Cremation however is not the only prescribed method of disposal of the body. Children below a certain age are buried upon death. In case of an enlightened master, his body is buried inside a tomb called samadhi while he himself is seated in a state of samadhi in lotus position. The body of a renouncer (sanyasi) is usually placed in a river, since it is customary for a sanyasi to undergo the symbolic act of cremation before taking up the life of renunciation. So a second cremation is not prescribed. While cremation is the standard procedure, Hindus prefer a watery grave for the departed in the Ganges, which is a sacred river that is believed to purify souls of their sins, or a cremation on its banks.
5. The grace of God. God in the form of a personal deity may often interfere with the fate of an individual and change the course of his or her after life. We have instances where God rescued his devotees from the hands of the messengers of death and placed them in the highest heaven in recognition of their meritorious deeds.
Pastors Bud & Betty Miller on Life after Death
Agee imagined subsequent scenes based on real events in American elephantine history, beginning with Old Bet, the centerpiece of an exotic traveling menagerie, who was reportedly shot by a Maine farmer in 1816, believing her to be the unholy behemoth of old. A later scene concerns another circus elephant, Mary, who was lynched in Tennessee in 1916 following an altercation with a brutal keeper — an event that, although Agee never made his movie of it, has been dramatized for the stage three times: Mark Medoff’s (1989), George Brant’s (2007), and Caleb Lewis’s (2009). As a proxy for more traditional, less newsworthy lynchings, this ill-starred elephant seems to be the nonpareil. All these accounts, in their way, are trying to say something of the clash between what turn out to be two inverse evils: the bigoted, airtight provincialism of the town proper, and the gaudy, sordid disassociation of traveling circus life — that is, being someone entirely because you are from somewhere, or being from nowhere at all. Mary happened to be so unfortunate as to drop into this unneighborly maw.
There is no evidence for life after death
The early Vedic people believed in the existence of two worlds apart from ours, the world of ancestors and that of gods. They called these worlds bhur (earth), bhuva (moon) and svar (the sun) which occupied the lower, the middle and the higher regions of the universe. They believed that gods attained the highest world of svar because of the sacrifices they performed in the past and that men too could reach their world through similar sacrifices. It was also through sacrifice that the gods managed to resurrect Brahma (Prajapati) when he exploded and lost his vital energy due to the intense heat that emanated from his act of creation. The gods represented the life forces and renewal of life while the demons who opposed them represented the forces of death and destruction. In the struggle between gods and demons the gods won and became immortal, providing an opportunity and a possibility to mortal men to attain their status through good deeds upon earth. However the notion of rebirth of human beings was alien to the early Vedic people. In the Rigveda there is no mention of rebirth or reincarnation. Once the souls departed from here, they lived either in the world of ancestors or that of the gods for good. Their bodies (tanus) were recreated in the higher worlds according to the merit they gained through the sacrifices they performed whilst they were alive. The Vedic tradition of offering sacrifices to one's ancestors support the Vedic belief that the ancestors would either stay in the ancestral world or ascend to the heavenly world through the sacrifices of their descendants but would not return to earth again. If their stay was temporary, the question of making annual offerings to several generations of departed souls would not make much sense. A rudimentary concept of rebirth can be traced in some early Upanishads which repeatedly suggest that a father lives through his son. While the body may perish, the Self does not because the knowledge and energies of the father are transmitted to the eldest son.