Food for the deceased

In India they observe quite a few rituals when someone dies. For a month after someone dies, the family will put all kinds of food in front of the house in case the person who has just died is still hungry.

Our family put food out when my father died. Very often we saw a dog come to eat it. At first we got annoyed, but then the village brahmin gave us sound advice. He said, "No, your father has taken the form of a dog and is eating the food."

After that we used to be very moved whenever a dog came. I observed this at least six or seven times with tears in my eyes, thinking, "Oh, my father is eating." The dog would eat the food, and I would look at the dog with such affection.

This was just a village custom, but we observed it for one month after my father died, and also after my mother died.