US-Irish quartet performs ancestors 'shradh' on Ganga Ghat

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Varanasi, Sep 27 (UNI) Accentuating the growing inclination of materialistic West in oriental religion and culture, an Irish-US foursome performed the 'Tripindi Shradh' of their dead ancestors on the banks of Ganga river here this evening.

Michael Mcgarry and Michael Dwyer, company director and graphic designers respectively from Dublin (Ireland) and Ben Collins and Josh, IT professors from the US, dressed in white 'dhotis' performed the 'shradh' under the supervision of 11 priests led by Bechu Mishra at the Tulsi Ghat.

The westerners, aged between 40 and 55 years, performed the 'shradh' for the peace of their dead ancestors on the first day of 'Pitrapaksha' -- a fortnight of Hindi calender when it is believed that souls of dead ancestors troupe down to their successors dwellings.

The four-hour religious exercise was performed near the Hanuman temple, where Goswami Tulsidas is believed to have scripted the famous epic 'Ramcharitmanas.' ''This puja symbolises that materialistic west craving for spiritual peace can only be fulfilled at Hindu religious hotspots especially Kancheepuram and Kashi,'' said Ben Collins, who ten years back, launched a website to help westerners troupe down to India in search of spiritual peace.

''West is materially rich but spiritually empty and this is an effort to satiate the quest of west for spiritual peace,'' Collins added.

It was the seventh time that Collins had arranged a trip for spiritually thirsty westerners to India, but the very first time that such a visit was managed by him to Varanasi. ''Prior to this we only frequented Kancheepuram and this is the first time my group which strongly believes in rendering peace to our dead ancestors through Hindu rituals was in Varanasi,'' he added.

Concurring his viewpoint, compatriot Michael Dwyer maintained ''we have not performed the 'shradh' on advice of local priests, but purely out of a deep rooted belief that such ceremonies will render peace to the soul of our ancestors. Despite being Christians we believe in these ceremonies just as much as the Hindus believe.'' Prior to performing the 'shradh' on the banks of the sacred river, the western quartet had performed a five-day 'Rudra Shakti Yajna' at the Shool Tankeshwar Temple in Tarapur Tikri area of the city.


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