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Cremation Services

Discussion in 'New to Sikhism' started by raj008, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. raj008

    raj008 United States
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    Wahe Guru

    With a heavy heart, I have to say that my dad is in a hospital with only a few hours or day left. I and my family are doing ok and making sure we aren't overcome by sorrow or grief as sikhism does not allow that

    We have a small family locally in the US with most relatives in India and not sure if they will be able to make it in time once he passes away. We aren't interested in setting up viewing in a funeral home and hence simply planning a direct cremation service. We do plan to engage a pai for ardas and path

    For the ardas which is done at the crematory itself, is it necessary to have the casket in the same room or is it okay for us to directly transport it from the hospital to the electrical chambers ready for cremation after the ardas? Basically what I'm asking is does sikhism need something physically done with the body for performing ardas? I apologize for my ignorance and thank you all for your support
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    raj ji

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your imminent loss. I am going to jump in here because you do not know when the hour will arrive and will need to make decisions -- without time to be checking on Internet forums and dealing with the Internet. Life will become very hectic very quickly. You don't want to wait for the thread to attract some answers which could take days, and it could turn out to be contradictory information too. When a person is grieving the contradictions of a forum are not what is called for.

    If I understand you, you are not asking about the religious aspects of the bhog. You seem to have that worked out. Are you asking about the more nuts and bolts aspects of what happens at the crematorium? Let me give you some suggestions, as in fact the bhog is very simple.

    So I suggest, get advice from people who have had experience.

    1. Speak now to the funeral director and find out what experience he/she has had with your situation. My own experience for what it is worth is that the ardas is done with the casket at the crematorium, prior to the cremation.

    2. Talk to the granthi at the gurdwara where you will have ardass and path.

    Don't worry too much about a "wrong" decision. Your concern should be about paving the way to proper experience of your own grief and your ability to achieve emotional quiet in yourself, and help others to that, after your father is gone.

    You see Sikhism takes a simple approach. There is not a lot of fuss and bother. Details are uncomplicated. Here from the Sikh Rehat Maryada

    (b) When some one shuffles the mortal coil, the survivors must not grieve or raise a hue and cry or indulge in breast beating. To induce a mood of resignation to God’s will, it is desirable to recite Gurbani or repeat “Waheguru”.

    (c) However young and deceased may be, the body should be cremated. However, where arrangements for cremation cannot be made, there should be no qualm about the body being immersed in flowing water or disposed of in any other manner.

    (d) As to the time of cremation, no consideration as to whether it should take place during day or night should weigh.


    http://www.searchsikhism.com/sec4.html

    The circumstances are not the most pressing thing.

    Once again do accept my sympathy for you and your family at this time.
     
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  4. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    My prayers are with you & your family at this time. May Waheguru Ji be with you all and give you the courage to cope with the situation and to accept HIS will!

    The following is for your guidance from the Sikh Reht Maryada ( The Code of Sikh Conduct and Conventions):

    source:
    http://www.sgpc.net/rehat_maryada/section_four_chap_eleven.html

    Funeral Ceremonies (Antam Sanskar)

    Article XIX

    ( a. ) The body of a dying or dead person, if it is on a cot, must not be taken off the cot z and put on the floor. Nor must a lit lamp be placed beside, or a cow got bestowed in donation by, him/her or for his/her good or any other ceremony, contrary to Guru's way,performed. Only Gurbani should be recited or "Waheguru, Waheguru" repeated by his/her side.

    b. When some one shuffles the mortal coil, the survivors must not grieve or raise a hue and cry or indulge in breast beating. To induce a mood of resignation to God's will, it is desirable to recite Gurbani or repeat "Waheguru".

    c. However young the deceased may be, the body should be cremated. However, where arrangements for cremation cannot be made, there should be no qualm about the body being immersed in flowing water or disposed of in any other manner.

    d. As to the time of cremation, no consideration as to whether it should take place during day or night should weigh.

    e. The dead body should be bathed and clothed in clean clothes. While that is done, the Sikh symbols-comb, kachha, karha, kirpan-should not be taken off. Thereafter putting the body on a plank, Ardas about its being taken away for disposal be offered. The hearse should then be lifted and taken to the cremation ground. While the body is being carried to the cremation ground, hymns that induce feelings of detachment should be recited. On reaching the cremation ground, the pyre should be laid. Then the Ardas for consigning the body to fire be offered. The dead body should then be placed on the pyre and the son or any other relation or friend of the deceased should set fire to it, The accompanying congregation should sit at a reasonable distance and listen to kirtan or carry on collective singing of hymns or recitation of detachment-inducing hymns. When the pyre is fully aflame, the Kirtan Sohila (prescribed preretirement night Scriptural prayer) be recited and the Ardas offered. (Piercing the Skull half an hour or so after the pyre has been burning with a rod or something else in the belief that will secure the release of the soul- kapal kriya-is contrary to the Guru's tenets). The congregation should then leave. Coming back home, a reading of the Guru Granth Sahib should be commenced at home or in a nearby Gurdwara, and after reciting the six stanzas of the Anand Sahib, the Ardas, offered and Karhah prashad (sacred pudding) distributed. The reading of the Guru Granth Sahib should be completed on the tenth day. If the reading cannot, or is sought not to, be completed on the tenth day, some other day may be appointed for the conclusion of the reading having regard to the convenience of the relatives. The reading of the Guru Granth Sahib should be carried out by the members of the household of the deceased and relatives in cooperation. If possible, Kirtan may be held every night. No funeral ceremony remains to be performed after the "tenth day."

    f. When the pyre is burnt out, the whole bulk of the ashes, including the burnt bones, should be gathered up and immersed in flowing water or buried at that very place and the ground levelled. Raising a monument to the memory of the deceased at the place where his dead body is cremated is taboo.

    g. Adh Marg (the ceremony of breaking the pot used for bathing the dead body amid doleful cries half way towards the cremation ground), organised lamentation by women, foorhi (sitting on a straw mat in mourning for a certain period), diva (keeping an oil lamp lit for 360 days after the death in the belief that that will light the path of the deceased), Pind (ritual donating of lumps of rice flour, oat flour, or solidified milk (khoa) for ten days after death), kirya (concluding the funeral proceedings ritualistically, serving meals and making offerings by way of Shradh, Budha marna (waving of whisk, over the hearse of an old person's dead body and decorating the hearse with festoons), etc. are contrary to the approved code. So too is the picking of the burnt bones from the ashes of the pyre for immersing in the Ganga, at Patalpuri (Kiratpur), at Kartarpur Sahib or at any other such place.
     
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  5. raj008

    raj008 United States
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    Folks

    Thank you very much for your help with this. We got the ashes back to Mumbai and the TSA in USA opened the bags in front of us but were very nice about it all. As they say on their website, they will never open the actual urn holding the ashes and they stuck to their promise. We are doing prayers for him since most of his family is here in Mumbai. Apart from the prayers, I would also be setting up two laptops with a picture slideshow celebrating his life. Is there any appropriate sikh religious or calming music that would best fit the slideshow?

    Thank you again for all your best wishes and support
     
  6. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Nauvehn Mahlla slokas are a good accompaniement to it. These Slokas are always read at BHOG Time and are at the End of SGGS.
    The Slokas are a pictorial in Word form..... of Human Life from Birth to death.
     
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  7. raj008

    raj008 United States
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    Thank you Gyani ji

    Can you kindly review the slokas at this link starting with no.2 and let me know which one would be most appropriate to play?

    http://bit.ly/eqJcF9

    Thanks
     
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  8. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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  9. raj008

    raj008 United States
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    ambarsaria ji

    Thanks for that link - unfortunately it doesn't seem to work

    At this link, i seem to like these songs but don't understand their meaning since I know very little punjabi (have decided to learn soon)
    http://bit.ly/eqJcF9

    Jis Pyare Seo
    Nanak Hukam Pchanke
    Nanak Parkhe Aap Kao


    Can someone tell me if all 3 are appropriate to play at the marka to accompany the slideshow of his life's pictures? What does the first one mean "jis pyare seo"

    Thanks
     
  10. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Raj008 Ji,

    The LINK given by Ambarsaria Ji WORKS. I just tried it and it loaded perfectly. Those are the Slokas suited to your situation.

    Although any Gurbani shabad is always soothing and provides comfort in such situations....the Nauvan Mahalla Slokas are the ones specially written as BHOG SHABADS and coem at the END of SGGS our GURU. So no BHOG is ever complete without reading these slokas.

    The Slokas at the link you mentioned are GURBANI SHABADS and all of them can be sung at any ocassion...as they are all about DEVOTION TO HIM.

    My sincerest Condolences on your loss and Pray that you get the strength to keep in Chardeekalla from GURU JI. Guru Rakha.
     
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  11. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    raj008 I cannot find the full shabad given the words so cannot guide you. Sorry.

    When I listen if these are from bani they are all good and I don't see anything wrong per se.

    The one suggested by Gyani ji's I have heard before.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     

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