Practical suggestions for performing Hindu Last Rites
Dr. A.V. Srinivasan
Periplus Line LLC
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By Professor Subhash Kak
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Dr A.V. Srinivasan is America’s foremost interpreter of Vedic ritual for our generation and author of many books. In Antyeshti he takes up the ritual associated with death. Hinduism celebrates life but it also recognizes that death is inevitable. As Krishna taught in the Bhagavad Gita, we must not grieve for within each one of us resides the immortal atman or self. Antyeshti provides much inspirational material for comfort and understanding.
Antyeshti is also a manual on the ceremonies to be performed after death and we are informed that there is variation in tradition based on family and community. The book includes specific readings and chants and the details of the concluding puja, traditionally performed on the thirteenth day or sooner, to celebrate the departed person’s life. Antyeshti is thoughtfully conceived and it will come in handy to Hindus in America when they confront the passing of loved ones.
By Professor Jeff Long
Professor of Religion and Asian Studies
Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA
With this volume, Dr. A.V. Srinivasan has magnificently replicated his previous accomplishments in making the Vedic wedding ceremony accessible and comprehensible to a wide audience, this time with the Vedic funeral ceremony. This book will not only be useful to Hindu priests, but to grieving families as well. It is not only a ‘how-to’ guide to the Hindu funerary rites–though it is certainly that, complete with mantras–but also a helpful and comforting guide for any person who is mourning a loved one. The list of suggested readings from Hindu scriptures for those who have recently suffered the loss of a loved one is a great resource. This book, finally, is also an excellent primary source for scholars who want to understand Hindu funerary rituals, both in term of their practice and the rationale behind them. Another real treasure from Dr. A.V. Srinivasan!