There was an old man who lived in a village, known as Chacha. He had three children, two were married and the one was about to get married. The old man fell ill and his son asked him to pray to God, as saying ‘Ram Ram’ would take him closer to God. The old man refused to pray no matter how much his children asked him. Even though he was close to his death, he still refused to pray and simply nodded his head when his children asked him. His children then asked him to say the name of the old temple, but the old man refused to say God’s name, ‘Ram Ram’ or the temple’s name.
The children prayed for him until he passed away and performed his last rites. The youngest son stated that since father never recited God’s name he would take his ashes to Haridwar and get some prayers and blessings. He said he would go to Delhi and stay with my friend, and together they would go to Haridwar. The other brothers agreed expecting it would finally give peace to their father’s soul.
The son then went to visit his friend’s house, who was very happy to see him. The friend suggested they go out. The son placed his father’s ashes in his bag on a high shelf and they both went out.
The friend’s wife was a nosey person and always wanted to see everything, especially if a guest had come and brought something. Looking in the pot, she got worried as there were bones amongst the ashes. Horrified she picked up the pot and threw it into the gutter. The next morning the son picked up his bag, not checking to see if the pot still contained the ashes and set off to Haridwar. When the prayers had been said and it was time to release the ashes, he found the pot empty, no bones or ashes, just an empty pot. He then started getting upset that his father had never prayed whilst he was alive and now in Haridwar his soul would not get any peace.
His friend then remembered that his wife was inquisitive and always wanted to know everything and throws everything away. He consoled his friend and told him not to worry. The son replied that his father never prayed when he was alive and now his ashes had not made it to Haridwar and questioned how his soul would rest in peace. They returned to Delhi and questioned the friend’s wife. She replied, “Yes, I found a pot with bones and ash and threw them in the gutter, so the father’s remains are now in the gutter”.
The friend said to the son, “Do not regret what has happened” and assured him there wasn’t anything left he could do.
The son returned home, and found out that one of his sisters-in-law had kept one of his father’s bones in a box because she had loved the old man very much. The son told them, what had happened and declared that their father’s soul will not rest in peace as everything has gone to the gutter. The others said “If you do not remember God in any way whilst alive, your ashes can only go to the gutter. But we shouldn’t worry as we will have a prayer in this house.”
The youngest son later got married. Sometime after his marriage the family all went to Haridwar with the single bone. They started the prayers and all bathed in the Ganges. The priest took the box with the single bone and placed it in the water. However, the youngest daughter in law who had not paid attention to the priest placing the box and also wasn’t aware of the whole story, picked up the box, thinking that the Goddess Ganga had given her a present. And so, she took the box with the bone back home with her.
The story says, if you do not remember God and pray in a positive way, your soul will never have peace and even your ashes may return home.