Saturday, October 22, 2005

Death and Cremation

· Sikhs believe that the soul is eternal and subject to a continual cycle of birth, death and reincarnation until liberated from the mortal cycle and reunited with God.
· The family and friends of a dying person attend the deathbed when possible to pray and to console the dying person and each other.
· Mourning for the deceased is discouraged.
· Autopsies are avoided except where legally required.
· The remains of the deceased may be taken to the family home or to a funeral home for a wake before cremation.
· The body is washed and dressed with clean clothing and, for baptized Sikhs, the five Ks.
· After the wake, the remains are taken to a crematorium for cremation, with family and friends in attendance. In India, cremation would be done on a funeral pyre.
· Prayers for the salvation of the deceased precede the funeral. Where possible, the eldest son or other family member should start the actual cremation.
· Ashes are disposed of by immersion in the sea or other body of water. Some families may take the ashes to the Sikh homeland in Punjab, India.
· Where cremation is not possible, the body should be buried at sea or in another body of water.
· After cremation, the family and friends gather for the Bhog ceremony, usually in the temple, for prayer, hymn singing and ceremonial serving of karah prasad. The ceremony also includes a complete reading of the Scriptures by the family, either in the temple or at home. The reading may take up to 10 days.


Blogger SikhsRus said...

This is very useful and enlightening information! Especially for people like me that have not dealt with a funeral or death of a relative in life yet. Also, thanks for the wishing all the luck on exam. I can use it all. Waheguru bless.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 5:23:00 PM  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

"a wake before cremation"
Can someone please be so kind tro explain what it means?

And also, I found it very fascinating that in times where no creamtion is possible, the body should be burried near water...i wonder why? Both physical and spiritual reasons!

Sunday, October 23, 2005 5:28:00 PM  
Blogger Punjabi Assassin said...

A wake as I understand it, is a memorial or something of the like. It gives family and friends a chance to say their goodbyes and to better come to terms with it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 8:35:00 PM  
Blogger msingh said...

'a wake'may be a reference to when the body is brought home briefly, the coffin is opened and close family and friends get a chance to pay their last respects (I'm not sure if this is the right word).

I don't know how widespread it is, but the practice of doing kirtan at home every evening until the funeral is over gives tremendous support to families who have lost a loved one.


Monday, October 24, 2005 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger ਿੲਕ ਿਸੰਘ said...

that's what a wake is but the coffin doesn't have to be opened...

here's what i found on the web:
At the visitation (also called a "viewing" or "wake") the embalmed body of the deceased person (or decedent) is placed on display in the coffin (also called a casket).

At the viewing, the friends and relations greet the more distant relatives and friends of the dead person(s) in a social gathering with little in the way of ritual. The viewing often takes place on one or two evenings before the funeral.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:10:00 AM  

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