Death is considered the final destination of the journey of a soul according to Hindu beliefs. Everyone has to pass through this phase of life’s journey and experience the liberation of the soul. After the demise of a family member, people mourn the loss of his/her life but they celebrate the life journey of that departed person also. There is a distinct way to honour the entire life journey and the departed soul of distinct people in the Hindu Family religion. As an example- the rituals performed after the demise of the father will be different from the rituals performed after the demise of the mother.
How are the Rituals Performed after the Death of the Mother different?
Though there are many rituals that remain the same in the case of any person’s demise, some take place in a different manner. Here are the customs that one should practice after the demise of a mother in the Hindu family.
- At the place of cremation, the body should be washed with holy water, ghee, yogurt and honey etc.
- The deceased body of a female should be coated with essential oils mixed with turmeric.
- The big toes of the feet are tied together and the hands should be placed straight.
- The deceased body of one’s mother should be covered with a sacred new cloth. In the case of married women, the body should be dressed in a red saree. Else it should be wrapped in white cloth.
- The deceased body should be embellished with flowers and floral garlands.
- If the mother dies after the demise of his husband, the elder son should perform the cremation ritual of his mother.
- It is believed in the Hindu religion that if someone loses his/her mother, he/she should not consume milk for some days.
How one should Prepare the Deceased Body of a Mother whose Husband is alive?
It is considered auspicious in the Hindu religion when a married woman attains liberation before the demise of his husband. The deceased body of such married women should be decorated well with all the symbols of marriage. A piece of precise information related to the preparation of the deceased body of a married woman is given below.
- The dead body of a married woman should be dressed in her wedding attire. If the costume is in red, it would be best.
- The leading mourner or elder son should place vermilion on the forehead of the deceased body of the married woman.
- Ankles and toe rings are also considered inseparable parts of the beautification items of a married woman. Hence there should be a new pair of ankles and toe rings for the deceased woman.
- Earnings, rings and bangles should also be placed at the apposite body parts while preparing it for rituals.
- Along with the floral garlands, the deceased body of a married woman must be embellished with the holy thread known as “Mangalsutra”. It is the prime symbol of the reputed married relationship.
All sixteen symbols that depict the strong bonding of a sacred marriage relationship should be placed on the deceased body of a married woman or mother.
What Activities are similar to the Rituals of other persons While Performing the Last rites of the Mother?
As it is mentioned above that most things remain similar while offering a dignified farewell to the deceased person in the Hindu Family religion. One must be knowledgeable about similar activities also.
During the funeral, the deceased body of a female or mother is placed in the home or a place where visitors come for paying the last set of prayers and homage towards the departed soul. The head of the deceased mother should be in the south direction and the feet must be north-facing. The family members should place incense candles or sticks near the head of the deceased mother. The time of keeping the dead body for display purposes is limited to 24 hours only.
At the cremation place, the process of washing and covering the deceased body takes place as these places are near the holy rivers. After preparing the dead body of the mother according to the above-mentioned information, the lead mourner places it on the wooden pyre with the help of other family members. The elder son moves around the wooden pyre holding a clay pot that is filled with holy water.
Hindu Family Religion
This clay pot is dropped on the floor after the completion of three rounds around the pyre. After this, the leading person lit the pyre with the help of a priest or pandit Ji. During this whole process, the priest of the Hindu Family religion chants the holy mantras for the successful liberation of the separated soul. The family members wait till the complete cremation. It is advised to the family members that they should not look back when they are returning home after cremation.
It is considered that the departed soul wants to return home with them also. The remains or ashes should be collected in an urn and flown into the sacred water. These can be scattered over a place of the deceased person’s choice also.
For offering a dignified farewell to your mother you must take help from an experienced priest of the Hindu religion. He guides the family regarding the death rituals and he also explains the intention of performing those rites.