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Reply To: Free Will: Yea or Nay?


Every year in remembrance of our deceased parents,we perform a ritual ceremony in my hometown.
It is officiated by a priest who, by tradition, is ordained to officiate the local Hindu cremation rites and worship of ancestors.
Since we follow the lunar calendar the date varies and the anniversary of my Mothers passing , fell on the March 28 , this year.
As Covid would have it, we were unable to travel to our hometown, let alone hold the ceremony – as was the case the previous year.
So I performed the ritual early morning as the best as memory would serve me.
In the briefest sense it entailed summoning moms soul from the world of ancestors.

A lamp is lit with 2 wicks aligned north and south.

And facing South I invoked the soul, inviting her to inhabit the representation of her earthly self, fashioned out of rice. I proceeded to worship her with water,flowers, tulsi leaves, sesame seeds,oil and yoghurt – to symbolize the vital aspects of her being, that still lives on in her children.

After this ceremony, the soul is released from this makeshift earthly domain and guided back to the ancestral world ,assisted by my prayers.
It definitely does not bode well for anyone should the soul tarry on the way or remain in any other realm but that of ancestors.
The rice moulds are then carefully collected in leaves and fed to the crows and the fishes. Thus celebrating the eternal Truth -that of Eternal Life.
I live in the Middle East ,about 4000km from my home country and there are no crows in this part of the world.
Crows represent the ancestors collective in my culture, but suffice to say that the sparrows, bulbuls and the doves,took up this foreign task with great gusto.
As I emptied the remnants of the offerings into the Arabian gulf waters,
I watched the grains sink down and fan out as the currents swept them away.
It also brought the fishes to the surface and I watched them chase after the rice grains – with a certain degree of relief and wonderment.
In Death indeed is one’s Supreme Giving.
As I headed towards my work place, I was also distractedly toying with this thought of a fish not choosing to chase after rice.
A Prodigal Piscis! – for choosing not to heed the call of a billion odd year old ancestral wisdom.
Would ShHe have a growing tribe of wide eyed emaciated followers? Though one could hardly be enthusiastic about any of the afore mentioned being robust enough to spawn a generation of the emancipated.
It was a slow day at work, so I whiled some time jawing with a colleague .
After exhausting most topics, he somehow manoeuvered our ambit of conversation to religion.
His first premise was that Science keeps changing its Truth – where as in Religion the Truth never changes.
I replied that it is a great advantage indeed of Faith over Science – that one could afford great faith in ones beliefs, whereas such is not the case in science.
Perhaps my attempt at understated skepticism was lost on him.
Apparently emboldened by my feeble offering, he drew himself up and let go-
There is only One who can do anything he chooses , in any corner of this universe.
He is the creator – he created everything out of his will and he can undo his creation at the drop of the celestial Hat! (not in as many words) . He can bring death to the living, as well as life to the dead!
His Divine Writ rules the Universe’
I thought of the Prodigal Piscis – the one who refused to go with the flow ( sorry for the pun)
I thanked my colleague profusely and walked away.
What a soul shattering revelation !
Free Will is only as real as the Creator.
Unfortunately there is nothing to be overjoyed about it.
If one has to inflict death and instil life at Will it cannot be the work of a Creator.
It shows the frenzy of a mind trying frantically to control reality – or come to terms with it…. . By Creating a Story!
A mind out of sync with the Flow – a Creator who doesnt recognize his own holy handiwork
I trust…… I dont have to spell out, who is/are the Creator/s