The Rituals of Chautha and Tehravin
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In most religions, the death of a person lasts more than a few days. There is an extended period of rituals and ceremonies after the cremation/burial. According to Hindu traditions, a ceremony usually takes place on the fourth day from the day of funeral rites also known as Chautha, or on the thirteenth day, Tehravin. The close family of the deceased conducts this ritual in a prayer hall. Distant family and friends and other members of the community gather, giving them the chance to offer their condolences to the family.
The Uthala Ceremony takes place for an hour or two. Invitations are sent out a day before the event. It commences with a song session/bhajans sung by singers or artists followed by a short discourse on spiritual matters. A well-decorated photograph of the deceased is placed. Floral arrangements are made to pay regards to the lost one. The Pandit/Priest announces the death of the lost one and pays respect to the family. A short ritual called Rasam Pagri takes place, in which the eldest surviving male member of the family ties a turban (pagri) on his head. The turban signifies the honor of the family. Following this is a small gathering for tea or lunch.
Meetings in prayer halls are for the peace of the soul. There is a belief that the soul of the departed is still conscious of any emotions on people’s behalf. These rituals assist the spirit of the deceased to obtain a new body for reincarnation. Prayer halls being divine and purity help in this process.
Tehravin refers to the ceremony that marks the final day of the mourning period. It is believed that on this day the soul attains momentum and cuts off all ties with family members to develop a relationship with God. To mark this blissful day al puja or havan is conducted by a pandit/priest followed by a brahman bhoj ceremony. A community feast is also organized for all the friends and family, especially if the deceased was social.
It is also advisable to have funeral decors for such rituals for a soothing and positive spiritual experience. Funeral decors not only set a good ambiance but play a major role in symbolizing the lost one. One can even add personal items as a part of the theme to honor and remember.
What is a Chautha ceremony?
What is the ceremony after death called?
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