Ekothistam Othan Eleventh Day Ceremony for The Dead
Having made the Pretha get disgusted with the basic urge for Food,one should now look for measures to help the Pretha to join the ancestors.
The Pretha,which had turned away from food now has nowhere to go and keeps loitering.
On the Eleventh day ceremony for the dead the Pretha is made to be present in the body of a Brahmin and the Brahmin is fed.
This is called Ekothishta,Othan in Tamil.
Daughters must be present.
Sraddha food is prepared and the Brahmin is offered the food.
Uthishta means Brahmins in this context Ekothista means one Brahmin.
After the Brahmin is asked to take the food,he walks away to eat the food.
Those present are not to see him.
Shanti Homa in the form of Sri Rudram is performed after this.
Some perform it on the twelfth day.
Why should not one see the Brahmin who is offered the food?
The Brahmin is treated as the Pretha.
Mantras are chanted asking the Pretha to descend in the body of the Brahmin.
Originally 32 Kavalas (32 palmful),were offered.
The Brahmin who took the food died as soon as he finished eating the food.
Hence the practice of offering food instead of Kavala palmful) has been followed.
And as the Brahmin is the personification of the Pretha and a Brahmin having died taking the food,the practice of not looking at the Brahmin has come into vogue.