Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums General Discussions Can Women perform Last Rites?

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  • Samriti Sharma

    As per our Hindu traditions women are not allowed to be a part of the cremation rites. We are well aware of the fact that in a Hindu Joint Family it is the Karta of the family who is the chief mourner. It is the ancient belief system in our society that only son’s can light up the pyres of their parents. This particular tradition is mentioned in the Garuda Purana.
    In Vedic times It was believed that if a woman lights the funeral pyre, the deceased won’t attain ‘moksha’ and would be stuck in the vicuios cycle of rebirths. And even today, women are not allowed to enter their parents funeral. This again here in my personal opinion is the prime example of patriarchal injustice against women,
    It is clearly a gender biased practice, where women are and have been considered feeble to face the circumstances at that particular time which is nothing but a societal stereotype and sadly the same has been accepted as normal in our society because it has been in practice since ages. Another reason as to why only male members of the family participate in funeral rites is that they have been considered as a bridge between birth and death and moreover it is only a son who can liberate the parents from the cycle of birth and death providing them eternal bliss.
    In the present 21st century these orthodox traditional believes are still being followed but today girls in our society have taken on the same roles as son. They today are given freedom to participate in funeral procession. It is high time that these patriarchal norms should be prohibited and women should be given an active opportunity to exercise their rights.

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