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Hindu Antyeshti Rituals

Antyeshti Process

Antyeṣhṭi is a composite Sanskrit word of “ANTYA” and “ISTI”, which respectively mean "last" and "sacrifice". Thus the phrase Antyeshti literally means "last sacred ceremony, or last rite of passage". A funeral procession is a procession from a funeral home or place of worship to the crematorium. The Son or Karta of the deceased leads the funeral procession along with the family and friends. Then the body is devolved to the holy fire for its ultimate devolution in the five sacred TATVA of the universe i.e, Air, Water, Earth, Fire and Space. A period of mourning is observed for 10 to 12 days after death where the Son or Karta of the deceased recites prayers with the help of priest or Brahmin for granting ultimate peace to the deceased soul.

Why Hindus cremate

Hindu traditionally cremates their loved to have a fairy dissolution of body to bring swifter complete release of the soul. Hindu believes, it releases an individual’s spiritual essence from its transitory physical body to the heavenly abode. Fire is chosen method to dissolve the dead body because of its association with purity. Cremation is prescribed in the Vedic Texts and Hindu Funeral Customs are remarkably uniformed throughout India. Fire is a holy element in Hinduism due to its feature of burning everything and releasing the soul of departed to the heavenly bodies.

Asthi Visarjan

It is every family’s deepest wish to perform sacred final rites of their loved one. According to Hindu Scriptures, the remains of their loved one is collected to emerge in the holy water of Mother Ganga to release their soul from bondage of this world and help their spirit progress towards liberation. In this program, pure traditional and pious Pooja is performed by Son or Karta of deceased for their loved one on the bank of Mother Ganga with the help of priests.

What are Shraadha?

"Shraadh" is a Sanskrit word which literally means an act that is performed to pay homage to one's 'ancestors' generally known as Pitra. Conceptually, it is a way of expressing heartfelt gratitude and thanks towards forefathers and ancestors for having helped them to be what they are and praying for their peace. It also can be thought of as a "day of remembrance". It is performed on their respective 'THITHI' - death anniversaries as per Hindu calendar. In addition it is performed for the entire community of 'Pitra' - both from paternal and maternal side -collectively during the Pitra Paksha or Shraadh Paksha.

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