He did not like rites, rituals and ceremonies and He kept reminding us to beware of getting into this rut.
Rituals and ceremonies cannot carry one very far towards the path, and if they are unintelligently followed they bind as much as any other unintelligent action.
Dogmas, beliefs, rituals and ceremonies can never be the essence of the true spirituality when spiritual life becomes a matter of these; it becomes a cage for the soul.
If an aspirant sticks to religious doctrines and dogmas, he will never achieve his ultimate aim, realization of the Truth.
Instead of performing ceremonies and rituals mechanically as age old customs, people were to serve their fellow beings with selfless love, taking God to be residing in one and all, and that by so serving others they are serving God, My work will have been fulfilled.
No amount of rites, rituals, ceremonies, worship, meditation, penance and remembrance can produce love in themselves.
Tear the curtain of set ceremonies and rituals and you will find that I am the worshipped, the worship and the worshipper. Prayers and worship are meant only for God and when you are lost in formalities, and then you are leaving aside God and worship only the rituals.
You have not to give up your religion, but to give up clinging to the husk of mere ritual and ceremony. To get to fundamental core of Truth underlying all religions, reach beyond religion.
What is Karm-kand
Any religious act done without putting heart in it is Karm-kand. To garland Me is a karma-kand, and not to garland is also a karma-kand. It means that anything done with love and heart in not a karma-kand. But when the same is done in a form of ritual or in mechanical manner it becomes karma-kand. While doing Arti if your mind is not there and always thinks something, then it remains nothing except karma-kand.
Many times, Meher Baba said, “When My lovers do My prayer and Arti considering My idol or photograph I am not present there. But when they do it with sincere feeling in their heart, I am definitely present in that idol or photograph.
An episode related to Karm-kand.
Once in Guruprasad, Baba was giving darshan to His lovers, suddenly it started raining. Baba lovers standing outside did not want go inside hall where Baba was sitting because they were wearing shoes. When it caught attention of Meher Baba, He ordered, “You all come inside with shoes.” But lovers were hesitating in doing so. Then Baba told, “If you garland Me with a string made of shoes, even then I will feel happy. You should not least hesitate in doing so.” From these words of Baba it becomes clear that outer respect or praise carry no importance. Where any work done with love becomes of the most spiritual importance. We see that any act of respect or praise is not a karma-kand but depends on love. Only love is a thing which can differentiate between karma-kand and real worship. Whatever you do with love is not karma-kand
No rituals after ten days of death
A person dies, when his sanskaras are exhausted and spent in full. After a person dies his sanskaras snap the mind’s connection with the gross body, and at that time he receives such a shock that he forgets every incident of his past life. But even though the gross body drops, the mind and the subtle body remain full of sanskaras.
For the next forty to seventy hours after death, the attention of the sanskaras is centered mostly on the place where the body is kept. But after that, there is no connection whatsoever between the dead person and that place. Within the next eight or ten days, the spirit of the dead person experiences the subtle state of either heaven or hell according to his sanskaras.
After a person dies, many people perform rites and ceremonies for a long time, but all these are useless. No ritual is necessary after ten days; however, the best rites would be to feed either dogs or crows near the body because they have subtle sight and can see the spirit of the dead person. Crows and dogs are not subtle-conscious, but they have subtle faculties of perception and draw toward themselves the sanskaras of dead people.
Mourning beyond limit is bad after death
The expression of uncontrolled grief for the dead is always bad. Wild outburst of sorrow and long continued unappeasable lamentation always produce a most painful effect upon the dead and relatives. Our remembrance should take a form which will be helpful and not harmful. Vivid thoughts of love and friendly wish produced for the dead have beneficial effect on them. Every thought of the man instantly draws round itself matter of the astral plane and remains hovering around him. The thought form has only a temporary existence, the length of which is determined by energy put into the thought. One who has been widely loved is very much helped and uplifted by currents of thought directed to him.
There are several instances on record to show the depression and saddening effect upon the dead, which is often produced by selfish and uncontrolled grief of the survivors.