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Title: Vaishnava Funeral Rites

User: Damodara Svarupa dasa      Date: 2005-03-11 20:28:37


Vaishnava Funeral Rites -- By Swami Gaurangapada



Vaishnava Antyesti-kriya: Funeral Rites


hari-namadmoksara-yuktom bhale gopl-mrddnkitam tulasi-mdlikoraskarh sprseyur na yamodbhatah


"Those whose body is adorned with tilaka or gopi-candana, and marked all

over with the Holy Names of the Lord, and whose neck and chest are adorned

with tulasi-mdld, will never be approached by the Yamadutas."

(Skanda Parana)


1. Introduction


This is the last samskara, the last ritual associated with the body which it

will purify one last time.


This ritual is performed in order for the soul to become detached from the

body and not have to take on the form of a ghost (preta), as well as to make

sure the departed soul is promoted to a better world.


This universe is also called the kingdom of death! Yet man foolishly thinks

he can become immortal by fighting the invincible material nature (see

Mahabhdrata, Vana-parva 313.116). But in the Svetasvatara Upanisad (3.8), it

is said that only those who know the Absolute can transcend the world of

birth and death.


Thus Vaishnavas who worship the Lord, their heart filled with love, and

constantly chant His Holy Names are sure to carry on their spiritual

activities in this world or the kingdom of God (Vaikuntha). Therefore their

family and friends are not so attached to executing all the rites of

antyesti-kriya. Actualy, There is no trace of this ritual to be found in the

Sat-kriya-sara-dipika and it is only briefly mentionned in the

samskara-dipika, in connection with a sannyasi's funeral.


In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Maharaja Parikslt asks Sukadeva GosvamI before

dying: "Tell me of the duty of everyone in all circumstances, and

specifically of those who are just about to die." (S.B.I.19.24). Sukadeva

GosvamI answers: "The highest perfection of human life is to remember the

Personality of Godhead at the end of life." All the sathskaras performed

during one's life help a person to become purified and remember the prime

duty: reach the original abode (Goloka Vrndavana). Sarhskaras help us to

mold our existence so as to remember the Lord at every step.


Canakya Pandita says that if we seek salvation, then we must remember that

death is always near, waiting to seize us at every moment. But if we seek

sense gratification instead, we had better think that we shall never die. As

for whoever remembers Krishna at the time of death, they will live with Him.


(E.G. 8.5, 6). No more rebirth, for they never return to this world as

promised by Shri Krishna (E.G. 8.15-16). That is the conclusion of the Vedanta,

as expressed in its last siitra...


2. The Procedure


In a letter to Revatmandana dated November 14, 1973, Srfla Prabhupada writes

about a devotee's funeral: "Just hold a condolence meeting and pray for his

soul to Krishna for giving him a good chance for advancing in Krishna

Consciousness. Certainly Krishna will give him a good place to take birth...


But, we offer our condolences to a departed soul separated from a

Vaishnava... Three days after the demise of a Vaishnava a function should be

held for offering the departed soul and all others prasadam. This is the

system." (See Shri Chaitanya-cdritamrta, Antya-llla, for the chapter on the

disappearance of Haridasa Thakura).


Rituals are more or less the same according to time, place and circumstances

(kala, desa, pdtrd). In the section dealing with rituals, we will explain

the procedure used in India.


In the West, we cannot imitate India for we have to follow the laws in

force: inform the civil authorities as soon as a Vaishnava quits his body (so

that the cause of death may be determined), then cleanse the body, dress it

with Vaishnava clothes, adorn it with tilaka and flower garlands (maha) from

the Lord's arca-vigraha, write the Lord's name on the body and forehead with

sandalwood pulp. Place (offered) tulasi leaves in or on his mouth. If sacred

water is available (Ganga, Yamuna, Radha-kunda, etc.), sprinkle some on the

body. After covering the body with a harinama-chadar, take it to the

crematorium. Meanwhile, someone should take care of the required


138 "There is no coming back because of God's word; no, there is no coming

back because of God's word." (V.S. 4.4.22). formalities so that cremation of

the body is done as soon as possible. The Jayakhya-samhita explains that

boys under five years and girls under seven years should be buried instead.

In that case, tarpana rites do not have to be performed.


^ Make sure that cremation does not take place on EkadasT or Maha-dvadasi.

(otherwise, postpone it until the next day). Cremation should take place

during daylight hours.


*o On that day, family members should fast all day and eat light food

(salads, fruits, etc.) for three days. It is even recommended to eat outside

one's home and avoid having to cook for consciousness permeates the food.

Mourning inspires a certain modesty, a respect full of dignity and gravity.

There is no question of distraction (television, cinema, cafe, restaurant,

amusement park, etc.), during mourning; it is better to read the scriptures.

On that same day, perform one last ceremony in the crematorium shrine where

a reading of the scriptures should be held for family and friends, etc. A

soft klrtana should be performed as the body is carried to the incinerator

while a brahmana offers prayers.


*o Retrieve the ashes from the cremation service and before one year has

passed, bring them to India and throw them in a sacred river like the

Ganges, the Yamuna, the Godavari, the SarasvatI, the Narmada or the Kaveri

as advised by local Vaishnavas.139. Most Vaishnavas take the ashes of the

departed to Mayapura, or Vrndavana and scatter them in the Yamuna at

Kesi-ghata or Ganga at Navadvipa. Before doing so, mix them with panca-gavya and earth from the banks so as to form a homogeneous ball.


*o Three days after the death, a feast should be offered to the Lord's

arca-vigraha on behalf of the departed. Vaishnavas will honor this prasadam

along with the family of the departed afterwards.


^ If the departed lived outside the temple, the brahmana who took part in

the ceremony will accompany the other members of the family to their home

where the children and he will enter first. The home will then be purified

by burning dried cow dung coated with ghee while the brahmana recites

auspicious mantras. Some traditions recommend sleeping

139 According to some authorities, the ashes should be collected on the

fourth day.elsewhere, for instance at a Mend or relative's house for a

"change of scenery".


^ Eleven days after the demise, a program should be organized in honor of

the departed140, an altar should be set up and a puja as well as an offering

of prasddam should be done. A sdlagrdma-sild can also be worshipped for the

occasion, as recommended in the Padma Purdna, since that is quite

auspicious. A fire sacrifice (avdhana-homa) may also be performed by

offering halavd unto the flames, then to all present. The mahd-prasddam

should be offered before a picure of the deceased.


^ The priest will take prasddam first and if the deceased was a member of

the female sex, a brdhmanl or VaisnavT should also be fed first by the host.


3. Asauca or Contamination Period


*- The death of a relative involves a contamination period whose length

varies according to family status. During this time, one should not study

the holy scriptures, perform fire sacrifices, worship the Deity (or only

through mdnasa-puja), or receive guests. However, if one has taken vows

which involve daily Deity worship or study of the scriptures, etc., such

vows should not be broken. One must take advantage of this period to settle

all the administrative problems linked with death. This asauca period lasts

10 days for a brdhmana, 12 days for a ksatriya, 15 days for a vaisya and 30

days for a sudra. If death strikes a distant relative, the asauca period

lasts 3 days.


The priest performing the funeral rites is not involved in the contamination

(asauca) periods linked with the deceased.


4. Sraddha-kriya: Rite for the Welfare of Forefathers


* So that the deceased does not wander like a ghost in the ether with only a

subtle body, but instead takes on a body with which he may live pleasantly

on the planet of the Pitrs, which offers certain delights, one must make

offerings to him and at end of sraddha to the other Pitrs. During the

contamination period, one offers the deceased daily water. The eleventh day

after the demise (for the relative of a brahmana), the house is purified,

offerings are made to the departed and eleven brahmanas are fed..


^ From that day on, sraddha ceremonies should be performed every month for a

whole year. On the sixth and twelfth month, two special sraddha ceremonies

should be added to the usual ones. Afterwards, an annual sraddha is

performed on the anniversary day of the departed's demise.


^ In the realm of karma-kanda, the sraddha ceremony is performed for those

who received the antyesti-kriya-samskara. It makes it possible to offer the

wandering spirit a material "support". According to the Pindopanisad, the

soul no longer has a physical body (sthula-sarird) after death, but wanders

in a subtle body (linga-sanrd) the size of a thumb and can neither drink nor

eat. In this state, the soul is called preta.


The soul thus stays three days in water, three days in fire, three more days

in space then travels on the wind on the tenth day. On the eleventh day

begins the pinda ceremony which consists in offering food - small balls of

rice cooked in milk with black sesame, ghee and honey - to the deceased and

his forefathers. Performed by the eldest son, this ritual is repeated every

month for eleven months along with two sraddha ceremonies during the year.

The pinda ceremony ends with a last offering, during the twelfth month,

known as sapindadi-karana which enables the preta to obtain the body of a

Pitr to enter the heavenly Pitrloka planet ruled by Yamaraja.


Of course, such rituals do not erase the karma accumulated by the living

entity throughout his past lives.


The Garuda Purana (11.34.44) explains that the offering of pinda re-forms a

temporary body with organs and senses that are equivalent to those we are

familiar with. This body is built as follows according to the Garuda Purdna:


* 1st offering: the head

* 2nd offering: the eyes, the ears and nose

* 3rd offering: the cheeks, the mouth and neck

* 4th offering: the heart, sides, stomach, sexual organs

* 5th offering the waist, the back and anus

* 6th offering: the thighs

* 7th offering: the ankles

* 8th offering: the calves

* 9th offering: the feet

* 10th offering: hunger and thirst


^ The sraddha ceremony can also be performed during the twelve days

following the death of the deceased, on the basis of one offering per day.


"o*- Thus in due course of time, the living entity will rejoin his

forefathers' community on the planet of the Pitrs, who will bestow their

blessings upon the family that keeps performing this ritual and protect its

descendants. The birth of a son insures that the ritual will be maintained,

thus preserving the happiness of the Pitrs.


5. Vaishnavas and the Sraddha Ceremony


According to Vaishnava scriptures, the sraddha ceremony may be performed for

Vaishnavas, but only if the priest is a Vaishnava and the offering to the

Pitrs is visnu-prasada.


The Vaishnava who properly worshipped God, Shri Krishna, throughout his life

need not worry about his future destination. The sraddha ceremony is

therefore not required for such a person. The Vaishnava whose parents did not

worship Shri Krishna can pray for the salvation of their soul.


According to the Skanda Purana, a person initiated by visnu-mantra should

not seek fruitive results, give in charity to get material rewards nor

worship the forefathers. Similarly, in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (9.308), it is

written that those who daily worship Lord Hari for their forefathers'

satisfaction need not offer oblations in charity or perform the srdddha

ceremony during which pinda-dana is offered.


"One who has given up all material duties and has taken full shelter of the

lotus feet of Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the

demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind

or even one's forefathers who have passed away. Since all such classes of

living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one who has

surrendered to the Lord's service has no need to serve such persons

separately." (S.B. 11.5.41)


6. Practical Sraddha


*o Vaishnavas can engage the sraddha ceremony in the service of the Lord and

the deceased will reap the fruits thereof. To please Krishna, one can sow one

or many fruit trees on behalf of the departed. The fruits of these trees can

then be offered to Shri Krishna after every harvest. The same can be done with

decorative flower trees or one may offer a cow and calf for its milk.


*o One can also distribute prasadam or books like the Bhagavad-glta on

behalf of the departed on his disappearance day, or make donations for the

Deities' puja or any project related to Shri Krishna, also on behalf of the




Antyesti (The Last Rites) FROM SAMSKARA DIPIKA


This is the last samskara, the last rite for sanctifying the body

in this material world. The rites are not described in Sat Kriya Sara

Dipika, and are mentioned only briefly in Samskara Dipika in relation to the

burial of a sannyasi. The standard rituals are performed to insure that the

departed soul does not remain in the form of a ghost or preta, and to insure

the best possible destination. Since the sincere vaishnava who worships the

Lord out of love and chants his name is assured the best possible position

to pursue his spiritual activities, his relatives and friends are less

particular in executing all the rituals which ensue after death.


...Hold a condolence meeting and pray for his soul to Krishna to give him a

good chance for advancement in Krishna consciousness. Certainly Krishna will

give him a good place to take birth where he can again begin in Krsan

conscious activities. That is sure. But we offer our condolences to a

departed soul separated from a Vaishnava. ...After three days a function

should be held for offering the departed soul and all others prasadam. That

is the system.


             letter of Shrila Prabhupada to

             Rebatinandana, Nov.14, 1973


The passing of an elevated Vaishnava is illustrated by the burial of Hari das



After a hole was dug in the sand, the body of Haridas Thakura was placed in

it. Remnants from Lord Jagannatha, such as his silken ropes, sandalwood

pulp, food and cloth were placed on the body. All around the body, the

devotees performed congregational chanting, and Vakresvara pandita danced in



             CC Antya v.4.p.31


In the context of society however it may be necessary to observe the rules,

as was the case with the passing away of King Dasaratha, Pandu and Bhisma.

Thus some orthodox Vaishnavas carry out the full vedic anthyesthi rites and

sraddha kriyas.


Different puranas and smrti scriptures give different details of rites to be

observed, and thus, according locality and family the customs differ to some




When a person is nearing death it is recommended that the person give a gift

of a decorated cow (vaitarani) to a brahmana to ensure his safe passage over

the river of death. If a cow is unavailable he should give an equivalent

sum of money. Gifts of iron pots, salt, land, grain, ghee and laddu are

also recommended. Mahabharat recommends that Vishnu Sahasra Nama be recited

at this time. It is customary that the dying person should hear the names

of the Lord. The legitimate claimant to the last rites may whisper the karna

mantra starting with "ayusah"in his ear (a vedic mantra). Lamps may also be

lit. Some people place tulasi prasadam and caranamrta or Ganga water in the

person's mouth.


When it is confirmed that the soul has passed from the body, the body may be

shaved (optional), bathed and clothed in clean, preferably new cloth or

silk, and placed on a mat on the floor. According to some traditions, new

cloth should be obtained, washed, and while still wet placed on the body. If

the deceased is an old man, he should be clothed in white; middle aged men

wear red, and young men and women wear colored cloth. Widows wear white,

black or blue. The face may remain uncovered at this time while family

members pay their last respects. Tilak should be applied.


Then a frame made of udumbara wood, a cot or carriage should be supplied to

carry the body. The body should be placed upon it, with the face covered.

The eyes should be closed, limbs straightened, and the big toes and thumbs

should be tied together with string. The body should pass out of the house

feet first.


Since cremation should not take place after dark, if the person dies during

the daylight hours, preparations should be hastily made so that the burning

will take place before sunset. Otherwise the body should be taken after

sunrise the next day. The body should be burned before decomposition sets



One man sprinkling water, followed by a man with a pot of fire should lead

the procession. The body should be follow next, and neither the fire nor

the body should be dropped along the way. No one should walk between the

fire and the body, or walk along side the body. Behind the body the family

should follow, the elders first, women and children last. The bearers of the

body should be bathed, shoeless and without upper cloth on their bodies.


The members of the procession should also be without upper cloth, and hair

should be unbound.


The place for cremation should be a clean place, on a river bank, a mountain

or a forest.


When the procession arrives at the site, they should take bath, they should

bathe the body and place it upon kusa with the head facing south. Ghee

should be smeared over the body,and again it should be bathed, while saying:


om gayadini ca tirthani ye ca punyah silocayah

kuruksetram ca gangam ca yamunam ca saridvaram

kausikim candrabhagam ca sarva papa pranasinim

bhadravakasam gandakim sarayum panasam tatha

vainavam ca varaham ca tirtham pindarakam tatha

prthivyam yani tirthani saritah sagarams tatha

dhyava tu manasa sarve krta snanam gatayusam


(Having meditated upon all the holy tirthas, rivers, and oceans, the

deceased has bathed in all these rivers.)


The body should be dressed in two pieces of fresh cloth and new yajnopavita.

Garland and candana should be applied. Pieces of gold or bell metal should

be placed on the two ears, the two eyes, the two nostrils and the mouth.

The face should be covered with another cloth. A body should never be

burned without clothing.


The kunda for the cremation should be the length of the person from toe to

outstretched hand, as wide as his outstreched arms and as deep as the

measurement from the person's toe to his chest. The hole should be cleansed

and smeared with cow dung and water, and then filled with wood.


The body should be placed on the pyre with the head pointing south

(according the followers of Samaveda) or north (according to followers of

the other vedas). Men should be laid with face downwards, and women should

be laid on their backs, with face upwards. Wood may be piled over the body




om devas cagni mukhah sarve enam dahantu

(May all the devas with agni as their mouth consume the body in flames)


The claimant to the last rites should take fire in his hand. He and his

assistants, should circumabulate the pyre three or seven times, and then,

approaching the head, and facing south, he should apply fire near the

head, over the mouth, or on the chest, while the others apply fire to the

wood under the body, going towards the feet.


When the fire has burned until only a few remnants remain, they should each

take seven sticks of wood one pradesa in length, and circumabulating the

pyre seven times should offer one into the fire each time around,



om kravyadaya namas tubhyam

(I pay my respects to the personality of funeral fire.)


He should take an axe and hit the wood of the pyre seven times. Bones may be

collected at this time and kept in an earthen pot.


Each assistant should then take three or seven pots of water and pour them

over the fire to extinghuish it. The slected member should the place a

earthen pot filled with water on the pyre and cover it with an earthen dish,

in which he should place five or eight coins. While the others turn away

from the pyre without looking back he should break the pot with a stone or

brick, and coming around the pyre in counterclockwise direction he should

leave the place without looking back. They should then proceed to take bath

in a river or the ocean, the elders going first.


The burner of the body should shave, and all persons attending should bathe

with loosened hair. All cloth should be washed. After bathing, facing south

with yajnopavita over the right shoulder, wearing lower cloth only they

should say:


om apah nah sosucad agham

(May this action purify us of sin.)


Stirring the water with the ring finger of the left hand , they should

submerge themselves under water once and then performing acamana, they

should offer tarpana three times.


------------dasam sitalodakena tarpayami

(I offer cool water for the satisfaction of------)



Then taking bath again, they should rise from the water, the children going

first. They should remain away from the house until night. Only with the

permission of a brahmana may they return before this time.


On approaching the house of the departed person they should place neem

leaves between their teeth , and touching leaves of the sami tree they

should say:


om sami papam samayatu

(May the sami leaves eradicate the sin.)


Touching a stone wih their feet they should say:

om asmeva sthiro bhuyasam

(May I be steady like a rock.)


Touching fire they should say:

om agnir nah sarma yacchatu

(May fire give us shelter and happiness.)



They may then enter the house, the children going first. The house may be

cleansed by fumigating it with cow dung smoke three times and then

sprinkling it with flowers, sesame and rice paddy.


On the day of the ceremony no cooking or eating should be done. If ones

mother, father or husband dies one should fast for three days, or if that is

not possible, then one should take only fruits. From the fourth to the

tenth day one should eat havisyanna once a day during the daylight hours.


According to ancient authorities the bones should be collected on the fourth

day (or later ) after the cremation has taken place. They should be placed

in a jar which is covered with deer skin and silk cloth and tied with a

kusas grass cord. This should be submerged in a sacred river, to the

accompaniment of chanting of the aghamarsana sukta .


According to the Jayakhya Samhita boys of five years or less and girls of

seven years or less, and sannyasis, should not be burned, but buried. Other

sources say that children of two years or under should be buried. In that

case tarpana need not be done. After burying the child one should submerge

oneself once in water.


Throwing bones in the Ganga:


One should bathe in the Ganga, and performing acamana, facing north, holding

sesame and water one should perform sankalpa;


visnur om tat sat

adya  -------masi



----dasasya etany asthini gangayam viniksipami

(On this tithi, of this frotnight, of this month I throw the bones of

_______in the Ganga.)


The person should chant the purification mantras over pancagavya, and

placing his yajnopavita over his right shoulder he should wash the bones

with the panca gavya. Mixing the bones with gold, honey, ghee and sesame,

he should seal them in earth, and holding the earth in his right hand he

should say:


om namo'stu dharmaya

(I pay my respects to dharma.)


Entering into the water he should throw the earth into the water saying:

om sa me prito bhavatu

(May he be pleased with me.)


He should submerge himself in water, then come out, look at the sun, and

give gifts in charity.


visnur om tat sat

adya ----masi




-----dasasya krtaitad gangadhikaranakasthi niksepa karmanah samgatartham

daksinam idam kancana mulyam  shri visnu devatam yatha sambhava gotra namne

brahmanaya aham dadami


Dahana Adhikari (Claimant to the last rites):

There is a specific order of precedence of the person who should perform the


last rites including burning of the body.

The order for a deceased male is as follows:

The son, from eldest to youngest, ,their sons, sons of their sons.

The wife, either childess or with children.

Unmarried daughter, betrothed daughter, married daughter.

Daughter's son.

Youngest to eldest brother.

Youngest to eldest half-brother.

Youngest brother's son, oldest brother's son.

Youngest half-brothers son to oldest half-broher's son.

Father, mother.



Step mother

Grand daughter, married grand daughter (through the son)

Wife of great grand son

Great grand daughter

Father's father, Father's mother



other relatives including uncles, cousins,

Disciple, guru, priest, friend, friend of the father

Resident of the same village of same caste



Order for a deceased female is as follows:


Eldest son, to youngest son

Sons's son

Great grand son through male lineage

Unmarried daughter, bethrothed daughter, married daughter

Daughter's son





Disciple or student of husband or self


A brahmacari should avoid performing funeral rites, but if others are

unavailable he may perform rites for parents, grand parents and guru. The

parents of a brahmacari should perform his funeral rites.




Following a birth or death there is a period of contamination for the

relatives of the person born or deceased, the length of which depends upon

the closeness of the relation, caste and age of the decesased. Wtih the

decease or birth of a close relative a brahmana has ten days of asauca, a

ksatriya twelve days, a vaisya fifteen days and a sudra thirty days. If the

relation is distant the brahmana will have three days asauca.


If a child of brahmana dies within ten days of birth, impurity is observed

for ten days after the birth by the father and mother only. If the child

dies within two years, asauca is one day.


If the child dies before six years and three months, the asauca is three

days for close relatives.


During the period of contamination one should not study scripture, or

perform homa, deity worship, tarpana, entertain guests etc. If one is

performing deity worship one may perform , worship by manasa puja. However

if one has made a vow to perform worship of the Lord for his whole life, he

should not break this vow, but should continue the puja.


Those performing sacrifice, students and realized souls, or one who has

performed funeral rites for a sannyasi does not obeserve asauca.


Sraddha Kriya


To ensure that the soul does not remain in a subtle body hovering on this

earth planet, but will attain a comfortable body for enjoyment on pitr loka,

offerings are made to the departed person and the pitrs. During the asauca

period daily offerings of sesame and water, and pinda (rice mixed with

sesame, ghee and honey) are given to the departed person. On the eleventh

day (for a close relative of a brahmana) the house is purified, eleven

brahmanas are fed and offerings are made to the deceased. Beginning on that

day, for the first year, monthly sraddha ceremonies should be held. As

well, in the sixth and twelfth month additional sraddhas should be

conducted. Then every year, on the tithi of the decease, annual sraddhas

should be conducted.


According to Vaishnava scripture, the sraddha rites may be performed, but the

priest performing the rites should be vaishnavas and the offerings to the

pitrs should be visnu prasada.


The inhabitants of Pitrloka are generally men of the karma kandiya or

fruiive activities category, who have been transferred there because of

their pious activities. They can stay there as long as their descendants


offer them Vishnu prasada.


                  SB 5.2.2




The sraddha ceremony of oblations to the forefathers should not be performed

on ekadashi tithi. When the tithi of the death anniversary falls on the

ekadashi day, the sraddha ceremony should be held not on ekadashi but on the

next day.





Antyesthi or Burial Rites for the Sannyasi:


At the time of passing from the mortal body, while the Holy Name is being

recited or sung, caranamrta, tirtha water or krishna prasadam should be placed

in his mouth.


According to the injuction that a sannyasi should not touch fire, some

maintain that the body of a sannyasi should not be burned. Others state

different rules for the different types of sannyasis (kuticaka, bahudaka,

hamsa and parama hamsa). Some additional rites from scripture (eg.

Vaikhanasa Dharma Sutra, Jayakhya Samhita,) and by popular usage are as



One should dig a sufficiently deep hole on a river bank which flows to the

ocean, or on the sea shore. Vaishnavas select the Holy Dhama, if possible.


The hole should be one step larger the the height of the person. If the

body has already been burnt, the ashes or bones should be taken to a holy

tirtha and there placed in earth.


One should sprinkle the hole with pancagavya and tirtha water.

One should shave the person.

One should sprinkle the body with pancagavya chanting gayatri and purusa

sukta or other mantras.

One may bathe the body with conch water 108 times chanting om, and offer

fresh cloth and tilaka.


One may worship the body by offering 16 upacaras (asana, footwash, arghya,

mouthwash, madhuparka, mouthwash, bath, cloth, gayatri thread, ornaments,

sandalwood pulp, flowers, incense, lamps, krishna prasadam, obeisances).


The following samadhi mantra, according to Gopala Bhatta Goswami in Samskara

Dipika, should be written on his body (udsing sandalwood pulp and tulasi



om klim shrim hrim shrim lavana mrd yuji bhuvi svabhre svaha


One should offer puspanjali to the body.

One should place the body in the pit chanting gayatri.

The body should be in a sitting or lying posture.


The danda should be placed in his right hand, his upavita (gayatri thread)

should be placed in his left hand.


As a practical measure the body is first covered completely with salt. Then

everything is covered with sand. Stones or some memorial may be placed over



The attending vaishnavas should then be fed with krishna prasadam.

The rites may be performed by his son or any other person.

There is no period of impurity (asauca) for performing rites for a sannyasi.


No sraddha rites are performed, but an offering to Narayana, may be

performed on the eleventh day from the decease. In that case, one should

establish a fire and worship a murti of Vishnu with 16 upacaras, and offer

boiled rice mixed with guda, ghee and fruits to the deity and the fire. One

should present twelve brahmanas with cloth and ornaments and worship them

withupacaras. One should feed the brahmanas and give them gold. One should

chant Purusa Sukta and utter the twelve names of Vishnu.