Cultural Funerals: Hindu Funeral Services

Hindu Funeral Traditions

Basic Funerals is proud to serve Hindu families across Ontario. Our team of funeral professionals is experienced in all aspects of arranging a Hindu funeral service and is here to guide you through every step.


Beliefs About Death

The Hindu faith believes in the concept of Samsara in which people's actions in their life affect their rebirth. The ultimate goal for all Hindus is to break to the cycle of Samsara and attain Moksha, the state of salvation. Leading a good life brings Hindus closer to salvation in their next rebirths. When Moksha is achieved, the soul would be absorbed into Brahman, which is the divine force and ultimate reality.

What Happens After Death Occurs?

When a Hindu is approaching their final moments, their family may wish to contact a priest and gather around the person together. Mantras are to be either recited by people who are present, or played back from a recording.The priest then guides the family of the deceased in the preparations for the funeral, and the disposition itself should be done by the next dusk or dawn.

Preparing the Body

Hindus are discouraged from unnecessarily touching the body of the deceased since it is viewed as impure. The body is bathed by the eldest son (or the closest relative) and anointed with chandan (sandalwood paste). Some devotees may prefer to place vibhuti (holy ash) on the forehead. Mantras are often recited while the ritual washing is taking place. After the washing is complete, the big toes should be tied together and the hands of the deceased should be placed together in a position of prayer. A male, young woman or a widow may be dressed in a white sheet, while a married woman may be dressed in a colourful sari.

Hinduism and Cremation

Cremation is the standard form of disposition for all those of the Hindu faith. The family may choose to witness the cremation, which ought to take place prior to the dusk following the death. It is typical that only men attend the cremation, but these traditions may change with time.

Views on Embalming

Embalming is accepted by Hinduism. The time of death and the time of when the cremation of the person will take place are big factors in whether a deceased Hindu will have to be embalmed or not.

Click here if you like to learn more about Embalming.

The Hindu Cremation Service

A short viewing may be held for the deceased before cremation takes place. The body should be placed in an inexpensive casket and marked with ash (Vibuti). During the wake, family and friends that are gathered may recite hymns or mantras . When the wake is over, the casket is removed feet-first and is taken to where cremation will occur. Some Hindus choose to simply witness cremation and perform these rituals in a crematorium. The rituals involve spraying holy water on the body while walking counter-clockwise around it three times. In a crematorium, the body should be placed on the incinerator feet-first after the rituals are completed, and everyone who is present is expected to stay at the crematorium until the body is fully cremated. After the service is concluded, everyone is expected to go home, bathe and change into fresh clothes before gathering for a meal. A Hindu priest may visit the family home and join them for the meal before purifying their house with incense.

Temples in Ontario

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

This beautiful temples was built by BAPS, which is is a worldwide religious and civic organization within the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism. This temple had its first stone put down in 2000 and was built gradually over 18 months, with the last phase of its construction being completed in 2007. The Mandir is one of a kind in all of Canada and was constructed based on guidelines found in ancient Hindu scriptures. It is open daily for visitors and worshipers alike

Hindu Temple of Ottawa-Carleton

This temple was built in 1985 and was one of the first Hindu temples built in Eastern Ontario from the donations of Canadian Hindus. It has nine different shrines for different Hindu deities. It has been acting as a community centre and a cultural centre with its many halls that have libraries and other resources that are related to Hinduism. The architecture of the temple is built closely around traditional Hindu temples, however some adaptations were made in order to deal with the cold and the weight of the snow during winter.

Everyone was so helpful in dealing with my brother John's funeral.
Judy Costantini
22:57 13 May 19
During a difficult and emotional time the services we received were exactly what we wanted. There was no attempt at "up-selling" nor was there any sense that we were being guilted into making unaffordable or complex choices. Rather, we received careful attention and very professional responsiveness to our needs. I would absolutely recommend this service for anyone struggling with all of the many other details and emotional distress that follow the passing of a loved more
Debra Macphail
17:18 06 Mar 19
Karoline was the front-line Funeral Director who looked after my wife's final needs. Although I was, at first skeptical, Karoline soon put my mind at ease and she created the type of service that Shelley desired and in a special location that I requested.Throughout the entire process, Karoline offered support and in the event we needed clarification, Karoline did not hesitate. She proved herself to be a valuable asset. to Classic Funerals but also to the family they more
D.C. Mahoney
08:46 31 Jan 19
Robin was awesome to deal with and answered all of my questions. I only wished I know of basic funerals when I was pre arranging my mother's. I was told all sorts of lies by a funeral more
joann guenette
20:04 06 Sep 18
Robin was very professional, knowledgeable, organized and helpful. Great customer service! Thank you.
Louise Viersen
20:40 20 Aug 18
We decided that we wanted to make our pre-planned funeral arrangements and had the pleasure of speaking to Robin. She sat down with us, and clearly outlined all of our options. She reviewed earlier cemetery arrangements with regard to our family plot and what we still required. We are both pleased and relieved that everything is in order and that the Executor of our estate will only have to call one more
Soosy Q
19:29 24 Jul 18
Excellent customer service! Excellent prices! Convenient payment plans. Could not ask for more!
Jaden Winfree
20:08 21 Jun 18
I prearranged my own funeral all on line including payment muss no fuss....a great experience
John O'Hearn
19:38 24 Apr 18
Robin was very helpful!!! I feel very happy knowing my arrangements are done as per my wishes. This will be so helpful to my family when my time comes to depart this earth!read more
Sandra Stubbs
12:49 09 Apr 18
I contacted Basic Funerals & Cremation to pre-arrange services for my mother. I initially reached out for an appointment by email and received a very prompt reply. I set up the appointment via an email exchange and met with Robin at Basic F&C the following week. It was a very straightforward process and Robin went to great lengths to to explain and simplify the various options. I highly recommend Basic F&C for the ease of contact, arrangement and more
Rick Pringle
17:09 28 Mar 18
Very happy with their professional service. Quick to respond with any questions or concerns. Would highly recommend this company to anyone needing their service .read more
Gail Adamson
20:34 07 Feb 18
Convenient and respectful. This is the second time my family has used Basic Funerals and Cremations Choices. The first was 5 years ago when my father passed away and this time was for my brother. I didn't deal with Basic with my father's arrangements but my step-mother did and recommended them and honestly, I don't think I'd use anyone else moving forward. When we had word on my brother's terminal illness, I called 3 places to get quotes on the cremation he wanted. Let me preface this by saying that my brother said a Celebration of Life was acceptable but he didn't want a viewing or funeral so a cremation is what I was researching.Since this was my first time arranging such services, I had no idea what to expect. The first place (a local funeral home) quoted me $4000, so now I had a starting point. The second place (a local cremation facility) quoted me $1000 (wth? talk about a price difference!) but then stated I had to involve a separate "funeral home of my choice" for transfer services (huh?) and lastly I called Basic.Unlike the other two places I had called, Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices took the time to explain everything to me and offered to email me a quotation that contained all of the details. They offered me various packages to choose from depending on my needs and told me there was no pressure to decide now-I could decide when the time came. The three packages were Budget, Basic and Priority (I chose Priority and would recommend it for the slight price difference). They also confirmed that there would be no additional charges beyond what I was quoted (and there wasn't!).Unfortunately, it was a very short time after this call when their service was needed. I made the call to Basic and they took care of everything. They were incredibly professional the whole way through. From the initial phone call, to the follow-up call when my brother passed, to the young gentleman that came to deliver my brother's ashes and even follow-up calls, these people are top-notch.Basic Funerals and Cremations Choices took the worry out of making the arrangements. I have started recommending their service to friends and family and told my husband this is what I him to do want when my time comes.I'd like to end my review with a sincere thank you to Basic Funerals and Cremation more
Connie P.
14:15 05 Feb 18
I was in need of immediate service and Basic Funerals were very helpful and right there tending to my request. The staff were very helpful and attentive to our needs. I would definitely recommend this service for anyone, thank more
Don Mascarin
01:51 12 Jan 18
Our family lost a member who lived in Ontario while most of us are in Newfoundland. This could have caused a lot of confusion and extra expense that we did not need at this difficult time. Basic Funerals was amazing to deal with. Fast, clear, informative, inexpensive, and respectful of our wishes. We got the cremains in plenty of time for the funeral, as well as everything else we expected. I HIGHLY recommend Basic Funerals for anyone during this difficult more
Communication was exemplary...clear, quick response times, helpful. I also appreciated the professional yet senstitive approach each person I spoke with had during our difficult time. One thing I very much appreciated was NO attempt to upsell whatsoever. Any tiny suggestion to get more money I would have not used their services and they never once did...very impressed by that.I was helped by David, Natasha and Kamilah and I was very happy with their customer service...I would highly recommend Basic more
Evangelina Coleman
19:47 12 Nov 17
My Mom had a prearranged plan with Basic Funerals at my recommendation. I found them on the internet and my Mom prearranged everything back in 2011. When my Mom passed we contacted Robin who was her Prearrangement Specialist and was extremely helpful from start to finish. I highly recommend Basic Funerals. Thank you so much Robin and staff for all your help at this difficult time!!!read more
Sandy J-Lee
18:13 12 Nov 17
Very helpful. Compassionate.
Nadine Kyle
13:59 12 Oct 17
Representatives on the phone and in person were so courteous, efficient and straight forward. It was a very difficult time for my elderly parents, and they made it so much easier and in ways enjoyable. Thank you Robin ans Stephanie for such professionalism ! The price is very affordable, no frills and up-selling. Highly more
Dragana Skokovic-Sunjic
02:02 11 Oct 17
Prompt response. They understand and listened to your needs. Robin was extremely professionnal, caring and understood what I wanted in regards of my dad's pre-arrangements. It feels good to be understood. Robin was great and went above and beyond to provide me with a great service and no surprise in regards of the pricing.GREAT PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE.I would recommend highly BASIC more
Johanne Coshall
15:20 09 Oct 17
Basic Funeral and Cremation Choices was the right choice for my mother's cremation. I contacted Jessica a few days before the time and she provided a quotation after a few minutes on the phone. The quotation was exactly what we were looking for. The price was reasonable. Jessica was on site for the cremation and everything went as planned. I would highly recommend Jessica and her more
Ravi Aggarwal
16:13 05 Oct 17
Jessica, was wonderful She took her time walking my family through our options. The detailed information she provided was priceless. Guiding us through a very difficult time. This was the second time using her services. I'd definitely use Basic Funerals and Cremations again. Also considering prearrangement of my own aftercare services. Offering my family peace of mind that my wishes were already thought out and paid for!Louise Kruegerread more
Louise Munro
02:36 05 Oct 17
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