The Tradition of Sati Through the
First Online: February 01, 2001
Page Last Updated: January 29, 2014
Scholars differ on the origins of
the Sati practice. Some have dated the origins to the period of the
Vedas (apprx. 5500 years ago), and a few others have attributed the
system to the origins of the caste system (apprx. 1st century A.D.). The
following timeline traces some of the important events in the history of
the Sati system.
Description of Historical Event
king Raviverma's wife commits Sati after his death
documented instance of Sati - Heggadetomma's widow Balakka goes Sati
Barbosa visits the Vijayanagar empire and witnesses Sati prevalent
in the Kshatriya community
traveler Pietro-Della Valle's account of
a Sati ritual at Ikkeri
Purnayya in Mysore Court of Wodeyars gives consent to a Brahmin
widow to undergo Sati.
(This is historically rare instance of an upper caste woman
Mohan Roy establishes Brahmo Samaj to fight the evils of Hinduism
like Sati, which gains momentum
Administration of William Bentinck bans the Sati system
account of a Sati ritual
a young widow goes Sati in the state of Rajasthan, stirring a social debate on
the topic. People who assisted her in suicide are arrested. But Roop
Kanwar is idolized and attains the status of a deity.
Court upholds the suicide as a social tradition and frees the
relatives who assisted Roop Kanwar.
a 65 year widow commits Sati in the state of Madhya Pradesh