Frequently Asked Questions
It is common to have questions about the funeral process. This section answers some commonly asked questions to help make this process easier for you. If additional questions arise, please feel free to contact us directly at the funeral home.
What are Hindu funerals like?
Hindu funeral rites and traditions vary, but in general, you can expect to hear mantras being chanted around the departed person’s body at a home funeral.
How are Hindus buried?
Traditionally, the cremation ceremony involves a ritual burning of the body, attended to by a Hindu priest and male family members. Sometimes guests attend the ceremony, too. The ‘last food’ is offered and the cremation takes place with flowers arranged around the body.
What takes place during the Hindu cremation ceremony?
Cremation is chosen because Hindus believe that cremation is the fastest way to aid the soul in escaping the body. Cremation rituals vary from place to place, but they often include: prayers and singing rice balls are placed around the body flowers may also be placed around the body a lamp is placed near the head of the body water is sprinkled on the body food is offered Traditionally, Hindus prefer to have their ashes spread on the waters of the Ganges River in India. Many today take the ashes to a place closer to home.
What do people do at a Hindu funeral?
If they are Hindu, they participate in the chanting of mantras. If not, they may sit quietly during the chanting. Otherwise, one views the body upon entering the home, perhaps offering some quiet and brief words of condolence to the family.
What do you wear to an Indian funeral?
Wear white, not black, and dress conservatively.
How long after death is a Hindu funeral?
Typically, Hindu families try to have the funeral within 24 hours after death, after which the body will be cremated.
What is preta-karma?
The preta-karma is an important Hindu death rituals that takes place during the period of mourning. It serves to help the deceased person’s soul move from spirit form to its new body in the cycle of reincarnation.
Is there a mourning period for Hindus?
There is a 10-day period after the death, during which the immediate family follows Hindu mourning customs. They refrain from visiting the family shrine and are prohibited from entering a temple or any other sacred place. This is because they are considered to be spiritually impure during this mourning period. After the shrahdhah ceremony, the family typically returns to work in anywhere from one to three weeks, depending on personal preferences.