Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

Ayodhya seers wish to end Jal Samadhi tradition

- Pawan Dixit Pawan.dixit@htlive.com

Giving a ‘jal samadhi’ or water burial to the dead is a tradition in Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh, especially in districts situated on the banks of river Saryu starting from Ayodhya. But now, saints of the temple town want an end to this age-old tradition.

Seers or sanyasis, as they are called in Ayodhya, are given ‘jal samadhi’, particular­ly in the Vaishnavit­e community.

The Awadh region mainly comprises Ayodhya (earlier Faizabad), Gonda, Basti, Bahraich, Shrawasti, Ambedkar Nagar and some other districts.

In this region, some people also prefer jal samadhi for those of their loved ones who die unmarried. This has been going on since ages. But the tradition is now on the decline. Children are buried instead of being cremated. The issue came to light recently when deaths from coronaviru­s in India’s most populace state, Uttar Pradesh, broke all records last month with hundreds of bodies found floating in river Ganga and buried in sand across Ganga ghats in eastern part of the state.

The Mani Ram Das Chavni Peeth, the math from where all decisions related with saints in Ayodhya are taken, has decided to end the jal samadhi tradition by issuing an appeal to people to cremate their loved ones.

lead to more unusual weather conditions in UP and across North India in general, in the coming months,” Surendra Prabhakar, a senior environmen­talist, said.

While the changes in weather conditions appear small, they do leave a huge impact on the environmen­t.

“The slightest change in weather conditions has a direct impact on the environmen­t around us. The deviation in heat and rains is reflected in the reduced mango production in

UP this year.

The Rabi crop will also be affected by a delayed monsoon. These changes have a direct impact on our farmers,” explained Prabhakar, adding that the conditions are also reflective of the changing weather patterns caused largely by global warming. “These changes in our weather pattern, in my opinion, are linked directly to global warming. In the coming days these changes will become more drastic and frequent,” he cautioned.

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