The Ritual Of Sati The Brief Traditional History of Sati Ritual

The beginning of ritual of Sati took place after the agricultural revolution (10 thousand BC) when women began to be recognized as private property. First, this ritual was born in Russia, later it spread throughout society. According to ancient Babylon (Iraq).

In Hindu tradition, when a person died, his wife was also burnt along with his pyre and this ritual was called sati. Sati means truthful and gradually this word came to be said to a woman who is faithful to her husband and after his death sati with his dead body. Being sati became the high standard of purity of a woman among Hindus. His stories and illustrations were common and the stories of Sita and Savitri were famous.

Ritual Of Sati The Brief Traditional History
Ritual Of Sati The Brief Traditional History

In the stories of the Puranas, there are also examples of sati on a woman. But still, the custom of this ritual is a mystery and it has obscured the history of India.
It is not known when the practice of sati took place. There is no mention of this sati in the Vedas. Although some Hindus believe that the Rigveda is the flame of sati. But in the Rigveda, the widow was told to get up and choose another husband. It is not known when this ritual started.

According to tradition, the Kauras were defeated and killed in the Mahabharata war, and their blind father, Dehratashtra, handed over Raj to the Pandavas and went to the Himalayas with his wife, and burned to death there. His wife was also burnt along with him. After that, the ritual started among women that after the death of the husband, the wife or wives started burning together in the pyre of the husband. Therefore, women were not worshiped in the classes of Hindus where sati was the rule.

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. It is sitting in their minds that they should obey their husbands and our salvation is to die with him in the pyre. Women believed that their husbands would also be saved by their sati. It is estimated that this ritual started in the 7th century when the era of Rajputs began. James Todd says that this custom started among Rajput women because they were not allowed to become concubines of the conqueror.

Different methods of sati were practiced in each region. For example, in Bengal, the widow was tied with ropes and bamboos in the pyre with the dead so that the woman could not get up and run away, and then the pyre was set on fire. In Orissa, a pit was dug and the dead were seen on fire in it, and when the flames rose, his widow would jump into it or be pushed. The ritual of sati in the Deccan was such that the woman used to sit in the pyre with her dead husband’s head on her knee, and by placing wood around the pyre and making a roof over it, wood was chosen for the dead man and the woman inside and the roof of the pyre. was set on fire. The woman would either die of suffocation from the fumes or the roof of the pyre would fall on her.

A Brahmin died in Sethoxi and the region. After two weeks, the family members got the information. They decided to commit sati on his widow Homlia, who was about fourteen years old. His pyre was prepared by his closest relatives in the village. The girl’s father, Patna Tiwari, who lived in another area, was also not informed. It is not known whether Homolia was agreeable to sati or not. But let us assume that she was willing. After the initial rituals, Homolia sat on the pyre and her uncle Shivlal lit the pyre.

But the heat of the fire became unbearable for Homolia and he came out of the pyre. But Shivlal, Behok, and others caught him and threw him back into the pyre. But she went out again and her clothes were also burnt and she lay down in the water in the nearby bawali. Shivlal spread a sheet on the ground near him and asked Homolia to sit on it. Homolia refused and said no, I will not sit, then you will put me in the fire. Leave me, I will leave your house and live by begging or in some other way. You guys just have mercy on me. Shiv Lal swore by Ganga and said, “If you sit on the blanket, I will take you home.” Homolia sat on a blanket, those people tied her to a blanket and called for bamboo and passed the bamboo through it with a knot and threw the potli into the flames. The sheet was immediately burnt by the intensity of the fire and the unfortunate girl tried to save herself once again. Meanwhile, at the instigation of the rest of the people, a Muslim beheaded him with his sword. She fell and was saved from further death struggle.

It is not that women did not try to run away from sati, but those who managed to run away, their future life was very painful – an English historian has written that in front of me was a beautiful woman who saved her life with the help of bhangis. . It was the rule of these Bhangis that when they found out that a woman was about to commit sati and her family members were not powerful and powerful, they would reach there and if the woman did not want to commit sati, these people would bring her out. But these women were not liked and the family members also cut ties, because it put a stigma on Dharma. Therefore, she would live with the Bhagyas for the rest of her life and spend her days enduring their abuses.

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An End to This Barbaric & Inhuman Practice

The Ritual Of Sati
The Ritual Of Sati

In 1829, the East India Company issued a law against this custom which it strictly ordered to stop this custom. In the beginning, there were some incidents of secret sati. But the British government strictly punished the helpers in this ritual. Even this custom became extinct – but in some states, it continued. In 1839, Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s one wife Mehtab Devi, and three concubines were satiated on Arthi. But after that, the British government issued an order to end the ritual of sati in the rest of the states and the last sati took place in Punjab in 1845. Today, while this ritual has ended among the Hindus and they admit that it was a brutal and barbaric ritual.


Every religion in the world has exploited women. Here we will not get into the debate about which religion has exploited more or less. Avatars were men, one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets were men and sage Guru Nanak was also a man.

In old times, there were conspiracies to poison the kings through their wives. To prevent this practice, the ritual of sati was started. If the king dies, his wife will also have to die. She used to commit sati by wearing all her jewels, which were later given to Panditji, so Pandits, in their greed for jewels, gave full religious sanctity to this brutal act. It is most likely that this brutal act started with the Rajput rulers.

When a woman runs away from the ritual of sati, her family does not accept her, so she has to spend the rest of her life hiding in the lower strata of society.

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Source: Wikipedia