Maha Shraddh – Thinking of the Dead – 20 Sep 08

Death

Today people from Chile came to the Ashram. They visited the cave and also the Kindergarten and school. They were very touched and said that this is much more important than all monuments and sights they have seen on their journey so far. They had brought sweets which they distributed among the children, who were of course very happy about it.

The new moon days are and always have been important days for ceremonies in which a cleansing and purification is asked for. Each new moon the Ashram performs a Pooja ceremony with participants from all over the world. This month, on the 29th September a special ceremony will take place. The fifteen days before this new moon day are traditionally the days to think of those who loved you and whom you loved and who are not with you anymore. Each day is offered to ancestors, family members and friends whose souls are not in their bodies anymore.

The time period of fifteen days signifies the days from full moon until new moon. When the day of death of a loved person is known, for example the 8th day of moon, the ceremony for this person will take place on the 8th day. The fifteenth day however is the day to remember those of whom you do not know when they passed away. In this year the fifteenth day is a Monday which makes the day even more auspicious and this combination strengthens the energy of the new moon.

I would like to invite you to remember those who passed away together with us in the ceremony on the 29th September. Of course, not everybody can come to Vrindavan to take part but we will also have representatives for everyone who is not able to come. We will also invite a second person for each participant who represents those who the ceremony is offered to. During the ceremony we will say Mantras for the peace of these souls, whatever form they are in at the moment. We will also offer them food. In Sanskrit this ceremony is called Shraddh and only takes place once a year. I am looking forward to this ceremony.

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  1. Jesse

    I think it is a special thing when cultures have special times to think about the dead or to celebrate death. I am from the US where we want to believe we are invincible. it comes as a nasty shocl when we find out we aren’t.

  2. Tanya

    Oh that is very nice. It is important. You can never tell when a spiritual site is authentic but you know when you see these children in school it’s for real.

  3. Marie

    I always think it is nice to celebrate the life of someone who has passed, rather than mourn the death. Grief is an important stage, but afterward it is good to remember the amazing memories! Also, working with the moon cycles is really powerful. This sounds like it was a nice ceremony.

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