Hindu Death Rituals and Ceremonies
Cremation is an important part of our view of destiny, embracing a symbolic form of the human embryo, which began with the male seed developing into bones and the female blood resulting in flesh. At the end of one’s life a reversal takes place as the heat of the funeral pyre divides flesh from bones. The flames of the cremation fire are the means by which the human form, or body, is presented to the gods as a last sacrifice. The spirit is released from the body for its journey, shaped by the individual’s good (or karma) during his or her life.
Hindus from other parts of the world have scattered cremated remains (cremains) in local rivers, however, through the services provided by Sacred Rites of the Ganges™, it is now possible to perform these important ceremonies in the proper fashion by having your loved one’s cremains sent to Varanasi, India, for a traditional Asthi Visarjan ceremony and Scattering of Ashes in Mother Ganges.
Asthi Visarjan Ceremony
The Asthi Visarjan ceremony will be conducted by a respected Brahman Priest, in Varanasi, on the banks of the Mother Ganges, with the remains of the deceased scattered on the holy river’s waters. When the ashes are mixed in the waters, Moksha will be achieved and the person’s soul will be blessed and will rest in peace for eternity. Achieving Moksha will necessitate the individuals’ soul to be removed from the eternal cycle of reincarnation…liberation from Samsara.
What you receive from SRG after placing an order
Within 24-hours you will receive a special shipping kit containing a secure shipping container along with the required forms to authorize SRG to handle your loved one’s cremated remains (cremains). Ritual ceremony packages requiring a Brahman Priest escort will be arranged by a simple phone call to our office.
Shipping time from the U.S. to Varanasi
It normally takes 3 to 4 days to air express the cremains from your home or temple to our offices. When the cremains are received in India, they are immediately hand carried to the banks of the Ganges River. The ritual ceremony will be performed soon after the arrival of the cremains, weather permitting. A member of SRG’s staff will personally supervise all details to ensure that the cremains are handled with care and undergo a dignified and traditional Asthi Visarjan ceremony on the banks of the Mother Ganges. All aspects of the process, from the ancient ritual itself through the video recording of the ceremony and scattering of the ashes will be handled by our dedicated professionals.
SRG handles all necessary arrangements
SRG will handle all arrangements, from the time your loved one’s ashes leave your care, through the dramatic conclusion – the ceremony at the Ganges River, performed by a respected Brahman Priest. We will also supervise the DVD production of the ceremony. Within days of the ceremony, an edited DVD, which vividly captures the entire ceremony including scattering of ashes on the waters of the Ganges, will be shipped to your home. The permanent record of this ancient, awe inspiring ceremony can be shared with your family and ultimately be passed along to future generations.
DVD Contents and Delivery
In approximately two weeks you will receive a custom-produced record of the complete ritual ceremony at Varanasi, India on a DVD, which can be viewed on any home DVD player. In addition to the precious record of the ritual ceremony, scenes of the city of Varanasi and the beautiful morning and evening prayer ceremonies, conducted each day on the banks of Mother Ganges, will be included.
Security of Cremains
Sacred Rites of The Ganges assures its clients that the precious remains of your loved ones that are committed to our care will be handled in a dignified, respectful manner and remain secure from the time the cremains are received until the final ceremonies are performed in Varanasi, India. Only select, specially trained SRG staff members who have been certified by SRG as competent to handle cremains with ultimate care, as if they belonged to of their own family, are involved in the process. SRG’s India-based staff take an oath (Sankalpam) to represent the loved ones family in the Asthi Visarjan ceremony and to handle the revered ashes of our patron’s loved ones with ultimate respect.
Retaining a portion of the ashes
If desired, the family may retain a portion of the deceased’s ashes and send the balance for the ceremony in India. The Asthi Visarjan ceremony may be performed with only a portion of the ashes scattered into the holy Ganges River.
Charges for shipping remains in an urn
The urns that are sold by US crematoriums to hold cremains are much heavier than just the remains alone. Our air carrier adds heavy charges for each pound we ship to Varanasi, India. We try to save our customers these unnecessary charges by shipping just the cremains, but the choice is ultimately yours. You should also know that the Ash Scattering Ceremony requires that the urn be thrown into the Ganges River after the ashes are scattered into her waters. The City of Varanasi, by law, does not allow most urns to be thrown into the river due to pollution, and only earthen urns that disintegrate in the water are allowed into the river. We will only throw earthen urns (available through SRG) into the river as required in the ceremony. These urns are manufactured in Varanasi specifically for use in these ceremonies. Make Arrangements.
Verification of Authenticity
It is important to SRG that our customers have complete trust in our procedures for
identifying and tracking their loved ones cremains (cremated remains) throughout
the process of performing the Asthi Visarjen ceremony in Varanasi, India. SRG is dedicated to completing our mission in a transparent fashion, providing your family the ultimate level of service with compassion and understanding. If you have any concerns we recommend that you include a photograph of the deceased with the package containing their cremains. The photograph will be included in the Asthi Visarjen ceremony that we film in Varanasi, and will be seen in the ceremony on the DVD recording that you will receive. If you have any other concerns or questions please contact a SRG representative on the "Contact SRG" page or call us at (866)774-9234.