Women in Hinduism - Wikipedia
The Smriti texts of Hinduism provide a conflicting view on sex outside marriage. Most texts leave sexual matters to the. Marriage. According to Hinduism cultures if a husband is dead, then the wife If his wife dies (or otherwise leaves him) he is unable to perform certain rites. In Hinduism, it is believed that sacred Puranas, Vedas and Shastras were not only shall a man make physical contact with a woman, whose husband died. Only, if she willingly agrees to marriage, shall one hold a relation.
Endowed with the gift of prophecy and the power to cure and bless, she was immolated amid great fanfare, with great veneration". Only if she was virtuous and pious would she be worthy of being sacrificed; consequently being burned or being seen as a failed wife were often her only choices Stein Indeed, the very reference to the widow from the point at which she decided to become a "Sati" Chaste One removed any further personal reference to her as an individual and elevated her to a remote and untouchable context.
It is little wonder that women growing up in a culture in which they were so little valued as individuals considered it the only way for a good wife to behave. The alternative, anyway, was not appealing. After the death of a husband an Hindi widow was expected to live the life of an aesthetic, renouncing all social activities, shaving her head, eating only boiled rice and sleeping on thin coarse matting Moore To many, death may have been preferable, especially for those who were still girls themselves when their husband's died.
Over the centuries, many of India's inhabitants have disagreed with the practice of sati. Since its very foundation the Sikh religion has explicitly prohibited it. Sati was regarded as a barbaric practice by the Islamic rulers of the Mogul period, and many tried to halt the custom with laws and edicts banning the practice. Many Hindu scholars have argued against sati, calling it "as suicide, and At the end of the 18th Century, the influx of Europeans into India meant that the practice of sati was being scrutinised as never before; missionaries, travellers and civil servants alike condemned official Raj tolerance of the "dreadful practice" and called for its end Hardgrave In the Governor-General of India, Lord Bentinck, finally outlawed the custom in its entirety, claiming it had no sound theological basis James James also notes that the outlawing of sati practice was considered the first direct affront to Indian religious beliefs and therefore contributed to the end of the British Raj.
Most recorded instances of sati during the 's were described as "voluntary" acts of courage and devotion Hardgravea conviction that sati advocates continue to promote to this day. At the very least, women committing sati were encouraged by priests who received the best item from the women's possessions as paymentthe relatives of both families who received all the women's remaining possessions and untold blessings and by general peer pressure.
However it appears that at least in some recorded cases the women were drugged.
Rituals to be performed prior to and during cremation of a dead body - Hindu Janajagruti Samiti
In "An Account of a Woman Burning Herself, By an Officer," which appeared in the Calcutta Gazette inthe observer describes the woman as likely under the influence of bhang marijuana or opium but otherwise "unruffled. Two people immediately passed a rope twice across the bodies, and fastened it so tight to the stakes that it would have effectually prevented her from rising had she attempted".
Once the reality of burning to death became obvious, many women tried to escape their fate. Measures and implements were put into place to ensure that they could not. Edward Thompson wrote that a woman "was often bound to the corpse with cords, or both bodies were fastened down with long bamboo poles curving over them like a wooden coverlet, or weighted down by logs.
If she did manage to escape, she and her relatives were ostracised by society, as is related by the redoubtable Fanny Parkes, wife of a minor British civil servant during the early 's, who gives a frank eyewitness account in of a sati burning and the consequences: A rich baniya, a corn chandler, whose house was near the gate of our grounds, departed this life; he was an Hindu.
On the 7th of November, the natives in the bazaar were making a great noise with their tom-toms, drums, and other discordant musical instruments, rejoicing that his widow had determined to perform sati, i.
The [English] magistrate sent for the woman, used every argument to dissuade her, and offered her money.
- ‘She was not Hindu after marrying Muslim’: Delhi temple refuses last rites to woman
- Rituals to be performed prior to and during cremation of a dead body
- Hindu Rituals for Death and Grief
Her only answer was dashing her head on the floor, and saying, 'If you will not let me burn with my husband, I will hang myself in your court of justice. Guards were set over her, but she never touched anything.
My husband accompanied the magistrate to see the sati: After having bathed in the river, the widow lighted a brand, walked round the pile, set it on fire, and then mounted cheerfully: An Hindu, one of the police who had been placed near the pile to see she had fair play, and should not be burned by force, raised his sword to strike her, and the poor wretch shrank back into the flames.
The magistrate seized and committed him to prison. The woman again approached the side of the blazing pile, sprang fairly out, and ran into the Ganges, which was within a few yards. When the crowd and the brothers of the dead man saw this, they called out, 'Cut her down, knock her on the head with a bamboo; tie her hands and feet, and throw her in again' and rushed down to execute their murderous intentions, when the gentlemen and the police drove them back.
The woman drank some water, and having extinguished the fire on her red garment, said she would mount the pile again and be burned.
The magistrate placed his hand on her shoulder which rendered her impureand said, 'By your own law, having once quitted the pile you cannot ascend again; I forbid it. You are now an outcast from the Hindus, but I will take charge of you, the [East India] Company will protect you, and you shall never want food or clothing.
The crowd made way, shrinking from her with signs of horror, but returned peaceably to their homes: It was the will of God. She replied, 'The women of my husband's family have all been satis, why should I bring disgrace upon them?
I shall go to heaven, and afterwards reappear on earth, and be married to a very rich man. With the exception of the bodies of children and sanyasis, bodies are usually cremated.
There are, however, some Hindu communities which practice burial. When the person dies, the family is in a state of grief. To respect this, no cooking is done in the house until the cremation takes place. There are very specific dietary injunctions also as to what people can and cannot eat, especially the person who has performed the last rites.
The food is vegetarian, without onion and garlic. The foods are considered satvic pure foods. The next day the ashes are collected and immersed in a river--particularly where two rivers meet; in the ocean; or scattered over the earth in India.
Hinduism, marriage and mental illness
There are a certain number of days, depending on the community, after which the family is re-integrated into the society," says Narayanan. These invocations bring the peace that everyone is searching for in the days after death--peace for the mind and the soul.
These feasts symbolically provide sustenance for the ancestors rituals with similar philosophies are also found in China and Japan. Do not resort to crying aloud, beating the chest etc. We pray unto your Holy feet to impart progressively higher momentum to the deceased. Before placing the dead body on the floor, smear the floor with cowdung. The flame of the lamp should be facing the south direction. Even when the dead body is removed from there, keep the lamp lit for the next ten days.
The beard and mustache should also be shaved off and nails clipped. If that is not possible, then it should be done on the 10th day. Do not shave the head after sunset, since that is prohibited.
The rest of the family members should shave their heads on the 10th day. Women should not cut their hair or nails.
Do not wear an uparna A shawl or a small single cloth worn loosely over the shoulders. Family members younger to the deceased, and other relatives should pay their obeisance to the dead body. The dead body should then be taken to the front yard of the house and placed in an east-west direction with the feet facing the west. Note — A custom of everyone offering a garland of flowers to the dead body, putting sugar in the mouth and applying kumkum saffron to the forehead is prevalent in many places.
From the perspective of spiritual science, all this is inappropriate. After the bath, drape the dead body with new clothes such as dhoti-shirt or a sari.
If a married woman has died, she should be dressed in a new green sari, green bangles should be put on her wrist and a garland of flowers should be put in her hair.Living with the dead in Indonesia - BBC News
Kumkum should be put across her forehead. Place the dead body on a mat or a mattress. Cover the entire body except the feet with one single plain white cloth. Leave the feet uncovered. Tear off a portion of the cloth that is covering the face and expose the face. This cloth should not be misplaced. Other gold in the mangalasutra and gold ornaments should be taken off and kept safely. Do not keep the dead body for long.
As far as possible, cremate the dead body during the day time.