Sutak Rules For Relatives After Death

Sutak rules

 

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

 

Knowledge Base

Agni-dagdhas and Anagni-dagdhas
Those pitrus whose death rites have been performed with fire as per shastra are called Agni-dagdhas. In some cases due to neglect or the relatives unable to get the body, proper cremation is not done. Such pitrus are called Anagni-dagdhas.

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