I have told you about the death of my sister Para in September 2006 and how our entire family tried to cope with it. In Hinduism, there are certain rituals to be performed after the death of a family member. It is the issue of these rituals that shows me how much Para’s death influenced and changed my and my family’s own belief and inner world.
My family prepared to perform the rituals. We are all not into showing off and were struck with grief, so nothing big was arranged. They started some rituals however – and I didn’t like it. In fact, I got quite angry about it. Nothing would get my sister back! It didn’t matter how many prayers you would say, no matter how much you would offer to any god, she would not come back to life!
I got really angry when the priest came who was supposed to do the rituals and I just sent him away. Obviously, the priest was taken aback but he left, seeing that I was not going to let him or my family members do any ceremony in our home. In my outburst, I expressed very clearly that I thought this all to be just senseless drama.
You may wonder what my parents had to say about that and how they must have felt. This is one of the greatest proofs I have that my family is the best one I could have got on this earth: they accepted what I said. They didn’t argue, didn’t get angry. They understood what I had said – and were fine with it.
This incident is also proof for the fact that my religiosity and that of my family was shaken after the death of my sister. Had we all been still deep in faith, we would have worried about her soul and performed those rituals in the biggest and best way we would have been able to. Para’s death, however, had made a change.
My sister’s passing was a major reason for me losing my faith. It was such a great shock that it shook all pillars of what I had been believing in. You start questioning a lot of things, starting with the small ones: I had studied her astrological birth chart thoroughly. Nowhere was there any sign for her passing away before her time! How could this happen to us, a family that was deeply into religion, preaching it to others and telling them to believe, too? And to her, what had she done to deserve this treatment by the gods?
Of course, it is not a one-day story to lose your religion and belief. It is a longer process which I had started after coming out of the cave and which I went through in the years that followed. The death of my sister was a major point on this path. I had already left the role of a guru, I had started walking away from religion, even though I was still not conscious about this happening, and some day later I would even turn away from god.