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What Should Hindus Say When Someone Dies?

RIP or rest in peace is a concept associated with monolithic religions which does not believe in the cycle of births. When someone dies Hindus should honestly say ‘Om Shanti’ or ‘Om Sadgati.’ Our prayers should be for the individual to attain moksha. As per Hinduism, there is no individual soul which can rest. All souls are part of the Supreme Truth (God) and based on Karma it will go through numerous births before attaining moksha or liberation. There is no separate individual truth there is only the Universal Truth – one without a second.

Sadgati means mukti; let the person attain good after death; Let there be good world after death for the person.

When a person has died in the family and people in the house are unable to come into terms with the death of the person, then it will be helpful if someone can read in the house the Katha Upanishad or the 14th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

All individuals (living beings) are on a journey to return back to the cosmic consciousness (in simple term God). So when a living being dies it is taking a step closer towards its permanent home.

As advised by the Bhagavad Gita, death for a Hindu should be like changing clothes. “Just like people shed worn-out clothes and wear new ones, likewise, it casts off its worn-out body and enters a new one.”  (Gita Chapter 2, verse 22).

So when a person dies, pray in mind for the individual to attain moksha or liberation.