Thus Vishnu mentions the Pakayajnas while describing the duties of a
house- holder 7 and the different kinds of marriages, with their constituents, in the
chapter dealing with 'women'. 8 In the Grhya-Sutras, as we have seen, they are described
in the same context and form part of the wedding ceremony. Parasara does not supply us
with any information on the above points.
It is Madhava charya who gives us considerable information on the
various details of ceremonies. He draws his materials from different sources; and thus
throws light on the various new developments in law and society since the days of Manu.
One of the important points that engaged the attention of the mediaeval writers is the
exact meaning of Sapinda, for a girl who is a Sapinda cannot be married.
Even the earlier lawgivers ordained this, but the question does not
seem to have engrossed the attention of the earlier writers. It became important and
complex by the time of Madhava charya; for not only did the selection of the bride depend
upon it, but also the validity of the marriage was determined by it. As the girl must be
Asapinda, the extension and the limit of this relation of Pindas became disputable.
The word has been thus explained. One who has one Pinda (funeral
cake) common is a Sapinda; and hence one who has not this unanimity of Pindas is an
Asapinda. This connection of the funeral cakes is believed to extend to seven generations.
The funeral cake or Pinda, offered by one, is partaken of by three: the father, the
grandfather and the great-grandfather.
Hence this Pinda extends to one of the Lepabhajins. The
Matsya Purana defines the Lepabhajins as the fathers, from the fourth generation onwards,
who partake of the funeral cake. They are three in number. Hence the relation of Pinda
extends to seven generations, beginning from the offered of a Pinda.