Ritual #2

By Imran / July, 15, 2011 / 15 comments

The first time I came across this rather peculiar ritual was back in 2007 at Changi Beach. It’s only recently that I’ve learned from a dear Hindu of mine whose dad had passed away the true meaning of these rites. Apparently, this was part of a funeral service. The cremated remains of a family member is scattered into the sea by the eldest male of the family.

15 Responses to Ritual #2

  • stavky

    Exellent shot.Fantastic colours and details.

  • realDrummer

    There is an order for the rites to be performed.
    Normally, The eldest son only have the right to perform for his mother. The youngest son will have right to his father. In the case of only 1 son, he has the honour to do it for both is mother & father.(Depending on the order of the death) In this modern world the old values are replaced or evolved & I have seen the only child (girl) performing this rites for her dad. The scriptures have (a) reason/s for why only males attend & the son light the pyre & on the following dawn to perform the last rites on the main bones arrange in the shape of a human (with other items like flower, incense(burning while the rites starts) & cooked rice with black sesame seeds & fenugreek seeds shaped like tennis balls. The son washes the bones exactly as how he washed his dad a day before with his flesh then (there are 21 items to wash with, each substance rubbed on the body one at a time & wash with water. Then all are placed in a clay pot which contains the ashes. That is why it is important to inform the cremators at the crematorium not to burn the cadaver until to ashes, they will do it in a way (experienced) that some broken(not fully burned) femurs, sacrum, vertebrae, humerus & cranium are left. These bones will be identified by the priest). Basically, the son will see the raw dry bones of his dad or mum & realise that one will turn to dust & form part of the earth(return back). The bones will be disintegrated over time in the sea bed. The son will hold the pot on his head & walk towards the direction of the morning sun (yet to be out of the sea) until the sea water level reaches his neck. He than turns away from the sun facing west, towards the land, prays for his parent’s peace (takes his time), & takes a dip (submerge) & never look back at the sun or direction while walking towards the shore. Goes into the car & goes home to take a shower & never steps out of his house for 16 days. Of course the brothers & other relatives formed through the deceased can walk with the son. At least 4 of them are required to provide shade for the remains in the pot holding a with cotton dhoti. Nice dawn, bringing back very old sad memories. The above account is only done for deceased male members. For female, the ritual varies, first a woman modesty will be intact. If the Husband is alive, he alone can wash her body while the female members help to clothe her back, but a most loving husband will take everything to himself. The washing elements slightly differs & of course the mantras also differs. The main difference is that the dignity of a woman is still intact & respected even after her death & her son & husband is there to make sure of it. That is why a section of the Changi Beach is alway used by Hindu. Even for those scattering the ashes will have a specific direction & use the sun a pivot.

    • Imran

      Thanks Kumar, for the very detailed explanation 😀

  • tipy

    Very nice image – i like it!:)

  • Jip (Raven)

    Beautiful silhouette. I like the dark reflections in the water. Very well executed!

  • jak

    wooow… cool ….!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pedro Alves

    Very good photo!
    Fantastic light and colors.

  • sázkové kanceláře

    great shot with fantastic details. BRAVO

  • Vrasky

    Great picture. Fantastic atmosphere, great compo

  • chiara

    amazing shot! i really love your work.

  • uungferi

    very nice shoot…. salam pak imran

  • Mark Elkington

    Great shot, but I’d crop the dark water at bottom and lose some of the right hand horizen.

  • buntagphoto

    I love how the figures merge with the water.

  • Fotograf ślubny

    very good picture! A wonderful moment

  • Bob H

    That is a great shot. I have always been a fan of silhouettes and you did an amazing job.

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