were 'Messengers of the highest order.' How little do they know that these great Avatar were 'God Incarnates '—nay, fully 'awake and conscious' Gods!
The ceremonies and rituals, particularly concerning the dead, of the Parsees and Hindus are all a sheer waste of money, energy and materials, even though these are performed with great faith, respect and reverence toward the dead. Unfortunately and in blind ignorance, these credulous believers pay so much attention, respect and reverent to the dead, years after their departure. For instance small gold and silver caskets, costly boxes of snuff, etc., are used in the ceremonies, on the advice of the Brahmin priests and Zoroastrian Dasturs, with blind faith. Why? The dead are, after all, dead and gone.
The only necessary ceremonies, worth doing at all, are during those three days after death (forty to seventy hours after death) when the 'soul' of the dead one is supposed to hover round the spot where it dropped the body, before it passes on to the next state of development, according to its sanskaras. N.B. the best method of disposal of the body is burial, for spiritual reasons.
Our Life After Death
As to our life after death, some go to 'heaven,' some go to 'hell,' according to their good and bad actions for a certain time—until their punya and papa (merit and demerit is exhausted.* Some take human birth again at once. Those who have committed suicide hover in the lower planes (close to earth) until the fixed period of their actual death (i.e. when they would have died, living out their normal life-ed.) then go either to 'heaven or 'hell,' according to their actions; then take birth again, all according to their sanskaras.
Those who are in the Sadguru's Circle, who are to be made Perfect, do get Realization be they far or near. They require no medium for that Experience. They have only to wait and watch, like a pregnant woman awaiting delivery; the difference is that the woman knows how much progress has been made and how long it will take for the child to arrive. Whereas, the member of the Circle knows not what is to come, or when, even though the seed of preparation has been sown.
It's like the case of a young unmarried girl, who wants very much to have a child. For that, she has to try very hard to find a husband, using all her worldly influence. If she fails, and seeks the help of a Sage, he will help her find a husband who can implant the seed and get her desire fulfilled.
The case of the member of the Circle is quite different. The seed (for Realization) has already been sown long, long before. But in the case of others—yogis and sanyasis, etc.—no seed has been laid, and that is why they do penance, practicing yoga—Tapa, Japa, Vrata, etc., undergoing severe sufferings and tortures (even hanging upside down for twenty to forty years). But even these disciplines bring them no substantial reward, as far as Realization is concerned.
*In the semi-subtle world, see Discourses vol. III, p. 58