Funeral as per Hindu Customs

As per Hindu funeral customs and traditions, the dead body of the deceased person, would usually remain at the home at least for a day after death, in order to give sufficient time for the friends and relatives to have a last glimpse of the dead body.After burning of the dead body in the burial ground, the ashes would be immersed in a lake or pond, and some people would keep some ash in small containers, and whenever they have a chance to visit the holy place Varanasi, they would immerse it in the Holy River Ganges, and also would perform the Pitru Tharpanam rituals with the help of the priests.

The Hindu funeral rituals vary based on the castes, and it would be generally done by a proper spiritual advisor.

As per the principles of Hinduism, god dwells in the soul of each person, and death occurs only to the physical body and not to the soul. The soul of the dead body would take the shape of any other form like birds, animals and insects, based on the karmic deeds of the person, and if he has done lot of good deeds in his life, he would be blessed by the divine gods in the heaven, and the divine messengers would take him to the heaven. Hence it is highly recommended for everyone to do lot of good karmic deeds throughout their life.

After burying the dead body, various mantras would be chanted, and fire sacrifice would be performed at the home of the deceased person, and various food items would be prepared with much care and attention, and it would be offered to the crows, by considering it as their ancestors.

The tenth day ceremony is held at the home of the deceased person, in order to send the soul to the heaven. Close relatives would participate in the ceremony, and after the completion of the ceremony, all the relatives would gather at one place, and they would talk about the greatness of the deceased person, and some people would talk about spiritual matters also, in order to remove the depression in the minds of the relatives of the deceased person.

In certain Hindu communities, the thirteenth day ceremony is held at the home of the deceased person, and it is considered as the end of the death ceremony. All the visitors would be provided with wholesome meals, and they would console the relatives of the deceased person. After the completion of one year, during Amavasya days, Grahanam days and on annual death ceremony day, Pitrutharpanam must be made in the home of the deceased person by his son.

It is advisable to visit Kasi and Rameswaram for performing Pitru Tharpanam during Mahalaya Amavasa day, which would fall during September – October month. Those who are unable to visit Kasi and Rameswaram, can also visit their nearby temples or the temples of Saints like Guru Raghavendra and Shirdi Saibaba, since these two saints are also considered as the incarnations of the almighty.


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