Dialogue with the dead
Editorial

Dialogue with the dead

Given the rising pitch and volume of verbal exchanges among the powers that be at the helm in most countries of the world in virtually all the regions of the planet in particular and among the people of respective countries in general, specially our nation of multiple socio-economic-cultural-ethnic diversity, one is obliged to turn to the fraternity who have departed leaving their memory in the obituary columns of dailies of all hues, including this one. Graves with tomb stones indicating their identity and good deeds as well as the date of their departure to the unknown region, most favoured being the heaven, as well as framed photographs hoisted on the walls of homes they lived in, never mind the layers of dust and cobwebs  covering the wall-hangings, are other relics of the gone-for-ever kith and kin in their respective families. The few chosen persons of eminence in various fields of pursuit are the ones whose birth anniversaries are celebrated and dates of their passing away are observed, not forgetting to prescribe their ideals to be followed by people at large.

Of all the discoveries made by scientists and their cohorts across the world to this day, the destination to which the dead have headed remains outside their ambit, only because the means of communicating with them for a two-way dialogue is yet to emerge. Only Saint Kanakadasa, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Maharshi Ramana stand out as human beings who achieved communion with divinity according to the legend of the land.

Despite the imperative of people living in an ambience of adhering to the live’n’let live principle, ignoring the boundaries marking different faiths, beliefs, customs, cultures, languages, ethnicity and whatever, safeguarding relationships bound by tolerance and acceptance of these diversities, people are mostly adrift in the matter of following the prescriptions for civilised conduct, barring exceptions. We are in an era of mentors in society not taken notice and of families that have no space for grandpas and grandmas to have dialogue reminding and guiding the gen next on the do’s and don’ts in daily life. However, invoking the departed members of respective families by chanting lines drawn from the land’s ancient scripts and communicating with them through rituals such as yajnas and homas, although without any audible response or even an echo, mercifully are customs still in vogue.

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The crux of the challenge facing the society is to crack the barrier of two-way dialogue between the living and the dead, by harnessing the cornucopia of knowledge generated by scientists, granting that the departed members of the families, wherever they are, are keeping a hawk’s eye on the ways of their progeny.  

March 5, 2019

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