Hindu funeral and Burial rituals/ customs


Hinduism is the third largest religion originated in the Asian continent and being followed over Billions of followers throughout the world.

The particular religion practices unique burial and funeral rituals to calm down the deceased soul. The people believe that the soul ascends into heaven soon after death. So, to calm down the soul besides paying respect to the expired person Hinduism preaches funeral rituals carried away for the newly deceased.

How does Hindu bury their dead?

Hindu death varanasi

Cremation practice

Most of the Hindus do practice the cremation of the deceased still some of them carry out burial rituals. It purely depends on the sects and sub-sects the deceased belongs to. Cremating the body, within 24 hours of death occurred, is a must in Hinduism. The cremation ground is certain to the caste specificity also interchanging the cremation ground among the divisions is not accepted by the Hindus.

Soon after cremating the deceased body, the ashes are collected on the fourth day followed by scattering the same on the holy water body like rivers and oceans. River Ganga is termed as the holy water body confined to the scattering of ashes. If not possible visit Ganga, the ashes are sprinkled on the place of importance concerned to the dead one.

Bald after cremation
Bald after cremation

Burial practice

Coming back to the burial process, it involves burying the dead ones by placing the same in the coffin box and buried under the soil. Identical rituals are carried away in the burial process like cremation merely the body is buried rather cremated instead.

Soon after completing all the rituals, the soul ascends toward heaven accord Hindu faith. The creed determines the soul reaches heavenly bodies at most it followed the path of dharma throughout its life. Rather the soul transforms apparition owing to the evil deeds it committed whilst living. Moksha is the stage of liberation attained by the sacred soul and those follow holy myths and dharma in life are eligible to attain Moksha.

God of death

As stated by Hindu mythology, Unique Gods and Goddesses are there yet worshipped by its followers. On reports of God of death in Hinduism is Lord Yama perishes the lives of people. Hindus believe firmly death occurs on account of the end of life. Simpler means, a person dies barely when his life comes to an end and it is the Lord Yama drive away from the soul and that is denoted as death.

Funerals and related rituals are carried away in a row. Furthermore, Hindus consider the mourning period as a part of the ritual. This mourning period extends from 10 to 30 days accord to the caste and sub-sects.

General questions

What do you say when a Hindu dies?

We come across those words ‘’REST IN PEACE’’ shed by people when heard someone deceased. Perhaps those words are spotted as a sign of condolence but not recommended for Hindus to cite. Rather Hindus murmur ‘’Ohm Shanti’’ at once they hear the deceased news of someone else. The religion trusts that soul attains Moksha even so people conduct funeral rituals to calm down the soul. Henceforth, whispering Ohm Shanti is considered best rather than saying some other words.

Why are there 11/12/13 days after death?

Once death occurred funeral rituals are carried beginning with cremation or burial consecutive to that many rituals are performed. On reports of, the eleventh, twelve, and thirteenth-day customs are observed in Hindu homes and this is called mourning period. Moreover, the mourning period varies among Hindu castes and divisions. In general, there are four major classes of Hindus namely Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisya, Shudras which is further subdivided into several sub-sects.

Click here to learn more about Hindu Caste system.

What is Rasam Pagri or 4th day after death?

Rasam pagri is the funeral rites held on the 4th day after death. The specific rite is prevalent in Punjab and Rajasthan houses and the priest carries on the ceremony. The fourth day is calculated from the day of death occurred and not to be confused about the time or day of cremation. This specific rite is not common in all Hindu houses but prevalent in parts of North India.

How long after death is a Hindu funeral?

Most often, Funeral occurs within 24 hours of decease in Hindu houses. In rare cases, it may postpone the ceremony to the next day under indispensable causes.

The reasons include the arrival of a concerned person overseas who is eligible to perform the funeral rites i.e. son, also in case of very close relation to the deceased located overseas willing to participate in the funeral, etc. Similar other chances of postponing the ceremony are allowed in Hinduism but the chance depends.

Do Hindus use graveyards?

Obvious, some of the Hindus use graveyards as they follow burial as funeral rites associated with similar other rituals. Unlike cremation point, the graveyards are unique with place specification for every deceased. Once the burial ritual is completed, the place is specified with notable information of the buried one. This clarity helps people to identify the cemetery of their beloved and respected ones.

Why does Hindu wear white at funerals?

In Hindu, people wear white-colored clothes while funeral rites occur and this is done to show their respect to the deceased soul and also their mourning toward the recently expired one. The white is the color of purity, peace and it also expresses the sorrow hence men and women wear white-colored clothes to attend the funeral. Black is considered another choice of dress code to express mourning however Hindus from Northern parts of India prefer wearing white-colored dresses. But the tradition is not followed in South India.

What is called heaven in Hinduism?

Hinduism classified Universe into fourteen worlds out of which seven are upper worlds while the rest seven are lower worlds in other words Patala or hell. The seven upper worlds are starting from the earth and extend to the Sathya Loka. Heaven is the place where the soul resides eternal and do not re-incarnate again. Moksha the state of liberation is achieved by the soul and remains exists in the heavenly bodies. This state of liberation is achieved in heaven and is called Svarga Loka in Hinduism.

Why son is important in Hindu methodology?

On reports of Hindu myths, a son is an asset to his father and his ancestors. Hindu society always wanted a son at least to bring up their family, lives, etc. The creed preaches the importance of son to perform the final rituals once for all the life over and liberate the soul from Punnamanarakam. It is not meant that daughters are not as important as that of sons do perhaps the sons are boons to their father, grandfather, and ancestors.

Coming back to the fact of the question, sons are ideal and perfect to perform funeral rituals. Daughters are not allowed to visit the cremation ground or cemetery ground instead. Daughters shifts to some other family after marriage rather sons stay with parents throughout and are chosen optimal choice to perform the rituals.

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