E-Pinddaan or Online Pinddaan is for those who do not have the time or is not able to come to visit Gaya, Varanasi or Allahabad, the main centres where this Hindu ritual is performed.
The Pitrapaksha or the fortnight during which the offering is made to one’s ancestors, most of the requests come from those living abroad, for whom coming to India is difficult.
It is prefered the person to visit Gaya for offering the Pind to his ancestors. But in special cases, when he does not have time to come here or if he is in a foreign country, rituals are done on his behalf and send a CD/DVD to him with a full recording of the rituals for the person’s satisfaction.
To avail of the service, one needs to provide the details of the person for whom one wants to offer Pind, like relationship, at what age he/she died, reason of death, place of death, time of death and name of the family members on whose behalf the puja is to be performed etc.
According to a Pandit of Varanasi, ideally the concerned person should himself perform the rituals, but if that is not possible, there is a provision in the ancient scriptures for others to do it. According to Garuda Purana and other religious books, anyone can perform religious rituals on your behalf. It would be considered successful and all the credit will be yours, as if you have performed them.
However, there are some priests who are opposing this service, especially in Gaya. There are some Katha Wachaks (those who recite religious stories) from outside, who set up their camps here during Pitrapaksha and charge hefty amounts from people for every Pinddaan. Since most of these services are offered by the local priests, they oppose the move.
Many of the priests are not adapt at communication technology like internet, whatsapp etc., and so are not able to get online service requests from people, especially from foreign countries. These are the priests who are opposing the move.
Otherwise there is nothing wrong in performing the rituals in absence of the relative.