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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Essays and Articles > Vaishnava Funeral Rites

Vaishnava Funeral Rites 
Compiled by BRS 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 Mahabharata, 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 sutra...


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. Plac e (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 Ekadashi 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 salagrama-sila 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. Asaucha 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 Purana:


* 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-gita 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 deceased.


Antyesti (The Last Rites)


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 Krishna 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 Thakura:


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 in.


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, saying:


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 follows:


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 leaf):


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 this.


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.