Sunday, May 04, 2008


My parents wanted me to drive them to tumkur for annual rights (shrarddha) of my grandmother. Looking at the religious acts i wondered why should we do the same and what is the purpose of the same... well that thing drived me into knowing the facts of why? Well what better way than to dig into the books... As per Hindu mythology "Garuda Purana" also called the book of the dead is the one which tells exactly why and what has to be done...
After reading the book i was not very convinced since few of the facts in this book looks like a bit adulterated because i saw a bit of stress on the castes, these books are basically believed to be derivatives of the Vedas. However in Rigveda it clearly mentions that castes are based on your acts and so called Brahmana who doesn't stick to the acts of a Brahmana will be automatically demoted to shudra however even in this book at the end he does accept the fact that a a person cannot be bharmana by birth.. hence forth its clear that there is no caste by birth :-)
What astonished me reading this book was how can someone write anything imaginatory with such strong views. It exactly deals with issues connected with death, particularly funeral rites and the metaphysics of reincarnation. But what i felt which lacks in this book is the explanation as to why? It lacks the explanation as to why it has to be done..
Well but i should really accept the fact the way things has been explained... its horrifying, the cruelest things possible to man kind has been narrated... probably to bring in the fear of death.. in the common man to avoid doing anything bad :-) but its crazy to feel the horrifying facts explained.. well these were few interesting things which i found in this book and is considered wrong in the current day practices
1. If there is no son the wife, should perform the rights, and if no wife the brother; or a Brâhmiṇ's pupil or a proper kinsman should perform them. Well i have never seen any women doing the same :-)
2. A man or a woman who performs the rites for a friend, by this sacrament for the helpless departed, obtains the fruit of tens of millions of sacrifices. However we consider it very inauspicious to do these ceremonies :-)
3. Chapter 15 in this book explains about rebirth i was really astonished with the precession and the way they have explained about birth of a child. It tells everything about menstruation cycle of a women, perfect day to unite with man, food required for a good and healthy child, development of the various organs of the child inside the womb...everything, well well looking at this perfection of science i always end up in confusion how did they ever know these things?
Well to end with it doesn't look like everything is wrong but reading few of the chapters it gives a belief like a hidden science which is unexplored. Everything has a defined number like 10rice balls for the dead, relating the body to the 5 elements, 10-12-15-30 days of final rights,explaining the menustration cycle of women... many of these numbers looks like very mathematical this couldn't be sidelined as fake...but its interesting to understand and know what it means..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you tell which book are you referring to?