- ancestor worship
- Worship of the ancestors (pitris) is a tradition in India dating to Vedic times (c. 1500 B.C.E.) Tradi-tionally, a man is expected to offer libations of oil and water to his deceased father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The anniversary of the deaths of one’s mother and father must also be celebrated with formalities, including the offering of balls of rice to the ancestors. (Ancestors are presumed to be in heaven but must be fed by their progeny.) Funeral rituals always include a worship of ances-tors with offerings of rice balls. Among five sac-rificial rites that are enjoined daily for BRAHMINS, worshippers must “sacrifice to the ancestors” by ritually pouring out a glass of water to them.There is an inherent paradox in this practice. The very ancient Vedic rites assume that the departed have gone to a heavenly realm. How-ever, such notions have long been superseded by the orthodox Hindu understanding that most departed souls will be reincarnated in a new form in this realm.Further reading: Abbe J. A. Dubois, Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies. Translated by Henry K. Beau-champ. 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959); Klaus K. Klostermaier, A Survey of Hinduism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994); Dakshina Ranjan Shastri, Origin and Development of Rituals of Ancestor Worship in India (Calcutta: Bookland, 1963).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.
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Ancestor worship — is a practice based on the belief that deceased family members have a continued existence, take an interest in the affairs of the world, and/or possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. All cultures attach ritual significance to … Wikipedia
ancestor worship — Anthropol. (in certain societies) the veneration of ancestors whose spirits are frequently held to possess the power to influence the affairs of the living. [1850 55] * * * Religious beliefs or practices that involve addressing prayers or… … Universalium
ancestor worship — noun worship of ancestors • Hypernyms: ↑worship * * * Anthropol. (in certain societies) the veneration of ancestors whose spirits are frequently held to possess the power to influence the affairs of the living. [1850 55] * * * ancestor worship,… … Useful english dictionary
Ancestor Worship — The system of ancestor worship practised by the Chinese, and in other parts of the world, is an essential step in the process of creating gods from cultural heroes. The rank of god was originally a posthumous one, the assumption of divinity by … Who’s Who in non-classical mythology
ancestor-worship — anˈcestor worship noun • • • Main Entry: ↑ancestor … Useful english dictionary
ANCESTOR-WORSHIP — the worship of ancestors that prevails in primitive nations, due to a belief in ANIMISM (q.v.) … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
ancestor worship — noun Date: 1854 the custom of venerating deceased ancestors who are considered still a part of the family and whose spirits are believed to have the power to intervene in the affairs of the living … New Collegiate Dictionary
ancestor worship — The real or supposed ancestors of the Hebrews were venerated and were felt to be so close that their descendants even continued to suffer for their sins (Exod. 20:5). Not surprisingly it would seem that a cult of the dead infiltrated into Israel… … Dictionary of the Bible
ancestor worship — religious practice in which dead family members are venerated due to the belief that their spirits can influence the lives of the living … English contemporary dictionary
ancestor worship — an′cestor wor ship n. ant (in certain societies) the veneration of ancestors whose spirits are frequently held to possess the power to influence the affairs of the living • Etymology: 1850–55 … From formal English to slang