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 the topic.

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.

-Kamats

First Online: February 01, 2001
Page Last Updated: January 01, 2015

The Sati System of Suicide

References

  • 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 Collective, 1997

See Also:

  • 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.

Internet Links

Kamat's Potpourri Timeless Theater Women of India Sati System

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