Gaya: A group of 35 American women, attired in traditional Indian dress (multicolour saris and blouse) performed pind-daan, the Hindu ritual performed by male descendants for their ancestors’ salvation.
The group from Chicago, led by their yoga teacher Ram Krishnan, performed the rituals at three different vedis (altars) viz, the Falgu river, Vishnupad temple and Akshay Vat. They received ‘suphal’ (acceptance certificate from the priest) and each of them offered Rs1,100 to the panda (priest). The priest’s aide received Rs101 per head.
On the issue of non-Hindus and women performing pind-daan, a ritual reserved for male descendants of dead Hindus, Pathak said Hinduism was flexible enough to adopt anybody who professed to follow its way of life and as such, the origin of these women can’t come in the way of their desire to follow Hindu rituals.
Asked if women were allowed to perform the rituals, the panda said Sita had performed the pind-daan for salvation of King Dashrath, her father-in-law and father of her husband Lord Ram. As such, women can’t be deprived of their right for reasons of gender bias.