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If you have specific questions relating to Hindu funeral customs for an individual sect, we recommend that you consult with your spiritual advisor. Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world. It is estimated to have nearly a billion followers.

CNA - The Last Rites - E01: Celebrants of Death

Unlike other religions, Hinduism has no founder and no common creed or doctrine. Most prevalent among Asian Indians, the religion teaches that God is within each being and object in the universe and also transcends every being and object. It teaches that the essence of each soul is divine; and that the purpose of life is to become aware of that divine essence.

The Hindu gods and goddesses can be called on to help.

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Their goal is to help believers transcend the world as it is ordinarily perceived and realize the divine presence. The many forms of Hindu worship, ritual and meditation are intended to lead the soul toward the direct experience of God or Self. Although the physical body dies, the individual soul has no beginning and no end. Those of the Hindu faith prefer to die at home, surrounded by their family who will keep vigil. According to Hindu funeral customs, the body remains at the home until it is cremated, which is usually within 24 hours after death.

The ashes are typically scattered at a sacred body of water or at some other place of importance to the deceased. At the service, referred to as a wake, mourners may dress casually. So, is everything perfect? In my opinion, no.


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It is a well-written and interesting novel, but not perfect. Perhaps I am nit-picking, perhaps it is a case of cultural differences, perhaps it is a problem derived from translation. In any case, I cannot say I ever warmed to our protagonist.


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  • Some examples of her way of thinking, certain remarks of hers made her come across as cold and offensive. In addition, there were some questions on her part that demonstrated an unusual ignorence, I didn't think that was realistic.

    Last Rituals (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #1) by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

    However, I believe she shows herself to be a good and caring mother, trying to find the balance between her demanding profession and the equally demanding family life. As for Matthew, I have no opinion whatsoever. Let's just say that he didn't attract my interest. In spite of these cons, I fully enjoyed Last Rituals and I intend to follow the series.

    I hope for more haunting, bleak cases with interesting twists. View all 8 comments.

    When a wealthy young German, Harald Guntlieb, is found dead in a Rekyavik university, the cops are quick to pin it on a drug dealer with whom he associated. As Thora learns, Harald was no ordinary spoiled rich kid. He was into some pretty strange stuf When a wealthy young German, Harald Guntlieb, is found dead in a Rekyavik university, the cops are quick to pin it on a drug dealer with whom he associated.

    He was into some pretty strange stuff. This is a fun read, with an interesting mystery and enough local color to matter. She also writes books for children.

    Last Rituals

    The author's FB page View 1 comment. Dec 27, Vanessa V. As many reviewers have already mentioned, this novel, although beginning with a promising start, lags rather quickly midway through. The main problem I have is mostly in the construction of the story and the characters.

    The plot in and of itself is interesting enough, but there is virtually NO suspense to keep you interested or to want you to keep reading. There's no sense of danger, no excitement, just a boring slog through Icelandic witchcraft history and unnecessary attempts at trying to focu As many reviewers have already mentioned, this novel, although beginning with a promising start, lags rather quickly midway through. There's no sense of danger, no excitement, just a boring slog through Icelandic witchcraft history and unnecessary attempts at trying to focus on the home life and opinions of the main character, none which were interesting nor necessary to the focus of a MURDER mystery.

    I don't blame any of this on the translater; I just don't think the author knows how to effectively tell a good murder mystery or to construct effective character development. I couldn't stand the main character Thora, who came off as rather prudish, juvenile, annoying, and immature for her age. The tension between her and a client seemed so forced and at times really came off as cheesy and phony.

    Last Rituals

    It got old real quick after awhile, as well as her attempt at trying to show off how "tough" she was. I didn't believe for one second that she was an attorney--the attitude, her incompetency, and just her general pre-teen style way of thinking just didn't really say to me that this is the lady that REALLY knows her shit. I thought the narrative was also lacking in details, like instead of actually using descriptions to detail the type of body modifications that the murdered victim had on his body, the author just decides to use the words "disgusting" with nothing else to evoke any kind of image in our minds of what the characters are seeing.

    I suppose maybe this was so we could use our imagination, but I call that lazy writing and bland storytelling. The author seemed more focus on trying to make us "relate" to the annoying and unlikeable protagonist instead of actually focusing on the murder case. Who cares about her opinions on body modification, what she thinks of her secretary, how unattractive she looks wearing a scarf on her head, etc.?

    It got to the point where there was no sense in caring about the murder mystery, since too much attention was put on other areas completely derailing from the topic.

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    It just didn't cut it as a mystery novel or a crime novel. View all 4 comments. Feb 15, Adam rated it it was ok Shelves: scandinavian. This mystery novel has "amateur" written all over it. The author Many reviewers of this book seem to want to shift the blame to the translator, but it just isn't possible to absolve the author of ev This mystery novel has "amateur" written all over it. Many reviewers of this book seem to want to shift the blame to the translator, but it just isn't possible to absolve the author of everything--especially structural incompetence.

    If I had finished the novel, then I might have felt comfortable giving it a 1-star rating, but I didn't get far at all with this one before dropping it. View 2 comments. Sep 22, Trilby rated it liked it Shelves: detective-story , mystery , iceland , gothic. Goodreads says that this novel has been published in 30 countries--pretty impressive. One of the dust jacket blurbs remarks that this is "not the usual depressive Scandinavian detective story. Yes, I did like the novel, especially the woman lawyer protagonist who suffers through various personal and domestic tribulations.

    However, the story suffers from a complete lack of suspense and emoti Goodreads says that this novel has been published in 30 countries--pretty impressive. However, the story suffers from a complete lack of suspense and emotional intensity. The long, stupid subtitle should have been a hint. But what do you expect when the major suspects are university faculty members and graduate students? Not even the exotic landscape of Iceland poor, very poor Iceland nowadays nor the promise of supernatural thrills are realized in this tepid detective story.

    Two years divorced, she works hard both at work and at home, to create a supportive and stable environment for her offspring, whilst allowing her own love life to take a backseat. Agreeing to look into the matter impartially and make the Icelandic end of investigations more apparent to the Guntlieb family she is thrust into a uncomfortable partnership with an frosty employee of the wealthy family and a man with twelve years in the Munich CID, Matthew Reich.

    With the autopsy revealing death by asphyxiation, they initially suspect erotic asphyxiation is to blame, but the macabre symbol carved deeply into his chest raises alarm bells and suggest something much more disturbing. The more and more that is revealed about peculiar young Harald, both highly intelligent and conscientious, it is his fascination with witchcraft and sorcery through the ages and his passion for body mutilation that provides the initial leads.

    For me, it was a fairly turgid and detail heavy novel, often with a surfeit of superfluous detail thrown at the reader which would have benefitted from some paring back. Last Rituals is essentially a straightforward recounting of a investigation into a macabre murder, but the few points of relevance are bogged down by wading through a plethora of irrelevant and the stultifying intricacies of the history of witchcraft. Much of the early dark humour is derived from their exchanges which leave a stilted atmosphere. Otherwise, this clearly well researched novel in the very antithesis of a page-turner.

    Most significantly it is the absolute lack of suspense that runs from start to finish that is the death knell and I cannot shake the feeling that Last Rituals requires an awful lot of effort from its readers for a fairly limited return, principally lacking in impetus and passion.

    Apologies for the length! Dec 11, Imi rated it it was ok Shelves: kindle , crime , contemporary , mystery , thriller , fiction , icelandic , read-in , translations , she-writes. I was fairly disappointed by this, after loving the standalone novel by the same author, I Remember You. Too much information dumping that made it feel like I was reading a dull history textbook at times.

    I found myself questioning multiple times whether any real person would ever behave in similar ways. First there wa I was fairly disappointed by this, after loving the standalone novel by the same author, I Remember You. Secondly, our "investigators", Thora and Matthew, who both seemed utterly underqualified for the job I really didn't understand the reasoning for Thora getting asked to take up the job? Several other secondary characters also made questionable decisions that made no real sense as well, while being incredibly rude and spiteful to any other character they came across.

    At the start, I genuinely thought Matthew was going to be revealed as some dodgy character, because his "flirting" seemed so gross and inappropriate, but nope I completely misjudged that and am meant to believe that Thora, and indeed Bella and several other women, consider him attractive. I mean: "You didn't let that stop you from flirting with Bella. She seemed supportive and loving towards her kids, even if she was also a bit clueless at times.