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Rituals for Death Ceremonies..just a question

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renuka

Well-known member
Dear all,

Can anyone here clear my doubt?
You see I have witnessed ceremonies like the Antayesthi and 1st death anniversary(Non Brahmin ones) where the Brahmin Priest tells us to place some types of vegetables on banana leaves as to offer for the ancestors.

We are told all these vegetables esp during Antayesthi is to aid the transmigration of the "soul" during its journey to the Loka of destination.

My question is if these vegetables are for the soul(via subtle essense) then why is it not also placed in flowing water like the Pinda?
The vegetables are taken back home by the priests and only the non edible Pinda is placed in flowing water.

So is this practise of placing vegetables really needed ?

Can anyone shed some light?
 

Brahmanyan

Well-known member
Dear Dr. Renuka Karthikeyan,

As you know "Anthyeshti" is the last of the Samskaras (Sacrament) prescribed for a Hindu. According to Maxmueller " these ceremonies reflect the deep rooted tendency in the heart of man to bring the chief events of human life into contact with a higher power, and to give to our joys and suffering a deeper significance and a religious sanctification". If we analyze the religious ceremonies, they will look ridiculous to a rational mind. These are the same in all religions. But for a believer these will give a great satisfaction and solace to the mind. Being a Doctor yourself you know well that food offered are only for a physical body which is living.

When we grow older we face many unanswered questions about life, better let us leave them as they are, only the Creator has the answers for them. Let us enjoy the known things in Life as it is . By dissecting, we may not enjoy the beauty of the Flower.

Regards,

Brahmanyan,
Bangalore.
 
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renuka

renuka

Well-known member
Dear Dr. Renuka Karthikeyan,

As you know "Anthyeshti" is the last of the Samskaras (Sacrament) prescribed for a Hindu. According to Maxmueller " these ceremonies reflect the deep rooted tendency in the heart of man to bring the chief events of human life into contact with a higher power, and to give to our joys and suffering a deeper significance and a religious sanctification". If we analyze the religious ceremonies, they will look ridiculous to a rational mind. These are the same in all religions. But for a believer these will give a great satisfaction and solace to the mind. Being a Doctor yourself you know well that food offered are only for a physical body which is living.

When we grow older we face many unanswered questions about life, better let us leave them as they are, only the Creator has the answers for them. Let us enjoy the known things in Life as it is . By dissecting, we may not enjoy the beauty of the Flower.

Regards,

Brahmanyan,
Bangalore.

Dear sir,

I was just very curious here..see as a doctor we only know about physical body and also of the gross form of food but thats not entirely the end point as any gross form does have a subtle form and food does have its subtle essence.

Dear Sir when I have a reasonable doubt dont get me wrong that i am disagree with a cultural practise but just want to find out more and the principle behind anything thats all.

I would really like you or anyone else to clear my doubt..

thank you
renuka
 

sarma-61

New member
Dear sir,

I was just very curious here..see as a doctor we only know about physical body and also of the gross form of food but thats not entirely the end point as any gross form does have a subtle form and food does have its subtle essence.

Dear Sir when I have a reasonable doubt dont get me wrong that i am disagree with a cultural practise but just want to find out more and the principle behind anything thats all.

I would really like you or anyone else to clear my doubt..

thank you
renuka

Smt Renuka ji,

I know only about the customs among brahmins. I do not think we place vegetables etc., during anthyeshti, in the manner stated by you. But brahmins who can afford the expenses are required to perform "nityasraaddham" for one year commencing from the 14th. day after demise. I am given to understand that this was adhered to by the well-off and orthodox brahmins even during the 1920's and 1930's.

Every day two brahmins will be invited for the nithyasraaddham, sraaddham will be done and the two brahmins given meals with all the usual dishes customary for the family of the demised person. People who could not perform this sort of serious task for one year, used to give raw rice and kaccha plantains (அரிசி and வாழைக்காய்) to two brahmins daily; this was a mediocre way equivalent to feeding the sraaddham meals.

This has now shortened to giving அரிசி and வாழைக்காய் for a number of people on the 10th. or 11th. day as a substitute for what is required to be given daily for the next one year. I understand that according to saastram, the giving of these two items satisfies the hunger of the departed soul.

There was one Swami Krishnanda near Anand in Gujarat. He was different from most of the modern swamijis in the sense that he never went after publicity, foreign branches, money, etc., nor did he teach yoga of one sort or another. If one reads his autobiography, one will find that as a young man he was the questioning type but he met many ascetics with superhuman abilities and at last became sure of the supernatural, though he himself did not claim any such power.

This Swamiji answered a questioner who asked why we should go on feeding brahmans in order to keep our manes without hunger, more or less this way (from my memory - errors may be there):

A normal human soul with average good and bad deeds, but not extreme good or bad, will take more than 200 to 300 earth years to be born again, because it will like to enjoy all the comforts eligible due its good karmas before coming again here to face the consequences of its bad karmas. This time period will correspond to 8 to 12 generations here on earth, on the average, but our ancients have asked us to look after only 3 generations, probably because they knew that people will get fed up feeding 12 generations of forefathers, or even remembering their names!

(Some Maharshtrian brahmins still do tarpanam for 7 generations, I am told.)

I have a book about life after death written by one engineer-turned-sanyasi. There he claims he is able to sense the troubles being experienced in the spirit world by the souls. In any case, giving vegetables to the brahman priest as "daanam" is only a good deed; unlike money, which can be spent on even immoral purposes, eatables can only be used for satisfying (somebody's) hunger.
 
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renuka

renuka

Well-known member
Smt Renuka ji,

I know only about the customs among brahmins. I do not think we place vegetables etc., during anthyeshti, in the manner stated by you. But brahmins who can afford the expenses are required to perform "nityasraaddham" for one year commencing from the 14th. day after demise. I am given to understand that this was adhered to by the well-off and orthodox brahmins even during the 1920's and 1930's.

Every day two brahmins will be invited for the nithyasraaddham, sraaddham will be done and the two brahmins given meals with all the usual dishes customary for the family of the demised person. People who could not perform this sort of serious task for one year, used to give raw rice and kaccha plantains (அரிசி and வாழைக்காய்) to two brahmins daily; this was a mediocre way equivalent to feeding the sraaddham meals.

This has now shortened to giving அரிசி and வாழைக்காய் for a number of people on the 10th. or 11th. day as a substitute for what is required to be given daily for the next one year. I understand that according to saastram, the giving of these two items satisfies the hunger of the departed soul.

There was one Swami Krishnanda near Anand in Gujarat. He was different from most of the modern swamijis in the sense that he never went after publicity, foreign branches, money, etc., nor did he teach yoga of one sort or another. If one reads his autobiography, one will find that as a young man he was the questioning type but he met many ascetics with superhuman abilities and at last became sure of the supernatural, though he himself did not claim any such power.

This Swamiji answered a questioner who asked why we should go on feeding brahmans in order to keep our manes without hunger, more or less this way (from my memory - errors may be there):

A normal human soul with average good and bad deeds, but not extreme good or bad, will take more than 200 to 300 earth years to be born again, because it will like to enjoy all the comforts eligible due its good karmas before coming again here to face the consequences of its bad karmas. This time period will correspond to 8 to 12 generations here on earth, on the average, but our ancients have asked us to look after only 3 generations, probably because they knew that people will get fed up feeding 12 generations of forefathers, or even remembering their names!

(Some Maharshtrian brahmins still do tarpanam for 7 generations, I am told.)

I have a book about life after death written by one engineer-turned-sanyasi. There he claims he is able to sense the troubles being experienced in the spirit world by the souls. In any case, giving vegetables to the brahman priest as "daanam" is only a good deed; unlike money, which can be spent on even immoral purposes, eatables can only be used for satisfying (somebody's) hunger.

Dear SarmaJi,

Thank you for the reply..yes I have seen in the antayesthi in year 2009 when my MIL expired and the priest a TB was asking us to arrange 3 banana leaves and place some vegs(including raw plaintain),rice,dhal,oil etc and asked name of each of her ancestor for each leaf as in her father and grandfather(paternal side)and also for each Pinda and during her 1st year anniversary it was like this..again 3 banana leaves and all same items put but this time it was names of her her mum and her grandmum were asked(maternal side) for each leaf and also for each Pinda.
 

kgopalan

Well-known member
Smt. Renukaji,

While asking a question to Bishma Pithamahar why he kept quiet while the draupathi's saree was removed Bhismar replied that only because he was eating the food prepared through duriyodhana . cooked rice will affect the sookshma sareeram. But raw uncooked rice and vegetables as you are buying from the shop after paying money from your pocket , the TB pandit is getting the raw forms and he can take it. It will do no harm.

Hindu dharma sastra asks us to put them in running water so that even dogs and cats also should not take that cooked rice.

Our blood is brahma. there is no temple for brahma. Our digestive system is shiva,and the nervous system grey in colour is maha vishnu and white in colour parvathi (shakthi). and they are brother and sister. Only alankaram will be done for maha vishnu. For shiva abhishekam will be done always. Our Purana stories are only imaginations based on these nervous system, thoracic and digestive system , and other systems in our body.

With great bhakthi and self surrendering if you hear those puranaas the system in our inner bory are being stimulated .

Again the pancha boothas agni, water,air, earth and sky are in some proportion in our body. Only the proportion is changing for cattles, trees, etc; Only the two legged animals are having the sixth sense and they can change their proportion of pancha boothas according to their wills.
\
But there are curse for brahmins during dhaksha yaga by nandhi and also by a rishi who was doing gayathri japam . During kadum varatchi period only his place was blessed with all facilities. Many brahmins came to his place and all of them were doing gayathri japam.

Only this rishi was praised although all brahmins were doing gayathri japam along with this rishi. IN INDIA only for gandhi jayanthi government has declared holiday What will happen if the people here asks holiday for all the participants of gandhi. All the 365 ays will be holidays and there will be no production.

These brahmins disliked the praise going only to that particular rishi. These brahmins brought a cow for yagyam which breathed its lost in the yagyasala . This rishi found out the reason and cursed the brahmins that they should born in the begining of kali yuga as brahmins and they should not do the rituals prescribed by the dharma sastras .

Now they are here in this world . they are not doing sandhya vandhanam and all other rituals. Curse vimochanam is also there. People who are starting doing sandhyavandhanam and gayathri japam and all other rituals to the possible extent they will be excused.
 
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renuka

renuka

Well-known member
Dear KGopalan Ji,
You know in Thailand and even here I have seen a Thai temple for Lord Brahma.
So Lord Brahma does have temples..

Thanks for reply..

renu
 
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kunjuppu

Well-known member
Dear KGopalan Ji,
You know in Thailand and even here I have seen a Thai temple for Lord Brahma.
So Lord Brahma does have temples..

Thanks for reply..

renu

renu,

i was in bangkok a few years ago. just outside my hotel, there was this street shrine. one statue, half siva half parvathi ie arthanareeswarar.

it blew my mind, as i saw this was tended, kept clean and regularly visited by passing thais. :)

i have relatives who have visited bali, and seen the hindu worshippers there. :)
 

subbudu1

New member
Dear all,

Can anyone here clear my doubt?
You see I have witnessed ceremonies like the Antayesthi and 1st death anniversary(Non Brahmin ones) where the Brahmin Priest tells us to place some types of vegetables on banana leaves as to offer for the ancestors.

We are told all these vegetables esp during Antayesthi is to aid the transmigration of the "soul" during its journey to the Loka of destination.

My question is if these vegetables are for the soul(via subtle essense) then why is it not also placed in flowing water like the Pinda?
The vegetables are taken back home by the priests and only the non edible Pinda is placed in flowing water.

So is this practise of placing vegetables really needed ?

Can anyone shed some light?

Dear Renuka,
My sincere view is that any food offered to the holy or good men will help in the migration of the departed soul.
Please make sure that you invite a good natured priest even if he seems normal as opposed to being scholarly. I am sure he will advice you on the right customs as per his knowledge. Follow it as long as it is practical and if it means feeding or giving dakshina to such men, no money is really much. Such actions will most certainly help the departed soul.

Your priest is probably following an established tradition. Quote from here
Pitru Paksha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The food offerings made to the ancestors are usually cooked in silver or copper vessels and typically placed on a banana leaf or cups made of dried leaves. The food must include Kheer (a type of sweet rice and milk) , lapsi (a sweet porridge made of wheat grains), rice, dal (lentils), the vegetable of spring bean (guar) and a yellow gourd (pumpkin).[4]
 

gopaindu

Active member
I want to give a reply giving more information on this. Presently, I have forgotten and I need to consult some books. Hence, I will furnish a detailed reply after some time.raja48.
 

suraju06

Well-known member
Dear Renuka,

The answer to your question is:

1. Pinda is cooked food. vegetable etc are food to be cooked-they are in the raw. These are called ஆமம் & பக்குவம் meaning raw and cooked.

2. Obviously cooked food is offered to nature -probably to reach the manes-like to the crows or the fishes in water etc.

3. Both the pinda(cooked rice) and the vegetables are offered to the pitr through a medium. The medium is crow, fishes or the brahmin.

4. While the crow or the fish does not live by any rules, the brahmin is supposed to follow certain rules. He is supposed to have taken a vow not to eat any thing cooked outside his house.(Reason:as given above in "While asking a question to Bishma Pithamahar why he kept quiet while the draupathi's saree was removed Bhismar replied that only because he was eating the food prepared through duriyodhana.") So he takes the vegetables etc to home to cook and eat.

5. now I hope it is clear as to why pindam is left in water/to the crows whereas the vegetables are taken by brahmins to their home.
 
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renuka

renuka

Well-known member
Dear Renuka,

The answer to your question is:

1. Pinda is cooked food. vegetable etc are food to be cooked-they are in the raw. These are called ஆமம் & பக்குவம் meaning raw and cooked.

2. Obviously cooked food is offered to nature -probably to reach the manes-like to the crows or the fishes in water etc.

3. Both the pinda(cooked rice) and the vegetables are offered to the pitr through a medium. The medium is crow, fishes or the brahmin.

4. While the crow or the fish does not live by any rules, the brahmin is supposed to follow certain rules. He is supposed to have taken a vow not to eat any thing cooked outside his house.(Reason:as given above in "While asking a question to Bishma Pithamahar why he kept quiet while the draupathi's saree was removed Bhismar replied that only because he was eating the food prepared through duriyodhana.") So he takes the vegetables etc to home to cook and eat.

5. now I hope it is clear as to why pindam is left in water/to the crows whereas the vegetables are taken by brahmins to their home.

Dear Sir,

Just one more Q..the Pinda here is never cooked rice..its rice flour mixed with water and black till(sesame) and made into 3 globules.
Its actually raw.Thats why I was a bit confused to see this ceremony done in Malaysia differs from what I have read that cooked rice is used.

And also we had to do one added ceremony 2 weeks post funeral( this was some added stuff we only found out later) where we had to give gold and silver and the priest never recited the words Svarna and Rajat Daan and all he asked me to do is pour water on his hands and my husbands hands when my husband was handing over the gold and silver as per usual daan procedure.

Also another Q..during the 1st year death anniversary the priest had a small havan and he was reciting mantras which he said is for the Pitrs and never did once I hear him say Swada when he was offering to Pitrs in the havan he was saying Swaha all the while.

I dont know if I am wrong but I was under the impression that Swada is said for Manes instead of Swaha.
 
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kgopalan

Well-known member
mrs. Renukaji,
In Vedic astrology by astrologer sptata for personal predictions, rasi forecast, panchang, rahukalam, planets, navagraha, online predictions, astrology books, ayurveda, herbal medicines, health products, vedic scriptures, remedies, stotras, mantra, yant in 21 puranaas colums upa puraanam devi puraanam (Devi Bhagahavatham) written by veda vyasar in the ninth book chapter XLI and in chapter XLVI you will find swaha, swadha, dhakshina and surabi devies. You can download and read at any time. Agni pathni is swaha; pitru pathni is swadha; swadha must also be chanted.

Kindly go through these chapters and then you will get one idea. Here also in Tamilnadu while going to kasi and gaya for doing pitru sratham some people are carrying rice flour from here and then in kasi they are adding water ellu and meking small balls.for offering to pitrus.

Cooked rice is becoming old one within three hours. you should not offer old ones to pitrus or in agni.

Rice should be cooked in the boat itself while travelling from one dhat to another ghat to offer in each ghat in the river ganges in kasi. I have only like this with the help of a stove. it is poosible.

The priest must recite the mantras for each dhan. mantras are there. but this is kaliyuga . they are not telling mantras for each and everyone indivudually. collectively for all the dhans they are saying single simple mantra.

As the brahmin priests were agreed to do yaga without shivw for dhakshan the nandhi gave a curse to those brahmins that they will born in kali yuga .they will make yagas sradham etc; as business.

they will not do even sandhyavandhan ,gayathri japam for getting each dhan they have to do gayathri japam separately in thousands. but they are not doing now a days.

you may also read about gayathri in devi bhaghavatham book.
 
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renuka

renuka

Well-known member
mrs. Renukaji,
In Vedic astrology by astrologer sptata for personal predictions, rasi forecast, panchang, rahukalam, planets, navagraha, online predictions, astrology books, ayurveda, herbal medicines, health products, vedic scriptures, remedies, stotras, mantra, yant in 21 puranaas colums upa puraanam devi puraanam (Devi Bhagahavatham) written by veda vyasar in the ninth book chapter XLI and in chapter XLVI you will find swaha, swadha, dhakshina and surabi devies. You can download and read at any time. Agni pathni is swaha; pitru pathni is swadha; swadha must also be chanted.

Kindly go through these chapters and then you will get one idea. Here also in Tamilnadu while going to kasi and gaya for doing pitru sratham some people are carrying rice flour from here and then in kasi they are adding water ellu and meking small balls.for offering to pitrus.

Cooked rice is becoming old one within three hours. you should not offer old ones to pitrus or in agni.

Rice should be cooked in the boat itself while travelling from one dhat to another ghat to offer in each ghat in the river ganges in kasi. I have only like this with the help of a stove. it is poosible.

The priest must recite the mantras for each dhan. mantras are there. but this is kaliyuga . they are not telling mantras for each and everyone indivudually. collectively for all the dhans they are saying single simple mantra.

As the brahmin priests were agreed to do yaga without shivw for dhakshan the nandhi gave a curse to those brahmins that they will born in kali yuga .they will make yagas sradham etc; as business.

they will not do even sandhyavandhan ,gayathri japam for getting each dhan they have to do gayathri japam separately in thousands. but they are not doing now a days.

you may also read about gayathri in devi bhaghavatham book.

Thank you so much for the above info sir.
 
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renuka

renuka

Well-known member
Dear Renuka,

The answer to your question is:

1. Pinda is cooked food. vegetable etc are food to be cooked-they are in the raw. These are called ஆமம் & பக்குவம் meaning raw and cooked.

2. Obviously cooked food is offered to nature -probably to reach the manes-like to the crows or the fishes in water etc.

3. Both the pinda(cooked rice) and the vegetables are offered to the pitr through a medium. The medium is crow, fishes or the brahmin.

4. While the crow or the fish does not live by any rules, the brahmin is supposed to follow certain rules. He is supposed to have taken a vow not to eat any thing cooked outside his house.(Reason:as given above in "While asking a question to Bishma Pithamahar why he kept quiet while the draupathi's saree was removed Bhismar replied that only because he was eating the food prepared through duriyodhana.") So he takes the vegetables etc to home to cook and eat.

5. now I hope it is clear as to why pindam is left in water/to the crows whereas the vegetables are taken by brahmins to their home.

Thank you so much sir for above reply and info.
 
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