Sikh Faith Funerals Sikh Faith Funerals | Funeral Poems Sikh Funerals – In Sikhism death is considered a natural process. An event that has absolute certainty and only happens as a direct result of God’s Will or Hukam. To a Sikh, birth and death are closely associated, because they are both part of the cycle of human life of “coming and going” (Aana Jaana) which is seen as transient stage towards Liberation (Mokh Du-aar), complete unity with God. Sikhs thus believe in reincarnation. However, by contrast, the soul itself is not subject to the cycle of birth and death. Death is only the progression of the soul on its journey from God, through the created universe and back to God again. In life, a Sikh always tries to constantly remember death so that he or she may be sufficiently prayerful, detached and righteous to break the cycle of birth and death and return to God. The public display of grief at sikh funerals or Antam Sanskar as it is called in the Sikh culture, such as wailing or crying out loud is discouraged and should be kept to a minimum. Cremation is the preferred method of disposal, although if this is not possible any other methods such as burial or submergence at sea are acceptable. Worship of the dead with gravestones, etc. is discouraged, because the body is considered to be only the shell and the person’s soul is their real essence. On the day of the sikh funerals cremation, the body is taken to the Gurdwara or home where hymns (Shabads) from the SGGS, the Sikh Scriptures are recited by the congregation, which induce feeling of consolation and courage. Kirtan may also be performed by Ragis while the relatives of the deceased recite “Waheguru” sitting near the coffin. This service normally takes from 30 to 60 minutes. At the conclusion of the service, an Ardas is said before the coffin is taken to the cremation site. At the point of cremation, a few more Shabads may be sung and final speeches are made about the deceased person. Then the Kirtan Sohila, night time prayer is recited and finally Ardas called the “Antim Ardas” (“Final Prayer”) is offered. The eldest son or a close relative generally starts the cremation process – light the fire or press the button for the burning to begin. This service usually lasts about 30 to 60 minutes. Following Sikh funerals the ashes are later collected and disposed by immersing them in the nearest river. Sikhs do not erect monuments over the remains of the dead. After the Sikh funerals cremation ceremony, there may be another service at the Gurdwara, the Sikh place of worship, called the Sahaj Paath Bhog Ceremony but this is optional. Sikh funerals Words and phrases you may hear at a Sikh funeral Words or phrases you may hear at a Sikh Funeral Aana Jaana – The Sikhism belief in the ‘coming’ and ‘going’ cycle of human existance. Antam Sanskar – Sikh last rites. Antam from ‘final’ or ‘last’. Sanskar from ‘ritual’ or ‘ceremony’. Antim Ardas – Final prayer for the dead. Ardas – Sikh prayer. Gurdwara – Sikh Temple or place of worship. Hukam – God’s will. Kirtan – The chanting of hymns or mantras to the accompaniment of instruments. Kirtan Sohila – This is the night prayer said by all Sikhs before sleeping. Mokh Du-aar – Complete unity with God. Ragis – Music. Sahaj Paath Bhog – A reading of all the pages of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scriptures. SGGS – Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scriptures. Shabads – Hymns or religious songs. Waheguru – “Glorious Lord”. A Sikh name for God.