I asked a learned friend the question (‘According to the Jain faith, what happens to the cloth that is under the coffin?’) because my grandfather passed away recently. This made me think about the rituals that are in place and the fact that the generation that will become ‘the elders’ mostly, do not have a clue about what is done or why it is done! Thus it was time to ask some questions.

It can be a stressful and emotional time. A time when some people don’t see the big deal with things like this. When others don’t want anything to go ‘wrong’. Some will not want to do anything wrong through fear that the soul will not be at peace and so on. Thus it is important to know and be accurate about what to do and how to do it.

I have asked quite a few questions surrounding death and the Jain rituals that follow.

Does the cloth which is under the coffin go into the coffin before it is removed from the home?

Traditionally, where coffins are not used, even today in India and Kenya, the cloth is put on top of the body after it has been tied down to the seven step bamboo ladder. In this country, it can be placed on top of the coffin, as a rolled bundle. The idea is not to keep any articles used for the purpose in the house.

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