it. On the first day, this is done once and gradually increasing the count as the day progresses.
  • Then, the place of Kriyaputri is prepared. Dhikuro, A vedi, a place where the daily ritual of offering pinda and everything of Kriya process takes place here in the Dhikuro. So it needs to be daily cleaned and painted with Gobar.
  • Now, preparation of Pinda and food. After which the South area of the Vedhi is ignited with a Diyo batti ‘cotton thread light’.
  • Now with Apashavya Janai position, Karta should sprinkle water ‘Achaman’ and lay a piece of Kus down in the Vedhi in a North to South direction.
  • A Sankalpa Mantra is read holding water with Kus and Til. It is a Sankalpa done for the offering of Pinda. It is placed on the spot where the Pinda is going to be seated.
  • A handful of Til and water with Kus is taken again as a mantra chant is said, after which it is placed on the same spot. It is termed Awanejan.
  • Now, a PInda prepared from Jau Flour is taken in the hand with water and Til again stating with the mantra. And placed on the Kus seat and poured with some clean water on top of it. The offered water is termed Pratyavajanan.
  • A different variety of items in the name of the Pitri should be offered on the Pinda. Chandan, Wool, A Bhringi Raj leaf, Flowers and Cooked items are some of the items. And again poured with some water.
  • A separate leaf plate vessel is filled with water and Til and placed near the Pinda.
  • Two Palaash ‘Butea Monosperma‘ wooden frame is prepared and two leaf plate is prepared. One filled with Milk and the other with Water. And a small pot of water is kept on the side.
  • Shavya position of Janai and praying the water there, following the Apashavya position, the pot is taken to a tree and hanged there. The water inside should be changed and replaced daily for ten days.
  • Then a small piece of Iron is taken with Water, Kus, and Til and placed in the Vedhi.

The First day’s process of the Kriya Vidhi is complete. Now, the Pinda that was given at the Vedi is taken to the river and discarded with respect. Now the person should take a bath and get ready to eat. So the last process before it, the Karta has to give a Kakabali for the Crow. This is an offering of the prepared food on the South of the Vedi. One should not eat without offering to the Messenger of Yamraj.

Now, the Karta should take the meal. After the meal, the whole area of Vedi should be painted and cleansed with Gobar. This process is continued daily for ten days. The Karta is only allowed to eat during the day. The evening is rather focused on fruits or no meal, if possible. It is said that one should not eat after the sunset.

After the day’s ritual, the Kriyaputri person should get back to the resting place. There, a light should be ignited which should last for the further 10 days.

For the light, a place is set aside with some crops of seven different varieties, and on top of it, a mud pot is filled with water. And a mud pot with ghee or oil is placed on top of it. This light is ignited as a pathway of light for the Pitri as a guide to Heaven. This light should be burning continuously for the Kriya Vidhi days.

The Kriya Vidhi of the first day ends with cleansing the doorway of the place for some last ritual process. Three, three-legged wooden stands are placed on the doorway. One contains ignited Diyo light, another contains water and the next contains flowers. The Karta should be Apashavya, and touch these elements as a mantra is chanted.

The First day’s Kriya Vidhi concludes here.

Second to Tenth Day of Kriya Vidhi

The days begin and end just in a similar manner as the first. It consists of the processes, same as the ones that were done the day before. Kriya Vidhi begins with a cleansing bath. and follows the processes as similar with just some twists and turns in the process. A brahman Guru arrives daily in the morning to order the ritual for the Karta and returns back in the evening to ignite the evening light and understand the condition of the Karta for the days until the tenth.

Kriya Putri in Kriya vidhi ritual

Second Day of Kriya Vidhi

  • The same bathing process of the first day is followed.
  • Jalanjali offering of the water now should be given twice.
  • Now Dhikuro-Pinda-Water offering process same as the First day. The difference is only in the terms of Mantra’s chant where the Sankalpa says the terms about it being the Second day of Kriya Vidhi.
  • 2 Leaf plate filled with water is prepared instead of one on the first day.

The Evening rituals are the same as the ones from the first day.

Third Day of Kriya Vidhi

  • The day begins with a bath.
  • The Jalanjali offering with water should be given thrice.
  • The Awanejan and Pratyavanej are followed in the same process.
  • Three leaf plates filled with water and Til pis placed instead of the two on the second day.

The Evening rituals process are followed as the ones from the day before.

Fourth Day of Kriya Vidhi

  • The day begins with a cleansing bath.
  • The Jalanjali offering with water should be given a total of four times.
  • The Pinda Sankalpa process takes place in the same manner. Just the Sankalpa words will be altered as accordingly to the fifth day,
  • The water offering of a total of four leaf-plates and Til offering should be offered.

Again, the Evening ritual processes are followed in the same manner.

Fifth Day of Kriya Vidhi

  • The day begins with a cleansing bath.
  • Jalanjali is given five times in the name of Pitri Soul.
  • Pinda is offered with Awanejan and Pratyavanej water offering.
  • The day’s offering of water and til in leaf plates are offered in five places.

And after the ritual of the day the evening ritual should be completed in the same manner.

Sixth Day of Kriya Vidhi

  • The day begins with a cleansing bath.
  • Jalanjali is given Six times in the name of Pitri Soul.
  • Pinda is offered with Awanejan and Pratyavanej water offering.
  • The day’s offering of water and til in leaf plates are offered in six places.

And after the ritual of the day the evening ritual should be completed in the same manner.

Seventh Day of Kriya Vidhi

  • The day begins with a cleansing bath.
  • Jalanjali is given Seven times in the name of Pitri Soul.
  • Pinda is offered with Awanejan and Pratyavanej water offering.
  • The day’s offering of water and til in leaf plates are offered in Seven places.

And after the ritual of the day the evening ritual should be completed in the same manner.

Eighth Day of Kriya Vidhi

  • The day begins with a cleansing bath.
  • Jalanjali is given Eight times in the name of Pitri Soul.
  • Pinda is offered with Awanejan and Pratyavanej water offering.
  • The day’s offering of water and til in leaf plates are offered in Eight places.

And after the ritual of the day the evening ritual should be completed in the same manner.

Ninth Day of Kriya Vidhi

  • The day begins with a cleansing bath.
  • Jalanjali is given Six times in the name of Pitri Soul.
  • Pinda is offered with Awanejan and Pratyavanej water offering.
  • The day’s offering of water and til in leaf plates are offered in six places.

And after the ritual of the day the evening ritual should be completed in the same manner.

Tenth Day of Kriya Vidhi

  • The day begins with a cleansing bath.
  • Jalanjali is given ten times in the name of Pitri Soul.
  • Pinda is offered with Awanejan and Pratyavanej water offering.
  • The day’s offering of water and til in leaf plates are offered in ten places.

And after the ritual of the day the evening ritual should be completed in the same manner.

After Ten Days of Kriya Vidhi

The Dhikuro place created on the first day of the Kriya now needs to be destroyed after the ritual of ten days of Kriya. Each day, offering Pinda in the name of the Pitri and cleansing the living, and guiding the path of the dead is what the Kriya period signifies.

Water offering in Kriya Vidhi

So, breaking the Dhikuro also has some rules. If the funeral is of the father, then it should be struck with the Kriyaputri Karta’s head. For others, it can simply be done with his hands.

The grains placed underneath the ignited light in the Kriyaputri’s room is sprayed on the Dhikuro. A Sidha dan as an alms, is placed on top of it. The Sidha is prepared with rice, crops and vegetables.

How does the Kriya Vidhi End?

The ending ceremony of Puja takes place as the Kriya Ceremony ends. Each day the Guru had arrived and guided the Karta through the processes of Kriya. In the same way, ending days of puja and purifying ceremony is completed with the guru’s guiding orders. The last day follows with a series of puja and pinda dan again in the name of the Pitri who now, transforms from Pret to Pitri. The lord of Heaven, known as Indra or many other names welcomes the Pitri through the doors of Heaven.

And Finally, there is a Shraddha ritual before the Kriya Vidhi ritual is over.

The Karta should shave his beard and head, and bath in a notion of being pure out of the Kriya days. He needs to gown in complete white clothes and drink Panchagavya given by the Pandit. The food prepared is eaten as Prashad by everyone before leaving the place and heading over to home.

Pinda conclusion of Kriya Vidhi

The mourning period of Kriya ends after these days of ritual. But, the Hindu tradition of mourning lasts for a year, during which time the Karta is forbidden from wearing any colors other than white. Food and drink are also to be eaten with the rules stated in the Shastra. These rules are also divided according to Ethnic groups’ tradition. Some don’t use Salt during the Kriya and Some avoid Turmeric.

After this Kriya Vidhi, they are under the mourning period of a year. And leaving the site of Kriya for home, they follow the lead of the Brahman or a cow and head on home wishing well of the dead and parted soul.