What is Done in Hindu funeral rituals:
When we start talking about Hindu funeral rituals, we need to understand what Hinduism is all about. Hinduism is a religion, and many of you may know that the word Hinduism is not a Hindu word at all. This word was given to us maybe 300 AD back by the British.
History of Hindu Funeral rituals:
When the British came to India for the first time, they were still largely influenced by their worldview, which is about one God, one philosophy, one prophet, one book, and one way of looking at things.
They applied the same logic here, and it must’ve been a little difficult for them because everything has the opposite in India. In Hinduism, they are very opposite. Many gods, homes, rituals, prophets, and holy books.
There are different ways of worshiping and different rituals, which was quite confusing for Britishers; they gave the geographical term Hinduism. And yes, if there is any religion or way of thought that is completely open to diversity, we believe it’s the Hindu religion. It can also be called Sanatana dharma.
There are many broad principles in the system of thought that also bear where death can be considered and how death rituals happen.
Some important principles believed in Hindu Funeral Rituals:
We believe that the day and night, the seasons, and time in a way, everything in this world is cyclical;
For example, today, we are using the Gregorian calendar where this year will not come again. Still, in the Hindu system of calendar they believe that every 60 years repeat one after another, so everything in life is a cycle which probably in a way we never thought of recording the history of how Europeans recorded history.
Because for Hindus, the specific date of the transaction or an event is not as important as the deeper essence or meaning. Life is again cyclical, and everything in life is a cycle, including death.
Everyone is different. In many other religious traditions, there are some things that one group of people form. They believe that they go to hell, heaven, or whatever. In the Hindu system, they believe that there is some divinity, not just with every person but their nature. And celebrate those differences.
The law of dharma is If we do bad things, then bad things will happen, and the law of dharma, in a way, is a brilliant technique to keep society and civilization together,
And to ensure that we follow one of the most fundamental rules for a civilized society to stay together is about respecting each other.
When we start understanding the death ceremonies and death rituals, we can see some elements of these things playing up in those ceremonies.
Know more about Hindu Funeral/Death Ceremonies:
When we talk about Hindu death ceremonies, they are probably known as samskaras; in a way, the samskara is a vehicle that takes an individual to that recognition of whoever that God as a universal reality, and in this process, therefore, samskara becomes not just a ritual but little more than that.
Physical rituals that have connections to thinking, doing, and speaking help us merge closer with God, and therefore they are an essential part of the process. And cannot be seen just as a mirage.
So samskaras are the bow that takes an individual to the target, the brahman, or universal consciousness, whatever God they believe. Of course, there are many gods in Hinduism they can choose from.
What is meant by Samskaras according to Hindu Rituals?
When we look at samskaras, there are sixteen samskaras, and these are samskaras that typically use Sanskrit hymns. Still, in many communities in the Hindus, who don’t believe in the primacy of Vedas and Sanskrit language, they also grow these samskaras. Still, they do it in their native languages, which is also an equal and important part of Hinduism.
Today we have photographs and videos, we have letters, and we have multiple ways of remembering people, and yet when we lose a dear one, we grieve for that person who left us.
Many Hindu and Indian death rites respect the dead while also encouraging revival. The family gets together to perform several rites, including
What are the rituals that are performed at Hindu’s death?
Washing: body washing uses special ingredients like milk, honey, ghee, and yogurt.
Essential Oils: Essential oils, such as sandalwood for males and turmeric for women, can be applied to the person’s head.
Dressing: A simple white sheet is to dress the deceased in traditional Indian death ceremonies. Contemporary, attractive apparel is now possible because of more sophisticated procedures close to the dead person’s head.
Water is a symbol of cleanliness because it is sprayed on the body.
Hindu Funeral Traditions and Ritual practices
At a Hindu funeral, what happens?
Hindu burial customs begin at the time of death, ideally taking place at home. The body is traditionally followed at the family home until cremation.
Hindu Cremation: Cremation should occur as quickly as possible after death, ideally within 24 hours. While the family grieves, friends and family visit the house to express their condolences and sympathies. Because cremation is a short process, families don’t think embalming is essential or desirable.
Processing into the Crematorium: It’s critical to do it feet-first when transporting the body into the crematorium. Mourners
Mukhagni is a Hindu ceremony performed by family members and a Hindu priest (the Hindu cremation ceremony).
Most Hindu funeral rites are 30 minutes or less in length. If the family wishes, they can have a long funeral.
Scattering the Ashes: Cremated ashes scattered according to Hindu funeral ceremonies and traditions.
Mourning Phase: The Hindu mourning period lasts ten days following a person’s death. The family is considered spiritually dirty during this time. Therefore they avoid visiting religious sites (such as temples and the family shrine).
Like those of other religions, Hindu funeral procedures and traditions differ according to the needs and preferences of each religious sect and family.