Antiyeshti: The Last Rites
Sanatan Dharma consists of sixteen rites and rituals to follow when you are alive. However, Antiyeshti is the last rite of a person after they die. The majority of religions in the world believe in burying their dead. Hindus believe in burning the dead body after performing certain rituals. The reason behind burning the deceased is to purify the body before it continues its journey as a new person.
All the offerings are made to gods and goddesses in fire because it is pure as per the Hindu scriptures. Similarly, when a body has burned during Antiyeshti, the fire helps in bringing the soul closer to salvation. Moreover, the energy produced by the fire is in the upward direction towards heaven.
After a person dies, they abandon their physical body. Antiyeshti is the last sacrifice a person undergoes before leaving the present world. The funeral of the dead person by its family members and close ones after death. Sanatan Dharma believes that the person returns to the five elements of nature after death.
The Garuda Purana has proper rites mentioned for Antiyeshti according to Sanatan Dharma. These rituals help to escape the illusions of the materialistic world and achieve salvation. The Garuda Purana states a person living on this earth has to die someday. No one can trick time to live longer than the time destined for their death.
The Scriptures lays stress on performing funeral rites before sunset. Moreover, it explains the various consequences that may arise if a person burned after sunset. Following are some consequences mentioned in the Garuda Purana:
- Cremating a person after death can lead to affecting the new life of the person. To clarify, a person burned after sunset may suffer from physical or mental disability in the next life.
- According to Sanatan Dharma, the gates of heaven are open till sunset. After dusk, it is difficult for the soul to enter heaven, forced to go to hell. It is because Hindus preach Aditya gods, which are active during the daytime. After the sunset, Pyshachas are active.
In Sanatan Dharma, we believe that a soul leaves its physical vessel after its death and moves into a new body. By doing so, they preach and pray to achieve the ultimate goal of salvation. Before attaining salvation, they suffer for purification of their soul from sinful deeds and recycle life several times as various creatures.
The scriptures divide death into multiple stages. However, these stages begin after a person dies, while some may start while they are alive till they die. After the person dies, chanting of hymns and mantras by their family and the Hindu priest. It is to focus the energy of the deceased on the head. In Sanatan Dharma, a soul leaves its body from the head.
You must have seen a family member of the deceased revolving around the body with a pot with a hole consisting of water. According to the Garuda Purana, a person’s life is like a pot with a hole, and water depicts time. The water keeps pouring out of the clay-pot just like time flying away from a person’s life. The ritual of revolving around the deceased with water removing helps the soul to get rid of the love it has for its physical body.
Scientists have proven that cremation is the fastest way, which a body mixes with the five elements of nature. Moreover, the impact of pathogens forming in the deceased body eliminates to the maximum when burnt. In conclusion, Sanatan Dharma is a practice of living accomodating crucial scientific facts. Every ritual and practice mentioned in Sanatan Dharma is deeply rooted in science.