What are the death rituals in a Hindu family after the demise of the mother?

What are the death rituals in a Hindu family after the demise of the mother?

In Hindu beliefs, death is perceived as the ultimate destination of a soul’s journey. It is an inevitable phase that every individual must traverse, marking the liberation of the soul. While the passing of a family member elicits mourning for the loss, Hindu customs dictate a celebration of the departed person’s Anthyesti Funeral Services. The Hindu Family religion encompasses distinct ways to honor the entire life journey and the departed soul, varying based on the individual’s role within the family. For instance, the rituals performed after the demise of the father differ from those rituals in a hindu family after the demise of the mother.

Distinct Rituals After the Death of the Mother

While many rituals remain consistent regardless of the individual’s gender, certain customs are specific to the demise of a mother in the Hindu family. Here are the practices that should be observed after the passing of a mother:

  1. The body should be washed with holy water, ghee, yogurt, and honey at the place of cremation.
  2. Essential oils mixed with turmeric should be used to coat the deceased body of a female.
  3. The big toes of the feet are tied together, and the hands should be placed straight.
  4. The deceased body of one’s mother should be covered with a sacred new cloth, with married women dressed in a red saree or wrapped in white cloth.
  5. The body should be adorned with flowers and floral garlands.
  6. If the mother passes after the demise of her husband, the elder son is responsible for performing the cremation ritual.
  7. It is believed in Hinduism that those who lose their mothers should abstain from consuming milk for a specified period.

Preparing the Deceased Body of a Mother with a Living Husband

In Hinduism, it is considered auspicious if a married woman attains liberation before the demise of her husband. The preparation of the deceased body of such married women involves specific details:

1. The married woman should be dressed in her wedding attire, preferably in red if available.
2. The leading mourner or elder son should apply vermilion on the forehead of the deceased body.
3. Anklets, toe rings, earrings, rings, and bangles should be placed at appropriate body parts.
4. The deceased body of a married woman should be embellished with a new pair of ankles and toe rings.
5. Along with floral garlands, the holy thread known as “Mangalsutra” should be placed on the deceased body, symbolizing the sacredness of marriage.
6. All sixteen symbols representing a strong bond in a married relationship should be placed on the deceased body.

Similar Activities in Anthyesti Funeral Services for Mothers and Others

While offering a dignified farewell to a deceased person in the Hindu family, certain activities remain similar:

1. During the funeral, the deceased body is placed in the home or a designated area for visitors to pay their respects. The head should be in the south direction, and the feet must face north. Incense candles or sticks are placed near the head, and the display period is limited to 24 hours.
2. At the cremation site, washing and covering the deceased body occur near holy rivers. The lead mourner places the body on a wooden pyre, with the elder son circumambulating the pyre carrying a clay pot filled with holy water.
3. After three rounds, the clay pot is dropped, and the lead mourner ignites the pyre with the assistance of a priest chanting holy mantras. Family members refrain from looking back when leaving after cremation, as it is believed that the departed soul may want to return with them.
4. The ashes are collected in an urn and typically scattered in sacred water or over a location chosen by the deceased.

For a dignified farewell to a mother, seeking guidance from an experienced Hindu priest from Anthyesti Funeral Services is advisable. The priest can provide insight into death rituals, explaining their purpose and intention to the grieving family.

Why Choose Anthyesti?

Choosing Anthyesti Funeral Services means opting for dignity, respect, and comprehensive support in times of loss. As leaders in the funeral industry, we specialize in a wide range of services tailored to honor the memory of your loved ones according to diverse religious and cultural practices. Our team is equipped with professional expertise and profound empathy, ensuring that all funeral arrangements are handled with utmost care and respect. From organizing traditional rituals to modern ceremonies, Anthyesti provides a seamless experience, allowing families to grieve without the burden of logistical concerns. Trust Anthyesti to guide you with compassion through these pivotal moments.


The death rituals in a Hindu family following the passing of the mother are deeply rooted in tradition and spirituality. From the meticulous preparation of the deceased body to the solemn cremation ceremony, each step is imbued with reverence and symbolism. The rituals, guided by Anthyesti Funeral Services, honor not only the life journey of the departed but also provide solace and closure to the grieving family. Through sacred customs like washing, dressing, and adorning the body, Hindus pay homage to the departed soul’s journey towards liberation. These rituals not only commemorate the mother’s life but also offer comfort to those left behind.


1. What are the immediate steps taken after the demise of a mother in a Hindu family? Immediately after the demise, the body is laid on the floor with the head facing south. A lamp is lit near the body, and a picture of a deity may be placed beside it. The family then arranges for the body to be washed and dressed, typically in simple, preferably white clothes.

2. What rituals are performed on the day of the demise? On the day of the demise, a ritual called ‘Antyeshti’ (last rites) is performed. This includes a series of rites involving hymns and prayers from sacred texts, primarily performed by the eldest son or a close male relative. The body is then taken in a procession to the cremation ground, where it is cremated.

3. What happens during the cremation ceremony? During the cremation, specific mantras are recited, and offerings such as ghee, wood, and herbs are made to the fire. The chief mourner (usually the eldest son) performs the ‘mukhagni’ ritual, where he lights the funeral pyre. The family then returns home, purifies themselves, and begins a period of mourning.

4. What is the significance of the 13-day mourning period? The 13-day mourning period, known as ‘Shraadh,’ is a time for the family to grieve and honor the deceased. It involves daily prayers and rituals intended to aid the soul’s journey to the afterlife. The family avoids festivities and, in many cases, refrains from eating certain foods like onions, garlic, and meat.

5. What are the rituals on the 13th day after death? On the 13th day, a ceremony called the ‘Sapindikaran’ is performed, which marks the end of the mourning period. This ritual signifies the merging of the mother’s soul with the ancestors. A feast is organized, and relatives are invited to join in remembrance and to provide support to the bereaved family.

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