Time and again it has been seen that attachments — they may be to a person, an animal, a tree, a place or any other object — are amongst the major reasons that can prevent a soul from proceeding on its normal astral journey to the other world after death. If the person who has died belongs to a family that is enlightened or is guided by wise elders or a priest or a guru and the family is aware that the dead person had some strong attachments, steps are taken to ensure that the attachment does not serve as a baadha or obstacle to the soul’s progress.
Appropriate measures which will bring peace to the soul in view of its attachment are taken very systematically and often, if the attachment was to an ornament or a particular set of clothes they are cremated or buried alongside the person. Indira Gandhi’s very rare one-mukhi rudraksha mala, which she always wore after it had been given to her by Anandmayi Maa and which was believed by many to be the source of her power, was “cremated” along with her. My own grandmother was very attached to her pure silk suits and her hand made zari jooties . Even though she was a very strong, spiritually aware person in her lifetime, it was felt after much discussion that no scope should be left that could possibly slow down her soul’s journey. Her favourites were therefore “cremated” along with her. The rest, after checking with her spirit, were distributed the way she wanted.
It is when there is a forced or undesired separation between an object of attachment and a dead person that the spirit of the dead person reacts and does not rest till it gets what it wants. In a way, for the soul it is a quest for justice — something that was so close to the person’s heart and mind has a powerful pull on the soul even after death. It should be noted that in such cases where a dead person’s attachment to something is not taken into adequate account, it is usually living beings who are instrumental in disturbing the soul of a person and creating very powerful supernatural activity and phenomena that has been known to prove fatal for living beings who are drawn into the circle — through their fault or not through their fault.
It is because attachments don’t always die after death that one should be very careful about picking up objects, even innocent keepsakes from old or unknown places. I picked up a broken piece of carving while walking along a path in the Ranthambore Fort in Rajasthan — just about two by three inches of a carved stone — thinking I could use it as a paperweight. But because of the supernatural connections it generated, I had to make a special trip to the Ranthambore Fort to return it. Incidentally, as part of a continual learning process about the supernatural, I did try to resist the supernatural elements attached to that small piece of carved stone. But no matter what I tried, they were too powerful and compelling and when, amongst other incidents, the piece of carved stone began to be moved by invisible forces to wherever I moved in the house, I knew it was time to return to Ranthambore with the piece of carved stone.
Appropriate measures which will bring peace to the soul in view of its attachment are taken very systematically and often, if the attachment was to an ornament or a particular set of clothes they are cremated or buried alongside the person. Indira Gandhi’s very rare one-mukhi rudraksha mala, which she always wore after it had been given to her by Anandmayi Maa.
Here, is a very interesting story — amongst so many that I have come across and often been witness to — about how important attachments and sentiments are to the dead and the consequences. At the Nigambodh Ghat Cremation grounds in New Delhi, I know a Dom who like Doms at other cremation ghats, clears away the ashes of burnt bodies after relatives have collected the ashes they need for immersion, which is usually done on the fourth day after a person is cremated. Most Doms however, don’t wait till the fourth day and run the ashes through a sieve much before relatives arrive in case they can find any melted gold from ornaments that may have been left on the dead body and very often they do find gold or silver.
They then sell this to jewellers — usually a particular one with whom they are familiar and who will not make a police complaint. In the case of this Dom, he found quite a bit of gold from the ashes of a young woman who it came to light later had died just a few months after she got married. Amongst her ashes that were sieved by the Dom was one almost intact gold earring that had got only slightly melted. I was sitting with the jeweller at the time, about 8 p.m., that the Dom brought the gold tied in a dirty maroon handkerchief and saw the earring slightly melted from one side and the rest of the melted gold. Of course, I didn’t know at that point that the person who had just arrived was a Dom —vaguely I assumed he was a jewellery karigar skilled worker. But I was a bit puzzled, though once again vaguely, why the jeweller was not touching the earring and the rest of the gold with his hands but using forceps instead to pick them up, inspect them and place them on the weighing scales.
Just as the jeweller was handing over money to the Dom, the money was snatched from his hands and the Dom was flung to the ground. It was the ghost of the dead woman whose earring and other melted ornaments the Dom had brought. The rest is too long to narrate here, but it turned out the earrings and other melted ornaments were the ones she had worn on her wedding day and she harrased and hounded both the jeweller — whose wife she possessed — and the Dom — whom she almost killed — till her melted ornaments were consigned to the waters of the Yamunaji. That Dom now often comes to me to help him out with angry spirits — he refuses to give up on the gold! — and some of the incidents are truly amazing.