Last Rites of Hindus

The last rites of a Hindu should be performed in accordance with the Hindu customs. It is the religious and social duty of all members of the family that the following rites are performed:

  • The body should be washed the body of a male should be washed by men and that of a female by women and appropriately dressed.
  • A small amount of Ghee (clarified butter) and, if available, a small amount of Kesar (saffron), Kasturi (musk), Sandalwood powder and camphor should be placed on the body.
  • The body should be cremated, preferably before sunset.
  • The body should be placed on the cremation pier by the sons, brothers and other male members of the family.
  • Hindu prayers from the Vedas and Gita should be recited.
  • The Hindu symbol of AUM should be displayed at the time of the cremation.
  • Every effort should be made to allow all relatives to pay their last respects to the body of the departed soul. This is normally done by offering flowers.

The World Council of Hindus urges the Law Enforcement Agencies, Health Authorities and various Government Departments in the UK to ensure that the existing regulations are amended, where necessary, to make it possible for British Hindus to follow their religious and social customs.