Answering the Myths: Why females are not allowed in the cremation place?
As times change and our generation questions the authenticity and practicality of the passed down myths, one of the most crucial and talked about questions include – why arent the females allowed at the shamshan ghat (cremation ground)?
We live in a country where the duties and identities have been set differently for women and men. As per the beliefs of the Hindu rituals, women must not take part in any proceedings and services that go beyond the boundaries of the street. This also includes not visiting the shamshan ghat for the last rites. The cremation ground is the place that is designed to perform the last rites. In many cases, it is built near lakes, water bodies, and streams so that the holy process of Asthi Visarjan can also be performed as soon as possible.
But have you ever wondered the WHY of such myths? What were the reasons that led to people believing them widely?
Last Journey answers the why of these myths…
1. Women are weak-hearted
Supposedly women are seen as weak-hearted beings. The sight of the bear body burning and curling up in the fire is difficult to watch, and on top of that, there are many bodies for performing the last rites. As per the rituals it also has to be ensured that the body is fully burnt, and this is something that can be difficult to experience.
In situations where the girl feels strong enough, they can visit the cremation ground or may stand up for their rights.
2. To take care of the house
While the men resume all the responsibility for the last rites, women are expected to stay back at home and take care of the house, including cleaning, food preparations, and so on. Such roles and duties have been restraining and caging women for years, and now have begun to be questioned correctly.
3. Long hair will attract negative energy
One of the most peculiar reasons for this belief is that long hair has some evil elements and attracts negative energy. Since women can go bald by cutting off their hair, they are not allowed to enter the cremation ground. As per beliefs a lot of evil surrounds the shamshan ghat and due to the long hair of women, they are more vulnerable to attract it.
4. Ghost effects
It was widely believed that married women cannot enter the cremation ground as they are not pure whereas, unmarried women (especially virgins) must not. This was because the virgin girls were too virtuous and can easily attract ghosts and evil spirits.
5. To attain Nirvana (spiritual enlightenment)
As per the sayings of the old times, having a son is the bridge between birth and demise. When the earthly life ends, we as souls yearn to be free from this vicious cycle of birth and death by attaining nirvana or spiritual enlightenment. It is believed that if a girl performs the last rites, this aim cannot be achieved.
Think, talk, and discuss! Do these reasons still hold value?