Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Salvation of Soul: 'Pind Daan' for MF Husain, Indian-Pakistani writers performed as per Vedic rituals in Gaya

Pind-daan: Hindu rituals for salvation performed in Gaya
Just the other day, I read a news that the 'Pind-daan' ceremony for the famous painter late MF Husain was performed at Gaya in Bihar.

This was indeed surprising. After all, the furore over his controversial paintings had even upset many liberals.

Umpteen cases were filed against him, forcing him to self-imposed exile. But now a social organisation led by Mr Suresh Narayan offered the Hindu ritual for the salvation of his soul, apart from others.

Narayan also performed performed the 'pind-daan' for Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, famous Hindustani classical singer Pt Bhimsen Joshi, eminent writer Kanhaiya Lal Nandan, Swami Nigamananda and a few others.

Social activists performed the rites under the guidance of Swami Raghavacharyaji Maharaj. Narayan said that the legendary figures who departed from us, had given society a lot, and the onus was on the people to ensure that they live in peace after death also.

Every year, the social organisation performs the rituals for salvation of souls of eminent persons who die apart from those killed in tragedies and mishaps. The rituals were held at Devghat on the banks of Phalgu river in Gaya district of Bihar.

Cynics may easily dismiss it. But the fact that despite all opposition to the famed artist, holding the ceremony for a Muslim person as per Vedic rites, is surely a courageous job. There is definitely a message, which the organisation, sends here. It's about humanity, it's the intrinsic Indian secularism, it's about their belief in composite culture.

If one seeks publicity, there are myriad ways. There is no dearth of celebrities who pass away ever year, even controversial one. But remembering a person like MF Husain, knowing well that it can raise heckles of the right-wing groups, along with other personalities is laudable.

The 'Pind-daan' is a Hindu ritual for salvation of the deceased's soul. As per Vedic beliefs, even after death the soul may retain its materialistic links. In this body less state, the soul suffers and undergoes pain until it gets another body.

It is said that after this ritual, the cycle of birth & death ends and the soul gets salvation or eternal peace. Gaya is considered one of the holiest places and every year innumerable people reach here for the pind-daan of their ancestors during the Pitr Paksh.