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Hindus/Restriction to visit temples

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QUESTION: Dear Sir,

I have recently become a father now.  My relatives have advised not to enter any temple for the next 16 days.  I am a man of head rather than  heart and I dont understand why others are preventing me to go to temple eventhough my wife and child is not staying in my house after delivery.  

The same is said after a member passes away from the house although the body of the person may have already been reduced into ashes and dispersed in water etc.,

Please enlighten me.

Thanking you and waiting in anticipation for the answer

Premjit VP

ANSWER: Dear Premjit,

Some men of head do not understand even about temples and Gods. After all, what and where is the proof?

But keeping that apart,if it is a tradition and your elders ask for it, why displease them? Even if you pray from outside the temple, God would listen to you. We say 'kan kan mein Bhagawan'. Sage Ravi Das said 'Man Changa, to Kathoti mein Ganga'.

As for a dead person, this was relevant in olden days when there were many communicable diseases, so our forefathers established this custom of 'Shauch' (cleanliness).

There is no harm in dispersing ashes in water. They do not carry any disease after their trial with fire. Ashes, in time would form a part of sedimentary rocks. :)

With best regards,
Yours sincerely,

Aupmanyav

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Sir Aupmanyav,

Oh sir - you misunderstood me.  I meant "men of head" as a person oriented towards Jnana marga and not a scientific person.  

But anything I do just because people have been doing it as tradition, I rebel with myself to know the rationality behind the act and have come up with answers for all my questions.  But I am unable to find out the reason for my latest question.  

I am actually abiding by the advices of elders out of fear of retribution from divine laws as I feel there may be meaning in elders words but to know the meaning behind, I fail.  This puts me to ask your goodselves for knowledge and request you to let me know the actuality behind my elders words.

Thanks for your early reply in my previous question

Premjit

Answer
Dear Premjit,

It is quite simple. It is for the safety of the new born. It may not be that important today, but in olden days it was important - as less contact with unknown people as possible, so that the family members do not bring any viruses to the new born. This was 'shauch' in reverse. So, do not go to crowded places. That is why the new born was kept secluded and not taken out of the house for 40 days.

That is tradition. What was found practical in centuries of living. We should generally observe the traditions, unless some tradition is patently foolish (like in Maharashtra where a child is thrown from first floor and caught on a piece of cloth. This is supposed to bestow the blessing of that particular godman on the child). With best regards,

Yours sincerely,
Aupmanyav

Hindus

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Aupmanyav

Expertise

Especially religious history of India. I follow 'advaita' philosophy (non-duality) and am an atheist. My answers would be consistent with science and practicality.

Experience

Explaining Hinduism for about 8 years.

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None.

Education/Credentials
Science graduate. Extensive studies of hindu scriptures.

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