Who was who

C L Gupta
This is my indebtedness to the print media in general but to the esteemed Daily Excelsior newspaper in particular, since this is the most widely circulated and read in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, other parts of the country and even abroad through internet services.
It is my concerted opinion that this paper is doing great service in imparting knowledge to those interested in getting informed about the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir in addition to other worthwhile information.
However, my focus is to highlight the importance of the obituary pages of the newspaper. I personally feel that the timely information to the readers link them to socially or otherwise aggrieved connected with the mortal human beings who have left this world for ever.
Not looking at this page sometimes causes significant embarrassment in not being able to participate in different rituals performed by the family members. Sometimes the information’s like the remembrances by the relatives and friends highlights the gratitude they have for the departed souls irrespective of the time which may be even decades. Such tribute to the departed souls serve a link for the generation who had not been born at that time.
Main highlight is my respectful reaction to these particular columns on the obituary page which I treat as “Who was Who”, and I react by closing my eyes and start praying for all included on this page/pages.
Prayers offered is as below:
O, The creator of this universe
I bow before they splendid supreme.
I pray the almighty to bless the souls with eternal peace of these mortals who have left this world, and gone to a destination the realms of which nobody except you know. They have left this world for ever along with their good or bad deeds, never to return back.
Furthermore, I pray in continuation to impart strength and solace to all the aggrieved due to the irreparable loss suffered by them. Total time taken for this prayer is 3-4 minutes.
Thereafter I start reading the rest of the news in detail for my knowledge.
I appeal to all my well wishers to adopt this practice, but final prerogative is yours. But I can assure you, it will add to your mental peace.
It may be said here that there was unity for beliefs and thoughts in all the human beings in this universe but it is not to be so now.
According to Merriam-Webster, the most trusted American online dictionary there are two types of human beings, as far the belief in God is concerned.
Atheists are those who do not believe in existence of God or any higher power or a spiritual force of any kind.
The other type are lebelled as theists who are staunch believers in God.
In our country, India, majority of them are believers in God and accept it as the creator of this universe, its sustenance, maintenance and keeping its balance on this earth.
As a consequence of this, we bow before Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh for getting blessed by them and guidance in all the activities of our lives, thus we treat them as our gurudevas.
However, there exists one commonality between the atheists and the theists. Both types agree on the issue of end of the life, that is death. This is for sure, irrefutable and established truth of life as accepted by all. This hard reality is irrespective of religion caste and creed. Death is in fact an eqaliser for all rich or poor powerful or weak, the kings and the beggars. No concession is granted to anybody on the basis of all the merits or demerits as mentioned above.
Sharing the commonality, all those who have left this world for final journey are treated by performing rituals according to the religion of the left over family members and others aggrieved.
(The author is Prof Surgery)