Ceremonies (Antam Sanskar)
The body of a dying or dead person, if it is on a cot, must not be
taken off the cot and put on the floor. Nor must a lit lamp be placed
beside, or a cow got bestowed in donation by, him/her or for his/her
good or any other ceremony, contrary to Guru's way, performed. Only
Gurbani should be recited or "Waheguru, Waheguru" repeated
by his/her side.
b. When some one shuffles the mortal coil, the
survivors must not grieve or raise a hue and cry or indulge in breast
beating. To induce a mood of resignation to God's will, it is
desirable to recite Gurbani or repeat "Waheguru".
c. However young the deceased may be, the body
should be cremated. However, where arrangements for cremation cannot
be made, there should be no qualm about the body being immersed in
flowing water or disposed of in any other manner.
d. As to the time of cremation, no consideration as
to whether it should take place during day or night should weigh.
e. The dead body should be bathed and clothed in
clean clothes. While that is done, the Sikh symbols-Kangha, Kachha,
Karha, Kirpan-should not be taken off. Thereafter putting the body on
a plank, Ardas about its being taken away for disposal be offered. The
hearse should then be lifted and taken to the cremation ground. While
the body is being carried to the cremation ground, hymns that induce
feelings of detachment should be recited. On reaching the cremation
ground, the pyre should be laid. Then the Ardas for consigning the
body to fire be offered. The dead body should then he placed on the
pyre and the son or any other relation or friend of the deceased
should set fire to it, The accompanying congregation should sit at a
reasonable distance and listen to kirtan or carry on collective
singing of Shabads or recitation of detachment-inducing Shabads. When
the pyre is fully aflame, the Kirtan Sohila (prescribed preretirement
night Scriptural prayer) be recited and the Ardas offered. (Piercing
the Skull half an hour or so after the pyre has been burning with a
rod or something else in the belief that will secure the release of
the soul-kapal kriya-is contrary to the Guru's tenets). The
congregation should then leave.
Coming back home, a reading of the Guru Granth Sahib should be
commenced at home or in a nearby Gurdwara, and after reciting the six
stanzas of the Anand Sahib, the Ardas, offered and Karhah prashad
(sacred pudding) distributed. The reading of the Guru Granth Sahib
should be completed on the tenth day. If the reading cannot, or is
sought not to, be completed on the tenth day, some other day may be
appointed for the conclusion of the reading having regard to the
convenience of the relatives. The reading of the Guru Granth Sahib
should he carried out by the members of the household of the deceased
and relatives in cooperation. if possible, Kirtan may be held every
night. No funeral ceremony remains to be performed after the "tenth
f. When the pyre is burnt out, the whole bulk of the
ashes, including the burnt bones, should be gathered up and immersed
in flowing water or buried at that very place and the ground levelled.
Raising a monument to the memory of the deceased at the place where
his dead body is cremated is taboo.
g. Adh Marg (the ceremony of breaking the pot used
for bathing the dead body amid doleful cries half way towards the
cremation ground), organised lamentation by women, foorhi (sitting on
a straw mat in mouming for a certain period), diva (keeping an oil
lamp lit for 360 days after the death in the belief that that will
light the path of the deceased), Pind (ritual donating of lumps of
rice flour, oat flour, or solidified milk (khoa) for ten days after
death), kirya (concluding the funeral proceedings ritualistically,
serving meals and making offerings by way of Shradh, Budha Marna
(waving of whisk, over the hearse of an old person's dead body and
decorating the hearse with festoons), etc. are contrary to the
approved code. So too is the picking of the burnt bones from the ashes
of the pyre for immersing in the Ganga, at Patalpuri (Kiratpur), at
Kartarpur Sahib or at any other such place.