Connecting online with the netherworld from home

Connecting online with the netherworld from home

File photo of 'pinda-daan' being performed at Gaya.

Want to perform pinda-daan, the sacred Hindu ritual in which people offer oblations in the memory of the departed ones? But can’t travel thousands of miles to reach Gaya, where the Pitrapaksha mela is organized every year in September?

No problem. Now you can do it with the click of a mouse, sitting at your home.
The Bihar Government has decided to provide online pinda-daan facility for offering pindas in the memory of departed soul. If successful, this will be the first online puja service linked to Bihar.

Trained priests
“We have decided in principle to provide online pinda-daan service for thousands of people who could not make it to Gaya for one reason or the other. The puja can be performed after depositing certain fee by priests trained by the Bihar State Religious Board,” said Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

“I have asked the Bihar Tourism Department to prepare the details at the earliest and display its information on the official website of the State Government,” Modi said.  
The fortnight-long Pitrapaksha mela, also known as festival of souls, is scheduled to start from September 3. The event has its religious, mythological and historical significance.

Foreign tourists
According to an estimate, about eight lakh pilgrims from across the country are likely to visit Gaya during that period. The pilgrims belonging to the Sanatan Hindu religion come to this holy place every year not only from all over India but even from neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh to offer pinda during the auspicious period so that their ancestors get moksha.

It is precisely this reason why scores of pilgrims could be seen offering pinda and performing religious rituals at 48 vedis (altar) spread over different areas in Gaya. Prominent among those places are Vishnupad temple, Falgu river, Ramshila, Baitarni kund, Rukmini kund, Surya kund, Dharma kund, Sita kund and Brahma sarovar.

Other online facilities
The source of inspiration for this online facility to offer pinda has apparently been the important temples of the country like Kalighat temple, Dakhishneswar temple, Tarapeeth, Lord Venkateshwar temple at Tirupati. At all these places the pilgrims are reportedly being provided online puja facility for long.

Several dotcom services of foreign countries had been providing this facility for Indians settled abroad. The dot com services get the pinda-daan performed through a Brahmin priest (panda).

The date of pinda-daan is intimated to the applicant well in advance so that he can perform certain rituals back home on that particular day as per instructions issued by the priest.

But ever since the Bihar Government announced its policy, the priests are up in arms, and are vehemently protesting the move to provide online facility to offer pindas. “Those who have formulated the policy to provide online puja facility are either totally ignorant or completely unaware of the religious importance of the puja. The physical presence of the devotee is a must if one has to get moksha,” averred a local priest Mahesh Prasad.

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