Sati: A Sacred Practice or Immoral Act
Many cultures have different practices that seem unusual to other cultures. There is a raised debate in modern day Hinduism over the practice of sati, the self-immolation of a widow on her deceased husband’s grave. Many modern Hindu people view that there is no place for such a practice in society today and in the Hindu religion. Others however view that sati should remain in the religion because it has been a sacred historical part of Hinduism. Sati should be continue to be allowed as a strictly religious practice because the performance of this act represents the widow has fulfilled her dharma and devotion to her husband. Sati should be continued to be allowed as a religious practice in the modern Hindu religion. In the Hindu religion, the roles of genders are produced by a constructed system. The role of women in Hinduism is to serve her husband to the fullest.
Upon the death of a woman, she is to either become a nun or continue to her life and never remarry. Women are not deemed fit for independence in the eyes of Hinduism. Through the practice of Sati by a widow, this is one of the only ways a woman can assert their freedom and self-worth in making a decision that they make independently best said by (Burgha 73-77). There may be a self-loathing to show of Although Sati has been a part of Hinduism since the Philosophical Era around the turn of the century, many view the practice should be outlawed. The world has become a different place than years ago as well as the way society perceives things. In present day, such a practice is deemed politically unacceptable because of the fact is a woman committing suicide regardless of the reason. The religious lenses have been removed as our world becomes a less and less religious oriented stated by (Mani 121-123). Many modern Hindu’s view this practice as immoral and a crime against women seen from the standpoint of society as a whole today. To perform the act of sati symbolizes the epitome of wifely devotion. A woman’s entire life is devoted to her husband, being an exemplary and model wife. Upon the act of sati demonstrates that she has fulfilled her dharma and has developed the appropriate and admirable behavior of a Hindu woman.
Dating to the Vedic period, the act of self-immolation will also help facilitate her husband’s salvation and journey in the next life (Hawley 79-102). Why outlaw a religious practice dating back to the turn of the Century? It is not in the hands of others to decide upon a religious practice especially seeing that does not harm others. While the practice of Sati may slowly die off in forthcoming years, the debate in modern day Hinduism over the practice will not. The self-immolation of a widow on her deceased husband’s funeral pyre is not caused from insanity but wifely devotion to the fullest. Many modern Hindu people view that there is no place for such a practice in society today and in the Hindu religion itself. Others however view that sati should remain in the religion because it has been a sacred historical part of Hinduism. Sati should be continued to be allowed as a strictly religious practice because the performance of this act represents the widow has fulfilled her dharma and devotion to her husband.
Bhurga, Danesha. “Sati: A type of non-psychiatric suicide.”Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention. 26.2 (2005): 73-77. Print.
Hawley, John Stratton. Fundamentalism & Gender. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. 79-102. Print.
Mani, Lati. “Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India.” Cultural Critique. 7. (1987): 121-123. Web. 8 Apr. 2013. .