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.

http://www.forces.gc.ca/hr/religions/engraph/religions31_e.asp

5 Comments:

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.

ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ

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:
Visitation
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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funeral

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

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