Origin of Sati system or self immolation in India



In the medival periods(after 1100A.D.) in some parts of India (like Rajputaana) bordering other nations,Religious marauders were frequently raiding,looting and plundering and arresting women (who have lost their husbands in the war) and taking them away as slaves/sex worker/Harem/conversion to Islam.Then the ladies started the practice of entering the Funeral Pyres secretly in the night time and then in day light to avoid Islamic atrocities.This practice was stopped by Raja Ram Mohan Rai’s bill.This practice was NEVER there in the last 10,000 years or before.If it was a Religious dictum, they should have also followed this horrendous practice.

Sati means =virtuous woman–does NOT mean “widow-burning”–There is NO Sanskrit word for Widow burning at all.–All Hindu religious literature are in Sanskrit

Few so-called Islamic scholars like Dr.Zakir Naik have the audacity to change the sanskrit shlokas to satisfy his whims and fantasies.

इमा नारीरविधवाः सुपत्नीराञ्जनेन सर्पिषा संविशन्तु |
अनश्रवो.अनमीवाः सुरत्ना आ रोहन्तु जनयोयोनिमग्रे ||
उदीर्ष्व नार्यभि जीवलोकं गतासुमेतमुप शेष एहि |
हस्तग्राभस्य दिधिषोस्तवेदं पत्युर्जनित्वमभि सम्बभूथ ||
[ See Rig Ved, Mandala 10, Chapter 18, double line 7] (RV 10.18.7)

Original sanskrit Translation:

Let these unwidowed dames with noble husbands adorn themselves with fragrant balm and unguent.
Decked with fair jewels, tearless, free from sorrow, first let the dames go up to where he lieth.

Rise, come unto the world of life, O woman: come, he is lifeless by whose side thou liest.
Wifehood with this thy husband was thy portion, who took thy hand and wooed thee as a lover.

While the hymn actually calls for a widow to rise from the pier of her dead husband and now move on to take the hand of her new husband. So this terrible falsification was made to justify the burning of the widows to demean Hinduism.[ See Professor Maccdonnell’s Sanskrit Literature, page 120-130 for a detailed discussion]

जनयोयोनिमग्रे is pronounced as yonim agre means “foremost“,hence the shloka is not changed at all but the translator has delibrately assumed the word as fire(yomiagne) to nullify the great Shloka.

Fake translation:
Let these women, whose husbands are worthy and are living, enter the house with ghee (applied) as collyrium (to their eyes). Let these wives first step into the pyre, tearless without any affliction and well adorned.[30]

Sati System during Islamic rule has been discussed further in this blog.

So far there is no word in Hindu scripture for “Bride burning”. Sati is the power/shakti of the formless Shiva.In Puranic history Sati once jumped in fire and Shiva was bereft of his power but the powers were reborn as Parvati.In Hindu scripture,the power or Shakti is denoted as Goddess.There are various levels of power of the almighty like Durga,Kali etc which can be aroused in the body through Kundalini Yoga.It was Sati(formless and infinite) which was engulfed by fire and not Shiva(formless and infinite).The higher level of power/energy/shakti reborn was called Parvati.We take an example of Uttara. The great hero Abhimanyu was born of Subhadrâ. This Abhimanyu and the five sons of Draupadi were killed in battle. Abhimanyu’s wife Uttarâ was the charming daughter of the king Virât. Uttara never burnt herself but was highly respected in Mahabharata .From this comes the word Uttara Nashatra in astrology where the stars predicts a difficult married life and methods to overcome it.If widow-burning was a Vedic dictum,then in Ramayana–Kausalya,Sumitra,Kaikeyi should have been thrown into the funeral pyre of Dasaratha-IT DID NOT HAPPEN—-In Mahabharatha,Kunti after the death of her husband Pandu should have been thrown into the funeral pyre of Pandu–IT DID NOT HAPPEN.Sulochana was wife of Indrajeet and when Indrajeet died Sulochana became the most brave and respected woman who encouraged her husband on the path of Dharma.Sati stones and Shivlingam is found all over India as a mark of respect to Lord Shiva and his power.

In several schools for Vedic priests, many graduates are women.(Reference:- ^ Vaasuda Narayanan, Women of Power in the Hindu tradition ) Education
Katyayana’s Varttika 125, 2477 mentions that there were female teachers of grammar. Patanjali wrote in his comments to Ashtadhyayi 3.3.21 and 4.1.14, that women undergo the thread ceremony before beginning their education, and says that women studied grammar.

In the marriage hymn (RV 10.85.26), the bride “should address the assembly like a commander.”
A Rig Veda hymn says:the bride says as hereunder during marriage:-”I am the banner and the head, a mighty arbitress am I: I am victorious, and my Lord(husband) shall be submissive to my will.(Rig Veda, Book 10. HYMN CLIX. Saci Paulomi.)These are probably the earliest references to the position of women in Hindu society.
Madhava’s Shankaradigvijaya (9.63) mentions that she was well versed in the Vedas and Tarka Saastram(argumentative skills). Tirukkoneri Dasyai (15th century) wrote a commentary on Nammalvar’s Tiruvaayamoli, with reference to Vedic texts like the Taittiriya Yajurveda.sriAndal of Srivilliputtur is considered as a brilliant composer of Religious hymnes and her verses are recited in All sri Vaishnava temples(including the temples in USA and UK,even today)

The Harita Dharmasutra (of the Maitrayaniya school of Yayurveda) declares that there are two kind of women: Sadhyavadhu who marry, and the Brahmavaadini who are inclined to religion(Brahma Gjnaanis=knowledgeable authorities on Brahmam), they can wear the sacred thread(like men), perform rituals like the agnihotra and read the Vedas. Bhavabhuti’s Uttararamacharita 2.3 says that Atreyi (Aatreya’s daughter) went to Southern India where she studied the Vedas and Indian philosophy. Shankara debated with the female philosopher Ubhaya Bharati, and Madhava’s
In Vedic period for several 1000s of years ladies were enjoying the same freedom as men.-Many Ladies like sarva sri.Vaagambruni, Gaargi, Maitreyi,Devayani,(even in 8 th century A.D.Bharathi) were Vedic Scholars.Several women sages and seers are mentioned in the Upanishads, the philosophical part of the Vedas, notable among them being Gargi and Maitreyi.The Sanskrit word for female teachers as Acharya=Aacharyaa (as opposed to Acharya for teacher and Acharyini for teacher’s wife) reveal that women were also given a place as Gurus.

Parts of India was ruled by Islamic invaders and fighting between muslim kings with Hindu kings was common.Muslim kings also fought amoung themselves.Muslim earned their living with fighting,looting,enslaving women and forcing Islamic conversion.Years of fighting and massacre gave them a good practise of war.

Padmavat (Hindi: पद्मावत) (or Padmawat) is an epic poem written In 1540 by Malik Muhammad Jayasi In the Awadhi language. It is the first important work In Awadhi language describes why and how sati was done in Moghul period.

Akbar personally had more than 30 000 Hindus (polytheist idolator infidels according to islam) beheaded after the fall of Chitod. And erected a monument out of them to display as a sign of victory of islam against Hinduism.

Before the muslim army could enter the fort to rape and take captive the Hindu women as sex slaves, the Hindu women performed sati – a now uncommon Hindu practice of self immolation in a funeral pyre – to save their honour. This is the first recorded incident of Sati in mass numbers.

During the siege of Chitor the Rajput warriors heavily defended the fortress. When they were sure that the armies were close to destroying their fortress. They valiantly rode off to fight to their deaths.

Guru Granth gives the best description of Kali Yuga. Fortunately we are not facing that today.

He burned the rest-houses and the ancient temples; he cut the princes limb from limb, and cast them into the dust.

None of the Mogals went blind, and no one performed any miracle. ||4||

The battle raged between the Mogals and the Pat’haans, and  the swords clashed on the battlefield.

They took aim and fired their guns, and they attacked with their elephants.

He burned the rest-houses and the ancient temples; he cut the princes limb from limb, and cast them into the dust.

The Hindu women, the Muslim women, the Bhattis and the Rajputs –

some had their robes torn away, from head to foot, while others came to dwell in the cremation ground.

Their husbands did not return home – how did they pass their night?


Do not call them ‘satee‘, who burn themselves along with their husbands’ corpses.–Guru Amar Das

They are also known as ‘satee‘, who abide in modesty and contentment.–Guru Amar Das






18 Responses to “Origin of Sati system or self immolation in India”

  1. Good Article..Liked it do keep positing more articles and also make sure the tags are right so that search engines find it ..Rather why not subit it to lot of other serch engines so that is shows up.
    Lot of people against india and working to destroy india

  2. Thank you for this post. Sati is never mentioned in any of Hindu Scriptures, there is no base for it. When king Dashrath died, none of his wives committed sati. One or two incidents like that of Parvati committing sati at the insult of her husband’s insult were voluntary. And even no custom of sati. At the time of Islamic invasions, this practice originated in Rajputs where the women will commit mass suicide to protect their sanctity from exploitation by mughal beasts. Only in those parts it was practiced and originated. Later the illiterate women who cannot practice celibacy and sanctity and see their lives difficult to sustain in absence of their husband started doing this. This practice is completely banned already by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and re-banned again.

    I am sure education will lead towards light from the darkness of ignorance to our culture which has entered in the 1100 years of exploitation and ban of study of our own culture in our own country.

    Hindu culture is abused continuously by ever offensive cult of Dr. Idi0t Naik who have only single purpose in their minds – to confuse, divide people, make holes in democracy and conquer cultures. Talk about the truths of their cult – they will start shouting in groups. Indian democracy is committed to suic1de right now. All abuse and maligning of their own culture using lies and abuses going on in their own lands openly. India is at the verge of getting swallowed.

    The spread of Dr. Idiot Naik’s cult is planned and organized. They’re funded and hired specifically to glorify their cult by abusing others. And their purpose is clear – create holes in democracies and keep breeding until the democracy collapses and their closed minded, dumb, quarrelsome, totalitarian cult is established everywhere like in their own countries where they completely decline rights to others. It has been years of abusing this culture without any base for these idi0tic allegations. The time when India was at peak of its glory in everything, it has all been eaten up and swallowed alive in these 1100 years of exploitation. But their intentions are not fulfilled yet. Through maligning through brain/speech/sword, all they want is – fall of this culture and establishment of their closed minded, barbaric regime all over the world – the first victim – India.

    I thank you very much for this article.


  3. Ram Krishna Says:

    The practice of Sati is justified by the ancient Hindu belief that women had worth only in relation to men. This belief was one of the beliefs which caused the young Nanak, on the day he was to receive his Hindu sacred string the Janeu, to reject the string. The family Purohit had explained why his mother, his sister and all women in India did not also receive ‘sacred strings’.

    Long before the British came to India, Guru Nanak seeing the absurdity of men receiving a second string for their wife in the Hindu marriage ceremony, became one of the first in history to teach and argue for the equality of women with his famous words. From woman, man is born;

    within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married.
    Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come.
    When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound.
    So why call her bad? From her, kings are born.
    From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all.
    -Guru Nanak, Raag Aasaa Mehal 1, Page 473

    when the widow/s of a deceased Hindu would throw themselves, voluntarily or forcibly on to their husband’s funeral pyre. Along with force social pressure and drugs were also used to assure the continuance of the practice as a Hindu widow’s life in old India was, as well, nothing for a women to look foward to. A widow who survived had to do all the worse tasks in the household, cloths of color and participation in festivities were not allowed. Remarriage was banned and the widows ‘karma’, evil done by her in a past life, was used as the excuse her husband had died by the rest of the family.

    The Sikh religion explicitly prohibited the practice, by about 1500 AD. The Sikh faith was founded by Guru Nanak who was born in 1469 AD. The Ten Sikh Gurus introduced many new and radical practises, some of which we take for granted today. One of these was the equality of women. (see article Women in Sikhism) The third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das targeted the evil and degrading practise of Sati which was prevalent at the time. Yhe following hymns (Shabads) from the Sikh Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib outline further teachings in this respect:

    By burning oneself, the Beloved Lord is not obtained.

    Only by the actions of destiny does she rise up and burn herself, as a ‘satee’. ((1)(Pause))
    Imitating what she sees, with her stubborn mind-set, she goes into the fire.
    She does not obtain the Company of her Beloved Lord, and she wanders through countless incarnations. ((2))
    SGGS Page 185

    Do not call them ‘satee’, who burn themselves along with their husbands’ corpses.

    O Nanak, they alone are known as ‘satee’, who die from the shock of separation (from the Lord). ((1))
    They are also known as ‘satee’, who abide in modesty and contentment.
    They serve their Lord, and rise in the early hours to contemplate Him. ((2))
    The widows burn themselves in the fire, along with their husbands’ corpses.
    If they truly knew their husbands, then they suffer terrible bodily pain.
    O Nanak, if they did not truly know their husbands, why should they burn themselves in the fire?
    Whether their husbands are alive or dead, those wives remain far away from them. ((3))
    SGGS Page 787


    • During the time of Guru Granth,the Mongols had already attacked India.

    • Page 475 Salok mėhlā 1. Shalok, First Mehl:
      ਆਪੇ ਭਾਂਡੇ ਸਾਜਿਅਨੁ ਆਪੇ ਪੂਰਣੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ आपे भांडे साजिअनु आपे पूरणु देइ ॥ Āpe bẖāʼnde sāji▫an āpe pūraṇ ḏe▫e. He Himself fashioned the vessel of the body, and He Himself fills it.
      ਇਕਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਦੁਧੁ ਸਮਾਈਐ ਇਕਿ ਚੁਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਰਹਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਚੜੇ ॥ इकन्ही दुधु समाईऐ इकि चुल्है रहन्हि चड़े ॥ Iknĥī ḏuḏẖ samā▫ī▫ai ik cẖulĥai rėhniĥ cẖaṛe. Into some, milk is poured, while others remain on the fire.
      ਇਕਿ ਨਿਹਾਲੀ ਪੈ ਸਵਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਇਕਿ ਉਪਰਿ ਰਹਨਿ ਖੜੇ ॥ इकि निहाली पै सवन्हि इकि उपरि रहनि खड़े ॥ Ik nihālī pai savniĥ ik upar rahan kẖaṛe. Some lie down and sleep on soft beds, while others remain watchful.
      ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਸਵਾਰੇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ॥੧॥ तिन्हा सवारे नानका जिन्ह कउ नदरि करे ॥१॥ Ŧinĥā savāre nānkā jinĥ ka▫o naḏar kare. ||1|| He adorns those, O Nanak, upon whom He casts His Glance of Grace. ||1||

    • Page 185 Gurugranth

      ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨਿ ਪ੍ਰਿਉ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ कहु नानक जिनि प्रिउ परमेसरु करि जानिआ ॥ Kaho Nānak jin pari▫o parmesar kar jāni▫ā. Says Nanak, she who looks upon the Transcendent Lord as her Husband

      ਧੰਨੁ ਸਤੀ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਰਵਾਨਿਆ ॥੪॥੩੦॥੯੯॥ धंनु सती दरगह परवानिआ ॥४॥३०॥९९॥ Ḏẖan saṯī ḏargėh parvāni▫ā. ||4||30||99|| is the blessed ‘satee’; she is received with honor in the Court of the Lord. ||4||30||99||

    • The Gurugranth beautifully explains Sati or Satee and explains that women whose husband is killed,should not burn themselves in shock.It also explains the real meaning of Sati.

    • Akaula Kaula Says:

      Can you provide any reference from Rigveda, To Ataharva Veda where the Sati practice has been endorsed. Please don’t give instances after the Muslim Attacks on India. We know that history much closely than you think or know. Give the Vedic references. And I can assure you that you will fail miserably. But try.

  4. Following outcries after each instance, there have been various fresh measures passed against the practice, which now effectively make it illegal to be a bystander at an event of sati. The law now makes no distinction between passive observers to the act, and active promoters of the event; all are supposed to be held equally culpable. Other measures include efforts to stop the ‘glorification’ of the dead women. Glorification includes the erection of shrines to the dead, the encouragement of pilgrimages to the site of the pyre, and the derivation of any income from such sites and pilgrims.

    Another instance of systematic Sati happened in 1973, when Savitri Soni sacrificed her life with her husband in Kotadi village of Sikar District in Rajasthan. Thousands of people saw this incident.

    Following the outcry after the Sati of Roop Kanwar, the Indian Government enacted the Rajasthan Sati Prevention Ordinance, 1987 on October 1, 1987and later passed the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987.

    The Prevention of Sati Act makes it illegal to abet, glorify or attempt to commit Sati. Abetment of Sati, including coercing or forcing someone to commit Sati can be punished by death sentence or life imprisonment, while glorifying Sati is punishable with 1–7 years in prison.

    However, enforcement of these measures is not always consistent.[63] The National Council for Women (NCW) has suggested amendments to the law to remove some of these flaws. Prohibitions of certain practices, such as worship at ancient shrines, is a matter of controversy.

    Although many have tried to prevent the act of sati by banning it and reinforcing laws against it, we can still see it being practiced in many parts of India under coercion or by voluntary burning. As in the case of Charan Shah, a 55 year-old widow of Manshah burnt herself on the pyre of her husband in the village of Satpura in Utar Pradesh. Her death on the funeral pyre is surrounded by much controversy since questions of whether she willingly performed the Sati or not were being asked. Charan Shah did not profess strong feelings to becoming a Sati to any of her family members and no one saw her close to the burning body of her husband before she jumped into the fire. The villagers, including her sons, state that she became a Sati of her own accord and that she was not forced into it. They continue to pay their respects to the house of Charan Shah since it has become a shrine for them since they strongly believe that one who has become a sati is a deity and she is worshipped and endowed with gifts.

  5. Who says Akabar was great?
    This very article supports this theme.

  6. Sati system has no Vedic sanctity. Atharv Ved in facts defines the duty of wife after death of husband: protect the progeny & property.

  7. any action makes any one sad or kill without any justice base is not religious action

  8. can you please give me the reference text that you used in deducing the first paragraph? I would like to quote it for an essay.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: