If you ever attended a Hindu funeral or cremation, you will notice that it is customary to wait until the kapāla (skull) of the deceased cracks. I think this is taken as a sign of the deceased person's soul leaving the body through the skull and thereby attaining mokṣa.


  1. Which Hindu scriptures talk about a person's soul attaining mokṣa when the soul leaves the body through an opening in the skull (kapāla)?
  2. Is it also possible for a living sādhu, ṛṣi, yogi etc., in samādhi, to attain kapāla mokṣa?
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    2. It is possible through the power of yoga. You will find references to this in yoga sastra. Muttuswami Dikshita is said to have attained kapala moksha in full view of his disciples.
    – user1195
    Dec 31 '16 at 3:44
  • 1
    @UdayKrishna Ok, yes, BG 8.12 & 13 seem relevant. Dec 31 '16 at 5:31
  • @sv. It is believed that the soul of yogis and high souled jivas leave the body through the brahmarandhra and not through navarandhras. So assuming the dead person is also a punyatma, his soul also left the body through brahma randhra. All the rituals are done imagining that the person is alive till he gets kapala mokhsa. Jan 1 '17 at 3:39

The following verse from Katha Upanishad seems indicative of "Kapala Moksha".

II.iii.14-16) Yadaa sarve pramuchyante kaamaa yesya hridi shritaah, atha martyormrito bhavatyatra Brahma samaashnute// Yadaa sarve pratibhidyante hridayasyeha granthayah, atha martyomruto bhavati etaavad anushaashanam// Shatamchaikaa cha hridayasya naadyastaasaam murdhaanih srutgaikaa, tayordhvam aayannamritatvam eti vishvannaanya utkramane bhavanti//

When all the knots of the heart are demolished- indeed even if the Being were still alive, then the status of ‘mrityomrita’ or ‘Jeevanmukti’is attained! When all the hundred and one nerves of the heart pass through the ‘sushumna nadi’or the crown of the head takes to the Uttara Marg or the Solar Path or the Path of Sun then the actual transformation from mortality to Immortality is stated to have taken place

The import of this verse is that when Prana Vayu, after being made to travel through the Sushumna Nadi(the middle of the 3 principle Nadis),leaves the body through the Brahmarandhra(crown of the head),then it signifies that soul has attained moksha.

As regards your second question,yes, Yogis, who have mastered the movement of Prana, can make it leave their bodies through any orifice at their will.

But i have no verses right now.

  • Reports say that Swami Vivekananda died with artery rupture in his head.. I think he did the same...
    – Tezz
    Jan 3 '17 at 9:10
  • @Tezz Yes i think so..He was a master Yogi..
    – Rickross
    Jan 3 '17 at 9:11
  • 👏 , @Rickross yes you are right, and I have read somewhere if pran vayu leaves the body from certain part, it goes to a particular place, So he already knew to leave from Brahmarandhra
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Mar 30 '17 at 6:57

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