Does Distance Away from India Hinder NRI Religious Rituals?
The answer is a resounding NO. For Hindu devotees, the performance of Hindu religious rituals must be done, no matter where in the world the Hindu is located. Non-resident Indians (NRI’s) often have the problem of conducting the Hindu religious ritual for the dearly departed called Asthi Visarjan because the sacred texts and traditions require that the ritual be performed on the banks of any of the prescribed holy rivers, lakes, and ponds within India. But this shouldn’t be a problem for NRI’s. Living outside India does not exempt Hindus from the traditional performance of their religious rituals
However, the reality of distance away from India does pose a challenge for Indians living abroad. Many of them are unaware that a ritual such as Asthi Visarjan may still be conducted according to the manner and time prescribed in Hindu holy scriptures. Moreover, the Hindu family residing outside of India and needing a timely performance of the ritual need not be physically present in their choice of any of the holy sites required for the conduct of the final homage for their dearly departed.
There are professional groups that perform Asthi Visarjan for the benefit of Indian families living abroad. Hindu priests conduct the ritual on the holy site of the family’s choice in strict traditional manner. These groups facilitate such performances, while offering convenience for these Hindu families living abroad. One such group is www.asthivisarjan.com whose professional and affordable service packages are meant to address the requirements of religious obligation of Hindus living outside India.