sannyasins, pollution, death.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon May 4 21:08:48 UTC 1998

Allen W Thrasher <athr at LOC.GOV> wrote:

>Vidyasankar said:
>"...Such practices are not restricted to specific doctrinal
affiliations, and as
>far as the daSanAmI orders and the mAdhva orders are concerned, there
>is also no pollution for the erstwhile family and relatives of the
>But this would be for another reason than that a sannyasin's death does
>not create impurity.  It would be because with respect to his natal
family he
>became dead at sannyasa.

Yes, indeed. Usually, a ritual SrAddha is held before a person becomes a
sannyAsin, but the nearest male relative does have a role in the rituals
of internment of the sannyAsin's body. As for the death itself not
creating any impurity, the oldest textual source for this is the
bRhadAraNyaka passage, where the prANas of the desire-less man are said
not to depart. That is part of the reason why cremation is not done.


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