Part – II

Ire of gods and sorrow of souls

Section 2: Gods admonish

Caring Vishnu

900 miles of walk for a grandson

Rituals begin in the life of a Brahmin before a baby is born, and continue even after death. Main among the rituals after the death relates to the inclusion of the psyche of the recently dead in the passive psyche-cluster of the family (Sapindikararam), a week after the death. It entitles the spirit of the dead to share the food and other benefits offered to the dead by the members of the family during the fortnight of ancestors every year. Annual rituals for the dead and offering them food are obligatory for the traditional Hindus..

System of rituals for the dead imposes a natural worry among the elders in Brahmin families.  Focus of their worry shifts from the world around to a world after death. If there is no grandson in the family, psyches of the elders are bound to be doomed forever; none will offer the food for the dead in the month of dead after the death of the son. Rituals for the dead shall disappear because daughter’s son does not carry out annual food rites for his maternal ancestors. My grandfather was an aged family-head with no grandson in1936.

People had more faith on their gods than medicine or doctors for the sex of children during the thirties of the last century.  My grandfather Damodar, named after Vishnu, thought of praying and requesting the Lord for a grandson at Puri. He set out on foot for Puri and back home; and, the family god gave him what he wanted. He had a grandson six months before his death for visiting the shrine of Vishnu.