Sydney based Swamy Army, the widest reaching Indian sports fan club in the world, paid respect to Phillip Hughes by bidding him farwell in their tradition way of “Antim Ardas”. Antim Ardas is the prayer recited during the final rites of a Sikh person. It forms the conclusion part of the rituals held during a cremation. It provides spiritual support and consolation to the family members of the deceased person and blessings for the departed soul are prayed upon.
In Sikhism death is considered a natural process; an absolute certainty – an event that will happen sooner or later – an event that is guaranteed to take place; and only happens when the Almighty commands and never otherwise – as a direct result of God’s Will or Hukam. To a Sikh, birth and death are closely associated, because they are both part of the cycle of human life of “coming and going” which is seen as transient stage towards Liberation, complete unity with God. Sikhs thus believe in reincarnation.
Death is pre-ordained – no one who comes can remain here.
However, by contrast, the soul itself is not subject to the cycle of birth and death. Death is only the progression of the soul on its journey from God, through the created universe and back to God again. In life, a Sikh tries always to constantly remember death so that he or she may be sufficiently prayerful, detached and righteous to break the cycle of birth and death and return to God.
Kirtan and Antim Ardas was done in the middle of SGC (Sydney Cricket Ground) today where On 25 November 2014, Hughes was knocked unconscious by a bouncer, during a Sheffield Shield match, causing a vertebral artery dissection that led to a traumatic brain injury. The Australian team doctor, Peter Brukner, noted that only 100 such cases had ever been reported, with “only one case reported as a result of a cricket ball”. He was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital where he underwent surgery, was placed into an induced coma and was in intensive care in a critical condition. He died on 27 November, having never regained consciousness.
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