Sacred Hindu ritual “pind-daan” performed for Michael Jackson in India

Ashwin Shukla Navami, Kaliyug Varsha 5111

Entertainment icon Michael Jackson’s “pind-daan”, a sacred Hindu ritual for salvation and peace, was held at holy city of Bodh Gaya in Bihar State of India, according to reports.
Jackson’s pind-daan was reportedly performed by his fans in Vishnupad Temple built in 1787 on the bank of Falgu River by a priest who himself confessed to be a Jackson fan. Several celebrities had offered prayers here in the past for the salvation of their ancestors, including Bollywood superstar Shatrughan Sinha (Dostana).
Hindus believe that pind-daan performed during the fortnight long pitrapaksh period every year brings relief to departed souls. Around one million people from all over the world congregate here for pind-daan annually for their ancestors. After taking bath in a nearby kund (reservoir), the pilgrims perform pind-daan involving religious rites for the peace of souls of one’s parents and ancestors.
Founder of Buddhism Gautama Buddha also attained nirvana (enlightenment) in this town under a banyan tree (a tree from the original sapling still stands in the local Mahabodhi Temple whose railings are from first century BCE).
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Michael’s personal life might had been controversial, but he did provide “joy” to a large populace of the world through his music. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that one of the ancient Hindu scriptures “Taittiriya Upanishad” talking about “joy” says: From joy are born all creatures, by joy they grow, and to joy they return. He urged Government of India to honor Michael Jackson posthumously at least by issuing a postage stamp.
Rajan Zed further said that Michael Jackson had a special bond with India and Hinduism. According to reports, he was reading India’s first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s poems during the last days of his life. He collaborated with Oscar winner A. R. Rahman on Ekam Satyam track in 1999. He reportedly learned how to meditate and was vegetarian. When he was presented statues of Hindu deities Ganesha and Nataraja, Michael knew who they were, and explained their significance to the presenters. When Michael flew to India in 1996 for a live show, he was welcomed at the Mumbai airport by an aarti (Hindu ceremony performed in adoration of a deity or any outstanding personage or guest by circular movement of a lighted lamp before his person) by Filmfare winner actress Sonali Bendre (Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai). When Michael left India after this concert, he reportedly wrote on the pillow he slept in the hotel suite: “You are my special love, India.” Jackson reportedly visited Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden in northwest London (United Kingdom) in 1999 and later went to Bhaktivedanta Manor, run by International Society for Krishna Consciousness near Watford (United Kingdom), which contains the statues of Hindu lord Krishna and his consort Radha.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Source: Press Release

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