Disclaimer: Purely my own fiction, not for serious reading.
Once a person dies, his atma will be lingering around this globe with out direction! So his son, does these "karyalu" just to ensure that the old-man's atma understands that he has really died. Else, the dead fellow will remian in this planet itself and will never ever give account of his punya or paapam to his creator.
Then, they give a gow-daanam (Cow is donated) so that the atma can take the tail of the Cow and cross the vitharini - the most polluted river. The significance of this is - dumbos, the pollution you make on this planet effect your safe passage to hell/heaven, so do not pollute this place.
Then, the 13th day celebration - so that the remaining folks can celebrate the departure of the old man. All along this oldie might have created all sorts of troubles to the people, with his useless advices and rules, so the young will celebrate his death... hence it is called "pandaga". The significance is - dumbos, do not cause unnecessary trouble to others while you are alive, least that they celebrate your death.
Masikam - it is like the monthy money-order that needs to be sent to the hell/heaven, so that the old man gets his food at regular intervals.
Samvarsarikam - it is the annual subscription for registering the dead folks at their abode.
Moral: Why worry about after death - give the old fellows their due respect etc while they are alive. There is no use donating a Cow after someone's death, when you did not share a glass of milk with that person when alive. Why do all these kandas, when you did not give one meal a day to your elders.
My take: I am really awerse to the a$$h01es who do these kind of dramas to their "pithru devulus" - but when they were alive did not even care to give good food or residence.
What ever I have written is what I interpret - based on my limited knowledge of rituals. But one thing - think of yourselves and your nearones, when you are alive - not after death. For Death is unknown and also cannot be known.
On 11/30/07, Sunil Kumar Surabhi <...> wrote:
I would like to know the actual meaning behind the various rituals, we normally perform after the death of some one i.e. from the day one of the death to 13th day and monthly rituals (Maasikams) till the first death ceremony (Edudi/Saamvastarikam), sorry if i mis-spelt.I would also like to know the stages of journey of the soul to heaven, through out these 12 months.I guess Athreya garu is the fit person to explain this. I request others also to help me in knowing this.Thanks and regards