Hinduism and its rich culture are attracting many foreigners to observe the Pujas and rituals associated with Hinduism. Many religions don not believe in the concept of rebirth or restroring peace for departed souls. Hinduism firmly accepts the ritual of Pitru Shraddh and Pinda daan to dead ancestors. Foreigners visit Hindu temples and other tourism spots because they are rich in its architecture and history. But they do not perform any puja in temples. Now, its the time for whole world to trust the Hindu rituals and culture. This is the introduction to an incident occurred in Gaya on 10th September, 2009 in Gaya where a Japanese woman performed Pinda daan to her dead ancestors.
Times of India writes:
She isn’t Hindu, not even Indian. But there she was, a Japanese woman, performing the ‘pinda daan’ ritual for ancestors, like thousands of Indians who descend on the pilgrim town at this time of the year.
Tomoko Lee, a Tokyo resident in her late 20s, surprised many around her when she offered pinda daan here, about 100 km from state capital Patna. “I came to India to perform the pinda daan in Gaya. I have fulfilled my wish,” she told IANS before leaving for New Delhi. According to Hindu traditions, it is a prayer and ritual for the salvation of ancestors’ souls and is usually performed by men.
It was her profession – as a researcher of Indian culture in the university of Tokyo in Japan – that got her interested in the first place. Tomoko, who is a Buddhist, said information on the internet finally led her to visit Gaya.
Needless to say, it left many surprised. “I was stunned when a Japanese woman approached me to offer pinda daan. I think it was the first such case!” said the Hindu priest who conducted the rites for her at the bank of the Falgu river in the premises of Vishnupad temple in Gaya Wednesday.
Tomoko said her visit was an amazing experience and left her with a feeling of peace in the land of Hinduism.
What she saw in Gaya was a revelation, as she witnessed thousands of Hindus conducting the ritual daily. “I have captured the visuals in my camera; I will show them to others back in Japan,” Tomoko said.
Pitrapaksh, a fortnight-long festival, is considered to be an auspicious time for pind daan and is observed every year in September or October. According to officials in the Gaya district administration, more than 200,000 Hindu devotees have already performed the ritual in the first six days of the fortnight. The district authorities expect the number of pilgrims to go up to 400,000. Special facilities have been provided to devotees to perform pinda daan.
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