The Sati System
The Sati (Su-thi , a.k.a.
suttee) is the traditional Hindu practice of a widow immolating herself on
her husband's funeral pyre. Sati was prevalent among certain sects of the
society in ancient India, who either took the vow or deemed it a great
honor to die on the funeral pyres of their husbands.
In this section at Kamat's Potpourri, we take a
look at the origins, development, and instances of Sati as recorded by
witnesses. We have also culled a pictorial exhibition from our archives on
Warning: This section deals with the controversial
topic of suicide. It merely is an academic study of a social practice and it does
not mean that we endorse the Sati system.
First Online: February 01, 2001
Page Last Updated: January 01, 2015
The Sati System of Suicide
Nagegowda H. L., Pravasi kanda India (India through the
eyes of foreign travelers), Vol 1-4, 1966-1972
Kamat Jyotsna, Mahile - Ondu Adhyayana (Studies in
Womanhood), Navakarnataka, 1999
Kamat Jyotsna, Social Life in Medieval Karnataka, Abhinav, 1980 (buy)
- Sleeman W.H., Rumble and Recollections of an Indian Official, 1844
- Susan Abraham, The Deorala Judgment Glorifying Sati, The Lawyers
The Call of Yama -- Discussion of death in Hinduism; includes answers to frequently asked questions, and proceedings of a Hindu funeral.
Death by Demand -- India perhaps has the longest history of assisted suicides. Different types of suicides including Sati are discussed.