anvaṣṭakā

(‘after the aṣṭaka’)

anvaṣṭakya

Performing religious rites in honour of the departed ancestors and to satisfy their spirits is a universal phenomenon. In Hinduism such rites are called ‘śrāddha’ (literally, that which is performed with śraddhā or faith). The anvaṣṭakā, also called anvaṣṭakya, is a śrāddha rite per-formed after the aṣṭakā rite (anu = after).

After establishing the fire and erecting a shed round it, offerings like boiled rice, pudding, preparations made out of curds as also liquor and scum of boiled rice are spread over barhis (sacrificial grass). After offering some portion into the fire, the rest are dedicated to the manes and their wives. The meat of an animal immolated on the aṣṭakā day should be cooked and offered to the brāhmaṇas invited for the ceremony.

The aṣṭakā type of śrāddhas gradually went out of vogue.

See also AṢṬAKĀ, PIṆḌAPITṚYAJÑA and ŚRĀDDHA.