CONNECTED WITH DEATH
the child returned from the formal education he would take
over the family’s means of livelihood and he would take a
wife who would take over the reins of the household.
the elder couple of the house would now have more time to
devote to their spiritual pursuits; until finally, when they
were ready, they would take “sanyas” which meant that they
would literally renounce the world. They would proceed for the
forest and meditate upon the deeper values of life until their
Hindu philosophy, death has been compared to the ‘shedding
off’ of an old garment for a new one.
the Hindus, when a person dies he is immediately laid on the
floor and a small flame is lit near the body. The body is laid
out on the floor so that the germs that emanate from the
corpse do not spread on the mattress. The Hindus believe that
when a man dies his spirit comes out from the body and,
because of his attachment to his family and material
possessions, continues to inhabit his home. Since the spirit
does not possess a physical form any more, the Hindus believe
that it rests on the flame that has been lit near the dead
Hindus cremate the body, symbolizing that all elements present
in the body return to the elements present in the Cosmos. Then
there is a period of prayers in the home of the deceased. In
the case of the Sindhis, it normally lasts for a period of 12
and philosophers claim that time is the greatest healer; and
prayer is our greatest help in times of sorrow.
the twelve days of prayer after the death of a person there is
frenzied activity in the house. The priests have to be fed.
Prayers have to be performed. Guests drop in for condolence.
In other words there is not much time to think.
the formal period of prayer is over, the sorrow and a feeling
of loss strike the bereaved person but by then, he has had
time to accept the loss to a certain degree and he knows that
he has to somehow go on with the business of living. On the
10th day after the persons death the diya (flame) which had
been lit in the house is carried to the sea, after night-long
immersion of the diya into the sea is to inform the spirit
that now he should truly break attachment with the former
life, and start his progress in the world beyond. It is
however difficult to forget the loved one who has departed.
once a year, the devout Hindu feeds a pandit (priest), what
the departed soul liked to eat during his lifetime, believing
that by feeding a priest the departed soul would get
satisfaction. This system is called “Shradh” and is
derived from the word ‘Shradha” which means faith and
the cooked food fed to the Brahmin reaches the departed soul
is debatable: however we know that love and devotion have no
By offering food to the cow, one feeds the Devtas,
Ants and crow are offered food, they represent all
birds. Their dark colour is believed to absorb negative energies.
the Christians it is common to offer a Mass for the dead and
take flowers to the grave on the death anniversary of the
the various customs we have covered we see that even though
the ritual of the customs differ to a certain degree in
different creeds the underlying motive is the same.
all, even though we may be belonging to different religions,
we all belong to one big family of Humanity and as such our
aspirations, needs, joys and sorrows cannot differ very much
from one another.
tend to fight with each other to prove which religion is truer
but we forget that the message of all religions has been the
same; and If we go down to the roots of all creeds the
underlying message does not differ. After all, it has to be
so, as Truth is always unchanging and eternal. It is my belief
that it is the followers who interpret the same truth in
different ways and come out with different conclusions.
different practices and beliefs may have also emanated
depending upon the cultural and geographic environment from
where they sprouted.
all, all religions believe in one God, who is omnipresent,
omniscient and all-powerful. We all believe that God is Truth
and God is Love.
religions believe In the Power of Prayer. Muslims and
Christians believe in Heaven and Hell that souls inherit after
death depending upon their deeds here on earth; whereas Hindus
believe that Heaven and Hell are on this plane itself,
depending again upon the good or evil deeds committed. Thus we
believe that when a soul enjoys joy and sense of contentment,
he is in Heaven, whereas when he has no peace of mind, then he
is in his own custom-made Hell.
Upanishads claim that the Atman (God within us) cannot be
reached through much learning or much use of the intellect.
Jesus Christ proclaims: “Except ye be converted and become
as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of
Katha Upanishad proclaims “The path is narrow as the edge of
Is the way which leads unto life.”
believe that we are a small part (atman ) of the whole (Paramatma).
In other words we are the same children of God and enjoy the
same inherent qualities.
also believe that man is made in the likeness of God, and the
Kingdom of God is within each one of us. Jesus Christ claimed;
“I and my Father are one”.
Hindus believe In a trinity:
(Creator) (Preserver) (Destroyer)
Son and Holy Spirit
occultists believe in
Love and Power
at large believes in
Body and Soul.