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What is Pula After The Death Of A Person In Hindu Kerala Rituals?

Pula is an important after death rituals among Hindus in Kerala. Pula indicates punarlayippikkua. After death 10 pranas leave the body. One Prana known as Dhananjayan only leaves very slowly. Dhananjaya Vayu is present throughout the body.

Dhananjaya vayu passes from father to mother and enters the fetus in the womb of the mother. It is present in the body even before birth. Thus Dhananjaya vayu is connected with all the family members as it comes from father and passes through mother to the body. This is the reason why Pula is observed. This is also the reason why person performing after death rituals does not travel when pula is observed. Even other people are not allowed to touch the person performing pula. It is to make sure that Dhananjaya vayu completely merges in the five elements and does not stay in the place.

When the body is on pyre and the fire catches up with the body, the Dhananjaya vayu comes out. The after death rituals in Hindu religion thus connects all the ten vayus in the body of the dead person and releases it into space, water, earth, air and fire – merges in the five elements.

The person performing the after death pujas and rituals observe pula. For a few days the person performing the ritual does not leave the house. People do not touch him, he eats simple food and does not shave.

The ritual is to make sure that no vayu of the dead person remains and everything merges in the Panchabhuta or five elements especially the Dhananjaya vayu which is connected to all the family members.