Theory of re-birth after death has been a matter of mystery since ages right from the days when human civilisation had a take off on earth. There are people who have full faith in this phenomenon and yet there are those who don’t believe in it at all, but the fact remains that there are millions and millions of people who observe necessary rituals on the death of their dear ones to ensure that the departed soul gets peace and it takes re-birth in a comfortable environment. Hindu mythology says that there are 84 Lakhs of live species on earth to accommodate the departed souls as a matter of cycle and recycle from one birth to another. I have read about some place in Kenya where people have a faith that all the departed souls get their re-birth as crocodiles, and from that point of view, they keep a pond nearby their village for their conservation. They feed the crocodiles well with the belief that the eatables they offer them goes directly to the departed souls of their near and dear ones. Islam has a different faith. It says that there is nothing like an immediate re-birth after death. The dead ones rest in their graves, as the followers of Islam say, till such time the doom’s day occurs. When dooms day occurs, all the departed souls assemble together to be produced before their Allah (the God) for his final decision as to who will go to which type of re-birth depending on their deeds –good or bad. Every religion has its own faith in the matter observing necessary after-death rituals accordingly.
As I came to know through media, there is a village called Shuklapur at a distance of 16 km from Dehradun (Uttranchal), where the people believe that the departed souls are born in their next birth as green trees. They have established their own cemetery naming it as “Punarjanm”(re-birth). Every time some one in the family dies, there is a tree planted there in his/ her memory in the cemetery itself with the belief that the more they serve the tree, the more is the peace to the departed soul. They take the tree so planted in each case as an image of their loved ones who are no more. Faith element apart, the one tangible factor that emerges out of such a ritual is that it is an important most step forward in the direction of providing a much needed impetus towards a healthy environment as a measure to overcoming the ghastly pollution spreading over every where presently.