The Funeral Service

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FUNERAL SERVICE

When a person is about to die, his or her attention should be drawn towards God and no worldly matters
or demonstrations of sorrow should be allowed to intrude upon a peaceful going. As soon as the soul has
winged its flight, the body should be bathed and clothed in clean cloths. Then, the body should be removed
in any convenient manner that is available, to any convenient place where a funeral pile can be arranged.
The practice of weeping wailing, crying and all other ways of boisterous expression of grief are strictly forbidden.
As the funeral procession moves the following Hymns may be recited:

 

 


Sohi Ravidas

The dawn a new day
Is the herald of a sunset
Earth is not thy permanent home.
Life is like a shadow on the wall
All thy friends have departed
Thou too must go.
Thou believeth as if life
Were everlasting and endless
The journey may be long
Death is ever hovering over us.
Why art thou asleep?
Wake up, 0 simpleton.

He who gave Thee life
Gives sustenance also
He is the soul of creation

He is the all feeder

Relinquish me and mine and worship Him
Within thy heart in the morning
Repeat His Name
The night is on thee
With its garments of gloom
Life is coming to an end.
Thy feet have not found the path
Says Ravi Das, Thou, senseless fool,
Why does thou not see,

This world is but the abode of mortal beings?
know this O! Dear friend,
Clearly in Thy mind
The world is absorbed
In pursuit of pleasure
No one cares for another.
Many wait in attendance.
Surrounding thee from all sides,
When fortune smiles,
When misfortune darkens the door,
They suddenly disappear and leave thee alone,
Even a wife who is loved and is loving,
As soon as the soul wings its flight
Cries out, thou art dead.
Such is the way of them all,
Says Nanak, at the end,
God alone can befriend Thee.
Mother father, brother and son,
And the mistress of the house,
They cling to the living,
Soon as the breath leaves the body,
They leave it as dead.
Beware of the glamour of mirage,
Take heed and repent.

This world is but the abode of mortal beings?
know this O! Dear friend,
Clearly in Thy mind
The world is absorbed
In pursuit of pleasure
No one cares for another.
Many wait in attendance.
Surrounding thee from all sides,
When fortune smiles,
When misfortune darkens the door,
They suddenly disappear and leave thee alone,
Even a wife who is loved and is loving,
As soon as the soul wings its flight
Cries out, thou art dead.
Such is the way of them all,
Says Nanak, at the end,
God alone can befriend Thee.
Mother father, brother and son,
And the mistress of the house,
They cling to the living,
Soon as the breath leaves the body,
They leave it as dead.
Beware of the glamour of mirage,
Take heed and repent.

Says Nanak, repeat the name of God,
Salvation is His gift.
Wake up, my mind, wake up,
From the dead sleep,
The body that came with thee,
Will part company with thee soon.
The world is but a dream.
Soon as life leaves the body,
Mother, father, and other relatives,
Will offer it to the fire,
They are only concerned with the self.
Says Nanak, sing the praise of God.
I found all worldly attachment false,
Every one is attached for the sake of his own pleasure,
Whether it is wife or a friend
Mine, mine, they all say, and cheat the heart
With expressions of love;
At the last moment not one comes near,
This is the strange way of the world!
The foolish mind does not listen,
To wise advice and understand;
Says Nanak, he alone can cross the sea of being
Who sings the songs of God.

 

Arriving at the cremation ground the body is placed on the top of a platform of firewood and more fuel piled up all over and on all sides. Then the general prayer is recited and blessings of God and the Guru are invoked for the soul of the Departed.

The Party of mourners then return and wash their hands and faces and after that Karah Parshad is distributed.

The idea is that there should be no grief shown at the passing away of the soul from the earth, as it is a natural process just like birth; summons to attend should be received with sweet resignation.

As soon as it can be conveniently arranged, the reading of Holy Book is started by the heirs of the deceased and the reading is completed on the 10th day, when, with final prayers for the soul of the departed, the funeral ceremony closes.

Sikh Ceremonies by Sir Jogendra Singh. Ludhiana

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