When a soul transitions from the physical plane, a new journey begins.
While we may often see death as an end, Sai Maa teaches us that it is simply a passing of the soul from the physical vehicle into higher dimensions of consciousness. This transition, and how it takes place, is crucial in determining the evolutionary process of the soul. What happens during and directly after death has a significant impact on where the soul will be guided in its next phase of evolution.
This is accomplished through ancient Vedic end-of-life ceremonies, together with Sai Maa’s unique energetic work to lovingly embrace and guide the soul in its continued journey.
The Vedic tradition of India holds a wealth of knowledge, including specific mantras and rituals, to usher a soul through the passage of physical death, uplifting its energy and purifying its karma to raise it into an elevated state.
It is our honor to offer this sacred service to assist you in planning your end-of-life ceremonies, as well as organizing ceremonies for those dear to you who you wish to celebrate and serve after their passing.
What is the Celebration of Life Ceremony?
The Celebration of Life Ceremony is a series of specific Vedic ceremonies offered to bless and serve a soul after death. The ceremonies are held over four days at the Sathya Sai Maa Shaktidhaam Ashram in Varanasi, India. They are performed by Vedic priests and energetically presided over by Her Holiness Sai Maa.
The Celebration of Life Ceremony is offered in honor of one soul, at any time up to 12 months after death. A designated representative, traditionally a close family member, must travel to India with the ashes of the departed to participate in the ceremony.
The 4 Stages of the Celebration of Life Ceremony
The first rituals performed include the recitation of mantras as the ashes are ceremoniously blended with five sacred elements and then offered to the holy Ganges river. This first stage is the act of returning the body to the earth and infusing it with the light of Mother Ganga.
Symbolic Acts of Charity
The first day continues with a ceremony that includes the ritualistic offering of 18 symbolic items on behalf of the departed soul. This final act of charity of the soul in this life serves to cleanse the soul’s karma.
Vishnu Sahasranam Yagya
On days two through four, yagyas (sacred fire ceremonies) are performed, uplifting the soul into the higher realms through the recitation of the thousand names of Lord Vishnu. The yagyas infuse the soul’s energy and karma with the vibration of divine consciousness.
Celebratory Bhandara Feast
The Celebration of Life Ceremony culminates with a bhandara, or feast, offered in the name of the departed to the Vedic priests and hundreds of local community members, including children and people of all ages. In the Indian tradition, feeding others is seen as a great act of service or karma yoga. This final celebratory stage of the ceremony is offered as the last act of the soul on this plane to bring joy and fulfillment to others.
Celebration of Life Ceremony Cost & Registration
This cost does not include any expenses associated with the transportation of the ashes to India, nor travel or accommodations for the representative traveling to India with the ashes.
How to Include Celebration of Life in Your Estate Planning
- Plan for a Cremation
The ashes (or a portion of the ashes) of the departed are required to perform a Celebration of Life Ceremony, therefore the ceremony is only available for those who choose to be cremated. The cremation can take place anywhere in the world, after which the ashes will need to be brought to India. Please note: someone must bring the ashes to India; they cannot be shipped.
- Designate an Executor and Representative
You will need to designate a person or multiple people to organize the preparation for the ceremony including: overseeing the cremation, transporting the ashes to India, and being the representative during your ceremony.
- Allocate Funds
From a karmic point of view, it is best for the funds for the Celebration of Life Ceremony to come from the finances of the deceased or a close family member. Sai Maa encourages us to set aside funds now to cover all associated costs of whatever end-of-life services we may choose. If you choose to allocate funds for a Celebration of Life Ceremony to be performed in your honor, you are encouraged to also consider the additional costs of travel and accommodation for your representative. Please note that the cost of the ceremony is subject to change over time.
Download a complete checklist of the details you will need to specify, in order to include the Celebration of Life Ceremony in your estate planning.
Important note: The Office of Sai Maa will only take registration for a Celebration of Life Ceremony once someone has passed away. If you choose to make plans for this ceremony to be offered after your passing, the required action is to include it in your estate planning. There is no need to inform the Office of Sai Maa at the time of planning.
– H.H. Sai Maa