DEATH RITUALS

by Chennai based K.B.Gopalakrishnan

12th, FEB,2009 1:33PM

 

          Brahmin community is supposed to hold the esoteric knowledge. True many of them hold the secrets in the form of rituals. But many of them are not clairvoyant or psychic which makes it makes it tougher for people to understand. Added to this are some of the greatest name in Indian spiritual tradition are anti Brahmin and anti ritual.

Any ritual in the tradition is kept for a purpose. Opposing in the name of spiritual stuff and telling god is highest only reflects the partial truth, for example I have seen personally the energy body of mine getting affected due to spirits during the days of sharadda karma. Also there is mood swings. With out psychic protection and metta practice many people will find to keep themselves in balance. For example the ritual of offering water as tarpana is useful in many ways. One of the important use is one can sleep well with less mood swings. Generally one can be very soft in nature. I need a whole book to explain the  use of every rituals. With out going in to cumber some details rituals have multidimensional effect. One can see effects physically and mental in the events, people and places with astral and ethereal level. It has effect of time of past present and future.

 

What is the use of death ritual – it is mainly done to help the spirit to travel from the ethereal to netheral and then to astral world. The description in garuda purana or the bardo of the Tibetan Buddhism is mainly the description of the astral body journey after the death. The Tibetan book of death is more detailed and elaborate than the Indian book of dead. It is lost and forgotten tradition in India though this country is  the pioneer in the esoteric knowledge.

 

First day of the ritual when a person is dead the body is cremated. outside the house fire is lit just to tell the world that someone has died. The gulika kala is avoided because the dead person’s astral body will find traveling into the astral world very difficult. The body is given a bath. The vaka rice or the final rice is put by the people because in a way food connect all of us and also the dead person can eat the essence of the rice energy. The priest comes and makes the fire. All homam is done through oupasana ritual. It this case the ritual reversal where everything is done in the reverse fashion. It is actually a prakdishana. A rope is put and connection is made with the dead person and karta. The main reason is just to show symbolically the astral cords which barabara brenman hands on light talks about and it will be cut. Psychic protection is done with water and pot is broken which shows symbolically one is dead.

 

Normally death is not celebrated in the Brahmin community to show the mood of the people. In the other community there is tantric way of celebration of death. Drinking dancing throwing flowers is done. In a way it will also disperse the energy with the sound. If one hears the beat one feels like dancing. Now days this kind of death beat is used for the dance songs.

 

Second day – one goes to the cremation ground. Has bath which cleans the mental body. One of the important things which is done on that day`` is collecting the bones. Of course the dead person is offered food. Ritually the dead person energy is invoked in to sila or small stone. Then they try to keep shodasa ritual partially,by keeping shoes, umbrella clothes in a symbolic manner. Then the bones are collected with prayers. Thirdly a small fire is developed which does praya chitta for the mistakes done in ritual or with the dead person. This is also oupasana homam done in anti clock wise direction.

 

Essence of the rituals is offering food and also the collection of the bones. If a person does not belong to Brahmin community or do not know the mantra food is offered. Then the ashes is mixed in lake or beach.

From the second day on wards the nitya vidi starts which is not done today. They do it till the 9th day. Basically the dead person’s energy invoked in to shila or a stone. Then the abhsikam is done with water, sand plus water and then the vasodokum. The milk and curd is not offered. Then the panda is kept as the offering. Naryana is invoked to say please satisfy the preta and with your grace makes this dead person happy with the food we offer. Because what ever one offer is not going to satisfy the dead person whose has lost the the taste faculty.

 

This is done even on the tenth day. On the tenth day a large quanity of food is offered. The preta or dead person is told good bye by the relatives. A final blessing is taken from them. Even the relatives are allowed to do the tarpana to make the person to go the other side.

 

The abhsiekam is done to cool the person and also reduce the level of thirst. Every day food is kept to satisfy the hunger. Cooling is done because when the body burns the spirit level person can have an impact.

 

The 11th day is crucial. Lord shiva is invoked. These days calf Is made to come symbolically. I think in olden days the real bull was brought. Then they send the spirit to the other side. They say that dead person holds the tail of the calf and goes to the other side. This shows they are crossing the bardo.

 

On this day the fire is lit and the food is offered with milk and curd in 4 parts. The food is burnt because the person can not eat physically. In a way we are sending the essence of the energy. Lord yama is also worshiopped because he the deity who preside over the death.

 

Then the dead person energy invoked and food is offered. This is called othan in tamil or single men. After karta serves the food one is not allowed to see the othan. Symbolically he represents the dead person.

 

Literally spirits can connect with the astral body and eat. One sees the ad of amitba in Cadbury or the movie ghost were hero or heroine kisses each other it is easier to understand. Spirits can eat through us if one is not sensitive.

 

The 12th day the dead person is energetically connected in to the lineage where all the dead people for last three generation is connected. It is called as sapandi karnam. After which the first sharadda is offered this is called as masiakm and shoda kumbam.

 

Finally subham is done were dead person is praised and also small homam is done to clear the energy.

 

Dead person ash tells the tale. If person body is burnt fully then it shows peaceful death. Some of the body heart is some organ is not burnt which shows karmic connection.

 

How the ritual is done is directly proportional to the person’s good karma and how the dead person is going to travel into the astral world.

 

Remembering offering food and water is useful for dead person. This is essence of the dead ritual where prayers or divine energy is invoked. The Christians offer the mass for all the 13 days. This is also in a way to lift the energy body.

 

Even I have understood the ritual till I participated in 3 times. One for grand mother, one for father and one for mother.

 

 

 


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