Hindu devotees flouted social distancing and masks norms as they performed rituals and prayed Wednesday for their ancestors’ souls on the last day of ‘Pitru Paksh’ or fortnight of ancestors.
According to the Hindu tradition, ‘Pitru Paksha’ is a 15-lunar day period. It falls in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September-October), beginning with the full moon day (Purnima) and ends with the new moon day.
Coronavirus failed to scare devotees in eastern Gaya, Kolkata, northern Varanasi and western Mumbai cities who were seen without masks, and crowding river banks to take bath in holy rivers, performing ‘pind daan’ (ritual for soul of ancestors) and offering prayers for their ancestors.
In eastern Bhubaneswar city some devotees wore masks and followed coronavirus protocols to prevent the spread of the virus despite the number of cases being low.
According to Hindu faith, it is believed that when humans die, their mortal body turns to dust whereas the soul remains, until it does not find another mortal body to reside. The cycle of rebirth can cease and the soul can receive salvation, if these sacred rituals are performed, the Hindus contend. (AFP/Reuters)