Death And Death In Hinduism

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Hinduism is unlike many other religions in that it does not have a single founder or text, but is more like an umbrella in ways of life. In death and life for the Hindu, “The ultimate goal of the soul is liberation from the wheel of rebirth, through reabsorption into our identity with the Oversoul (Brahma)-- the essence of the universe, immaterial, uncreated, limitless, and timeless” (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p. 134). Susan Thrane MSN, RN, OCN discusses the beliefs of Hindu culture in the article “Hindu End of Life: Death, Dying, Suffering, and Karma” published in the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. Thrane (2010) states that there are almost 2.3 million Hindus in India. Hindu’s believe in interconnectedness, karma, and reincarnation.…show more content…
When death occurs, the body is prepared for viewing. People of the same gender prepare the body by laying their “hands across the chest, closing the eyelids, anointing the body with oil, and placing flower garlands around it.” (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, pg. 384). According to Leming and Dickinson, Hindus believe that cremation is “an act of sacrifice” because they are offering their body to God. The body is usually cremated on the bank of a sacred river. The book, Understanding dying, death, and bereavement offers an “invocation” that would be close to what a priest would recite, “Fire, you were lighted by him, so may he be lighted from you, that he may gain the regions of celestial bliss. May this offering prove auspicious.” Leming and Dickinson (2011) state that between 10-31 days post cremation, a feast (shraddha) is shared among mourners and priests. Shraddhas can last hours to days, depending on the wealth of the family. Once this shraddha is over, the mourning period comes to a close. It is said that the funeral is the second most important ritual, following a wedding, and that many families spend all the money they have on them, leading to impoverishment (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p.…show more content…
230). There are two main “types” Buddhism that are practiced around the world. The first is Theravadin, and the second is Mahayana (Smith-Stoner, 2005, p. 228). Buddhism contains a “message of salvation” that considered the “Four Noble Truths” (Leming & Dickinson, 2011 p. 134). They are, the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. Leming and Dickinson (2011) describe how the combination of ethics and meditation are the eightfold path to enlightenment (Leming & Dickinson, 2011 p. 136). The author believes it is important for practitioners to recognize the increasing numbers of people practicing Buddhism in the United States in order to enhance their ability to care for end of life needs in this population. Smith-Stoner (2005) states that Buddhism is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States and that Colorado is one of the main population centers (Smith-Stoner, 2005, p. 229). In Buddhism, it is extremely important to be able to tame emotions and the mind which is done through meditation. The author thinks it is pertinent to know the
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