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Sati Funeral Tradition



You may have heard about many rites and rituals in the world that has a significant role in society or particular religions. Let me tell you about one exciting yet very inhuman tradition that had prevailed in the history of humanity. It was a practice among Hindu communities that the recently widowed woman either voluntarily or by force used to immolate herself in her deceased husband's pyre. The woman who used to immolate herself was called 'Sati,' which means 'chaste woman' or 'devoted woman.'

Origin



Sati is derived from the name of the Hindu goddess Sati, who self-immolated because she could not endure her father- Daksha's embarrassment to her husband, Shiva. Sati assigns, therefore, originally the lady, as opposed to the ritual; the ceremony itself having specialized names, for example, Sahagamana ("going with") or Sahamarana ("dying with").

Sati System

Hindu religious epics like Naradsmriti say that the widow should be Sati or live purely single after her husband's demise. This shows that the Sati system was not a compulsion in ancient times. However, as per Axel Michaels, the explicit primary confirmation of the practice is from Nepal in 464 AD and India from 510 AD. The wrong interpretation of religion, bias views of pundits, political rivalry, and greed of wealth caused the Sati system to spread. This evil practice gained popularity from the 10th century AD and widespread among the Hindu communities from the 12th to 18th century AD. Later Sati system became so prominent that the funerals of men could not take place with it. The ritual was conducted with huge and loud traditional musical instruments and many people as witnesses.

Abolition

To this date, this ritual has been recorded in the Hindu communities of the Indian subcontinent. However, after the Bengal Sati regulation of 1829 AD, this cruel practice of Sati was more or less abolished from India. In Nepal, the then prime minister Chandra Shumsher declared the Sati system's abolition on 8th July 1920 AD. Despite these attempts, there are many records in the last few decades where the Sati system was conducted.

We hope this sort of evil practice never prevails again, which does such an injustice to humanity, peace, and love.

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