Origin of Sati system or self immolation in India

17 thoughts on “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. 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


    1. 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||

    2. 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||

  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. 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.

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