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Thread: Death in Hinduism?

  1. #1

    Death in Hinduism?

    Namaste,

    I'm wondering how a Hindu should treat the death of a family member?

    I've lost my Aunt this week and I genuinely don't know to treat this - I've had a difficult couple of weeks anyway but this is the proverbial icing on the cake in terms of having a hard time.

    Is there any special prayers I could use? And to which gods?

    Also (apologies for the triple questions) are there any special rights of passage I should do?

    Pranams.

  2. #2
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    Re: Death in Hinduism?

    Vannakkam: Hindus avoid going to temples for 31 days. That would be the most important one for you to follow. There are other customs that vary locally, like not taking food in the deceased house. If the family member wasn't a Hindu, most here (but not all) would respect the wishes of the deceased, if they had a living will, or any will. If the person was a non-Hindu, it could be considered rude to do any Hindu sacraments.

    Aum Namasivaya

  3. #3

    Re: Death in Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam: Hindus avoid going to temples for 31 days. That would be the most important one for you to follow. There are other customs that vary locally, like not taking food in the deceased house. If the family member wasn't a Hindu, most here (but not all) would respect the wishes of the deceased, if they had a living will, or any will. If the person was a non-Hindu, it could be considered rude to do any Hindu sacraments.

    Aum Namasivaya
    Namaste,

    Thank you for that EM.

    My aunt wasn't a Hindu, so I'll go along with any of her partners' wishes etc as he's the one planning it. Luckily though they're not practising Catholic or anything, so hopefully it won't be intense.

    Pranams.

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    Re: Death in Hinduism?

    Vannakkam: I am sorry for your loss. Not knowing what to do myself at funerals of old Aunts, colleagues, former students, etc., I used to just sit solemnly and mentally chant my mantra. It blocked out some of the other 'stuff', and I'm sure the departing soul, whether they knew it or not, would benefit.

    Aum Namasivaya

  5. #5

    Re: Death in Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam: I am sorry for your loss. Not knowing what to do myself at funerals of old Aunts, colleagues, former students, etc., I used to just sit solemnly and mentally chant my mantra. It blocked out some of the other 'stuff', and I'm sure the departing soul, whether they knew it or not, would benefit.

    Aum Namasivaya
    Namaste,

    I think I'm like you, I tend to introvert myself and honour the dead in a way that I feel helps me and them.

    Thank you. :-)

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    Re: Death in Hinduism?

    Pranam Mradam, sorry to hear about your loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam: Hindus avoid going to temples for 31 days. That would be the most important one for you to follow.

    Aum Namasivaya
    EM by this you mean the Sutak that makes the affected family to observe certain rules. there are different rule pertaining to different people. Garud puran lists them. For someone from immediate father side (sa pinda) it could be any thing from 10 to 30/40 days depending on ones varna. for some just a day and a bath would purify. if one comes in to contact with deceased at a funeral, a bath is a must. generally 12 and 13th days are important to perform Shraadh. this could go on for 12 month, as well as every year a day is allotted for shraadh.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

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    Re: Death in Hinduism?

    Vannakkam GP: Yes, sometimes I forget to mention how it varies from state to state etc , and of course I don';t know the intricacies or subtle differences. The one I mentioned is the Vellalar caste/group from Sri Lanka, the one I'm the most familiar with. But for a western adoptive, which group's practices does one adopt. I've adopted the Sri Lankan model.

    Aum Namasivaya

  8. #8

    Re: Death in Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
    Pranam Mradam, sorry to hear about your loss



    EM by this you mean the Sutak that makes the affected family to observe certain rules. there are different rule pertaining to different people. Garud puran lists them. For someone from immediate father side (sa pinda) it could be any thing from 10 to 30/40 days depending on ones varna. for some just a day and a bath would purify. if one comes in to contact with deceased at a funeral, a bath is a must. generally 12 and 13th days are important to perform Shraadh. this could go on for 12 month, as well as every year a day is allotted for shraadh.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Namaste,

    On the subject of the bathing what is the relevance behind this? Is it a spiritual or devotional ritual?

    Pranams.

  9. #9

    Re: Death in Hinduism?

    Interesting choice of avatar. Does Shiva have three heads?

  10. #10

    Re: Death in Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by veena View Post
    Interesting choice of avatar. Does Shiva have three heads?
    Namaste.

    In all honesty, I've not thought about it - it was the one that stuck out in my mind more really.

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