Hindus believe in the concept of “Samskaras” or “Sacraments.” There are sixteen Samskaras performed from birth to death. Samskaras are performed at important stages of life by means of religious ceremonies involving rituals. These rituals are acts of purifying, refining, and developing the mind, body, and Soul. After a person’s death the last, 16th Samskara, called “Antyeshti” (Death Rights), is performed by his survivor. The various steps of the funeral are born from the belief of an afterlife. These steps offer some rational justification for the peace of mind and some comfort to those living.
There is a 21-day period after the death, during which the immediate family follows Hindu mourning customs. They refrain from visiting the family shrine and are prohibited from entering a temple or any other sacred place. This is because they are considered to be spiritually impure during this mourning period. After the shradhah ceremony, the family typically returns to work in anywhere from one to three weeks, depending on personal preferences.