By living a life according to Gods plan can humans end the cycle of rebirth already in this life.
Sikhs believe in reincarnation after death - as do Hindus and Buddhists. However, Sikhs believe that by living a life according to Gods plan, humans can end the cycle of rebirth already in this life.
When death approaches, friends and relations are called in to be together with the dying person, and recite from the holy book Guru Granth Sahib. Death should not be a sorrowful occasion. It is "forbidden" to cry:
Death of which men are afraid, gives me nothing but joy!
It is through the gate of Death that one may unite with the Lord of Bliss.
(Saloka from Guru Granth Sahib p. 1365)
In Norway will a dead Sikh be washed at home or at the hospital, clothed in clean clothes and placed in a coffin ornamented with flowers and wreaths. If the deceased has fulfilled the baptismal ritual Amrit, five symbols of Sikh membership will also be included in the casket: Kesh (unclipped hair), Karra (iron bracelet), kachera (a special type of undergarment), kirpan (sword) and kangha (comb). Friends and relatives drive in procession to the crematorium. The cover is removed from the casket in order to give everyone a last view of the deceased. The dead person is carried into the crematory chapel, where the poem Sohila is recited. A male relative then follows the dead person into the cremation room in order to turn the switch that lights the cremation oven. The ashes are later collected for spreading in running water. The family normally sends the ashes to India, but the funeral law of 1996 allows the spreading of ashes in Norway when the Regional Commissioner has given permission.
The mourners assemble after the cremation at either the gurduara temple or privately for recitation of the poems Ramkali Sad, Anand Sahib and Ardas, as well as the distribution of parsad, a kind of bread/pudding which is a symbol of Gods blessing.
For ten days after the death, Guru Granth Sahib will be read or sung regularly in order to ease the sorrows of the family. The soul of the dead person needs no further assistance, though, as it is already together with God.