Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SATI




Sati“Sati” means a virtuous woman. A woman who dies             burning herself on her husband’s funeral fire was  considered most virtuous, & was believed to directly go to heaven. Sati is the traditional Hindu practice of a widow immolating herself her husband’s funeral pyre.

             Sati was prevalent among certain sects of the              society in ancient India. There are mot many instances of remarriage of widows in Indian history & it is believed that women preferred death to the cursed life a widow.
             A large number of Sati committed just after the              war (like Johar in Rajasthan), when the women must have died to protect their honor from the invading enemies after their men perished in the battle field.


           Today Sati is illegal. The country owes the abolition of this deplorable practice to the crusading efforts of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the 18th century social reformer. The ritual of Sati was banned by the   British Government .

What is Sati?


Definition:


Sati: The ancient Indian practice of burning a widow on her

 husband's funeral pyre, or burying her alive in his grave.

According to tradition, sati was supposed to be voluntary, and

often it was seen as the proper final act of a marriage.


However, many accounts exist of women who were forced to

 go through with the rite. They may have been drugged, or tied up 

before being placed on the pyre or into the grave.


In addition, strong societal pressure was exerted on women to

 accept sati, particularly if they had no surviving children to support

 them. A widow had no social standing in traditional society, and 

was considered a drag on resources.


During the colonial period, Britain tried to stamp out the

 practice of sati. It still occurs from time to time, however, 

particularly in rural areas of Rajastan.


The term "sati" can also apply to the widow who commits the


 act.The word "sati" comes from the feminine present participle of 

the Sanskrit word asti, meaning "she is true / pure."

  

6 comments:

  1. Pinky,
    Thank you for posting this. As I understand it, Sati is another name for Shakti, the heavenly consort of the divine Shiva. How terribly sad for a young woman incarnate to love her long lost soul mate that she would self-immolate herself upon her lover's own funeral pyre. And yet how beautiful. At such a loss of something so wonderful in life, I would do the same, as there is no love than first love, true love. This Hindu myth is reminiscent of the Norse myth of the virgin Nanna, the wife of Balder, who burns upon her late husband's funeral pyre and remains with him in the nordic concept of Hel. Of course, myths such as these probably represent the effeminate spirit of heaven, incarnate upon the earth, or into flesh, a temporal confine subjecting men and woman to the harsh reality of loss, pain and suffering, where karmic circumstance becomes the fire which purges our emotional bodies in our attempt to find what you may call Nirvana. "Bliss" through union with our heavenly, angelic, contra-opposite The Gnostic concept of the Mirrored Bridal Chamber!

    Again, thank you for your post with your historical knowledge of the British abolishment of such a tradition. I'm not sure if such a colonial abolishment was beneficial to woman or to those colonialists trying to build a stable economy by keeping more citizens alive to work in their underpaid, employment opportunities to pay taxes. That such women may have been forced to follow such a mandate is surely devastating, and only adds to the strict discipline that women throughout history, and especially in third-world countries, have had to endure absent independence and equality with men. As a man, I hold true to such equality for women, and certainly congratulate you in your effort to work hard for your degree so that you may go onto educate those not so fortunate by continuing to post helpful little bits of info on this site!

    Keep it up, and the best of luck to you as you grace your path thru life!

    You can contact me anytime at the following: terrybegeman@aol.com

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