Meaning of Asthi Visarjan

Asthi-visarjan [अस्थि-विसर्जन] is a very important religious ritual in the Hindu religion. Asthi means the left over bones and some ashes of a dead person collected after performing the last rites. In the Hindu religion, a dead person is cremated normally on a Funeral pyre where the dead body is placed on logs of fire. Now days Electric or Diesel Crematoriums are also used as they are found in most Indian towns.

After the last rites are performed the remains of the dead person are collected, these are mostly tied in a piece of cloth. These ashes are then immersed in a clean normally flowing water body like a river. The practice of immersion is known as Asthi-visarjan. This practice is a must for all Hindus.

It is commonly believed that immersion of the ashes in the river Ganga is most sacred. Hence, many devote Hindus do the immersion ceremony at places like Haridwar and Varanasi. And also, places like Nashik situated on the banks of the Godavari River. There are many other places, which are also considered as sacred locations for the Asthi-visarjan ceremony.

As per all Hindu religious texts when a person dies, his relation with the material body ends. The soul leaves the body and its next destination depends on the cumulative KARMA of all his previous births. The body if it has completed its process of evolution merges into the Ever-Existent or God, if not then it is prepared for the next birth. The soul is reborn again and again in different material bodies till it finally completes its evolution process.

The material body is cremated to reduce it to its basic elements, during the Cremation, the gasses, other compounds present in the body are freed, and they merge into the atmosphere. The body consisting of the Five Elements of Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Ether, has already merged into the Elements during the Cremation Ceremony. What is left over are some bones or ashes, these have to find a resting place hence the Asthi-visarjan Ceremony.

A lot of people visiting places like Haridwar, Varanasi, Nashik and numerous such sacred places find that once they come anywhere near a Ghat [a place where these ceremonies are conducted]; they are in the clutches of rouges posing as priests. The common man who does not know much about these rituals is easily trapped by these rouges. A lot of demands are made; these other than money consist of such articles, which the priest may be in need of. All in the name of Shanti or peace for the departed soul. The unsuspecting victim does not even know what ritual the priest is conducting or what mantras he is reciting.

Now as I have already said before the mortal remains have already merged into the Elements during the Cremation ceremony, what remain are some bones and ashes of the departed person. These remains can be immersed by you, without the help of any priest, in any clean river near your house. You can hire a small boat, enter the river and then immerse the remains yourself. In case no boat is available you can immerse the ashes in some clean place on the banks of the river.

If you really want to immerse the ashes in one of the holy places you can go there and do the Asthi-visarjan ceremony yourself. Find a quiet silent place free from the priests and immerse the ashes by yourself. You can then say a prayer for the departed soul. Remember these rituals are for your own mental satisfaction, that you have done your bit for the departed soul.

Those not wanting to do the Asthi-visarjan ceremony by themselves or being cheated by priests take the help of some agency or the other who promise to do it in scientific manner, cutting short all the unnecessary procedures. All this for a certain sum of money. Unless you are physically incapable I would not recommend this.

Comments

  1. Plz share your Email ID & Name ,will give you answer for it, and plz not share any more solution ....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely on the dot. The 'gati' after mrityu is solely dependent upon the synthesis or the balance sheet of our Sanchit, Praarabdha and Kriya maan karm. How can a stupid pundit change that ?

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  3. could you help me out with this. one of my friend argue with me that we polluted the river by immersing ashes into it.what is the truth behind it.
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  4. You can visit www.asthivisarjan.org for asthi visarjan, pindapradhaan, shradha at Kasi or gaya. They provide doorstep service in anywhere India.

    ReplyDelete

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