What is the effect of talking about the deceased and refreshments at the funeral reception?
According to Spiritual science, all rituals and functions associated with the last rites of a person should be designed with the objective of helping the subtle-body of the deceased in its onward journey. Activities that have the potential to increase the attachment of the subtle-body of the deceased to his or her previous life on Earth are best avoided.
It is common funeral etiquette in today’s world to have a funeral reception. Here the relatives and well-wishers gather at the home of the deceased’s immediate family members to pay their respects and offer condolences with regard to the recent death. Invariably food is served and a discussion takes place over the life of the deceased.
From a Spiritual science perspective, this can be highly detrimental for the people involved as well as for the subtle-body of the deceased.
1. Issue: Talking about the dead person pulls his subtle-body to the premises again and again
Most people in today’s world are Raja-tama predominant and have a lot of ego, desires and attachments. When Raja-Tama predominant people pass away, their attachments and desires have the potential to make the subtle-body linger after death and hence be unable to move on in the afterlife.
When we speak about the dead person, subtle basic Raja-Tama vibrations associated with the person are transmitted through the talk. Due to these vibrations, the subtle-body of the dead person is pulled to the premises again and again and it loiters in that environment. This is according to a rule of Spiritual science that says ‘The word, touch, form, taste, smell and its associated energy coexist’. Here the ‘word’ refers to the person’s name and the ‘form’ refers to the subtle-body.
Talking about the dead person generates energy associated with him, which pulls the subtle-body in the field of the discussion.
What is the spiritually correct way to pay one’s respects to the recently departed?
In view of the above principle, paying of respects to as well as grieving for the departed needs to be done taking care not to add on to the Raja-Tama already present in the premises.
Refer to the article on the three subtle basic components that gives examples of what activities increase Raja-Tama.
In addition, one should preclude all activities that would pull the subtle-body of the departed back towards the Earth region. Hence large gatherings talking loudly and talking at length about the departed are best avoided. Instead of talking about the person, it is best to be introverted after returning from the funeral. Chanting the spiritual protection chant of Shri Gurudev Datta or playing it in a low volume not only helps the deceased move on but also insulates the descendants from any harmful effects.
2. Issue: Possibility of distress by ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.) by partaking of food in the house of the deceased
All objects, including the food in the house of the dead person, are affected by the subtle basic Tama predominant atmosphere in the house. Partaking of such Raja-Tama polluted food increases the possibility of the person eating it being affected by ghosts.
What is the spiritual perspective on partaking of food in the house of one recently departed?
Given the above, it is best not to serve refreshments in the house of the departed after returning from the funeral. Even for the relatives in the house, food should not be cooked or prepared in the house at least till the day the dead body is buried or cremated. Relatives, neighbours or friends can provide the food to the family of the deceased. Food should be partaken only after spiritually purifying it by sprinkling holy water (water plus holy ash) and praying to God for protection. It is best eaten silently without talking, while constantly chanting the spiritual protection chant of Shrī Gurudev Datta.
Note: Refer to the spiritual remedy of holy water in our spiritual healing section.