India is a rich country with vast diversity of cultures. From some of the most interesting rituals to colourful festivals, celebrations are done in the most lavish way!
Amidst all this, do you know that there are certain rituals that can completely shock you and the most shocking part is these rituals are still being practised?
From sealing a woman's vagina at the time of her death to water burials in case of snake bites, a few such customs can completely shock one on knowing about it.
Here are some of the death rituals that people practice in India and this is something that can disturb a few!
Check them out.
Sutak: Abstaining For 12 Days
Sutak is known as the time of abstinence and a period of grief that is observed after the death of people. This is the time people avoid consuming spicy food, eating sweets and exchanging gifts, as it is completely forbidden. It is considered to be the time of mourning. This period ends on the 13th day or after the 'kriya' ceremony.
Sealing The Vagina Of Young Women After Death
This is the most shocking ritual that people follow. If a woman dies on her periods, then her vagina is sealed before the cremation. According to customs, it is believed that in the world of afterlife of the young woman, there is a tendency/vulnerability of the woman to get raped by the evil spirits. Hence, a portion of dough is pushed inside the vagina and a coin is fixed on top of it before the cremation.
Predicting The Next Life-Form Of The Departed
Though this is weird, but it is still followed in a few parts. It is said that once the cremation and formalities are completed, then sand is spread evenly in a plate and is placed outside the house. It depicts the next incarnation of the departed soul by noticing the markings that are formed on the sand.
Preventing Five Deaths In The Family During Panchak
According to the Vedas, the Panchak Kaal is a planetary condition in which 5 constellations are said to align and this is considered to be very inauspicious. It is believed that any unfortunate event that takes place during this time can happen five more times.
And death is on top of this. If someone dies during this time, it is believed that it can be followed by four more deaths within a year or two. To avoid this, people tend to cremate the deceased with five dummy funerals that are made of flour and grass, which are cremated alongside the pyre. This nullifies the inauspiciousness of Panchak.
Reincarnation Of The Departed In The Same Family
It is believed that the souls of elders are often reborn within the same family in India. It is proved by the physical features and personality traits that tend to match with that of the departed. It can be anything from a similar mole, or a cut or any body mark that is also identified with the same.
Finding The Subtle Body Of The Cremated
When the body is cremated, the relatives of the departed person are said to collect the ashes and scatter them in the holy rivers of India. It is believed that the body is then liberated with the ashes.
Water Burial In Case Of A Snake Bite
If a person has died from a snake bite, then it is considered to be inauspicious as per the Hindu culture. In these cases, the body of the victim is not cremated, instead, a symbolic pyre is made by putting a burning log of wood on the lips and then the body is submerged in flowing water.
Abortion Before Cremation
It is believed that if a woman dies with a foetus inside her, then the foetus is separated from the mother and buried before the mother, after which the cremation of the mother happens. This is done to liberate the soul of the unborn. Any unborn or premature child's body is always buried and not cremated.