There is a widespread epidemic of Corona virus today across the country causing several deaths. If a person dies due to this infection, the body is not handed over to the family. It is cremated by government employees. Therefore, it becomes impossible to collect the remains of the dead person post cremation. In such situation, the question of ‘How to perform the funeral rites?’ has arisen in in everyone’s mind.
1. Scriptures recommend performing ‘Palashvidhi’ for the
funeral rites, if the dead body of a deceased cannot be obtained
If a person is lost and after some time it is discovered that the concerned person is dead, at such times Dharmashastra recommends performing ‘Palashvidhi’ as the body of the dead person is not available for cremation. Even in case of death caused due to Corona virus infection, the dead body or the remains of the individual are not handed over to the relatives. In such situation, it would be appropriate to perform ‘Palashvidhi’ as per Dharmashastra.
2. What should be done if a person is known to be dead
A. After the death of a family member, sutak (Impurity caused by the death of a family member) should be observed for 10 days as usual, and the lit oil lamp should be kept facing south for the 10 days.
B. In the first 10 days, perform all the actions that are easily possible as per the family customs.
C. Currently lockdown has been imposed in the country and few areas has been declared as ‘containment zones’ due to high number of Corona positive cases. Therefore, as soon as the risk of Corona infection reduces or the conditions normalize, ‘Palashvidhi’ should be performed. Contact your local priest for this. When performing any religious ritual, we look for a pious day, i.e. ‘Is that day suitable for that karma?’ Accordingly, appropriate day should be found out with the help of the priest. Thereafter this ritual should be performed as per his guidance.
3. How and where should one perform ‘Palashvidhi’?
A. When a person dies, he traverses into a pretyoni (Corpse species). Therefore, a statue of the person should be made using palas leaves, grass and certain number and variety of fruits and leaves as per the guidance of the priests.
B. The statue should be smeared with barley flour. Thereafter, the statue should be cremated in a similar way in which the actual corpse is cremated with the chanting of mantras.
C. The rituals usually performed on the following days should be carried out in the same order.
D. If ‘Tripad Shant’ or ‘Panchak (Ominous Constellations)’ has occurred at the time of death of the person, then the rituals for the same should be done as per the norm.
E. This ritual should be performed at a place of pilgrimage or at a place where post-death rites are performed.
F. Only few people as necessary should be present while performing this ritual. One should ensure that there is no crowd and social distancing is maintained. All orders issued by the Government with regards to Corona should be strictly followed.
G. After all the funeral rites are completed, the rites of ‘Nidhanshant’ or ‘Udakshant’ should be performed at home. ‘