Hindu rites are performed after cremation.

Hindu rites are performed after cremation.

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Hinduism, a venerable and ancient religion, encompasses profound beliefs about the nature of life and death, shaping the rituals carried out after the passing of a loved one. According to Hindu beliefs, life continues beyond death, and the soul embarks on an eternal spiritual journey. Reincarnation is a central tenet, where the soul (known as atman) is thought to be reborn in a new body, its form influenced by the deeds (Karma) performed in its previous life. The ultimate goal is to achieve “Moksha,” which signifies liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth.

Various rituals and ceremonies are conducted to aid the peaceful transition of the soul and pay homage to the departed, varying based on the specific customs followed by the grieving family. Let’s explore some significant post-cremation rituals:

  1. Chautha (4th Day Ceremony):

 On the fourth day after the loss, the Chautha ceremony involves family and friends coming together. This includes reciting prayers (Shanti path), wearing a turban (Rasam pagri), and sharing teachings about the true nature of life. Devotional songs (Bhajans) are sung, and the departed soul is remembered. These rituals are believed to aid the departed spirit in finding a new body for reincarnation.

  1. Asthi Visarjan (Ashes Immersion):

 A highly auspicious ritual, Asthi Visarjan entails immersing the deceased’s ashes in holy rivers. This act is thought to free the soul from earthly attachments and guide it towards liberation. The cremated remains are immersed in holy water bodies like the Ganges, Godavari, Netravati, etc. Families often travel to sacred sites such as Haridwar, Varanasi, and Rishikesh to perform this practice.

  1. Pindadaan (Offering Rice Balls):

 According to Hindu funeral beliefs, the soul roams the Earth after death in search of peace. Pindadaan is a ritual where relatives offer rice balls to satiate the departed soul’s hunger. Traditionally performed from the first to the tenth day after death, this ritual is sometimes combined into a single ceremony in modern times. Pindadaan rituals are conducted in temples dedicated to deities like Shiva. After the ritual, ashes are anointed with coconut oil and immersed in flowing water.

  1. 11th and 12th Day Rituals:

 On the 11th day, a fire sacrifice known as Panchagavya Hom is performed at home to honour the deities. The chief performer (Karta) of the last rites makes a vow to benefit the departed soul by donating food grains. The 12th day observes Sapindikaran Shraddha. These rituals are believed to assist the departed soul in attaining the status of “Pitru” and securing a place in Pitrulok, the realm of ancestors.

  1. Ceremony on the 13th Day:

 Activities carried out on the 13th or 16th day after death are thought to accelerate the departing soul’s journey. During this ceremony, community members, family, and friends are invited to share meals, sweets, and blessed food (Prashad). This signifies the soul’s detachment from the earthly realm and connection with the ultimate soul.

  1. 16th-Day Death Ceremony:

 Following Hindu customs, the father’s body is cremated, and the children are advised against consuming bananas and curd. Rice balls are placed near the body, and holy water is poured. A holy basil leaf is also placed on the deceased’s body. Many Hindu families observe the 16th-day death ceremony, during which the son’s head is shaved. Observing these rituals correctly is believed to uplift the mind, soul, and body and aid the transformation and renewal of the departed soul.

In Conclusion,

Hindu death rituals are steeped in beliefs and practices concerning the soul’s journey after death. These rituals are performed as a way to honour the departed and offer them spiritual assistance for their voyage in the afterlife. Hindus aim to ensure a peaceful transition and eventual liberation of the soul through specific ceremonies like Chautha, Asthi Visarjan, Pindadaan, rituals on the 11th and 12th day, and ceremonies on the final 13th and 16th day after death. Suppose you need assistance with these rituals and traditions. In that case, you can reach out to reputable funeral service providers like Kaashimukthi, who offer comprehensive funeral services, ensuring that your departed loved one receives a dignified and respectful farewell.

Also Read: Buddhist Funerals – Complete Guide

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