Mythologist | Author | Speaker | Illustrator

First published August 28, 2022

Garuda Purana

…and Other Hindu Ideas on Death, Rebirth & Immortality

Why do Hindus feed their ancestors? Why is burning the dead preferred to the building of tombs? Are Swarga and Naraka not the Hindu equivalent of Heaven and Hell? Does Hinduism have a concept like Judgement Day? What is the impact of death on Hindu notions of womanhood and caste?

Is the Vedic approach to death different from the Tantric one? What is the difference between bhuta, pishacha, preta, pitr and vetala?

Ideas of death, rebirth and immortality are embedded in the Hindu mind through ritual and story. Death is not just tragic, but ambiguous too. It is the end of one journey, and also the beginning of another. The dead are venerable, yet death is inauspicious, a source of impurity.

Garuda Purana and Other Hindu Ideas on Death, Rebirth and Immortality, explores the many concepts around death across the spectrum of Hindu mythology, tracing the roots of certain practices to as far back as the Harappan times. A unique enquiry into the Hindu response to death, the book serves as a guide to the choices we make in life.

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