Author Topic: Sanctification of Birth and Death  (Read 1387 times)


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Sanctification of Birth and Death
« on: March 19, 2009, 11:44:13 AM »
Life on earth is like an infinite ocean in which birth appears like a bubble and death marks the bursting
of that bubble after which it exists no more. Atmosphere of a household is said to be defiled when a
birth or death occurs in it. There are different sanctifying customs to be carried out on both these
occasions. After the birth of a son, the father should offer oblations to please the gods and his
ancestors after taking a bath.

When a death occurs in a household, close relatives should take bath and carry the cadaver adorned with flowers
and garlands outside the village or well-demarcated cremation ground for cremation. As per the religious tradition
of the deceased, the body should either be consigned to the flames or buried. Then the relatives should again
take bath in the pond or river facing south and offer watery oblations to the dead person. Since that day,
Pindadaan (offering sweet balls made of barley flour, sesame seeds, jaggery and honey) should be done for ten
days. On the fourth day of the cremation, ashes should be collected for immersion in holy places of pilgrimage.

The person who had carried out the cremation must abstain from intimacy for thirteen days. Outsiders
are also barred from eating cereals from such a household where a death has occurred. For the
different classes of Hindu society, this sanctifying period varies. For Brahmins, it is ten days, for
Kshatriyas, it is twelve days, for Vaishyas, it is fifteen days and for Shudras, this period has been fixed
for one month. On the same day in every subsequent month, oblations should be offered to the dead
for one year.

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta