The making of God
“What happens when we die?” – An age old question that the human mind tries to seek answer. Leaving that unanswered question aside, let’s focus on something that we know, something we experience everyday – “What happens when someone dies?”. This isn’t quite tough, we all know the answer to it! 🙂
In Indu religion, the lifeless body is placed in the center of house and is given a bath. It is then sprinkled with natural perfumes like rose water, decorated with flowers and then we light a lamp, break a coconut, place banana and beatle leaves next to the body and then show aarthi using camphor light. Finally, we touch the foot of the dead and start worshiping them.
Let’s rewind. Isn’t it the same thing we do to the center figure in every temple in the name of abhishegam? Does that mean the dead man has become God himself? If not, will we do the same thing to any living individual? Anyways, leaving these questions aside, we then keep offering the favorite food, alcohol, perfumes, cigarette, spectacle, newspaper, dress etc., of the deceased as a mark of offering in the coming days. This literally means that the person who is dead likes to know that we haven’t forgotten him and we keep all these things as an offering to him so that he probably can use it??!!
Anyways, in any of these form of offering (karumathi – the 13th or 16th day celebration, the yearly ritual, tithi, ammavasai – new moon day etc.,) we do not offer non-veg as a form of offering and this is completely restricted. Let’s explore on this a bit. If a person wants to use his alcohol or dress, how would he suddenly be in a position switch off his food preference from non-veg to vegetarian. Eg., Jesus liked wine and wine is still served in all churches; Muhammed Nabi disliked alcohol and it is prohibited in all mosques; Karumaari amman likes dry fish and egg and it is offered to her; Ganesha likes modak (kozhukattai in Tamil) and we offer to him. If the Gods itself have food preferences and we seek their blessings by offering their choice of foods, how could the deceased change his/her food preference immediately?
How does any of this make sense? We basically offer these form of worship believing that the soul comes and eats the food we offer to them. How will forcefully removing their favorite food will help? Whom are we trying to impress? All the non-veg eaters can relate to the feeling of not treating one’s guest well at home if we just happen to provide them with veg food. How is that we didn’t think we are hurting the feeling of the deceased by offering them vegetarian food? The dead cannot even order food from hotel too right? If we truly believe that this is the way we show our love, shouldn’t we show our act by offering them what they love, instead why are we trying to display our acts of love by some standard that somebody else put for us?
Why is offering non-vegetarian food to the deceased a sin in Hindu religion and whereas a norm in other religions? Isn’t the dead called dead in every religion or do we even have a different groups of religion for the dead as well??