The Custom of Funeral Rituals Followed by the Hindus.

The Custom of Funeral Rituals Followed by the Hindus.

Funeral rituals hold a significant place in Hindu culture, reflecting the beliefs and traditions passed down through generations. These ceremonies are not only a means to bid farewell to the departed but also a way to guide their soul towards its journey beyond life. Among the various customs observed, Anthyesti funeral services stand out as a profound and intricate practice that encompasses several Funeral rituals aimed at honoring the deceased and facilitating their transition to the afterlife.

The Significance of Anthyesti Funeral Services:

Anthyesti, derived from the Sanskrit words “Anta” meaning end and “Yesti” meaning the last sacrifice, encapsulates the essence of Hindu funeral rituals. It is a deeply ingrained tradition that emphasizes the importance of performing last rites with utmost reverence and precision. These rituals are believed to provide solace to the departed soul and ensure its peaceful passage to the next realm.

Preparing for the Funeral:

Before the commencement of the funeral ceremony, various preparations are made to ensure that everything proceeds smoothly. The body of the deceased is bathed and adorned with traditional attire, often white or simple cotton clothing. Family members and close relatives gather to participate in the rites, offering their support and condolences to the bereaved.

Antyeshti: The Funeral Procession:

The Antyeshti, or funeral procession, holds a central place in Anthyesti rituals. The body is placed on a stretcher or a bier, adorned with flowers and incense, and carried by male relatives towards the cremation ground. Along the way, prayers are recited, and hymns are chanted to guide the departed soul on its journey.

Cremation Ceremony:

Cremation is considered the most sacred part of the Anthyesti funeral ritual. The body is placed on the funeral pyre, and the eldest son or male relative lights the fire as a symbol of releasing the soul from the mortal body. Mantras and prayers are recited throughout the process, invoking blessings for the departed and seeking forgiveness for any shortcomings.

Ashes Immersion:

After the cremation, the ashes, known as “asthi,” are collected and immersed in a holy river or body of water. This act symbolizes the final journey of the soul, where it merges with the elements of nature and attains liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Mourning Period:

Following the funeral rites, the family enters a period of mourning, which typically lasts for a specific duration, varying from family to family. During this time, relatives and friends offer condolences and support to the bereaved, helping them cope with their loss and navigate through the grieving process.

Rituals for the Departed Soul:

Even after the funeral ceremony, rituals are performed periodically to honor the departed soul. These include offering food and water to the deceased during specific occasions such as anniversaries and festivals. It is believed that these offerings provide nourishment to the soul in its journey beyond life.

Importance of Priestly Guidance:

In Hindu tradition, the guidance of a priest, or “purohit,” is invaluable during funeral rituals. The priest assists the family in conducting the ceremonies according to religious customs and scriptures, ensuring that every aspect is performed with utmost sanctity and devotion.

Adaptations in Modern Times:

While the essence of Anthyesti funeral services remains unchanged, modern times have seen certain adaptations to accommodate practicalities and changing lifestyles. For instance, electric crematoriums have become prevalent in urban areas, offering a more convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional funeral pyres.


In conclusion, Anthyesti funeral services embody the rich tapestry of Hindu culture and spirituality. These rituals not only serve as a means of bidding farewell to the departed but also provide solace and comfort to the grieving family. Through prayers, hymns, and symbolic gestures, Hindus honor the cycle of life and death, embracing the belief in the eternal journey of the soul.

In times of loss, these rituals offer a sense of closure and continuity, reminding us of the interconnectedness of life and the profoundness of our existence beyond the physical realm. As we navigate through grief and sorrow, the customs and traditions of Anthyesti funeral services serve as guiding beacons, illuminating the path towards acceptance and inner peace.

Call us at +91-98833-18181