Archive for December 3rd, 2012

Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2012 22:49:21 +0530
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Gopii.Bhava
Subject: Not To Bury or Cremate – Put on Medical Watch



Note: This letter is related with one book published by a writer wherein he completely misrepresented Baba’s teachings.

First let us see what Baba has said on this critical topic.

“It sometimes happens that due to sudden accident or the attack of a deadly disease, the body is so disturbed that its vital force becomes paralysed. This can happen with cholera (visúciká in Sanskrit), pox (máriigut́iká in Sanskrit), snakebite, death by poisoning, and death by hanging…In such cases, where the vital energy is paralysed, there is absolutely no chance of it returning if the body is cremated. If the body is interred underground it becomes even more grievous because that vital energy may reawaken for some time in the grave. After a short struggle the person falls again into eternal sleep in the darkness of the tomb. Thus, after these types of death it is better not to burn or bury the deceased until they have been examined by a competent physician.” (Shabda Cayaniká, Part 1, Disc: 3)

Baba has also pointedly described in Ananda Vacanamrtam part 10 (The Supreme Entity – the Non-Doer, paragraphs 14 – 16) how a person with small pox or suffering from snakebite does not always die completely – rather their life force is sometimes temporarily suspended. In that case, if you bury them and their consciousness returns, they will awaken underground enclosed in their coffin. That is why Baba warns us that caution is needed: Such persons should neither be cremated nor buried, but rather put on medical watch.

Baba gives the example of the tradition wherein such “deaths” they neither cremate nor bury the person. It may be their regular custom to cremate the body, such as in India, but if they think that there still may be vital energy in the body they float the “deceased” person in water. Due to the cool waters the person may regain consciousness in which case they are saved. Baba appreciates this point and in Ananda Marga we take similar precautions befitting this modern era.

It is very clear that Baba’s teaching shows concern for all and that He gives respect to everyone’s life. But the writer of one book has written a completely false account that does not have any sense. Rather it is misleading and harmful.


One writer gives the very negative impression that in Ananda Marga we do not care about suffering people and that our preference is to cremate them even if they are still alive. In his book, The Jamalpur Years (JY), this person wrongly reports that Baba says living persons should be cremated so that they do not get buried alive and end up suffering and suffocating in the coffin; rather before their actual death they should be burned. That way they will be saved. The “writer” gives such false justifications in the name of Baba.

In this heartless and irrational way, he is putting forth Ananda Marga’s position on cremation.


As we know, Ananda Marga supports the practice of cremating bodies for so many scientific and spiritual reasons; but the person writes that the practice of cremation has been adopted in Ananda Marga because by that way if a person is still alive and not fully dead, then at least they will not awaken buried in the ground and suffer.

Such is his logic for Ananda Marga’s system for cremation and disposal of a deceased person: If one is wrongly proclaimed dead then at least they will be cremated and thereby killed, and will not suffer by being buried alive. Such is his abhorrent proclamation – all propagated in an attempt to clarify the reasoning behind Ananda Marga cremation rules.

It would be just like some stupid idiot proclaiming in one book that Ananda Margiis dance tandava with skulls in order to terrify people. When that is not at all the reason why we use skulls in our tandava dance. Everyone knows that tandava has great physiological and psychic benefits and the skull itself carries a deep spiritual significance which Baba has described in detail. So hypothesizing about such things is useless and misleading.

It would be the same as justifying that our avadhutas wear orange because hunters in the USA wear orange, and since our avadhutas also like to hunt they too wear orange. Yet again, there are some prison inmates that are given orange uniforms, so our avadhutas wear orange because they also commit crimes.

These are all ludicrous and bogus justifications.

Similarly, our approach to cremation has nothing to do with what the “writer” is telling – i.e. killing someone whose mind is in a suspended state. That is not at all why we do cremation. Indeed the moment we recognise that someone’s mind is suspended we will put them on medical alert. And they will not be cremated. Whereas if the person is really dead, then our basis for doing the cremation is based on many noted scientific and spiritual benefits which Baba Himself has outlined.


So Brother Devashish’s (Deva’shiis’a) writing (JY book) is appalling and veritably inhumane. Here is the quote from his book. You may read for yourself in his book on page 68, paragraph 3, lines 4 thru 18. Or if you do not have the book here is the quote for your easy reference:

(In the below quote, Devashish claims to be quoting Baba directly. Thus Devashish (Deva’shiis’a) is not writing his own opinion but rather indicating that these are Baba’s actual words and that the “I” refers to Baba Himself.)

“Now it so happens that in certain rare cases, before the vayus completely escape and merge into the universal prana, they remain suspended in the spinal column. This can happen only in the case of certain accidents, snakebites, and occasionally with cholera victims. In such cases the person has no vital signs. He appears to be dead but actually he is not. In those countries where burial is the custom, it is possible that a person may revive after he has been buried. There have been cases noted in these countries where a coffin has been disinterred and scratch marks have been found on the inside of the lid. Or the skeletons may have shifted position. Sometimes people attribute this to ghosts. For this reason, in ancient India, the bodies of people who had died from cholera or snakebite were traditionally floated downriver on a raft in the hope that they might revive. This is one of the reasons why I [Baba] support cremation. Should a person’s life force be suspended and not be discovered by the doctors, then there is no chance of their awakening inside the coffin and dying a second, horrible death.” (The Jamalpur Years, by Devashish, p.68, paragraph 3, lines 4 thru 18)

In his above writing, Devashish (Deva’shiis’a) is making the outrageous claim that Baba guides us that in Ananda Marga we perform cremations so those still alive should not struggle if they are buried in a coffin; rather those still living persons should be burned to death ahead of time.

That is the remarkable and wholly fallacious logic Devashish (Deva’shiis’a) is giving for our system of cremation in Ananda Marga.

Surrender to Him,


“Ga’ner parash da’o pra’n’er pare shya’mal cha’ye…” (P.S. 1405)


Baba, You touch one and all & spread Your divine love through the medium of Your devotional songs. It is like the soothing shade of the greenery in summertime. Baba, Your journey knows no bounds. You go on singing Your divine songs.

The day before anything was created, You were also present. That very time Your sadhana was also existing. In those days You were the sadhaka, You were the Goal, and You were the sadhana. You were also the songs of eternity. You were everything all wrapped together; You were all in one.

Baba, the day when nothing will no longer exist, that very time also You will be Present and will remain ever-effulgent. Then also Your sadhana will exist. Your divine effulgence will also remain along with You. In that unknown abode, Your infinite songs will also be with You.

Baba, with the divine touch of Your devotional songs, You touch my heart, arose the devotion, and make my life successful…

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