117

Earlier answerers have given a sociological explanation for the cremation ritual, but I'll try to provide a purely theological explanation. In Hinduism, every jiva is made of five Mahabhootas, namely, Dhara (Earth), Nabh(Ether), Vayu(Air), Varuna(Water), Agni(Fire). After death, the body is supposed to disintegrate back into these many Mahabhoota. Hindus ...


33

Adding to @A runnigMind's answer: Cremation of the body reminds that the body is not important but the Atman is. Body perishes but Atman exists eternally. This is in contrast with say Christianity where people would go to kingdom of heaven in their material bodies and hence do burial to 'put the bodies to rest' till judgement day. In Hinduism it's the atman ...


16

In addition to Vineet Menon's comments, that Agni (Fire) is the purest element of the 5 elements (Mahabhutas) that is accessible to man - (The other begin Ether (Nabha or Akasha) is intangible and is capable of sustenance and not incineration or destruction.), there is also another reason to it, in that, cremation is the best possible way to symbolically ...


14

I agree with the current answers, I just wanna add little more information. they cremate out of common sense. If we bury that place has to be dedicated to single person Such place cannot be used by others at least for few decades How many such places are needed? world will have more cemeteries After decades if the cemetery is unknowingly sold people ...


8

Let us start with the persons who are who are authorised to perform funeral rites of a deceased person. Persons authorized to perform last rites: Garuda said: 1. O Lord, now tell me who are authorised to perform obsequies and what are the methods of performance prescribed in the shästras. The lord said: 2. Son, grandson, great grand-son, his ...


6

I am not sure how you got the idea that a cow should be cremated. To be frank I have never found (so far) a reference which says that a cow should be cremated or even buried. So, there seems to be a complete lack of references regarding this topic in the scriptures. However, in ParAshara Smriti, there is an entire chapter dedicated to how to serve the cows. ...


6

Hindu death and cremation rites are fairly standard throughout India. Christians believe their souls will be reunited with the body at their final judgment, hence they see clothes as important. Hindus see the body as being returned to the elements as the jiva has left it forever never to be reunited with it again. So clothes are not important. The body is ...


6

Cremation became a practice because of the diseases the scavengers bring as there population increase in the burial areas pollution of water was another issue as well remembering the body leads to more trauma. The best option was cremating the body with rituals that will extinguish doubts and let people live happily. Beliefs are the recommended strong habits ...


5

why-do-hindus-believe-in-cremation-instead-of-burial ? One of the reason and explanation why Hindus believe cremation of the dead is also given in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad - Adhyaya 5 - Brahmana 12 - " Tapo Brahmanam" . It's said in the upanishad that cremating a deceased by others is equal to excellent austerity or "Tapa" performed by the dead ...


3

Having received sannyas and being of Vivekananda's lineage, let me clarify a few points. Sai's answer is good and mostly true. Vivekananda and the direct disciples of Ramakrishna received their sannyas robes from Ramakrishna, they did not receive their names from him. Vivekananda actually used several names before deciding himself to take the name of ...


2

What is the Purpose of Own Antyesthi (Cremation) before taking Sanyasa? It is because the rites are performed when the body dies. Similarly when one takes up Sannyasa, it is symbolic that His body attachment is now dead. That is one has cut off all ties with His physical body. Therefore the cremation rites are performed. Paramahansa Yogananda describes ...


2

You can look at my answer here. It was for a different question, but it covers what you asked for. Yes, daughter can do the last rites, but only when all the others in precedence above her are either non-existent, or unwilling to do the rites. Even in the case that she is supposed to do it, she cannot, being a woman, do the cremation or the rituals by ...


1

In the absence of a son any Jnati or kinsmen or a Sapinda can do it. A more specific order of preference is wife > uterine brothers. [Every rite] for the parents, such as the offering of the Pindas, should be performed by the sons. In the absence of a son, the wife should do it ; and in the absence of a wife, the uterine brother should do the ...


1

The answer is broad, to give you an idea, after soul is left the body, according to the sect which one belongs to, there is tradition to decompose/destruct the body. Here are few exmaples for it.. If a baby dies, body would be buried in the earth and not cremated. I heard from someone that if a saint/sanyasi leaves his body, his body would be cut into ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible