The following is a brief list of observances, practices and injunctions that must be observed by institutions housing people who consider themselves Hindus.



Any form of spiritual and religious care for Hindu patients, inmates, residents, employees or students must be performed by an individual who is a Brahmin and either

  • the qualified Hindu Chaplain employed by the institution housing the individual or

  • by an ordained Pandit (Hindu Minister)  who has been previously screened by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy or the Ontario Multifaith Council on Spiritual and Religious Care as well as Hindu Chaplaincy Services and approved by the institution housing the individual. 


Institutions must ensure that any individual wanting to administer spiritual and religious care to Hindus must be either the Hindu Chaplain employed by or officially affiliated with the institution or a person designated by the Hindu Chaplain employed by or officially affiliated with the institution or a previously screened and approved individual as indicated above.



 Spiritual and religious care providers to Hindus must be familiar with the institution policies on the:

  • Use of incendiary materials such as candles, oils, camphor, ghee, deeyas, agarbatti (incense sticks) etc. during worship and the restrictions imposed by the Fire Policy of the particular institution and any exemptions thereof.

  • Ingestion by patients who are immunodeficient of ritual ingredients such as ganga jal (holy water), panchaamrit, charanaamrit, wafers, prasad etc. used in blessing and sanctification rituals and the policy of the particular institution on sterility and quality of food acceptable for ingestion by patients.

  • Adorning of patients who may be hypersensitive  with sacred paste (chandan and vibhuti) and/or perfumes in preparation for or after the completion of religious rituals and ceremonies and the policy of the institution on the use of substances which may be allergenic and/or potentially harmful. 


  • Normal times for individual worship are bifore sunrise and after sunset. Before beginning of worship the patient, inmate, resident, employee or student must perform ablutions to clean and purify the body. Ablutions facilities should be provided in order to accommodate these individuals.


For individual worship, patients, inmates, residents, employees or students may use some or all of the following:

  • a comfortable mat for sitting on the floor 

  • a rosary (Shiva or Tulsi maala)

  • sandalwood chalk or paste scented or

  •  unscented incense sticks (agarbatti)

  • camphor, oil, ghee and cotton balls or wicks

  • a lighted lamp (deeya) or lighted candle

  • some holy water (ganga jal) in a container

  • a picture, metal or stone murti(s) (statue) of a

  •  Hindu deity or deities

  • a copy of an authentic Hindu scriptural text

  • other items as approved by the Hindu Chaplain


  • For health, safety and security purposes, institutions housing Hindus who are either patients, inmates or residents, may restrict the use of incendiary materials which may be required  by these individuals during worship. Prior approval must be obtained from the appropriate authorities for use of such materials by the individuals wanting to use them. In some cases, supervision by the Hindu Chaplain or the appropriate designate, may also be necessary.


  • Patients, inmates, residents, employees or students may need to cover their heads during worship. For males, a hat(kishtee) or a turban (pagree) and for females a scarf (orhnee) is generally used and preferable.


  • Many Hindus will be fasting during the nine days of Navaratri. This religious observance occurs during the Spring (Vasant Navratra) and Autumn (Sharad Navaratra). During this time, from sunrise to sunset, patients, inmates, residents, employees or students will not be partaking of any food or drinks. As a result they should be exempted from any strenuous activities.



Many Hindus are strict vegetarians. Some are vegan or lacto-ovo vegetarian. 

For strict vegetarians, meals should be  sattwic (pure). These meals must be cooked or prepared and served in designated utensils which are used exclusively for vegetarian food.

 Meat, fish, eggs or cheese (unless rennet-free or of certain variety) are not accepted. Food and snacks which have been prepared using animal by-products (e.g. lard. beef tallow) should be properly labeled and not served to Hindu patients, inmates, residents, employees or students who are vegetarian.

Oils, fats and flavorings derived from animals or any animals by-products should not be used to prepare sattwic food. Vegetables and other vegetarian food products must be free from preservatives and flavorings derived from animals or any animal by-products.

Sattwic foods are generally flavored with either with masala (curry) or some of the ingredients found in masala.



In institutions where individuals will be sleeping overnight the room to be occupied by patient, resident or inmate must be blessed and sanctified prior to occupancy or shortly thereafter.

Institutions must also ensure bed and or sleeping facilities are arranged in the appropriate configuration and in the proper coordinates according to Hindu beliefs and practices.


Patients, inmates, residents, employees or students for privacy purposes may prefer to be housed in separate room where possible.

When cleaning, sponging or changing undergarments, it is preferable that female nurses should perform this task for female patients and similarly male nurses for males.

For bathing purposes, where patients cannot bathe themselves, female nurses should perform this task for female patients and similarly male nurses for males. Family members should be allowed to aid in bathing if and when requested by the patient or family members.



Diwali  (Deepawali)


Diwali is one of the most widely celebrated Hindu festival. It is commonly known as the Festival of Lights. Diwali has many significances. The most important being celebration of:


    the triumph of light over darkness

    knowledge over ignorance

    happiness over suffering




Some of the other Hindu days of significance are:

  • Janam Ashtami (Birth of Sri Krishna)

  • Ram Navami (Birth of Sri Rama)

  • Budh Jayanti (Birth of Sri Buddha)

  • Maha Shivaratri (Appearance of Bhagavan Shivaji)

  • Saraswati Jayanti (Glorification of Mother Saraswati)

  •  Holi (Spring Festival)

  • Navaratri (Nine days of Fasting and Worship)

  • Thai Pongal (Day of Thanksgiving)

 On these Hindu holy days, employees or students should be permitted to take leave of absences in order to celebrate these auspicious occasions.



Performance of specific rituals, within the confines of the institution, will be necessary from time to time. The following is a list of some of the important rituals to be performed:

  •  Jaatakarma Sanskara - performed on the day of the birth of a child and before the child is fed for the first time

  • Namakaran Sanskara – done on the eleventh day after birth, or shortly thereafter, for the purpose of naming the child

  • Navagraha Pooja – performed to enhance the healing process by evoking the curative and protective properties of the Grahas. Done before  any major invasive surgical procedures

  • Moorti Pooja performed, upon the request of the patient, to a specific deity invoking divine intervention, protection and blessing Antim Shwaas performed at the time when an individual is dying and taking the last breath

  • Havan -  fire oblation which is an integral component of any Hindu ritual

  • Ashtangaa Yoga – involves Asanas, Mudras, Pranayama, Sandhya, Bhajan, Japam and Dhyanam



Ritualistic worship done in an institution is usually performed in a worship space where Murtis (Statues and Icons) have been installed. Murtis are an essential part of Hindu ritualistic worship.

 The worship space must also be equipped with proper ventilation and air exhausting facilities as well as fire alarms that can be operated manually. An integral part of any Hindu ritual is the performance of Havan (Fire Offering). Some smoke is produced in this process. Fire or smoke alarms located in the worship space will be turned off since the smoke produced during the fire ritual can falsely trigger the fire alarm.  


From an Ayurvedic and Yoga perspective equal importance is given to both medical intervention and spiritual healing for the individual whose physical body is impaired and debilitated.

  • High Morals produces Spiritual Awakening

  • Spiritual Awakening leads to Sadhana Yoga

  • Yogic Practice creates Enlightened Mind

  • Energized Mind produce a Healthy Body

  • Bathing of Patient

  • Pastoral Visitation – Prarthana and Chanting


Copyright 2008 Hindu Chaplaincy, All Rights Reserved

Migliore visualizzazione: 800 x 600 - 65.000 o + colori
Browser: M.S. I.E. ver. 4 o + o Netscape 2 o +