Kumarila Bhatta burnt his body in front of the whole villagers. What was the reason behind this act of his?
As per Shri Shankaracharaya Aur Kumaril Bhatt Ka Jeevan Charitra, Kumaril Bhatt was a great Vedic scholar. In Shastrartha, he could answer the questions raised by Buddhism scholars but couldn't raise questions due to less knowledge of their philosophy. To overcome from this problem, he went to Buddhism and Jainism scholars to learn about their philosophy in detail. As he wanted that knowledge only to spread Vedic Dharma so went against their philosophy later on.
But, he considered this act (going against his Buddhism and Jainism Gurus in his mission to spread Vedic Dharma) a sin and to free himself from the sin he decided to take Agni-Samadhi by burning himself on a pile of rice/peanut shells.
The similar stories can be found on All World Gayatri Pariwar and Wikipedia websites.
"this act (going against his Buddhism and Jainism Gurus in his mission to spread Vedic Dharma) a sin" - according to Wikipedia, he considered his cheating to be a sin, that is, joining Buddhist school claiming to be a convert but only to learn their knowledge which he used later to defeat them. Oct 24, 2018 at 18:48
@sv. there are different versions but i think core message is same in all versions...My answer is mostly based on "Shri Shankaracharaya Aur Kumaril Bhatt Ka Jeevan Charitra" and i tried to translate/summarize Hindi text in English...pls free free to edit/improve..– YDSOct 24, 2018 at 19:18