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Why Should We Take A Bath After Attending A Funeral & Cremation?


Deepu Verma

18 March, 2024


In each religion, culture, sect, and subsect certain rituals are offered to the deceased person. This range of rites includes funeral, cremation, burial and lots of other offerings determined for the peace, comfort, and dignity of the departed soul.

But after the completion of rituals, some more religious aspects must be abide by the close family members of the deceased person. "Taking a ceremonial bath after offering or attending the funeral and cremation of the deceased" is one such cultural belief that is widely embraced in Hinduism.

Here we will make ourselves apprise of the strengthening causes, myths and facts about the acceptance of "mandatory ceremonial bathing" after funeral and cremation rites.

What are the religious or traditional beliefs accepted for the aspect, "a bath after funeral"?

Though unpleasing occasions like funerals and cremation are considered sorrowful gatherings, it is essential to attend them.

According to the sacred scriptures of Hinduism, the place where funerals and cremations are performed holds abundant negative energies. Even the deceased body of your family member becomes impure.

  • To shrug off the evil eyes or any kind of bad energies from your human body, taking a ceremonial bath is mandatory for all the people who performed or attended the funeral & cremation ritual.
  • It is believed in Hindu culture that a person must wash the clothes worn at a funeral and cremation after returning from those places and must rinse themselves from head to toe.
  • These days, many people just sprinkle a few drops of water on themselves and chant a purifying verse. But ideally, it is not right to lessen the chances of ill effects on the human body made by the malevolent energies present in the crematorium.

Apart from visiting a funeral and cremation place to attend the last rites of the deceased, visiting the home of the deceased and touching the "Sutakas" ( close family members of the deceased) should also be followed by ceremonial bathing. The close family members of the deceased person also remain impure till 13 days after the demise of a family member.

In Islamic culture as well, taking a bath is essential after touching the cold or dead body.  This ceremonial bath in Islamic culture is recognized as "Ghusal Janabat".

Read alsoWhat Is The Reason Behind Why Son In Law Doesn’t Go To The Funeral?

What are the scientific beliefs behind bathing after attending a funeral and cremation rite?

As it is widely accepted that the faiths & beliefs followed in the Hindu culture are determined due to a compelling scientific reason, ceremonial bathing after funeral & cremation is no exception.

Take a look at the points that act similarly like a strong scientific cause behind this notion.

  • Bathing is related to the basic practice adopted for cleanliness and sanitation. Usually, the place where funerals and cremation are hosted becomes the hub of infecting elements due to the presence of several people. Hence, bathing holds the potential to remove all those infecting elements.
  • Another reason states that when a soul leaves the human body, it loses all the potential to fight with the decomposing factors and bacteria. When the body becomes incapable of fighting with these ill elements, they start dislocating their positions from the deceased body to the attendees present there. Therefore bathing becomes a crucial option to eliminate all the chances of spreading communicable diseases.
  • Apart from preventing the human body from falling prey to disease factors, the ceremonial bath enables the grievers to put their lives back on track of a routine life. A bath can calm or pacify the aching heart as well as console the distressed mental state of a mourner.
  • Usually, the cremation place in Hindu culture is located near a sacred riverbank or any other designated waterbody. To consume the leftover parts of the deceased bodies the scavengers visit here frequently. It is another reason behind mandatory bathing after attending the cremation ritual as these scavengers are considered major factors in spreading some rapidly growing bacteria and other infecting elements. 
  • In ancient times, there were no vaccines for diseases like Hepatitis, smallpox, or any other infections. Hence our ancestors made "bathing" mandatory after returning from the funeral and cremation location.

What are some popular myths and facts regarding the belief of "mandatory ceremonial bathing" after attending a funeral?

Several myths are also concealed in the form of religious belief behind the practice of "ceremonial bathing" after participating in a funeral and cremation.

Myth - Taking a bath after attending the funeral ward off the bad luck.

Fact - There is no such proven aspect that ensures that a funeral attendee will not confront any bad luck situation after visiting the place of funeral & cremation. But the fact behind, taking a ceremonial bath is, that it maintains good hygiene and daily down the chances of falling ill due to contagious disease factors.

Myth - Taking a bath after attending a funeral and cremation saves you from the bad impact of malevolent factors.

Fact - Taking a shower or bath after visiting places like a funeral hall and cremation (Shamshan Ghat) absorbs all the negativity infused in the mind & body of the attendee.

It also helps people to return to their normal routine life. Therefore the attendees of the funeral and cremation feel light and better after bathing.

Conclusion -

A ceremonial bath cleans up the entire aura of the person who visited the funeral and cremation ceremony of a deceased person. It not only purifies the physical existence of the person but also ensures relief from distressing situations. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it essential to take a bath after returning from the funeral hall or a cremation place?

Yes, according to the texts and scriptures of Hinduism, "a ceremonial bath" plays a pivotal role in determining the safety of the attendees.:

Which reasons fortify the notion of the ceremonial bath after attending a funeral and cremation?

Avoiding the chances of becoming ill and attaining a peaceful state after passing through a tough phase etc compels people to take a bath after attending the funeral and cremation ritual of a deceased person.:

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