Sutak Rules For Relatives After Death

How many days of Sutak or Ashaucha to observe after the demise of a relative? This question comes up every time there is a death in the family. Here is a comprehensive list of the periods of mourning after the death of a relative.

Brahmacharis (unmarried men) do not have to observe Sutak.

The list is subdivided into two parts- 1. Sutak is equally applicable to husband and wife when there is death in the husband's family. 2. Sutak to be observed by the wife alone when there is a death in her parental family.

Common for husband and wife

Maternal grandfather- Three days
Maternal grandmother- Three days
Mother's brother- Three days
Mother's brother's wife- Three days
Father-in-law- Three days
Mother-in-law- Three days
Mother's sister- Three days
Father's sister- Three days
Sister's son ( upanayana done )- Three days
Daughter's son ( upanayana done )- Three days
Daughter ( married )- Three days
Sister ( married)- Three days
Son given away in adoption- Three days
Biological father or mother ( in case of adoption)- Three days
Daughter of a sapinda above seven years and before marriage- Three days
Son of a sapinda above two and a half years and below six years- Three days.
Son of a sapinda or samanodaka above seven years- Three days

Son or daughter of father's sister- One and a half days
Son or daughter of mother's brother- One and a half days
Son or daughter of mother's sister- One and a half days
Sister's daughter- One and a half days
Brother's daughter (married)- One and a half days
Father's brother's daughter- One and a half days
Son's daughter- One and a half days
Daughter's daughter- One and a half days
Daughter's son ( upanayana not done)- One and a half days
Sister's son (upanayana not done )- One and a half days

Brother, sister, or daughter of stepmother (Sapatnee mata )- One day
Son or daughter of the above three- One day
Wife's brother- One day
Mother's sister's daughter- One day
Father or mother of stepmother- One day
Daughter of sapinda or samanodaka between two and six years- One day
Brother from the previous gotra ( in case of adoption)- One day
In-laws if wife and son are not there- One day
Son of a sapinda or samanodaka from six months to two years- One day

*Sapindas - Seven generations including One's own, ie:- father, paternal grandfather, paternal great grandfather, son, grandson ( son's son), great-grandsons (son's son's son).

*Samanodakas - three generations above and below the above.

Observed by the wife alone

These are for death in her parental family. The husband doesn't have to observe these.

Brother ( upanayanam done )- Three days
Brother's son ( upanayana done )- Three days
Sister's son ( upanayana done )- Three days
Stepmother- Three days

Father's brother- One and a half days
Mother's sister- One and a half days
Mother's brother- One and a half days
Father's sister- One and a half days
Daughters of the above four- One and a half days
Father's father- One and a half days
Father's mother- One and a half days
Mother's father- One and a half days
Mother's mother- One and a half days
Sister- One and a half days
Sister's daughter- One and a half days

Step mother's Son, daughter, brother, or sister- One day
Son of the above four ( upanayana done) or daughter ( unmarried)- One day
Step mother's father or mother- One day

Author

Ramaswamy Sastry and Vighnesh Ghanapaathi

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