After death practice in India- Part1

After death practice in India- Part1

Have you all ever thought about the After death practice? Do you know what is the After death practice?  After the death of the person in the house, what practices should be taken special care?  What are the facts behind this After death practice? Which should be the thirteen days after death?

After death practice in India- Part1

According to Hindu belief, when a person dies then four types of After death practice is performed. This After death practice should be performed immediately at the time of death, burning the dead body, thirteen days and Barsi celebration. It is also believed that after the individual attains salvation by reaching heaven then it takes rebirth on the earth in some other form.

After death practice for the dead body

After the death of the individual, he is laid down on the earth and a lamp is lit on the side of his head along with the water in 9 mud pots and sand in one mud pot. The dead body is burned by the elder or the younger son. If there is no son of the dead person then his wife or daughter can even burn his body.

The sesame oil is applied to his head and the dead body is bathed in the water of nine mud pots. He should be bathed in cow’s urine or any divine water in order to make it pure and after that sandalwood stick and Tulsi mud should be applied to his entire body.  After that he is wrapped in the new clean white clothes and a sandalwood tilak is applied on his forehead. He is then placed on the ground covered with cow dung and black sesame seeds with its head towards the north or east.

The wife of the individual applies some white rice on the mouth of the dead body and after that places her mangalsutra on his dead body. After that, his face is covered with white cloth and some flowers are spread on his the dead body which is also one of the After death practice. Then the Serpidip Prajwalayet mantra should be chanted and if possible a lamp should be lightened on the banks of river Ganga. The dead body should not be placed on the bed.

We should never cry in this After death practice

We should never cry in After death practice because it can lead to great problems for the soul of the dead body. It is said that all the tears and cough which comes out of our eyes and mouth is taken by the dead body mouth as his independence is taken after death. Shaligram or Tulsi water should be inserted into his mouth.

In the mouth, Ears and all the seven holes of the dead body pieces of gold should be placed. This After death practice does not disturb the soul of the individual after the death. If you do not have gold you can even place cotton in his seven holes. In the last time Ten Mahadan, Asht Mahadan, and Panchadhenu should be donated. This After death practice free body from all his sins.

What is Panchadhenu?

Biddheru : When the dead person has taken something from someone and is unable to return it so to get rid of him they should be donated.

Papapanodenu: Penance of all sins.

Evolution DENU: It is for the prevention of four mishaps.

Vaitarni Dhenu: It is to cross the Vatarni River.

Moksha Dhenu: For prevention of all flaws in order to provide moksha.

After that Barley seeds are kept in three bowls out of which one is kept on the face of the dead body and second is kept on his chest on the way to the crematorium and third is kept on his stomach in the crematorium along with the burning lamp.

After death practice in the crematorium

While carrying the dead body to the crematorium he should be protected from the touch of Shudra, Putika, Rajswala otherwise it needs to be purified from Ganga water. After removing the cloth only the male person keeps the body at the crematorium and takes full three-round around his body with the mud pot having water inside. This After death practice symbolizes that all the cosmic energies are out of the dead body. Then he pours ghee on the dead body and burns it with the help of a long wooden stick. Varah Purana is the way of carrying the dead body to the cremation ground or to the east.

The Brahmins keep chanting the mantra in the entire process. After half dead body gets burn then the son hits the head of the dead body thrice in order to break it. This After death practice is called as Cranical action. This After death practice means that after giving birth to his son, the son makes his father free from the effect of Brahmacharya which was earlier dissolved by him in order to give birth to his son.

After death practice after returning to home from crematorium

After returning home from crematorium everybody takes bath to get pure and a lamp is lit in the place where the dead body was last kept and a garland is put on his picture. Then on the second or the third day of the death the ashes are brought from the crematorium and are submerged in the sacred rivers. After that, the house is clean to make it pure and all the male members of the family shave their head. Then the lighted lamp is extinguished and everybody recites Garuda Purana.

All these ten days none of the family members participates in any of the celebrations or good rituals. They do not go to temple or do Pooja at home and eat simple food. It is believed that the soul of the dead body takes 12 days to reach his destination which is heaven. Because of this After death practice called Terwi is celebrated which is on the thirteen days of the dead of the individual.

But many of them celebrate this After death practice after the 12th day of death due to some reasons. In this After death practice the favourite food of the dead person is made and is given to the various Brahmans along with some Dakshina in order to pray for the soul of the dead body and the clothes of the dead person is given to poor peoples.

After death practice-Pind Daan

There is another After death practice called Pind Daan. Every month water and rice are donated in the name of the dead person in this practice. After a year another After death practice called Barsi is celebrated in which Brahma Bhojan, as well as shradh of the dead person, is done. It is done so that the dead person can always take care of the family as a protector. It is said that the food which these Brahmans eat goes directly inside the mouth of the dead body.

The main reason behind practicing this After death practice is to free the dead body from all his sins in order to make his soul rest in peace. It is believed that when any person does anything wrong than the effect of it is seen on the entire family. Thus to make the family free from these effects this After death practice is performed. This is done to make all the family members aware of the life cycle and the fruits of his actions. Till one year no celebrations or rituals are performed so that the soul of the dead person rest in peace.

Some After death practice are also there for the one who burns the dead body

  1. It is said that on the first day the food should be brought from outside or should be taken by neighbors or family members and should be eaten together with the family.
  2. He should follow the principles of Brahmacharya and should sleep on the ground.
  3. He should not touch anybody and should have his food with no salt in it, one time before sunset.
  4. The food should be eaten in mud utensils or in the plate made out of leaves.
  5. Firstly the food should be kept outside the house for the soul of the dead body and after that, it should be eaten.
  6. Do not wish anyone nor take his blessings and should not worship any deity.
  7. The lamp of sesame seeds oil should be lightened till 10 days after the death with its face towards the south.

Refer to part 2 to know the After death practice of shraadh.


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