Student Corner

Kriya Karma

Written by: Prayusha Acharya - 20118, Grade XII

Posted on: 20 January, 2020

When a person is dead, a living one suffers. Post funeral ceremony (kriya karma) existing in our culture is a perfect example of this statement. I have seen people following these traditions since I was young enough to understand stuff but I still see no point in doing those customs. Whenever I ask my parents about these customs they say that it needs to be followed and no one has the answer of why.

One of the things that people do to mourn death is to wear white clothes. We are taught not to judge a book by its cover but people do if we wear colorful clothes to someone’s funeral. It doesn’t matter if we are sad inside, we should look sad outside too. From wearing white clothes for a year to wearing it till 13 days after the death of a person, society has changed. This custom is questionable.

I have heard people dying while strictly following this custom. Since the dead person’s son or wife cannot touch anything or anyone while mourning the death, they cannot let doctors examine them if even if their health is critical. It is a curse to them if their relative has died during the winter season as they do not get to wear warm clothes or hot water to take a bath every early morning till 13 days of their loss. If someone or something mistakenly touches them, they need to restart the customs from the beginning till the next 13 days.

The next thing that people cannot do when their relative has died is not taking certain food. They can have sugar but not salt. They can potatoes but not an onion. They can have fruits but they can’t have tomatoes. They can’t have milk but they can have curd which is made from milk. A person cannot have that food depending upon how close is the relation of that person with the dead person.

I find this Post funeral thing really pointless. Mourning the death of a person should not be a compulsion but a wish. It should be done how we want to do it, not how society wants us to do it. I also think that this ceremony is also a reason for gender discrimination in society. Since a son has to do this ceremony, it is believed that they make their parents happy in heaven while daughters cannot do that. It does not help a person to heal from their sorrowful loss.

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