This paper was presented at the
National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

SVYASA, Bangalore,
December 26 - 28, 2007



Grieving traditions in India: a psychological outlook

Radhika Raturi — University of Delhi, Delhi


The joy of birth folds with lamentation. The sense of loss that comes with death is inevitable and no mortal fate can escape it. Somewhere in this lamentation lies the communion of life and death and we accept it and express it through ritualized ways of mourning. This paper explores the psychological significance and symbolic meaning of the grieving tradition as instructed by the Hindu and Islamic cultures. This is not a comparative study but an illustration of meaning and expression and comprehension of loss. The paper also proposes an enquiry into the continual modifications of these cultural values due to urbanization and their significance to us.

Email the author, Ms. Radhika Raturi, at