Hindu Funeral Traditions
A Hindu funeral is a highly important sacrament of Hindu society. Hindu funeral rites vary widely depending on the region and social group, but there are a few core traditions.
Most Hindus are cremated after death. The cremation usually takes place the day within one day of death. To prepare a body for burial Hindus will wash the body, and anoint it with a water and sandalwood mixture.
Before the cremation Brahmans will chant mantras, or ritual forms, alongside the family. The family then makes offerings of rice and milk to the Brahmans. The family then proceeds to the cremation ground, which is usually be located by a riverbank. During the cremation, the eldest son presides alongside the priest. After the body is cremated, the ashes are spread in one of the Holy rivers in India.
After the cremation the family goes into mourning for 10 days, and usually do not leave their home. At the end of mourning period, Hindus believe another body has acquired the deceased’s soul.