July 23, 2017: Hindus celebrate birth anniversaries more than death anniversaries. We can easily observe people celebrating the birth of various Gods like Ram’s birth, Krishna’s birth, Hanuman’s birth, Garuda’s birth extra. They like to celebrate death anniversaries but they celebrate the death of demons like Mahisha, Ravana, and Naraka. Both these celebrations about birth anniversaries (Jayanti) and death anniversaries (Punya Tithi) stimulate positivity.
Ramayana and Mahabharata are the very prominent example of this phenomenon. In the Hindu world, birth is fortunate and death is unfortunate. The reason for this is that birth is seen as auspicious and death as inauspicious in the Hindu world. Ramayana is more sacred than Mahabharata, because Ramayana describes the birth of Ram, while Mahabharata does not describe the birth of Krishna. Bhagavata Purana is considered more relevant as compared to Mahabharata as it describes the birth of Krishna.
However, Christians and Shia Muslims are more involved in mourning deaths. Christian people mourn the death of Jesus Christ and commemorate the martyrdom of saints and the Shia Muslim also mourn the death of the Prophet’s son-in-law’s family in the event called Muharram.
Tombs and graves are considered to be great monuments as death holds a great value in Islam and Christianity. Hindus treat all the things related to death as polluting and inauspicious.
Hinduism has a belief that death blocks progress, wisdom, and liberation. Death and fear of death are seen as a trap by Hindu people. Death is considered as highly pessimistic and mental modifications created by fear of death can be controlled by practicing yoga. If we observe Hindu religion funeral, one does not turn back and look back at the crematorium as the past has to be forgotten. Hindus are seen as placing greater value on mythological narratives than historical narratives as compared to other religions.
If you view this from the political point of view, remembering past in the name of justice is very powerful. It helps to bring and bind people together. For instance, Jewish People has achieved superiority and political mileage by referring to Holocaust repeatedly. Similarly, Sikhs persistently recall Jallianwala Baug incident to humiliate British government, and Operation Blue star to bring shame to Indian Government. And now, the Hindutva lobby repeatedly talks about 1,000 years of enslavement” to rally Hindus against Muslims. So clearly, the memory of the past of death, is used to shape the present.
Birth, rebirth, even double birth all are seen as positive. The traditional Hindu has the outlook to forget the past and focus on the future. The Past is associated with and death is perceived as bondage that opposes liberation (Mukti).
-By Staff Writer at Newsgram