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Such things happened under gas lights

Friends,
To be frank, I am unable to digest some of the materials presented in our forums. Is it because of my pathetically below- average IQ or I am completely out of tune with the current thinking? Or is that my idiotic brain has been invaded by a bad spirit and  I should contact a mantravadi sitting under a tree with a skull and a pair of bones collected fresh from a cremation ground?
what are these ‘ bad spirits’ pantulu garu ?  They raise their ugly head now and then to scare me as I do not have the protective armor . Is this ‘spirit’ a  synonym of the ‘soul’?  Then, the moment  freed from the cage, it should fly high and amalgamate with its source of origin or happily enter into some wombs and restart the journey. Instead,why should it wander as a yakshi, clad in a snow-white sari, keeping its feet six inches above the ground or as a brahmarakshas, hang from the banayan tree,six feet above the ground? Swamy Dayananda Sarswathy says that death is death whether it happens due to accident or ‘araamse’ comfortably in sleep and in call cases the soul begins the next  journey immediately. If the soul is lethargic like my brain and wants to relax in between while crossing the vaidharani river holding the tail of an animal, let it take its own time but why wait as a ‘pootham’ or ‘pisachu’  to prey on the poor worker or a railway porter,who after a day’s hard work loves to take a dip in the Kalpathy river on his way home?
(Incidentally, if you are really interested to know about these spirits on the banks of the Kalpathy river, please read my story, “my childhood fears and fantasies”)
To be frank again, I have not come across a single spirit good or bad, though I have spent a whole night among  dead bodies and crossed cemeteries and grave yards at night hours, alone. I have a little knowledge about one spirit and that is in liquid form (not to be discussed here)
I believe that we are unnecessarily carrying forward the fear and fantasies of our ancestors who lived in villages with no electricity and the dark environment combined with non- availability of medical support and other modern facilities induced fear in them and their imagination entered and flourished in unnatural and super natural spheres.
Be assured-there are no bad spirits. If you doubt someone is under the influence  of such spirits take him to a psychiatric and not to a mantravadi. Similarly, if  a MIL orders her DIL to go and sleep in the garage ( it was cowshed in the olden days), till her purification after the monthly periods, her son should give company and up keep his promise made on the wedding day. And don not delay taking the good old MIL to a clinical psychologist.
Please be reasonable.
And let us stop this ‘ummachi kannai kuthaum’ threat. We have already become’ bayanthan kollies’ cowards; allow our children to grow as Abhimanyus to enter into any ‘vyoohams’ or battle formations which are not in short- supply in their jouney. God is love and the mantras are holy. I would prefer a CD record of a vedic scholar rather than my untrained tongue to teach mantras .  In the olden days the oral education was the only method available and there were well- trained teachers available in every village and hence oral imparting of knowledge was recommended.
And four-days-long marriage ceremonies, now in cities?
How do I pay for the hall, where do I find vadhyars and how do I pay him and above all which bride and groom will be available for four days?
When the weddings were conducted in own houses or nearby temples and relatives from far away places had to come by bullock carts or even by walk and when the villagers used to extend their helping hand not only for cooking and making laddu and murukku etc and even in other arrangements, when vaadyars were earnest,educated and reasonable, it was fine. There were instances when relatives have met after decades on a wedding ceremony. My grand mother’s sister moved out of Vaikom, for the first time, after forty years and one athai, returned to see her mother from Thanjvur after 25 years!  My grand mother’s and her cousin’s wedding took place in the same pantal and there was a mix-up of partners (!) during the evening procession under gas lights. The brides and grooms, who were children, were holding the hands of wrong partners .An old man in the group noticed the innocently done but unacceptable exchange!
Our children will not believe this.
I attended a wedding before coming to US, in Hyderabad, in December last. The groom, an NRI, wanted a chair to sit to perform the rites and the girl’s father, well dressed for a board meeting, wanted the entire ceremony to be over in an hour. Everyone was happy and the happiest man was the vadyar who pocketed Rs. 18,250..00 ( Rs. 10,000 from both the parties less Rs.1000 for materials he brought and  750. paid to the poor brahmin assistant.)
This is not the way to perform a wedding ;l but this is what is happening now. I am for displaying banners in temples and samjams explaining the importance of the mantras related to wedding and all other ceremonies so that people know what they are doing and what they have to do. The money spent on gold crowns for  the already over-burdened celestial heads and on airfreights for the travel of holy souls can be more effectively used for such purposes. The ‘BALA VIHARS’ in US,under the aegis of the Chinmaya mission is doing an admirable job to educate children on spiritual matters. In Baltimore I saw more than 50 volunteers, some coming from distant places at their own expense, forming groups to teach not only Sanskrit slokas but language, painting, music etc.  In Ocala, where I live now,there are less than 150  Indian families but they assemble every sunday in a common place and the Mission has provided excellant books and guidance. I wish we had such arrangements in every temple, in every samajams in our country too.
Every one in a forum has the right to air his or her views .The very purpose of forming a team is that – to debate and beneift. But, suggestions should be practical and taking into account the place, time and available facilities and capabilities of people. Other wise they will be ignored and discarded for ever. The purpose is defeated.
Let the message from this august forum be pragmatic and let us all live in the present.

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