cremation ground

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A space set outside normally inhabited areas, since, because of the presence of corpses, it is considered by most Hindus to be exceptionally ritually polluting and inauspicious. For this very reason, since the Upaniṣadic period or earlier, cremation grounds have been sought out by various ascetics and Tantric practitioners, such as the Kāpālikas. Emulating and worshipping terrible forms of Śiva or the Goddess, among other impurities they embrace that of death, in an attempt to transcend orthodox dichotomies and gain access to various powers (siddhis).

Subjects: Hinduism.

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