Friday, August 28, 2009




I was fortunate to have my Parents till my 60th year due to the grace of Arangan. Our mother will never allow us to hear bad news particularly death news-calling it “Achanyam ‘or bad omen. Because of their presence we never knew about-tharpanam or pithru kadan.

After their demise we have to face the above and no one is exempted from these rites. We are doing these things without understanding the meaning as a routine because we feel that it is not an auspicious thing coupled with a sort of fear.

Chithirai Festival started for Arangan. The first day went on smoothly. Arangan visited all the four streets and reached His Mirror Room. Next day it was time for His purapadu but we waited, waited there was no sign of His coming. We learnt later that in Uttara Street there was a mattai (means-some body died). It might take 4-5 hours since important person had to come from Madras.

Where this mattai goes? What the kith and kin should do for him. If they do what is the fruit and if not what is the punishment? This is the common question in all castes and religions.

All religions prescribe that dead man should be buried or cremated with due honour-whether he was a rich man or poor or belonged to any caste. I have seen the Chinese keep the body for number of days and daily there will be feast which the dead man liked when he was alive. The coffin in which the body was kept was the one the dead man earned for him when he was alive.

Let us see what our religion says:

My Grand Mother used to ask us to read-the Garuda Purana. It describes vividly about the soul leaving our body and its path. This Jeevan-since attached with the body for a long time will refuse to leave from it. Yama is the Officiator for Death and Chief. He gets list of People every day whose periods are over. It is his duty to carry out the task.

Under Yama Dharma Raja, his assistant named Kalan will announce the time of a person whose life will be over. Next his assistant-Mrithyu will send a virus to the dying person. When Virus catches that Person, 2 bodyguards will pull the jeevan from the body but it refuses to come out. This pain is called-Marana Avasthi. I have seen this pain in few persons including my mother.

Now the bodyguards will show the dying man a different world and at last will take the jeevan from the body. That Jeevan will cross 250- yojana distance in 6-hours. At that time-the death of the person and the identity of the person will be confirmed. This gap is-if there is mistaken identity then enough time available to the Jeevan to return to his body again.

That is why in olden days they used to keep the body for one yamam. Even confirmed cases also will be brought here and his good and bad deeds will be calculated. In spite of the body cremated and no more, this jeevan will remain and circle the place where the body was kept. That is why when the Kartha returns from the Ghat –performs Nagna Srartham-through that jeevan gets cloth, bell and light and vessels with water-for the Jeevan to travel.

Till the Jeevan leaves this world-the Kartha should feed the Jeevan with food. That is why in a corner of the dead man’s house, a small pit is made and a stone is kept for the Jeevan to enter into it. It is called Grahathwara Pindam. For 10days the Kartha should feed here. In order to alleviate the thrust another stone will be kept at the river. For this black thur dhal and water will be fed.

During these 10-days the Jeevan throws his linga sarira and gets Pretha Sarira. Garuda Puranam describes the raise of parts in each day vividly. On the 10th Day it will attain the full form and at that time it will be terribly hungry. That is why on that day the food will be kept in heap called brabhutha Bali.
Only half the heap will go to the Pretha, from the balance one portion will go to Yamakingaras and the other portion to Kartha.

On the 1st day in order to make the Jeevan leaves this world, a calf is shown. Now the Jeevan travels towards Yamaloga. It will take one year for the Jeevan to reach the place.

Now let us see what happens to the Jeevan in Yama Loga. Bhagavan has strictly ordained that no injustice takes place to the Jeevan here. The punishment or the reward will be purely based on Dharmika basis and according to the good or bad deeds done by the Jeevan. Punishment is metted out only after thorough enquiry-no question of corruption or bribe here. For that purpose the Representatives will come down to Earth and after thorough enquiry and armed with witnesses. They will return back. That is why- the Charama Sloka is prepared about the deceased by learned Pandits. In this the gothra. Day and time of death, month and thithi, Patcham etc will be noted.

The 12th day is called-Sapindikaranam-On this day this Jeevan joins his pithrus-it is given cloths, umbrella, theertha vessels, bed, padukas, etc ( as Dhana to Brahmins ) The journey starts from this day to the Jeevan to reach the place of Yama.

During this one year period. The Kartha will perform 12-Masikams. 12-Sothagumbas (to remove hunger and thirst) and to stay in some places-4-OONA Masyams-totally 16-ceremonies. Finally the Kartha finishes his duty with Varushabtheekam.

On the 13th day called Subha Sweekarm- the Kartha gets back the auspicious period. On this day the Charama Sloka will be read by an elderly person who knew the deceased person. During this time the Agents of Yama will also hear the sloka-it is a motcha sloka for the Jeevan

The Srartha done every year-the benefits will go to the Jeevan in whatever loka he is.

Our Sastra tells that those who are born in this world must do-3-yagnas. They are- Deva Yagna, Pithru Yagna and Cow Yagna.

Deva yagna can be done by visiting various temples and taking baths in sacred rivers.

Pithru Yagan should be done by the kartha by protecting and serving the parents with devotion and to their satisfaction and after their death doing every year the srartham for them. Some of us leave the parents at old age homes and some fails to do srartham and donate lump sum amount to some one to do it or to temple. Some will have no belief in these things pointing to their prosperity inspite of not following the dharma.

No religion will allow a man to go scotch free if he neglects his parents. Severest punishment is there for him which he may not see temporarily but in the long run he will start to feel for the same

Those who do with devotion and sincerity will notice the prosperity of his family, kith and kins and there will be auspicious events in his Graha and his generations.

Next Day the Chithirai festival resumed and I had the beautiful dharsan of my Arangan at early morning 5.30 AM.


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