Antim Samskar; 10th day after death vedic rituals – Dasgaatra | दशगात्र |

Episode 1 – Dasgaatra

The Pandey family prepapres themselves for the puritification rites. The priest chants the mantras for the Pind Daan ceremony. And most part of today’s rituals include head shaving of the family’s men and interviews. To be continued…. documented, edited and subtitles by rajat nayyar

ANTIM SAMSKAR – after death vedic rituals

[Ethnographic Documentary Series]

DSCF1619 Ethnographic notation of the after death rituals in a Hindu family. The film has been divided into episodes; the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th day after death. Also, one episode with the interviews. Varanasi, situated at the banks of River Ganga, known by various other names – the City of Light, The city of Death, The city of Moksha and The Forest of Bliss, is a mysterious city where, on the cremation ground, newspapers are read, breakfasts are taken, and people are drying clothes by fires that are fueled with bodies. The film notates the passage of the soul but only by the virtue of documenting the family’s state of mind throughout the rituals and time. Everything is an illusion, life and death are two phases of the same energy. Death is not the end of life. Death itself is part of life, and life goes on. You have died many times,and still you are alive. Your life is eternal. Death is a small episode here and there, when you change your house, but the essential of your being remains the same. How many times you change houses does not matter, but it is inconceivable to the mind. The burning ceremony after Death at the Manikarnika Ghat at Varanasi has its significance where it is said that Lord Shiva resides in the initial Fire, given to the funeral pyre and chants the Tarak mantra to bid a fond farewell to the departed and initiate its last rites on the way to attain Moksha. The poetic notation of the rituals on the 10th, 11th and 12th day after death with Sh. Pandey’s family throws light on immense faith and beliefs vested in the family for traditional values and towards making sure the soul passages towards moksha without any unfulfilled desires. The film also includes interviews of Sh. Pandey and an occasional debate over the condition of today’s politics,Hinduism and basic humor during these 3 days amomgst the family and the priest. The film clearly conveys to its viewers about the business of death in Varanasi along with immense faith that removes the notion of business from the film and puts into focus, the strength of cultural values.

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