By Swami Harshananda
Āmaśrāddha literally means srāddha with raw materials’.
It is obligatory on the part of every person to perform śrāddha, a religious rite to please and to benefit the dead ancestors. It is normally performed, with the offerings of cooked food. However, there are occasions like journey or aśauca (ceremonial impurity caused by the birth of a son and so on) when this will not be possible.
The dharmaśāstras advise that on such occasions āmaśrāddha can be performed. Other things being the same, uncooked grains take the place of cooked food, the quantity of the grains being 2 to 4 times the grains required for offering cooked food. Āmaśrāddha is always prescribed for śudras.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore