Method of serving food during Shraddha ritual

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There are certain guidelines on what food should be prepared, how it should be served and where it should be served during a Shraddha ritual.

A. A border of bhasma (pishāngi) should be drawn in an anti-clockwise direction around the leaf meant for the ancestors, .

B. Food should be served on a plate woven from mahuā (Madhuca Indica) leaves or on a banana leaf.

C. Salt should not be served on the leaf for Brāhmaṇ invited to the shraddha.

D. Sweet delicacies (like laddoos) should be served only by hand; however, side dishes, salads, chutney, etc. should never be served with the hands, instead a ladle or spoon should be used.

E. Order, position and the underlying science of serving food items on the leaf :

How various food items should be served on tems on the leaf :

1. Begin by smearing the leaf with ghee.

2. Then, serve rice in the centre.

3. To the right, serve kheer, and other vegetable dishes.

4. Lime, chutney, and, salad should be served on the left side.

5. Sambar (curry), kadhi, papad, fritters, black gram fritters, laddoos should be on the upper side of the leaf.

6. Finally, some ghee to top the rice followed by dal that has not be tempered.

Underlying science : ‘By serving food in an order opposite to the usual practice, Raja-Tama predominant waves are generated, and these facilitate the consumption of food by the departed soul. (Divine Knowledge received through the medium of Mr Nilesh Chitale, 5.7.2006, 7.27 p.m.)

F. When serving food, ensure that quantity is the same in both plates; never serve more to one and less to another, especially on the day of specially on the day of shraddha.

G. No one, including children and guests, should be served food till the shraddha rituals are completed.

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