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Gloria Raheja (1988) and Jonathan Parry (1980, 1986, 1994) have discussed the ways in which in Hindu and Brahmanical notions of dan, the recipient of the gift also accepts and so ingests the sins (pap) or inauspiciousness (asubh, kusubh, nasubh) of the donor.
inauspiciousness and pap, "evil," are thought to be generated not only at death but in most life processes.
Different forms of inauspiciousness require different recipients (patra) for their proper and safe removal: women, untouchables, priests, and poor relatives are all appropriate receptacles in various contexts.
The same could be said for the sati, who has saved herself from the inauspiciousness of widowhood: She walks to the funeral pyre in her wedding clothes.
If these women are known to carry curses, the evil eye, inauspiciousness, and black magical spells, then they are also known to cure, heal, and avert misfortune.