Hinduism believes in the reincarnation of a person seven times. This religion teaches us that the soul of the deceased is transferred to another body. In Hinduism, cremation of the body is the norm followed by all the sects, and the body stays at its home until it is transferred to the location.
A Hindu funeral is divided into three parts:
- A memorial at the deceased’s home.
- A cremation ceremony at the cremation location.
- A reincarnation ceremony or Shraddha which happens after ten days of death.
However, there are some Hindu funeral rites without which a funeral In Hinduism is not complete.
Hindu Funeral Rites:
In Singapore, a Hindu funeral includes these rituals:
- Calling on the Gods and Goddesses
In the Hindu tradition, a Hindu priest (Pandit) calls upon the Gods and Goddesses to help the deceased’s soul once a person dies. The purpose of calling on to the supreme power is to help the soul’s journey to the next world or the next body. Thus, the pandit prays to the Gods, and the family members also pray to help the soul towards a better afterlife.
- Chanting mantras
The most famous Hindu rite is that the pandit, or the eldest son of the deceased or the host who is overlooking the funeral, chants mantras. These are specifically written for funerals. These mantras provide peace to the deceased’s soul, and they become ready for transcending to the next world.
- Preparing the Body
After a Hindu dies, the family of the beloved prepares the body for cremation. Following are the rituals performed on the body before it is transported to the cremation location:
· Bathing the body with milk, honey, yoghurt, and ghee.
· Placing natural fragrance near the head of the deceased. Turmeric is used for the females, and sandalwood is placed for the males near their heads.
· Placing the hands in a ‘Namaste’ position and putting the feet next to each other (tying the big toes together to hold the feet in place).
· Dressing the dead in regular clothes or white sheets.
· Placing rice balls or flowers around the head of the dead.
· Sprinkling water on the deceased’s head.
- Performing the Funeral
After 24 hours of a person’s death, the body is taken to the cremation site, and the funeral is performed:
· The casket is taken to the crematorium while the loved ones recite prayers.
· The casket is opened to give one last glimpse of the deceased to the family, but nobody is allowed to touch the body.
· After a while, the cremation starts. A pandit and the closest family member of the deceased conduct it.
· After one day of cremation or mukhagni, the ashes of the deceased’s body are scattered in water or at a place important to that person to provide them peace.
These were the Hindu funeral rites followed by almost all sects of Hinduism. It is important to note that traditionally the mourning time for the deceased’s family is 30 days. However, different sects have different amounts of grieving days.
Divine Casket Singapore was established in 2004 by the late Silvester, one of the first few embalmers in Singapore. Through his dedication to the craft of embalming, he sought to provide the best for the deceased, emphasizing respect for those who have passed and remembering those who have been left behind. His craftsmanship has earned much praise and compliment throughout the 1990s from grateful clients.
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