Two words Asthi (Leftover bones after Cremation of body) and Visarjan (Immersion in the flowing water) but the significance of this ritual can’t be bounded in words in life of a Hindu.
Significance: Spirituality and History
It is believed that the soul of the person cannot get Salvation “Mukti” until his/her Asthi and Ash poured in Holy river.
Ancient texts are full with the significance of the ritual of Asthi Visarjan In Valmiki Ramayana shloka no. 41 in 43rd chapter in Balkand Sage Vishwamitra tells Rams while mentioning the story of Ganga Avtaran.
O’ Ram you are the greatest in Raghu Dynasty as soon as Ganga’s water touches the ashes soul obtained the heaven as all sins of soul cleared with mere touch of Ganga.
Other shloka mentioned in Kurmpuran tells that
The number of years the ashes remain in ganga the departed soul enjoys the stay in Heavens multiple time of thousand years.
Story of Bhagirath and Ganga
Both Mahabharata and Ramayana mentions the Story of Ganga Avtaran and mentions how significant to do the Asthi Visarjan.
There was a Powerful King named as King Sagar had 60000 sons. He started performing 100 Ashvamedha Yagya, it was told that if all 100 Ashvamedha yagya completes he will sit on the throne of the king of Heaven’s Indra. After 99th of Yagya, Deva’s from heaven got frightened and stole the horse and tied in the home of Sage Kapil. When the sons of Sagar found the horse in the house of Kapil muni they tried to kill him but by using the immense power. Kapil muni Turned all 60,000 princes into ashes. They were dead but their souls was restless due to untimely death. Anshuman the grandson of Kind Sagar asked for forgiveness and way so that he can free the souls from the restlessness and depart them to Swarga. Kapil Muni said that only by touch the of Devi Ganga (which was flowing in the cosmos at that time) these soul can get the Salvation. Anshuman started Tapasya to please God Brahama failed and so his son Dilip but he again failed. Then came Bhagirath meditated so vigorously that Lord Bramha asked him for the boon he said that he wished to Ganga flow on earth so the souls of his ancestors get salvation.
Bramha told him to worship God Shiv as Shiv has the only power to control the flow of Ganga. Bhagirath followed the advised and by worshiping pleased Shiv. Shiv hold Ganga in his hair and allow the flow by opening a “Jata” and allow the flow. As soon as the Ganga touched the earth, she started flowing from Gangotri to Gangasagar behind the chariot of King Bhagirath and along with name like “Bhagirathi”, “Jahnavi” and “Sursari”.
The mere touch of Ganga gave salvation to the departed souls, and hence it’s one of the most important ritual in Hinduism as it did to the ancestor of Bhagirath.
How to do?
After the body is set to fire some unburnt bones along with ash require to be immerse in the Holy water/source of running water as soon as possible with proper chanting of mantras to help the departed soul to get Salvation. India is
lucky enough to get the complete flow of the holist river “Ganga” which Flows from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Varanasi, Kanpur, Patna and other major areas so all humanity can get rid from its sin.