There are some things that we do so routinely that they seem to be harmless or casue no discomfort to any but the most puritan viewpoints. The Antim Ardass is one such "ritual" with which we are all familiar. In fact the "ardasses" begin in earnest the moment a sikh dies...ardass at time of departure to the crematorium..ardass at the crematorium..ardass at the Gurdwara after commencing sehaj paath in memory of the deceased...ardass before collecting the ashes..ardass at the river side after the ashes are consigned to the river/flowing waters....and FINAL ANTIM ARDASS at Sehaj Paath da Bhog...........and then some others do an "antim ardass" each year at the death anniversary/Barsee....for decades and decades..... IF we talk to many Sikh theologians or academics Gyanis Bhais we will find that they connect Sikhi to the 84 Lakh JOONS and REBIRTH...Laws of KARMA..Past Lives doings and rewards punishments....and the ETERNAL LAWS of Coming and Going..Dharamraaj and His Court where justice is dispensed after taking into account the dead person's doings in this world. Now many questions arise here. When the human body dies..the soul or atma leaves ( atma cannot leave a living body...meaning a dead body has no atma..and a living body NEEDS an Atma in order to LIVE ) and the split second the Atma leaves..it has to be present in the Court of Dharamraaj where it is judged..and then consigned to its NEW JOON based upon its doings while alive ??? OR is it NOT ?? Is there a waiting period ?? a WAITING ROOM ?? as in a railway Station where the passengers wait for the train ?? Can the Atma's actions/wrongdoings be CHANGED or the affected Atma be given PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT based on the "ardasses" performed by mostly PAID Granthis/Pathis when the entire 1429 pages of the SGGS tell us in no uncertain terms that EACH ATMA has to do Naam japp and COLLECT the "naam Dhan" for its own salvation ? That NO ONE..not even ones most loving parents, doting grandparents. beloved wife, sons..daughters..whatever...CANNOT do one tiny bit for YOU !!! Everything has to be done by EACH ONE OF US on our OWN !!! SGGS tells us that the Creator is ALL KNOWING..Jaannee Jaan...and in His Court..the SACHEE DARGAAH...only those who have Janam swarred..occupy a place of merit and Honour..in that Court can wittnesses and granthis who sing praises of the dead person serve any purpose ?? Will HE be influenced by such ardasses and paaths ?? ALL of us can and should do Paath, sehaj paath, ardass daily. BUT such acts are for our own GOOD and done to IMPROVE or CHANGE for the BETTER our own daily lives. Similarly the act of doing ardass/Paath/Prayers is not bad per se..or to be discouraged..IF such acts serve as REMINDERS to the LIVING to be WARNED of their own IMPENDING DEATH and PREPARE to meet the maker carrying our own accumalted Naam dhaan in as large a quantity as we can possibly carry. An ardass is doen to "change"..IF theres a possibility of such change taking place. Thus a sick person can do ardass to get better..be cured of his illness. A studnet can do ardass for a good performance at the exams (after doing his studies as best as he can)......the basic rule is there must exist a POSSIBILITy of CHANGE...and this POSSIBILITY can ONLY EXIST while LIVING. Whats the use of doing an ardass for a SON when a DAUGHTER has laready been born ?? Such an ardass cannot change the girls sex....An old man performing ardass for his YOUTH to be given back to him ?? A LIVING "chor" can do ardass to the creator to help him change and stop stealing...a Living murderer can do an ardass and REPENT...a LIVING person CAN CHANGE !!!.....BUT theres NO POSSIBILITY of CHANGES to what a DEAD PERSON has already done....!!! Whats done is done and over with....he has to deal with the consequences and face the MUSIC...all by himself !!..OTHERWISE..theres nothing to stop a person doing whatever he likes...and then dying and leaving it to his relatives to "sue" on his behalf and demand CLEMENCY....and in such a situation the WEALTHY are better off because they can engage tens if not hundreds of granthis and sehaj pathees to do paaths and ardasses and jor melas and ask for clemency for the dead one and that he be ACCORDED a place of HONOUR at His FEET ??? Lawyers sue and defend the living...and the more wealthy one is..the better lawyers one can engage..is this same method workable in the CREATORS COURT when HE KNOWS ALL !!! Will He or des HE listen to plea bargains.."i will plead guilty if you give me a lesser punishment ?"...or i have the best lawyers (granthis who do hour long ardasses quoting panktee after panktee of SGGS in praise of the dead..etc etc ) Another bhambalbhoosa ?...an average human does good and bad deeds in his lifetime...so what happens ? is he judged and assigned a JOON based on hsi good deeds or bad deeds...or does he get a good joon pro rata and a bad joon pro rata ??? Are the Sikhs gathered in sangat form at an antim ardass paath da bhog, akhand paath da bhog LOOKING WITHIN in the context of the Nauven Mahalleh de sloks as...Ask not for whom the bells toll..they toll for THEE ?? The Gurbani is for the LIVING..as there is a possibility they can CHANGE.....and some do change !! But the vast majority are just there on invitation, offering sympathy to the family and for the Langgar....after which everything is promptly forgotten and life goes on !! ( WHEN LIFE SHOULD CHANGE !!) ???????????????????????????? so many questions..so little time... A TRUE GURSIKH takes every opportunity to be in SANGAT..to listen to Gurbani..LAAHA LEEANNA...CHANGE his LIFE...Conserve the Naam Dhan...!!!