(Last Updated on : 21/04/2012)
The death rites among the Jains are regarded as very important. The Jains cremate the dead as soon as possible. The dead body is properly dressed up. It is earlier rubbed with a wet cloth. The corpse is then clothed and placed in a bier and covered with a kafan. It is then decorated with beautiful flowers and garlands. Usually sandalwood garlands are more preferred and offered to the dead ones. The members of the family put the sign of swastika near the casket. On the swastika sign a whole coconut is placed and incense sticks are burnt. After decorating the casket the members of the family recite hymns and sing devotional songs for some time. All the people who gather around for the rites pay their tribute to the dead person.
Next the dead body is tied to the bier and carried to the crematorium. A suitable place is selected where no living organisms like grass or insects can be seen. This is done to avoid causing harm to them. On the selected place a platform of wood is erected.
The body is taken from the bier and placed on the platform with logs of wood over it. Water and rice is put on the body three times. Following this camphor oil
and sandalwood powder are sprinkled all over the body and then ghee is applied on the hands, forehead and feet. The eldest son of the deceased does the last rituals.
The son walks round the pyre three times and sprinkles water all over the dead body. He then lights up the pyre and chants the Namokar Mantra. After waiting for some time he pours milk over the place. The remains are collected in bags and the place is thoroughly cleansed. The remains are not immersed in rivers as they can pollute the water. Hence a hole is dug in the earth and the remains are put inside it. Some salt is also sprinkled over it so that it dissolves easily.
According to the Jains the dead soul would be reborn immediately. So for them death is a festival or Mahotsav. Loud wailing and observing anniversaries are not part of the Jain Tradition.