Garuda said- ‘ After visiting all the three ‘Lokas’ (World) I found the Earth (Prithvi) little overcrowded as compared to other ‘Lokas’. I also found that it provided better opportunities to a man both for materialistic enjoyments as well as his spiritual advancement. So, I have come to the conclusion that ‘Prithviloka’ was the best of all the ‘Lokas’ in every respect.
But, all round prevalence of sorrow and misery in ‘Prithviloka’ made me sad. I was really perplexed to see people performing complex rituals after the death of their relative. All these rituals appeared so absurd to me. I was really amazed to see people laying down their dead relatives on the ground. I could also not understand why a dead body is laid on the bed of ‘kusha’ grass and sesame seeds. I witnessed so many rituals that surprised me, for instance I could not understand the reason why donations are made after a man dies. I am puzzled by the mystery called death or, what becomes of him after he dies. The sight of sons lifting the dead body of their father on their shoulders is still fresh in my memory. I could not understand the reason why ‘ghee’(clarified butter) is applied on a dead body or why the relatives of the deceased chant ‘Yama sukta’ facing north. I was also surprised to see the son of the deceased being debarred from having meal along with his other relatives.
O Lord! Please reveal to me the significance of making ‘pinda- daans’ or, the significance of ‘tarpan’ rituals? Please tell me the proper method of offering ‘pinda daan’ and invoking ancestors? I find it hard to believe that all the deeds virtuous or evil committed by a man follows him after his death.’ This way Garuda flooded Lord Krishna with a barrage of questions and sought clarifications on them.
Lord Krishna replied–” I am so delighted that you have asked such important questions for the benefit of mankind. I am revealing to you the secrets, which were hitherto unknown even to the deities and yogis.
O Garuda! A man should try to beget a son with the help of means as mentioned in the scriptures because there is no salvation for a person bereft of son.
” Lord Krishna then went on to describe the proper rituals which are performed after the death of a man and said-