I have recently looked at other Asian communities and looked at how they have made progress/changes and have adapted when a community member has passes away. (This applies to UK)
In other community Prayer Meeting / Sog Sabha is held for the community members to pay their respects to the family of the dear departed.
The points to take from other community are:
1, No one ever visits bereaved family’s home, except very close family.
This allows the family to have some normality within their house and allows bereaved family to reflect on what has transpired thus allowing them to collectively and peacefully make arrangements for funeral, etc. Thus not increasing stressed further than what they are going through.
On the day of funeral, we must also look at who should go to the house for Final Rites at Residence for the Immediate Family
2, At Prayer Meeting / Sog Sabha while Dhun/Bhajan etc is conducted, community members upon arrival goes to the family of bereaved who are sited thus that they can walk up to them and pays their respect while the Dhun/Bhajan is going on. Of course there are chairs there for those who want to sit until the end of period. However, most having paid their respect to the family will depart in short time. It is not disrespectable to do that.
This is another good point so we do not crowd the venue. Thus small hall will be sufficient or it can also be organised in home if facility permits.
The key points our community need to adept is:
1, we all don’t rush to bereaved family's house as soon as we get the news.
If you do then don’t go there after you have finished your work and had your dinner etc, think of the family what they have to put up with.
2, We as a community now have adapted Prayer Meeting / Sog and we have it in majority of cases.
There is no hard and fast rule here that the Bereaved family have to say anything or give few words about the person who have departed. This we do at funeral. We generally cause havoc at the end when everyone wants to just say Jai Shree Krishna at the same time.
Let’s hope all future announcements by Pattniconnection and now PPA puts this in practice.
Jitubhai’s article has given us food for thought.
I too have attended prayers meetings held by other communities. Each have their own way of holding sog sabha.
At one such meeting there were just 15 minutes of prayers and thereafter the community members met the bereaved family, say “Jai Shree Krishna” and gone home. That way the family avoided hiring a large venue as people would just come and go after paying their respect.
The primary aim of such prayer meeting is to meet the bereaved family and share in their grief. Such meeting serves its purpose as it is not practical to congregate in large numbers at family's home.
“Chaas Rotla” Invite after the Funeral Ceremony
The other issue some of our community members have asked me to raise is the formality of inviting members for “chaas rotla” after the funeral service.
This formality of inviting for “chaas rotla” started in the old days in
Since the family, when making the death announcement, has already requested “family members only” at home then is it necessary in this modern age of such a formality?
You are most welcome to express your view on this sensitive issue.