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Cremation in Hinduism – Why Hindus Burn The Dead and Not Bury?

Cremation is one of the most important rituals in Hinduism. Hindus burn and not bury the dead because the core Hindu teaching believes in the transmigration of souls. By burning the body, the relatives help in the soul to move from this world to another. The soul never dies and is born in another body. The soul continues its journey until it finally merges with the supreme truth.

By cremating the body, the soul will not be attached to the present body. As the body is completely destroyed, the soul is ready to move into another body.

Burying is a slow process. The body is made up of five elements as per Hindu teaching – the panchabhuta – earth, water, fire, air and space. Through burning the body is able to quickly overcome the disintegration process.

There are some scholars who are of the view that by burying the body, we will be polluting the region. The germs in the person’s body continue to live and spread through water and planets.

All Hindus Do No Perform Cremation

It must be also noted that there are several Hindu communities that bury the dead and not cremate. This is mainly based on caste and regional belief.

Saints and Children are not Cremated

But people who have overcome the ignorance of the body and are merged with the supreme truth like the holy saints are not cremated but buried. This is because they have attained salvation through penance in this birth itself.

Children are too not cremated because the soul has not stayed long in the body to develop attachment to it.