Nobody goes to Heaven by doing Rituals - says my Grandmother - 3 Jan 13

03 Jan 2013  Vrindavan, India

Category: Religion

Naniji

My Grandmother Naniji

With all the things that happened in the past month, one thing is very sure: my family and I have been strengthened in our non-religious approach on life – and death. People may not have asked directly but I know that there was a question in some readers’ minds: what did my father and my grandmother say and think about the decision not to do anything religious after Ammaji’s death. After all, I had sometime written that they were more religious than us children.

Of course, my parents and my grandmother have all spent their lives very much in connection with religion. It is normal for every regular person here, especially in Vrindavan, but even more so for my father who, like my grandfather, was a preacher and thus earned money by bringing religious texts closer to the people. My grandmother still today has an altar in her room and prays every day.

With the changes that have come in me and us brothers over the course of years however, they have also changed a lot. It was a long process for me from being a religious Guru and preacher to who I am now. I am, and have always been, a very open person and although I always take care not to hurt my parents’ religious feelings, I was always able to talk to them and explain them why my thoughts had travelled the way they had. As my reasons for this development are clear, logical and comprehensible, not only with the mind but with the heart, too, they were often nodding along, agreeing on many points and accepting the fact that I thought in this way.

It is thus not very surprising to me that my father had no wish to follow any rituals, neither when his daughter died in 2006 nor now, when his wife died in 2012. He said the light had gone from his life, what would it help now to light a fire for a ceremony? It was his wish to do nothing but a simple cremation, a goodbye in the family.

As far as Naniji is concerned, I was not completely sure as to how much she would actually still believe in all those rituals and religious traditions. When her relatives came by, we obviously had some talk about the rituals that we did not do, as everyone was asking. One day however, after such a conversation, she called me in her room. Naniji, a 90-year-old woman, who has spent her whole life as a religious person, said: ‘Son, my hair didn’t turn white in the sun. Nobody goes to heaven by doing great rituals. Nothing happens with that. The most important thing is what you do in your life. Do good and live in truth.’

I can only say that I never agreed more with my grandmother.

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Tags:: Religion, Sadness, Rituals, Death, Superstition, Ammaji

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Posted By Swami Balendu

Swami Balendu

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