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Brahmanism

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puzhavai

Guest
Hi friends...
my relative died recently.He has only one daughter,no son.
naturally the son in law was to perform the final rites.
the son in law is in a top position in the most leading i t firm in india.
he has no major or minor vices and leads a noble life.
he looks after his parents and parents in law alike.
he looked after his father in law in the most befitting manner,while the latter was bedridden for quite sometime.
the only fault on his side is that he is a malayalee..nair ,a non brahmin.
the final rites were performed by a nephew.,who has not much connections with the family.
is there no value for human relationship at all?
 

suraju06

Well-known member
What ism is this?

Hi friends...
my relative too died recently.He has only one daughter,no son, no grandson.
naturally the son in law was to perform the final rites.
the son in law is a successful industrialist.
he has no major or minor vices and leads a very noble life.
he looks after his parents and parents in law alike.
he looked after his father in law in the most befitting manner,while the latter was bedridden for quite sometime.
the only fault on his side is that he is from the dalit community ,a non Mudaliyar.
the final rites were performed by a nephew.,who has not much connections with the family.
is there no value for human relationship at all? What ism do we call this?
 
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Iyyarooraan

Well-known member
Antim Sanskaar to NB

It is a golden duty for everybody to do ‘antim sanskar’ to a mortal . I am sorry the problem exists with every stratum of the society. Unfortunately, why Brahminism is only highlighted in this case. In all Kerala Temples the ‘Namboodris’ just throw the ‘kalapam and tulsi’ not meaning to touch us. We, as Brahmins, are not offended. They maintain that ‘aacharam’. Anyway it is all silly to argue with that kind. Let me give an anecdote. There was an orphaned man coming from lower stratum of Tamil Society. He was running a small ‘batatavada’ corner happily. Happiness lead him to ecstasy and he became a drunkard. Consequently, the business was sliding down and the fellow was in miserable cndition. My acquaintance, a Brahmin, tried to restore that but the other fellow was less inclined. A couple of years after he decided to make a tour to the South. Somewhere near Tiruchy he collapsed. Some good people retrieved from his person his whereabout s and my acq. got the call. He told the people to keep the body for him to do needful. He left immediately and landed there. The person died had no relatives nor belonging. The body had to be consumed to fire. Then the travail follows. He took the body to a nearest ‘samsaan’ where it was refused. Then a second, third and fourth. My friend realized how difficult it is to be a Brahmin. The contrast only queered the good efforts. Ultimately and eventually at the 5th try the body was consigned after about 20 miles travel. The dead and the ‘did’ will ever be happy in the heavens.
 
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puzhavai

Guest
do u know any family where the final rites were performed by a daughter?i just wish to know.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
it is true that friendship has no place in the hierarchy of our rituals and functions.

we have been living in toronto for over 35 years. the tambram community of those who came in the 70s, 80s is a very close knit one, much better than any relatives.

of late our children have been getting married. guess who gets the prime recognition in those functions? some aunt or obscure cousin from vancouver or the usa, with whom they hardly have any contact, who does not know the boy or girl of the marriage and who come/go like guests (which they are).

it is the friends who slog and help all along. unfortunately the best saris goes to the relatives. it is a point of contention for some women but others take it in their stride, vowing to do the same when THEIR turn comes.

whatever it may be, if such a case as what puzhavai happens to me, i hope whoever does the kiriya loves me and wishes to do of his own accord. does not matter about caste. :)
 

sangom

Well-known member
Unfortunately, there is no practice for people to leave a clause in their will regarding who should do his/her funeral and in what manner - religious, secular, etc. In the present case, I think if the daughter or son-in-law had just pressed the point it would have been allowed. But the funeral and all is a very intricate matter, and, in the absence of any facts, is it not possible that the daughter herself might have allowed a "pure Brahman" funeral for her father?
 

Nara

Well-known member
...But the funeral and all is a very intricate matter, and, in the absence of any facts, is it not possible that the daughter herself might have allowed a "pure Brahman" funeral for her father?
Dear Shri Sangom sir, SV Guruparampara Prabhavam speaks of an incidence when Swami Periya Nambi, who became the head of SVs right after Swami Alavandhar and right before Bhagavat Ramanuja, performed the last rites to a Dalit called Maran Ner Nambi who was a fellow disciple of Swami Alavandhar. For this act of extreme insolence, Swami Periya Nambi was ostracized by fellow Brahmins and treated with contempt.

This incidence, if true, shows there was a shining moment in SV history where a true attempt was made to dump the Varna system and usher in a more compassionate vision of society, in the mode of Periyazhvar's encouragement to Brahmins to shun their பண்டைக்குலம் and join தொண்டர் குலம். Alas, Vadama Brahmins, joing the ranks of SV, shut all this down and gave a varna system based interpretation to the revolutionary words of Azhvars. That shining moment turned out to be just a flicker.
Verse #5:
அண்டக்குலத்த்துக் அதிபதியாகி அசுரர் இராக்கதரை

இண்டைக்குலத்தை எடுத்துக் களைந்த இருடீகேசன் தனக்கு
தொண்டக்குலத்திலுள்ளீர் வந்தடி தொழுது ஆயிரநாமம் சொல்லி
பண்டைக் குலத்தைத் தவிர்ந்து பல்லாண்டு பல்லாயிரத்தாண்டு என்மினே.
Cheers!
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
Hindus in general get the last rites performed by the eldest son. I do not think this is peculiar only to Brahmins.

Yes. I know of instances where the daughters have performed the last rites. Tamil Brahmins. But getting a sasthirigal to do it is always a problem. I have seen daughters performing obsequies in Bengal. I have not bothered to check up whether they did the last rites also. Then women perform Puja in almost all Bengali homes including Brahmins.

We performed a pucca Tamil Brahmin marriage when the Bride was a non-Brahmin, Non-Tamilian. Again getting a Sasthirigal was a problem.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
..

We performed a pucca Tamil Brahmin marriage when the Bride was a non-Brahmin, Non-Tamilian. Again getting a Sasthirigal was a problem.

Not at all a problem in Toronto. we have several temples and priests, where hindus marry non hindus per hindu customs - brahmin, NB or arya samaj.

No Problem :)
 
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puzhavai

Guest
the person who died,had insisted that the son in law was nearly a son to him,and the rituals to be performed by him only,once the death happens.still,aft the death.a lot of discussions happened,and the faithful wife was scared that his athma would not attain moksha if a nair performed the rites on her brahmin husband.so,the'pure brahmin' send..off was performed by a person who has very minimal contact with the family.
 
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puzhavai

Guest
we too performed a tamil brahmin wedding for our daughter who married a maharashtrian.but the post d eath rituals were commended...
 

Nara

Well-known member
.... the faithful wife was scared that his athma would not attain moksha if a nair performed the rites on her brahmin husband.so,the'pure brahmin' send..off was performed by a person who has very minimal contact with the family.
This is the legacy of Brahminism. When it comes down to it, superstition rules, "what if" matters more than "what is".

This is the true legacy of religion in general, not just Brahminism. Religion hides where science has not reached yet. It thrives only where human intellect is trying to figure things out. Religion runs away from where science provides a firm answer.

It is religion that makes the otherwise decent wife choose a distant brahmin relative who cares little for the dearly departed than an NB who loved him as much as he can. That is what religion makes ordinary decent people do.

Cheers!
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Professor Nara Ji,

You know my position on God and 'religion'.

But in this instance I am with you. This is sad. And should not happen in any religion.

But a hope, just a hope on my part is that these practices are now a diminishing part of any religion. Religion should not negate humanity.

Regards,
KRS
 

Nara

Well-known member
....But a hope, just a hope on my part is that these practices are now a diminishing part of any religion. Religion should not negate humanity.
Dear Shri KRS, I understand your anguish, and I also know we have our opinions, but who is to say who is right, only time can tell. I don't claim anything more than my own conviction, which, from a neutral POV, is no more right or wrong than your own, that religion, with all its superstitions, is more deserving our derision than reverence.

Cheers!
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Professor,

You have said: than your own, that religion, with all its superstitions, is more deserving our derision than reverence.

What trying a fast one? You are so identifying with me nowadays, you are attributing your view to mine! :)

Regards,
KRS
 

Nara

Well-known member
....What trying a fast one? You are so identifying with me nowadays, you are attributing your view to mine! :)
Touché dear older brother, I get to claim liberties, you have to be ever so tolerant and older-brotherly :).

Glad you can make smiley face -- when used sparingly, it does add a crucial dimension to the two-dimensional textual communication.

your ever quarrelsome brother in arms :)
 

sangom

Well-known member
the person who died,had insisted that the son in law was nearly a son to him,and the rituals to be performed by him only,once the death happens.still,aft the death.a lot of discussions happened,and the faithful wife was scared that his athma would not attain moksha if a nair performed the rites on her brahmin husband.so,the'pure brahmin' send..off was performed by a person who has very minimal contact with the family.

Generally, even those among us tabras who speak of progressive ideas in day to day life, buckle under baseless fear and superstition in the face of a death in the family. (Let me make it amply clear that this is not an innuendo on Shri Nara.) Just to prove my bonafides, let me narrate a small inciden from my life. My younger brother's wife expired - at a young age - and the body was taken to the burning ghat. When we returned home, there was some hubbub; our vaadhyaar had forgotten to keep "punyaaham" water for purifying the house. When everyone was discussing what next to do, my younger brother's colleague and neighbour, a Namboodiri, came with a 'compu' of water with some darbhai, mango leaves, etc., and said he had recited "punyaaha mantras" and it can be used. All were happy. Till date no untoward incident has happened.

But when I confidentially asked him (Shri Namboodiri) what exactly was done, he said though he knew the mantras and procedures etc., there was no time for doing all that, and since he knew it was more psychological, he just drew water from his well took one compu, put the darbhai and mango leaves - available in plenty in that rural area - and made the scene quiet. He said there was no point in trying to reason with people in those circumstances.

In another case of death of a daayaati of mine, the vaadhyaar came, took the compu, and finished the punyaaham in less than two minutes! I could make out what sort of job he might have done.

So, in the case of death, fear of what might befall 'us' overrules commonsense, IMO.
 
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Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
I agree with Sangom.

We have one too many such beliefs.

When my father died my children wanted to accompany the body to the Smasanam. The Sasthirigal objected saying that they can not do so as their father (myself) is alive. My eldest son who was in school at that time and who adored my father got angry and shouted "Go to hell" at the sasthirigal. We had a tough time pacifying the sasthirigal and my son. But my children did go to the smasana with my father's body.

When my mother in law died, my wife wanted to go to the smasana. The sasthirigal objected. Again my wife accompanied her mother's body to the samasana.
 
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pviyer

Guest
"When my mother in law died, my wife wanted to go to the smasana. The sasthirigal objected. Again my wife accompanied her mother's body to the samasana."

This is a more practical custom, it need not be so brutally restricted if the concerned parties want to go to the cremation ground. But this restriction is based on the fact that the presence of women holds the soul back longer into the world without seeking to move on to the next world.
I dont know why every simple thing has to be turned into an abuse on our religion!

Regarding the Nair,performing cremation, it all depends on social conventions.
Today we have two kind of people
1. People who by their good actions , conduct and performance of puja have acquired an auspicious presence
2. The others who have neglected veda dharma

If the dead person had a relation who was good in morality and auspiciousness he should be the preferred person to perform cremation. But if the dead person himself felt that he should be cremated by his son-in-law what do we have to say. It may be followed as per the dead man's commands-Its his decision. This is not a matter of right but a matter of duty, the right person must perform the rituals. A brahmin who can recite the mantras well and has already acquired auspicious qualities is the most right person in this matter, if at all such a person is available. In matter of such ceremonies, the real eligibility is decided by the person's ability to adhere to vedic rituals, who can cause the mantras to have a better impact. For that matter, as per shastras, if the eldest son does not have a good adherence to dharma then it is better of to look for other eligible members in the families who can do the ritual. The case of a nair not being able to perform the rites is incidental. I feel it should be allowed if the dead man is going to dislike that situation when somebody else does it. But then one must not expect the sastrigal to change his views, if that sastrigal does not agree, do it as per a sastrigal who agrees, or as per nair tradition. I think the family took a practical decision considering all factors and went in for the distant relative. Lets leave it at that, nothing unnatural is going to happen to the departed soul, since its his own wife's decision.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
puzhavai,

did anyone ask the son in law how HE felt about all these things.

i completely agree one hundred percent, that at the time of death, all reasoning gets thrown out. only emotions and fears rule.

i have already mentioned in a couple of posts about my own situation 47 years ago, when on my maternal grandmother's death - my mother wanted me to do the kriya; whereas one vedaasrami vedic scholar uncle insisted that the kriya should be done by my mother/he sister.

ofcourse mom prevailed.

btw, now a days, with familes having only daughters, this is going to be a big issue. i hope very soon, we get to the norms, that the rites, if performed at all, be done by someone who was closest and who loved the departed.
 

sangom

Well-known member
I understand there was/is (?) a solution to people with no male issues. It seems in the past some male member used to actually perform the funeral (in the burning place) after getting authority from the deceased's wife and she used to perform the annual sraddhas subject to certain restrictions regarding ritual pollution during menses and all that. This is from what I have seen and been told by elders. I don't have any text dealing with this.

May be a similar procedure can be used for daughter doing the last rites of parents.
 

Haridasa Siva

New member
Most views expressed in this thread are good and interesting. Just the title of the thread does not seem to be appropriate. Emotions are commoon to all human beings irrespective of their caste or religion or faith.
 
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kkumar29

Guest
The funny thing about this whole incident is had the son-in-law been adopted ("datthu") with a proper ceremony when the FIL was alive, there would have been no problem. Everyone would have accepted his right to perform the rites. He could have even been adopted by anyone of the relatives. Strange are our ways and customs:) I have been told that this gets done in families where there are no male children.

K. Kumar.
 

sangom

Well-known member
The funny thing about this whole incident is had the son-in-law been adopted ("datthu") with a proper ceremony when the FIL was alive, there would have been no problem. Everyone would have accepted his right to perform the rites. He could have even been adopted by anyone of the relatives. Strange are our ways and customs:) I have been told that this gets done in families where there are no male children.

K. Kumar.

I am doubtful whether the secular law or the religious saastra allows adoption of son-in-law, (non-brahman as far as religious saastra is concerned.).
 
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