Despite the Hindu religion having over 1 billion followers, many Americans have never experienced a funeral for a person with Hindu beliefs. So if you’re going to a Hindu funeral for the first time, you’re not alone in wondering what you should expect.
Paying your respect at the funeral of a friend or family member is important, and knowing what to expect is also a smart endeavor because you want to make sure you don’t do anything that would offend anyone. And you don’t want to be surprised by something that happens at the funeral itself.
Attending a Hindu Funeral For the First Time
Whether you are a Jewish, Catholic, another religion or not religious at all, you might be worried about what to expect at a Hindu funeral – but after reading this article, you can put those concerns behind you.
What Do I Wear To a Hindu Funeral?
While casual clothing for men and women is relatively normal at a Hindu funeral, it’s important to know that wearing black is NOT appropriate. That’s obviously a huge difference from many Western religions, where mourners often wear black as a sign of respect. As a matter of fact, wearing white, casual clothing is more appropriate than wearing anything black or fancy. Open-toed shoes and modest jewelry is appropriate, however. For more information about Hindu funeral traditional dress please visit this link.
What Do Hindus Believe?
The Hindu religion essentially teaches that God is within each being in the universe and that the purpose of life is to become aware of that divine energy. While the physical body eventually dies, the soul passes on to another reincarnation depending on the consequences of one’s actions in their lives (karma).
If a Hindu believer has lived through many lifetimes, and the deceased has realized the true nature of reality, then the soul will become one with Braman, which is the One, all-encompassing soul.
What Happens at a Hindu Funeral?
Unlike some religions, there is always an open casket at a Hindu funeral, and mourners are expected to actually view the body. Do not touch the body, however.
A Hindu priest will oversee the occasion, but family members might also help conduct the funeral. You don’t have to be of the Hindu faith to participate in the funeral.
Interestingly, 10 days after the funeral, a ceremony is held at the home of the deceased, which helps facilitate the liberation of the soul. Visitors coming to that ceremony should bring fruit.
Using a camera at a Hindu funeral is frowned upon, as with most other religious ceremonies.
There are burials of many different types at The Gardens at Boca Raton Cemetery and Funeral Services, including Hindu funerals. So feel free to ask them about something you’re unsure of about and they’ll happily help if they can.