funeral rites

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Members of the lower castes, children, and holy men are usually buried. Ascetics (saṃnyāsins) ‘die’ to the social and ritual world when they renounce; their ritual of renunciation is therefore synonymous with their funeral (antyeṣṭi). An orthodox Brahmanical renouncer, who has internalized his sacrificial fires, and so made a perpetual sacrifice of himself, is therefore also buried, or placed in a river, rather than cremated after his physical death. For Brahmanical rites for the twice born, see antyeṣṭi.

Subjects: Religion.

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