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Sati The custom of self-sacrifice

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Sati - The custom of self-sacrifice To know my life depended on my husband's; to know my life held no value, in comparison to that of my husband's gave me a feeling of insecurity and uncertainty. My life had almost just begun. So many young women around the world were facing the same feelings of disillusionment and betrayal. The devotion to my husband need not be proven by the sacrifice of my life in his burning pyre. Most people believe that jumping in to our husbands pyre, symbolizes the pure love and devotion for our husbands. In communities like ours, we women who commit Sati are highly honoured and our families are given a lot of respect. We were made to depend on them solely; our lives revolved around theirs. Every year our village would hear of a few Sati incidents; some who wished to sacrifice their lives for their husbands and others who were simply pushed into their husbands' pyres, and left with no option. Among us Rajputs in Rajasthan, a lot of importance was given to this custom. ...read more.


Although my thoughts differed, I could not say much, and quietly obeyed the ritual that was followed throughout the village; in every family who believed to be pure. This sacrifice is almost known as a passport to heaven, and being strong believers in the Hindu religion, our family thought just the same. I was taken to a separate room, where a group of girls were to do my make-up. I sat patiently, as bridal make-up was applied to my young, fresh skin. This was all believed to be an act of purity, self-sacrifice and dignity. My mother-in-law entered the room, and sat down on the hard wooden bed. The silence between us was tense, and she didn't have to explain this to me. I was aware of this ritual, and knew that I'd have to face it one day. I was always taught that this was not only for the salvation of my husband, but for his family as well. As my make-up was done, and I was finally dressed appropriately for this custom, I was lead out by my mother-in-law. ...read more.


The heap of wood lay there, still, aflame. The bright yellow flame ate into the mound of wood, burning the body along with it. I walked slowly towards the pyre as almost a 50 pairs of eyes watched me carefully. I was told to stand near the pyre, and repeat a few lines after the priest. I was almost like a puppet, being controlled by a number of people. I could barely think, as a countless number of thoughts ran in and out of my head. A warped image of everything that had happened was imprinted in my head. Before I knew it, the formal procedure was over, and I was finally told to step into the fire. I took a deep breath, as all eyes were fixed upon me. The burning flames singed into my skin, and I was encompassed by the bright burning yellow of the flames. The crackling of the wood seemed louder than ever, as the burning heat of the flames surrounded me. Those dancing flames, which signified hope, power and an eternal and undying life, flickered, as they licked the air and eventually died down. 1 An ornamental plate used for Religious purposes 2 Traditional female garment in India ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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