Traditions

He did not look me in the eye as I folded the piece of cloth around his head. Some priest said this act non-verbally announces others that the concerned members are in a state of mourning and that some untoward incident had happened in their family. Therefore, the sight of mundan shall mentally prepare the acquaintances to move with them with a note of caution. Indeed. The sight.

traditions

Let me not weigh you down today. Instead, allow me unfold the history, beauty and intricacies of Hindu traditions and customs. 

Our priest told us about the the circle of life. He told us that everything in our belief system can be explained by science. That we are just a small fragment of the Universe, yet all the Universe resides within us. First came the explanation of the Tonsure; the act of cutting the hair or shaving the head after the death of an elder member of the family. In Hinduism, the underlying concept is that hair is a symbolic offering to the Gods, representing a real sacrifice of beauty. Hence shaving your head shows your grief for the departed soul.  

Hair on the head is treated as an adornment and as a symbol of vanity. On the death of an elderly person in a family, the Hindus consider the children not to be egoistic in nature but humble, devoted and submitted to nature. So they need to give up their adornment and vanity in humility. The death of the elderly member makes the inmates feel that they have lost the elderly protective guidance they had been always enjoying. The removal of hair indicates them that they must now prepare for the change with a sense of detachment and vairagya.

 

 

Then comes Pind Daan. In the Shastras, there is a line that says, ‘Yat Pinde Tat Brahmande’, meaning whatever is present in this little body is present in this Universe; our body is a miniature Universe.

pind2

 

 

The Earth is round, every person in this world is born into a life cycle, also round. Whether it’s a human child, the child of a cow, of an elephant or of a bird, it doesn’t matter; its very first form is an egg. There is nothing in this world that does not originate as a circle, whose life isn’t cyclical and infinite. Round. Body. Pind. Accordingly to the Shlok above, everything is a Pind and within the Pind, there is everything.

pind

 

When we cremate the body, only the soul remains. It is said that the person that cremates it also has the right to give that soul another body. So we do something called a Pind Daan. A daan denotes charity, therefore a Pind daan means giving charity to the body of the deceased. All obstacles are said to smoothen out {for the soul} once this ceremony is performed. Every family adheres to this custom in their own ways, but giving is essential.
Round balls of dough mixed with honey and sesame seeds, signifying the Pind, are donated to the Bramhaputra. 

“You presume you’re a small entity, but within you is unfolded the whole universe.”

Aum

Mundane: Ritual of shaving head 

Vairagya: Detachment

Shastra: Sacred scriptures of Hinduism

Pind Daan: Giving charity to the body of the deceased

Brahmaputra: The Brahmaputra (/ˌbrɑːməˈpuːtrə/ [brɔmmɔput̪rɔ nɔd̪] is a trans-boundary river in Asia. It is also one of the major rivers of Asia that cuts through 4 countries: China, India, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

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7 thoughts on “Traditions

  1. Informative. even after being Hindu and worshipping so many Gods and performing so many rituals we don’t know the real meaning of those.

    Like

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