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By Swami Harshananda

Avidhavā-navamī-śrāddha literally means obsequial rites to a dead non-widow, on the ninth day’.

Married women cherish death before their husband's. Such ladies are called ‘avidhavās’ or ‘non-widows.’ The śrāddha or obsequious rite for such women is performed on the ninth day during the dark half of the month Bhādra- pada (corresponding roughly to September) by their sons or younger male relatives.

One of the specialties of this rite is that not only a brāhmaṇa but also married ladies whose husbands are alive, are invited, fed and given presents. The rite generally ceases to be performed when their husbands die.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore