Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Lubomír OndračkaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_458-1


Śrāddha is a general term for various kinds of domestic ancestral rites.


Ancestral rites were already present in Vedic religion. We have solid and relatively rich textual evidence demonstrating that they formed an important part of ritual activity in ancient India. Śrāddha developed from these complex Vedic rituals [20, 22, 23] and soon became one of the most important domestic Hindu rituals. Today it is regularly performed on many occasions throughout the Hindu world. Śrāddha’s great importance among Hindu rituals is reflected in the vast amount of Sanskrit literature dealing with various kinds of śrāddha, starting with Gṛhyasūtras (which document śrāddha’s formative period); followed by Dharmaśāstras, the Mahābhārata, and Purāṇas (particularly the Garuḍapurāṇa [6]); and culminating in voluminous medieval dharmaśāstric compendia on which modern practical manuals are based. Śrāddhais such a complex subject that to write a reliable introduction to it would require...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Faculty of ArtsCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic