Three Day Vigil After Death

release at vigil
Question:

It was stated in the webinar that you do a three day vigil for Adidam devotees. I was involved with someone who had arranged to have a home funeral and once she died, her body was kept in the home for three days after her death. We painted her casket and put pictures on it and her favorite objects around it to remind us of her life and we talked about our favorite memories of her. It was a beautiful experience. Is that what you do in Adidam for your three day vigil?

Answer:
Keeping the body in the home for some time after a death can be very healing for people who are left behind and helps them let go of their denial. When people experience a calm acceptance of the passing of another, it can also serve the transition of the one who has died. What you described might look on the surface like the three day vigil done for Avatar Adi Da’s devotees, but the purpose of each is quite different.

The purpose of the home funeral you described seems to be primarily to serve the people left behind, whereas the purpose of an Adidam vigil is to serve the person who has died. It is beneficial for those left behind as well, but not in the same way. In Adidam the three day vigil is a process of purification and those serving the event are there to help the dead person be released to the fullest extent possible. It is to help the person to relinquish all attachment to this conditional world. So we do not focus on memories of the person’s life during this time.

After the vigil is over and cremation has occurred, we may hold a memorial service where we would share our memories of the one who has passed. But Adi Da tells us that after someone dies they often linger and are aware of what is happening in the vicinity, so we try not to do anything early on in their transition that is likely to draw them back to their life since that is what they need to release and it will only serve to confuse them if their attachment to this world is encouraged.

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