Tuesday, March 21, 2023

What Happens During an Indian Cremation

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Picukiusa is the Chief Business Development Officer at Picukiusa, a Magento design and development company headquartered in Redwood City, California. He is a Member of the Magento Association and an Adobe Sales Accredited Magento Commerce professional. Jan is responsible for developing and leading the sales and digital marketing strategies of the company. He is passionate about ecommerce and Magento in particular — throughout the years his articles have been featured on Retail Dive, Hacker Noon, Chief Marketer, Mobile Marketer, TMCnet, and many others.

In Hinduism, there are many rituals involved in cremating the deceased. The body is placed on a pile of logs and set on fire, with the ashes being collected afterwards. Find out how this ancient tradition still plays an important role in the lives of Indian families today!

What is an Indian Cremation?

The process of Indian cremation is quite different from the Western world. In India, the body is not just cremated, but it is also given a specific set of post-death rituals and treatments.

First, the body is washed and dressed in new clothes. Then, it is placed on a pyre made of wood. The pyre is then set on fire, and the body is burned until it turns to ashes.

After the body has been cremated, the ashes are collected and placed in an urn. The urn is then taken to a river or ocean, and the ashes are scattered in the water.

The entire process of Indian cremation usually takes place within 24 hours after death.

Hinduism and Cremation

In India, the practice of cremation is a centuries-old tradition that is still practiced by many Hindus today. The process of cremation is an important part of the Hindu funeral rites, and it is believed to release the soul from the body so that it can begin its journey to the afterlife.

Cremation typically takes place on a funeral pyre, which is built from wood and other combustible materials. The body is placed on the pyre and then set ablaze. As the flames consume the body, friends and family members may say prayers or recite mantras. Once the body has been completely reduced to ashes, the ashes are collected and scattered in a river or ocean.

The process of cremation is thought to purify the soul and release it from the cycle of rebirth. It is also seen as a way to honor and respect the deceased. For many Hindus, cremation is an essential part of the funeral rites and helps to ensure that their loved ones can rest in peace.

Other Indian Religions’ Views on Cremation

There are many different religions in India, each of which has its own unique views on cremation. Hinduism, the largest religion in India, generally believes that cremation is the best way to dispose of a body after death. This is because Hindus believe that the soul is reborn into another body after death, and cremation helps release the soul from the physical body. Other Indian religions, such as Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, also generally believe that cremation is the best way to dispose of a body after death.

 Muslims make up a significant minority in India, and they have very different views on cremation. Muslims believe that the body should be buried after death, as they believe that burial helps purify the soul before it enters the afterlife. Christians make up a small minority in India, and they also have different views on cremation. Christians believe that the body should be buried after death, as they believe that this is what Jesus Christ did when he died.

Who Can Attend a Cremation?

In India, the vast majority of Hindus cremate their deceased. However, there are some castes who bury their dead. Muslims also have the option to either cremate or bury their deceased. People of other religions are usually cremated as well, unless they have specific instructions for their body to be handled in a certain way according to their religion.

Cremation in India is performed almost exclusively by men. The body is first bathed and then clothed in new white garments. The family brings the body to the cremation ground on a stretcher or bier, with the head pointing towards the north or east. Before cremation, prayers are said and ghee (clarified butter), camphor, sandalwood, and rosewater may be poured over the body.

Women are not allowed to attend the actual cremation, but they may be present at the funeral prior to cremation taking place.

The Rituals of the Process

An Indian cremation is a complex and lengthy process that involves numerous rituals. The first step is to wash the body of the deceased with holy water. This is followed by dressing the body in new, clean clothes and adorning it with flowers. The body is then placed on a pyre made of wood and straw, and set alight.

As the body burns, family members and friends recite prayers and mantras for the departed soul. Once the body has been reduced to ashes, these are collected and scattered in a river or ocean. The final step is to perform a puja, or religious ceremony, in which offerings are made to the gods.

The entire process can take up to 24 hours, and is often considered a sacred duty by those involved. It is an opportunity to honour the life of the deceased and to send them off on their journey to the afterlife with love and respect.

Symbolism in the Process

In many cultures, fire is seen as a purifying force. It is believed to cleanse the soul of the deceased and prepare them for their journey to the afterlife. For this reason, fire plays an important role in the Indian cremation process.

The body of the deceased is placed on a funeral pyre and set ablaze. As the flames consume the body, family and friends offer prayers and chants for the departed soul. The smoke and ashes that are left behind are believed to represent the physical form of the person’s spirit.

The cremation process is not only a physical one, but also a spiritual one. It is a way for loved ones to let go of the physical body and send the soul off on its journey.


Cremation is an ancient practice that has been a part of Indian culture for centuries. The process of cremation is both spiritual and physical, and it is a way to honor the deceased while also releasing them from their earthly body. If you are considering cremation for yourself or a loved one, it is important to understand what happens during the process so that you can be prepared.

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