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Sati - A ritual to prove women devotion?

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cahaya View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 18:33
I am not so sure how can this ritual started in Hindu religion. It's a self-sacrifice by a woman which is done willingly during her husband's funeral. It's totally creepy rather than represent love and devotion towards one's husband. As what in the Vishnu Smriti justified on the practice as:-

Quote
Now the duties of a woman (are) ... After the death of her husband, to preserve her chastity, or to ascend the pile after him.


(Vishnu-smriti or Vaishnava Dharmasâstra or Vishnu-sûtra is in the main a collection of ancient aphorisms on the sacred laws of India)

It was said that, though it is supposed to be voluntarily done but unfortunately in most cases the widow was forced to do so. Nonetheless, this practice is illegal in modern hindu society nowadays.


(http://www.csuchico.edu/~cheinz/syllabi/asst001/spring99/parrilla/sati2.JPG)


But, there were some incidents today where women still performed Sati. For an example,

On 18 May 2006, Vidyawati, a 35-year-old woman allegedly committed sati by jumping into the blazing funeral pyre of her husband in Rari-Bujurg Village, Fatehpur district in the State of Uttar Pradesh. On 21 August 2006, Janakrani, a 40-year-old woman, burnt to death on the funeral pyre of her husband Prem Narayan in Sagar district. On October 11, 2008, a 75-year-old woman committed 'sati' by jumping into her 80-year-old husband's funeral pyre at Checher in the Kasdol block of Chhattisgarh's Raipur district.

Why must women need to make efforts to show loyalty and honesty towards men? and not in other way around.Ouch

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sati_(practice)
http://www.csuchico.edu/~cheinz/syllabi/asst001/spring99/parrilla/parr1.htm
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe07/sbe07002.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 18:49
I will always remember the answer General Napier gave to local Indians who resented the British trying to impose their values on India.

"Very well, you have your values, and we ours. In your culture, it may be customary for you to have a widow burned to death when her husband dies. In our culture, when a person burns a woman to death we hang him. We will allow you to follow your way, but afterwards you must allow us to follow ours".

Life is a precious and beautiful gift. I applaud this effort of British imperialism in stamping out a barbaric and inhumane practice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 19:25
I read an article about this practice and it attempted to argue both sides...for and against cultural preservation and "definition" of moral obligation in British India. There were actually Indians who were against sati just as there were Brits for preservation... (and vice versa of course).
 
But the deciding factor, at least from what I remember, was the widows who were forced to sati against their will... with testimony of their awful fates...I will try to find it again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 20:23
I actually found two of them. They were in a "Reader" (a compilation of articles and excerpts published by a professor) from a class I had.  
 
The first is "A second Conference Between an Advocate for, and an Opponent of the Practice of Burning Widows Alive" by Raja Rammohan Roy (1820).
 
And the second: "On Ritual Murder in India" by William Bentinck (1829).
 


Edited by Goban - 23 Jul 2009 at 20:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 20:52
Hello to you all
 
Well, since there is no one brand of hinduism it is wrong to assume that Sati was practised by all hindus or that it actually has anything to do with the religion. Anyway the practice was limited and not that prevelant. According to Wiki only 8000 cases were reported in the period 1813-1828 in the Bengal out of a population of pobably 10 million back then which is hardly a phenomenon.
 
however the practice was brutal and many tried to stop it before the Brits finally did.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 21:13
Thanks Al-Jassas. Sorry, my post did make it as if it was a Hindu practice. I usually stay away from generalized statements too... My apologies to everyone.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cahaya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 21:31
Originally posted by Goban Goban wrote:

Thanks Al-Jassas. Sorry, my post did make it as if it was a Hindu practice. I usually stay away from generalized statements too... My apologies to everyone.
 
 


I just looked at the articles again and yeah.. there are no any particular statement to confirm that Sati is a Hindu practice.

Anyhow, I would like to share the statement made by Gayatri Spivak,

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whether sati can be a form of self-expression by women who cannot demonstrate their independence in any other manner


Source: Wiki


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2009 at 01:17
Originally posted by cahaya cahaya wrote:


I just looked at the articles again and yeah.. there are no any particular statement to confirm that Sati is a Hindu practice.


 
Universally no, but it is a Hindu practice nonetheless-at least the pretenses may be based on the underlying beliefs systems and those who practiced it associated themselves with the Hindu religion..  
 
Anyhow, the articles I suggested really bring a good point about proponents and their arguments. I am not saying that I agree with sati, at all, but it makes one think about how much some will impose their own beliefs onto another culture for the sake of their own moral peace of mind. This is an extreme example of course, but certain practices have been going on for millennia and if participants truly believe that what they are doing is right with the cosmos, how is one supposed to handle such a dilemma?
 
 
 
 


Edited by Goban - 24 Jul 2009 at 01:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cahaya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 18:42
In other country, committing suicide in order to preserve honor had been practiced among women. For an example, in Japan, there was a ritual called, Jigai, suicide which were performed by men and women. It was done to avoid the women to be captured by the enemies or to prevent from being raped due to military defeat.

 

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jigai

(i'll try to come up with female samurai thread later, hope so)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote malizai_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 21:34
The Mughals for one preceeded in trying to stamp out the practice. As late as 1839 on the cremation of Ranjit Singh, the most famous of sikh leaders and the ruler of Punjab, his 4 wives 7 slaves and a most beautiful kashmiri girl in his posesssion were burned on the funeral pyie. A rather sick affair.Dead
"We didn't land on Israel, Israel landed on us!!"--Palestinian X

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cahaya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jul 2009 at 14:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jallaludin Akbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jul 2009 at 21:19
wow...I knew Satti existed but I never new it was practiced forcefully. If they didn't commit satti then they were considered cowards and forced to live a life of punishment?
Where is my signature?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sadashivan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 2014 at 10:26
Loosing Brahmin (temple prayers and sages) dominance to warriors (Kshatriya) Trade Lords (Vaishya) and Producers (Shudras) in Proto and Post Vedic Period. They introduced many systems to curtail the power of lower classes and women, Sati was one of them. Pre Vedic women independence was she could choose to live with and leave. And after the death she could live with another which societies agreed. But the invasions and booking trade made women unsecured after husbands death. Women were made sex slaves after capturing the kingdom. Thus enslaving the women became subject of pride. Pre Vedic Sati was devotional and attachment which prevailed only in high social classes. The Vedic age corruption forced societies to recognize self immolation. so it was not ritual rather was curse observed in most ancient civilizations. The site explains the corruption of Vedic Women status
Women in Vedic Age
Mother’s instinct, emotion & attentive nurturing together privileged upper hand in the family. Her extreme sacrifice protecting children & family revered her as saviour honoured her as Mother Goddess
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