This book comprises a smorgasboard of essays on death, dying, funeral rituals, ancestor ceremonies, ghosts, and other subjects in the realm of Mrityu, the god of Death, and aparam, the Sanskrit and Telugu word for human End Time. The focus stretches from the Rg Veda to present-day Hinduism, textual and non-textual. The title of the book is that of the first essay, an ethnographic and Vedic/ Classical Sanskrit textual study of the sapinda ritual that occurs on the twelfth day of a full-scale, textually accurate funeral. That field work was accomplished during a year-long study of funeral rituals in Varanasi, the ancient city of Kasi where it is most auspicious for Hindus to die and be cremated in a final sacrifice of the body.
About the Author(s)
David M. Knipe, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison, is author of Vedic Voices: Intimate Narratives of a Living Andhra Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press 2015), Hinduism: Experiments in the Sacred, and other books, encyclopedia and journal articles. His educational television series of 15 programs, Exploring the Religions of South Asia, is in use in hundreds of universities, colleges, and museums.