If you are from an Indian family,you must have probably been prohibited from entering your altar or going to temples for some period of time should a relative pass away.
So is this really an authentic practice of the vedic culture ?
Unfortunately this is a superstition that is deeply rooted in our society.Let's see how this practice was founded.
In olden days,each family had only one lamp ( vilakku ) in their altar. They did not have several fancy lamps and oil stock to light up several lamps like we do today.
As such,when a family member or relative passes away,the lamp ( vilakku ) usually used in the altar is used for the deceased.In this situation,there was no lamp in the altar.Hence,generally the family members did not conduct prayers or enter their puja room. Prayers were done in front of the lamp used for the deceased itself.
Overtime,exaggeration has ballooned the negligence of altar during death into a hoohah of self-made taboo that no one should conduct prayers or go to temples / altar.
Even today,we chant vedas and sing bhajans in front of the lamp offered to the deceased.This clearly shows that prayers were never a taboo when a death occurs.
Death is the time when we were actually encouraged to chant and sing devotional songs.The vibration created gives the mourning ones immense strength and blessing.Importantly,it provides an abundant vibration to the deceased that may aid in dissolving it's karma and perhaps -even providing liberation.