Vishwambhar Nath Prajapati 2023

UNPG College Padrauna-Kushinagar, Padrauna, India

Shubh and Ashubh : Shaping the Hindu death culture [v]

Durkheim ([1912]2001) argues that the notion of sacred and profane exist in every religion of the world. Sacred is ideal and transcends everyday existence. The profane or unholy embraces those practices, ideas, persons, and things that are regarded with an everyday attitude of ordinariness, utility and acquaintance. The profane is also believed to contaminate the sacred. All Indic origin religions (Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism) consider the body as mortal (Nashvar). In India death (mrtyu) is not opposite, as is in the West to the idea of life (jivan), it is opposite to birth (jati) (Filippi, 1996:5). This paper will examine how the dynamics of ‘shubh’ and ‘ashubh’ shape the Hindu death culture and evolution of rituals in India. Hetimpur (crematorium) between the Kushinagar and Deoria district of Uttar Pradesh has been the main site for this study.


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