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Cremation vs. burial

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In all seriousness,  before the pre abrahamic religions , people used to believe in elemental worship . 
Death wasn't perceived as a full stop. Just something like changing clothes for the soul.  And for some days  after death according to the lunar cycle (mostly 15 ) , it was believed that the soul lingered around the body or made its presence known to the near and dear ones ( as per its attachment with the family members ). 

To my limited knowledge Fire (Agni) , was and still is considered as the best form of cleansing impurities. Hindus traditionally cremate their dead because a fiery dissolution of the body brings swifter, more complete release of the soul than burial, which preserves the soul's psychic connection to its just-ended earthly life. After death, the departed soul hovers close to the earth plane in its astral body, emotionally attached to the physical body and its old surroundings, still able to see this material world. The funeral rites and burning of the body signify spiritual release, notifying the soul that, in fact, death has come. Some of the funeral chants address the deceased, urging the soul to relinquish attachments and continue its spiritual journey. The Gods and devas are invoked to assist the soul in its transition. The fire severs ties to earthly life and gives momentum to the soul, granting at least momentary access to refined, heavenly realms.

 Holy men and saints, however, are buried in the lotus position (padmasan) as they are believed to have attained — through piety, penance, rigorous spiritual training, or through good deeds done in previous lives — a level of detachment that makes cremation redundant.

Children, on the other hand, are buried as the soul has not stayed in the body long enough to develop any attachment.

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