Why are daughters not allowed to burn funeral pyre? - Letsdiskuss
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Medha Kapoor

B.A. (Journalism & Mass Communication) | Updated 27 Aug, 2018 |

Why are daughters not allowed to burn funeral pyre?

Meetali Asiwal

Thinker | Posted 27 Aug, 2018

In Hinduism, we say that having a son opens your doors to salvation because now you have someone to give fire to your funeral pyre. This is the reason that having a son in Hindu families is so important. But why are daughters exempted from being the way of her parents’ salvation is still unknown. Why aren’t they allowed to burn funeral pyres?


The speculations can be many, keeping in mind the beliefs and rituals associated with Hinduism. For example, women are considered “impure” as they undergo menstruation. They are given the status of goddess but they are also impure, and definitely not the best to fire anyone’s funeral pyre. One more reason could be their being the “paraya dhan” (someone else’s property) in the family. Your parents have given you birth, brought you up, educated you, and nurtured you, but still they don’t have any right on you, so you are exempted from burning their funeral pyre.

funeral-pyre-lets-diskuss

Before you take these speculations of mine seriously, let me tell you that all the beliefs rise up from certain practices of the past –which are sometimes interpreted and more often than not misinterpreted.

So in the past, women were not allowed to burn the funeral pyre or to even enter the funeral ground because they were not considered “strong enough” to execute the rituals which are associated with the corpse of their beloved family member. Women are gifted with more emotions than men, and to avoid emotional outbursts during the rituals, they were kept away from the tasks which include breaking of the skull of the corpse and many such things.

The practice and the reasons behind it however, took a very dramatic turn over centuries, and now people give various reasons for this exemption like I mentioned above. It’s only the institutional laws derived from misinterpreted practices that do not allow daughters or girls to burn the funeral pyres.