After death, the soul passes through a 55-day dream in which it experiences all its samskaras or memory patterns. For example, if I have gotten angry a thousand times in my life, I do not carry a thousand angers but they distil into a single drop which becomes a part of the library of samskaras which every soul carries. In this long dream, the soul experiences all these samskaras in different dream forms.
If the soul is totally hypnotised by the dream, it cannot do anything to redeem these memories arising in dream symbols, but in these 55 days, we can help the person who has just died. The Mahabharata deals a lot with how the father’s form repeats in his son. Thus the right thing would be that every son does these practices for his father.
First, choose one corner of a room, preferably that of the departed. Keep his photo and something he used, such as a napkin or vest, next to it. Put some food next to the photo. Sit silently in front of the photo for five minutes every day, preferably at the same time. Try to sense him, as a presence, not a photo, as the person in the photo has already been cremated or buried. Now tell him that the food is for him. Say it in a resonating way as he does not have a brain that understands language but he can feel the vibrations. Tell him the food is for him. He will come to eat the food and just by smelling it, his hunger will be appeased.
Now, in the same resonation, tell him that everything is allright here. Tell him he is in a dream and whatever he is seeing is his own mind (brain and mind being separate) and he should not feel frightened. If he is seeing a terrible form, tell him that just by asking, it will change immediately. Say to him that these are all only his own samskaras and this is a good opportunity to be free of them by just observing and not getting involved. Finally, tell him the guru is next to him and he should ask for his help. Do this for 45 days. In the next ten days, we add something.