I asked a learned friend the question (‘According to the Jain faith, how should the body of the deceased be removed from the home?’) 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.

Which way should the body be removed?

In the Indian tradition, the female is considered to be Laxmi, symbolically representing wealth. Hence the female coffin does not leave the home with legs first. This would symbolise that wealth is leaving the home, which for obvious reasons, is not desired. A male’s body would be removed with his legs first.

Another learned friend of mine wrote: –

It is believed that the body should be facing the exit from the house. There is no scientific basis for it. So far as I am aware at the time of removal the head exits the home first followed by the rest.

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