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ANTYESHTI SANSKAR (Funeral Sacrament)

An analysis on Death

When the soul (atma) leaves the body, then the body is said to be dead. The death occurs of the body and not of the soul. Then what happens to the soul after it leaves the body?

After leaving the body the soul goes into the space above and in due course, is born again according to its deeds. In the Vedic verses which are recited during the funeral sacrament, it is repeatedly stated that the soul takes on new body after leaving the old body. Rishi Dayanand has chosen these verses with great care and skill. The meanings of the verses are given in the book Sanskar Chandrika. While conducting the funeral sacrament effort should be made to understand the depth of meanings of those verses because those verses state the deep truth about life.

Funeral Prayer

O truthful, conscious, blissful God! Accept our salutation. You alone are the creator, regulator and protector of this universe. You are independent and most powerful in giving motion to all and in ruling over-all according to Your principles. Your rule which is just and unbiased is famous everywhere.

O God! Your creation is astonishing, Your deeds are unequalled, You make the joyous suffer and vice-versa but all this is based on such strict unchangeable rules, that ordinary beings are unable to understand the essence of it. You give out justice to all according to their deeds. You determine the species, age and the fruits of one’s actions. When one’s present life is to come to an end, then the soul leaves the body in accordance with Your rules. The same has happened to the soul, which has departed from this body.

O just God! We pray that You encourage the soul that has departed from the body to follow the righteous path of great seers who have themselves reached esteemed heights of knowledge and have shown the righteous path to thousands and through their brilliant intellect have shone like the sun and had the vision for the welfare of the country and the society. Further more, those seers meditated on the Vedic mantras, practised them in life and followed strict rules and regulations and were duty bound.

O Almighty God! May the departed soul not fall prey to its senses on rebirth. May the soul recognise those undesirable qualities, like excessive attachment to senses, which bring about greed, causes the downfall of the soul, becomes the cause of bondage and the cycle of life and death. May the soul not accept and become attached to them.

O God! You give out justice to all according to their deeds. We pray that You give encouragement to the departed soul to strive for achievement of salvation.

O God! Please give strength, good sense and peace to the children and the relatives of the deceased so that they may bear the loss and complete their journey of life righteously and become the subject of Your mercy and devoted to You.

Materials for funeral ceremony

The materials, which have been listed from1-8 below are the minimum requirements. The quantity of ghee and other items should not be less than the quantities shown. If one can afford to buy more, then this should be done by all means. However if one is poor, then someone who can afford to buy should assist. Otherwise the residents of the area and others should assist. These items need to be burnt together with the body so that there is as little pollution as possible from the burning body. If ghee and other items are not used in adequate quantity then there will be foul smell in the atmosphere, as a result of which diseases could spread to the people. By using large quantities of these items there will be much benefit to all. This is a noble activity. The relatives and friends of the deceased who do such noble deeds would receive the fruits of their good action.


1. 20 litres pure ghee

2. 10 kg rice

3. 10 kg sugar

4. Four packets camphor

5. 24 packets Agarbatti

6. 4 dozen hawan samagree-Dasangam or Parimal brand

7. Two dozen dry coconuts

8. Cinnamon –1/2 kg, cardinum – ½ kg and cloves – ½ kg

9. One packet matches

10. Two large basins

11. Two buckets

12. Two round and two straight spoons with one metre each wooden handles tied on to them for easy handling.

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