It is said that Kumarila Bhatta a contemporary of Sankaracharya betrayed the Buddhists by pretending to be one and learnt their secrets. He then punished himself for this betrayal by slowly burning himself on burning grain husks (kushagni pravesa). Is this punishment mentioned anywhere in scripture?
Is Kushagni Pravesa a punishment mentioned in scripture?
Yes, it is a punishment for some crimes, as listed below:
Bṛhaspati (22. 27-28).—‘In the case of women, men, gold, gems, the property of a deity or a Brāhmaṇa, silk and other precious things, the fine shall be equal to the value of the article stolen; or double that amount shall he inflicted as fine; or the thief shall be executed.’
Do. (22.18; Vivādaratnākara, p. 317)—‘Those who steal human beings should be burnt by the slow fire of chaff.’
Vyāsa (Do.).—‘The stealer of women shall be burnt on an iron bed by the slow fire of chaff; the stealer of man should have his hands and feet cut off and then exposed on the road-crossing. He who steals a man should he fined the highest amercement; he who steals a woman should have his entire property confiscated; and he who steals a maiden shall he put to death.’
"Do." means the same reference before. So for Do. (22.18; Vivādaratnākara, p. 317), the Do. is Brihaspati 22.18. For Vyāsa (Do.), the Do. is Vivādaratnākara.