What happens to people whose bodies are not cremated? Do they face problems in theafterlife?

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    Body is cremated to prevent the person from coming back due to excessive attachment to his current body and inability to cope with separation. When cremation is not done, there have been instances in foreign countries where coffins have seen nail marks, because those people came back into their bodies. Sannyasis bodies needn’t be cremated because they have no attachment or probably even consciousness of their body. They’re always absorbed in the thought of the supreme. They are therefore buried.
    – Adiyarkku
    Jun 21, 2023 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


Per the Shiva Purana, people who are not cremated are not reborn:

6.21.36: The procedure of obsequies shall be followed. If their bodies are not cremated they are likely to miss the good goal.

The translation is not very good, so let us retranslate using the original verse:

asaṃskṛtaśarīrāṇāṃ daurgatyaṃ naiva jāyate

asaṃskṛta = not prepared
śarīr = body
daurgatyaṃ = suffers misery
naiva = not
jāyate = born, take birth

Thus, we can interpret the line to say:

An unprepared corpse will suffer misery and not take a subsequent birth.

And if there is no rebirth, the soul becomes a lost, wandering spirit, incapable of accumulating karma and moving on.

  • Smṛti texts state that bodies of children before a certain age can't be cremated & must be buried. So your answer implies that Smṛti is deliberately denying mokṣa to children who die young. In modern times, bodies of those who die by execution, suicide & snake-bite are cremated in violation of scriptural laws. Your answer implies that such persons are able to avoid their bad afterlife by undergoing cremation. Besides, the term 'not being born again' is a common phrase often used to describe the glory of God & tīrthas. So this phrase shouldn't be necessarily taken to have negative connotations.
    – অনু
    Nov 25, 2023 at 8:33

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