Udupi: Environmentalist celebrates nature at father's post-funeral ritual

Umesh Marpalli

Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (SP)

Udupi, Jun 12: An environmentalist in the taluk found reason to celebrate nature even at the 'Vaikunta Samaradhane' post-funeral function relating to the recent death of his father.

When a person dies, Hindus perform various rituals, praying for betterment of his soul, ending with Vaikunta Samaradhane, on which people are invited to attend a function where feast is served at the end. On that day, after the usual religious programmes, floral tributes are paid to the photographs of the deceased, people recollect fond memories of their association with the deceased, and silent prayers are offered praying for the salvation of the deceased's soul.

On June 11, Vikunta Samaradhane of the late Keshava Acharya was held at Vishwakarma Sabhabhavana at Chempi near Saligrama in the taluk. On account of his love for nature, son of the deceased, Vinayachandra, offered puja to nature on account of his concern for environment, in memory of his father.

Keshava Acharya from Sastan died at 70 on May 29 this year. He was widely popular among the people, was a traditional practitioner of native medicine, with a liking for writing devotional songs. Well-known playback singer, Jesudas, had rendered a Bhajan written by Acharya at Kollur temple. Jesudas also had felicitated Keshava Acharya, in appreciation of his skill at writing devotional lyrics.

The untimely death of Keshava Acharya had brought grief to the family members and villagers alike. Vinayachandra, who loves nature, has so far planted thousands of saplings in public places and also watered them during summer. He also prepared and distributed seed balls to people, organizations and institutions free of cost. At the end of Vaikunta Samaradhane, he distributed saplings to guests and well-wishers who attended the function. In memory of his father, Vinachandra handed over three feet-tall saplings of breadfruit, jackfruit, mango, guava, soapnut, margosa, curry leaves, teakwood tree etc to about 250 people.

Vinayachandra's concept of worshipping nature on Vaikunta Samaradhane came in for lot of appreciation from the people. With this initiative, Vinayachandra's effort to keep the memories of his father alive by doing something worthwhile on the day on which gods are worshipped seeking tranquil alfter life for his father's soul was definitely worth emulating.