ARJUN PEREIRA found joy in the Ganga in Haridwar, as he accompanied his wife and brother-in-law to immerse his mother-in-law’s holy ashes in the sacred river
I went to Haridwar recently, accompanying my wife and brother-in-law, to immerse my mother-in-law’s sacred ashes in the Ganga. She tragically, but peacefully passed away due to cancer and related complications.
Being from a different religious background, initially, I did not fully understand the purpose of the whole journey and the rituals associated with it. But as the ceremony progressed, I really understood the purpose of the customs and rituals, their importance and their underlying beauty and divinity.
My interpretations from this experience are that for the soul to be fully free and move peacefully to the next realm or a new realm, it is important to perform these rituals as the soul will be cleansed and become fully free to move on to blissful eternity. The family members participating in the rituals with the pundits help in validating the actions or karma of the soul in the present and previous lives.
Haridwar is a beautiful setting to honour the soul, as it is the city from which the Ganga flows in such a serene and musical rhythm. If you dip your bare feet or take a bath in the Ganga, you will feel very relaxed and invigorated, even though the water can be quite cold!
The air in the city is very pure and the vibe and sounds emanating from around are equally peaceful and spiritual to say the least. The Ganga Aarti in the morning and the evenings make the atmosphere more soothing, calm and pure.
The journey to Haridwar from New Delhi is also very peaceful as one gets to see the natural vast farmlands, trees and landscape for most of the journey. One also gets a glimpse of the numerous villages on the way that have a far more peaceful and quieter lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.
I disagree that there should be so much differences and debate on one’s religious beliefs. Whatever person or whoever one meets from whichever community or religion, one should try one’s best to honestly understand their religious beliefs.
If we do this, we will find beauty, spirituality and a lot of logic in those beliefs, actions, customs and rituals even if we are unable to comprehend them at first.
My mother-in-law Sunita Chadha embraced many religious beliefs and had a special connection and a firm belief in God. She did countless good deeds while she was on Earth.
Therefore, I really believe that anyone with such good Karma, will have the most serene afterlife, full of joy and will make their way happily to the next realm, rewarded amply for their good deeds, kindness and generosity.
I found joy in the Ganga in Haridwar. For the soul, the Ganga offers a blissful passage to the next realm.
Arjun Pereira, a writer and editor, is also a singer, composer, lyricist and guitarist. He has worked for leading publishing houses and corporates, but music is his passion.