The Next World

: Part V.
: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

This is what the Santals say about the next world. After death men

have a very hard time of it in the next world. Chando bonga makes

them work terribly hard; the woman have to pound the fruit of the

castor oil plant with a pestle; and from the seeds Chando bonga makes

human beings. All day long they have to work; those women who have

babies get a little respite on the excuse of suckling their babies;

but those who have
no children get no rest at all; and the men are

allowed to break off to chew tobacco but those who have not learnt to

chew have to work without stopping from morning to night. And this is

the reason why Santals learn to chew tobacco when they are alive; for

it is of no use to merely smoke a huka: in the next world we shall

not be allowed to knock off work in order to smoke. In the next world

also it is very difficult to get water to drink. There are frogs who

stand on guard and drive away any who comes to the water to drink;

and so when Satals die we send drinking vessels with them so that

they may be able to run quickly to the water and fill the vessels

and get away before they are stopped. And it is said that if a man

during his lifetime has planted a peepul tree he gets abused for it

in the next world and is told to go and pick the leaves out of the

water which have fallen into it and are spoiling it and such a man is

able to get water to drink while he is picking the leaves out of it;

but whether this is all true I cannot say.