Sati is the most horrendous act of widows killing themselves by jumping into the funeral pyre of their dead husbands, sometimes wilfully and sometimes forcefully by others.

Sati is a very ancient ritual that existed among the Rajput tribes of northwestern India. The British abolished sati in India in 1829. Sati has absolutely no Hindu scriptural backing. Saying that Sati is part of Hinduism is exactly like saying that the bloody Spanish Inquisition of Mexico in 1483 and the Salem witch-hunt of 1692 are part and parcel of Christianity.

The Spanish destruction of Mayan temples and killing of millions of Mexicans has nothing to do with the true Christianity Jesus preached. Similarly, the Salem incident had nothing to do with true Christianity. It stood against all cardinal principles of Christianity.

Sati has nothing to do with the cardinal principles of Hinduism. There is nothing in the Veda to show that they had sanctioned the act. In fact, according to the funeral hymns of Rig Veda, after a ceremony of a widow sleeping next to the corpse of the dead husband, she was allowed to marry the dead man’s brother.

There are no incidents in the vast human mythology in tune with sati. For example, in the Ramayan, when Lord Ram’s father King Dasarath died, none of his three wives killed themselves, nor did the monkey King Bali’s wife kill herself when Bali was killed, nor did Mandhodhari kill herself when her husband Ravan got killed. — Am I a Hindu?