The last rites

DEATH is quite final and sudden. But the process a soul and then the body goes through is quite tiresome. We may not understand some things and criticize our tradition blindly, but there’s something much deeper and bigger. And you can only understand that if you got the knowledge which lifts you above this materialistic world.

I’m a Hindu and some people may differ from my opinion and ideologies. I respect their beliefs and expect them to do the same, no one can say anything for certain. All we can do is BELIEVE!

Image result for gita shlok about death Our life is all about Karma and that is how we are bound to this world by it. Nothing is permanent and we know it. Death has always been related to bad and evil. It should not be, death is the end of all pain and miseries as it all belongs to the body which is turned to ashes. The death of a person is difficult for his/her loved ones though, as they still are bound by the strings of this materialistic world.

Image result for gita shlok about death

Only the body perishes. The soul is an eternal thing, which is the part of GOD  Himself. A little-detailed explanation about soul – What is a soul? .The soul carries on through its karmic index and being a believer or incarnation I would say death is just a new beginning, a fresh chapter.

People have some doubts about the system of burning bodies vs burying them. But burning is better and I’ll tell you why. The person has gone, his/her soul has wandered off to a new beginning or moksha. But if you bury them, the loved ones will be forever attached to that piece of land. As it preaches, we should break all the strings attached to the soul deceased and carry on with our karma. That is why we burn the body so that no material of the deceased person is left with us to hold on. Even his clothes and belongings are given away. His/her soul is free too then. The ashes are mixed with land and water as the body is nothing without a soul, but a waste.

I love the way the customs are designed to help the family go through the loss of a loved one. We may not like some because we are not able to understand it. First and the most controversial custom – “Only men can do the last rites and give fire to the body”. Hinduism doesn’t even allow women to go to the ghats. All the feminist may be triggered now, but hear me out.

Women are supposed to be life givers. They bring a soul to this world. Their emotional and psychological build up is such that it enables her to nurture and protects her baby no matter what. This is what enables them to go through so much to bring a soul to this world. On the other hand, men are given the responsibility of the departure of the soul from this world. Men are bought up like that, emotionally strong and mentally cold. We have to be. We have to grow to be a little insensitive and practical. You may say we don’t show emotions or even lack them. But we have to learn to be like this, or how can you expect a person to put his own parents on fire and watch them as they burn.

Burn, burn and burn. You carry them on your shoulders. The people who bought you into this world. Who made you what are. Who fed you, cleaned after you, took care of you, did things for you that not even GOd Himself would do for you. How can you carry their body and put them up to be lit and then sit there and watch them burn, while the smell gets into your head? You can see the gut falling out, the water from the body rising as steam and then poof! All is ash. Like that person never ever existed.

Even if you’ll try to imagine it you’ll get a weak stomach. And we all have to do this one day, all of us men. I may be bashed for this but we always talk about the pain a woman goes through labor but no one talks about the silent pain a man goes through when he lights his own parents and waits there for them to turn into ash. Why only men are allowed because they need to see this as soon as they exit teenage. If any guy has been there, your life can no longer be the same. You know that life is nothing when you see body lining up to be burnt, it’s all a big illusion.

Then some people criticise the long line of rituals that follow in which the son has to sit separately for 12-13 days. Well, it is because even he doesn’t show, he requires the most attention. Food is cooked only once in a day because women need to get a break from chores and spend the time to mourn the deceased. The diet and everything that happens is for a reason. The gathering, the rituals are a distraction. Imagine living alone after you lost a member of your family. Haunting! Those days the family come together to pass the toughest phase. After all, that is what family is all about.

That is why do your duties, don’t be too attached to anything as nothing is permanent, not even you. After you die, you’ll only be remembered for the things you did. That is why do something which makes this world a better place. Serve your family, that is your first duty then society. Put smiles on faces, it’ll earn you blessings. Just look up and do your KARMA!

Advertisements

Why religion?

Presently, the image of religion is not that good among the liberals because of the problems caused by it. Being an agnostic  I have always questioned the origin and tactility of religion. We have a new religion called atheism which originates from science. But if we try to wonder the world without religion, would it be feasible? I don’t think so.

In the early days when the cavemen were forming settlements and adopting agriculture, it was important for people living in that immediate area to work together as a society. We have come soo far because the society is such structured that the work is divided and as we work together as a single community (religion or country) we progress.

Now the people living together in a mass of land has to come together and agree on some common beliefs. If everyone had their own different beliefs then the conflict of interest would never have led to the successful establishment of a civilization. Therefore it was necessary for them to agree to some common beliefs so that they can relate to each one and work as a singular body. And that is why I think humans evolved at the top of the food chain. Because they were able to unite and form settlements. We have conflicts/wars between different countries and communities. But if there was no community to start with, we would be just fighting among ourselves and be among the other carnivores. If there was no religion to start with, we would also be living in packs like other animals and this face of human civilization should never have come into being.

And the geographical constraints led to the initialization of different forms of religion in different areas. But the idea was the same. Now to get them to follow this, a powerful, maybe imaginary figure was placed and that led to the blind following of religion. A religion by fear.

Over the years the concept of religion has been adulterated. It has been enterprise into one of the most successful business models. And also nowadays communities refer to a country, not religion. So the concept of religion is now obsolete. But with the firm ground of it, the idea still prevails.

It is necessary as it keeps every individual under a check. A check by his own conscious, which is a very effective way to keep the evil under control. And if the country consists majorly of one religion it works just fine. But in a multi-cultured country like India, it can place many hinderances.

Plus, we had to understand that the rules of religion and so-called culture were formed thousand of years ago. We have come a long way since. So don’t just blindly follow everything. Reason and then do. Everything had a logic. If that logic is archaic, then drop the practice. Update religion and do it the smart way!