Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Death in Sutika Kala ||39||
1O lord, out of compassion for me, please tell me the rules of impurity, for my knowledge and for the welfare of human beings.
2O lord of birds, the impurity accruing from birth and death is fourfold. The rules of impurity are applicable to all the four castes.
3The days of impurity are ten for the relatives on the father’s and mother’s side. People should avoid taking meals, during this period, with the relatives of the dead. The bereaved family should neither offer nor receive gifts, should neither undertake nor conduct sacrifices. The study of the Vedas and Sastras is strictly prohibited.
4One should observe the following while performing obsequial rites: suitability of place and time, sufficiency of wealth, justification of purpose, validity of reason and his capability.
5If a person is dead in the forest conflagration or in a foreign country, the relatives should take bath along with the dress; the impurity is soon removed thereby.
6If a child is dead in the womb or is born dead, there should be no obsequial rite, no water libation and no impurity at all.
7Artisans, architects, physicians, slaves (male or female), kings and Vedic scholars are purified immediately.
8He who is at fast or at sacrifice reciting the mantras or he who has set up a sacrificial fire or he who is a reigning ruler-these are exempt from impurity as also those who are exempted by the king.
9In impurity accruing from birth, the rules are less strict. Mother is purified after ten days, father just after taking bath.
10During the days of marriage, festivity, sacrifice, if a person dies, there is no impurity. The foodstuff collected for use can be utilized by the persons concerned. This is what Manu.
11In birth the relatives incur no impurity. Impurity attaches to parents alone. Primarily, it is the mother who becomes impure. Father is purified by the touch of water alone.
12In birth or death impurity lasts for ten days, O bird.
13By giving food to the hungry and the indigent, the parents get rid of impurity the sages have declared.
14Manu is purified after bathing in water from the earthen jar mixed with gingelly seeds and clay from holy places.
15-16He should gift some articles to the village assembly, gold, cow and bull to a Brahmana. If Kshatriya he should do the same twice, if Vaisya thrice, if Sudra four times. Wealth should be given to a Brahmin.
17A person distanced by seven or eight generation or he who has not undergone a Sacrament incurs no impurity.
18For men who have lost life for the sake of a Brahmin, a cow, a woman or in the battlefield, infirmity lasts only for a single night.
19-20Brahmins do not incur impurity if they are engaged in an auspicious rite. Those who arrange cremation. of an orphan child with the Brahmin assisting them in this act become purified as soon as they take bath.
21When Sudras, following a corpse, reach a pond or a stream or a reservoir, they should return home. While returning they should be glanced at by a Brahmin which is enough for their purification. This is what the Vedic scholars say.