Ceremonies and rituals for the dead



Then turning to the subject of ceremonies, particularly those for the dead, as practiced among the Parsis and Hindus, Baba explained:

These are a sheer waste of money, materials, and energy, even when they are performed with the greatest faith, reverence, and respect for the dead, to whom, unfortunately and unknowingly and in utter ignorance, these blind believers (andhala vahemi loko*) continue to devote themselves even years after their physical demise and departure. For example, think of the gold and silver caskets, the small (but costly) “snuff boxes” which, on the advice of the brahmins and dasturs, many people use in these ceremonies with blind faith—God knows why! The dead are dead after all, dead and gone! The only “necessary” ceremonies, the only ceremonies worth doing, are those three days after death, that is, between forty and seventy hours, when the soul (or spirit) is supposed to be hovering around the place where it dies, before passing on to other stages of development, according to its deserts and actions (which is to say, according to their sanskaras). At that time all that is required, the best ceremonial practice is to feed a dog or crow, both of whom are said to possess subtle eyes with which they can see the subtle form of the dead person there at the place of death.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p260
22-September-1926; Meherabad

* Blind credulous people (Gujarati)

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