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.