Haridwar, India's holiest city, is visited by millions of pilgrims, devotees and tourists who bathe in the river Ganges to wash away their sins and attain m oksha (salvation) as well as perform s hradh (funeral rites) of their dear ones. And among such pilgrims were Hollywood superstar Sylvester Stallone's kin.
A file photo of Har Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar where pilgrims are seen taking the ritualistic bath | Source: Wikipedia
According to a Times of India report, Sylvester Stallone has told a Vedic Scholar named Prateek Mishrapuri from Rishikesh that he still sees his dead son Sage, who had died in 2012 due to a heart attack at the age of 36. He was subsequently advised to perform shradh to ensure peace to the departed. Thus, he sent his members of family to perform the puja for Sage last week.
The ceremonies were performed by his half-brother Michael, his wife and two others who made a secret visit to Kankhal, Haridwar as Stallone himself chose not to come -- fearing media attention. They, then, returned to Philadelphia after performing the tithi shradh , a funeral ceremony done for those who die in an accident or are murdered.
A file photo of Sylvester Stallone (left) and his son Sage (right)
Sage had worked with his father in the Rocky series. It was reported that his death had left Stallone devastated. In search for a medium to contact his son, he got in touch with Mishrapuri on a visit to Los Angeles from where he learnt about the Hindu ritual of shradh.
"After checking with the Panchang (sacred calendar), I told him of the date and time when the rituals should be done. He had plans to come here himself, but had to drop them. He then asked his brother to visit. This is a ritual that can be performed by only blood relatives. After the shradh of Sage, Michael also performed a ceremony for his sister Toni Ann, who died aged 48 in 2012." said Mishrapuri as reported by the Times of India .