Thoughts and other trivia...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

In my last post I had mentioned that I’m not much of a rituals person and that I dislike priests. With rare passion, I might add. Here’s one more reason why I’ll put up with a six-foot cobra but not this annoying, parasitical species...

Yesterday, a classmate and friend from long ago called up from down south. He’d heard about the death at home and wanted to offer his condolences. He said he’d been meaning to call for a long time but was caught up with a few things of his own. As it turned out, he’d lost his elder brother. The brother, a bachelor, died in a road accident. We were discussing our mutual dislike for the rituals that follow death when he told me something that was absolutely shocking. And bizarre.

Apparently, rituals for married people differ from those for unmarried folk. When they finally reached a decision about what was to be done for my friend’s brother, the priest came up with a new problem. He insisted that, before those agreed upon rituals could be performed, the unmarried dead brother had to be formally married. My friend was appalled and, justifiably so, protested. He had a major argument with the priest (my reaction might’ve been more physical and, therefore, infinitely more suitable) and his own family members who, like him, were completely unaware of the rule but who didn’t want to offend the priest. Perhaps because he was outnumbered, and considering the nature of the occasion, my friend had no choice but to give in. As a result, a marriage ceremony was conducted for the poor dead man before his last rites could be performed. Does that make any sense? Of course, I didn’t have the heart to ask my friend who his brother was married to. This whole business would’ve been symbolic, I know, but, still, does it make any sense at all? I don’t think so.

Not only does the family have to deal with their loss and grief, now they also have to put up with such complete nonsense. When I asked another friend, who is also from the south, she said she’d never heard of anything like this!

I have no doubt in my mind that, like almost every other damned ritual and ceremony that unsuspecting folk are asked to perform, this too has its origins in these rascals’ greed to corner extra money. For instance, if a human being were to die while still on a bed, as opposed to passing away while lying down on the floor, you’re expected to perform an extra ritual, over and above the others that are laid down, because, apparently, this brings peace to the soul. And, oh, this additional ritual will cost you an extra four hundred bucks!

These shits, they so piss me off!


Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

I have never understood why, if there is a Supreme Being, we should need pimps to mediate with Him/Her.


12:49 pm  
Blogger Salil said...

Organised religion is so often farce. In India, with all those poojas and various other rituals, I often find my temper being stretched near breaking point. So much of it comes from pure greed where they take advantage of the more gullible and basically eke a nice sum out of their wallets every week with a few chants and a bit of incense in their dhotis.

8:21 pm  
Blogger Ash said...

Oh tell me about it. Saw it first hand. Still freaks me out. When I die I just want to die.

11:18 pm  
Anonymous chandni said...


I abhor priests and rituals with a venegance. Not just deaths, marriages as well..

being from a "baniya" household..we have some that are ot just painful, they are also sexist, nonsensical and totally not required.

I think ignoring is not an answer...we should stop them in our lives, as much as we can.

3:52 am  
Blogger Prerona said...

hey! nice to see you back. :)

about the post, i would really say they are ALL bad or it is ALL crap ... like everything else, there are good and bad. But yes, like a lot of other professions which intrinsically gives one man power over his fellow men, it can cause a lot of pain allround ...

the most painful situations, i think are the ones where these kinds of people get hold of the poor and un informed ... the ones who are much more god fearing bcz they have so much practise at the whole fear thing ... and they exploit them ...

is that the same thing as the survival of the fittest in nature? i dont know. have always wondered.

3:37 pm  
Blogger cactusjump said...

yuck. thats disgusting. not just the greed that motivates it, but the fact that someone makes a life choice and then this is altered when he doesn't have a voice. is nothing sacred?

11:00 pm  
Blogger sattva said...

this is a truly unheard of ritual. the problem i think is that some pandits take advantage of unsuspecting and faithful 'god-fearing' people, and the people, not knowing any better, play along. it's sad, especially when this happens to someone you know well.

12:06 am  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

J Alfred Prufrock: Because, I think, most people don't quite understand anything about either religion or god...if, as you say, there is one.

Salil: I wish that incense in the dhotis, which you've mentioned, would do some real damage one day :-)

Ash: That's pretty much what I'd like die and be done with without any stupid and insane rituals.

Chandni: Sometimes, for the benefit of those around, one is forced to participate in some rituals etc that one doesn't even believe in.

Prerona: Oh, they exploit everyone and have been doing so for centuries. Like I said earlier, it's b'cos most people have no understanding of religion and god, they're forced to follow priests, who then exploit them shamelessly.

CJ: 'Yucks' is right and, you're right again, nothing is sacred anymore.

Sattva: I'm quite willing to believe that rituals can vary from region to region and that they may not be same everywhere. As a result, all of us may not be familiar with all the rituals but, surely, these rituals have to make some sense, no? It's like CJ said, nothoing is sacred anymore.

11:27 pm  
Blogger wildflower seed said...

With you on rituals. Also with you when you say "most people don't quite understand anything about either religion or god".

10:21 pm  
Blogger MockTurtle said...

Damn vultures. You always have a sub-class that feeds off the misery of others. People in distress make the softest targets.

12:32 am  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

That is so full of BS! These people manipulate your weakest moments and get away with it. Ridiculous!

1:44 am  
Blogger Sonia said...

*shocked* I'm from the south too. I've never heard if this ritual! it's ridiculous!

4:01 pm  
Blogger Sonia said...

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4:01 pm  

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