Memento mori

Memento mori
Burning body at the cremation grounds of Manikarnika Ghat, Varanassi (India)

Memento mori (Latin for 'remember that you [have to] die')

Part two of a three part series on the Cremation grounds of Varanassi written together with Jordan De Lupis. For part one about Varanassi itself, click this link. For part three about the Cannibal monks - click this link.

In part one we discussed the religious importance of Varanassi, located at the Holy ganghes river, it is both a place to die for Hindus as it is believed that performing the last rites at Manikarnika Ghat can provide the souls with Moksha, or liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Women aren’t officially allowed here, considered to be a 'happy' event, crying is forbidden.

One of the 84 ghats is Manikarnika ghat - the eternal burning grounds of Varanassi. Around 100 bodies are burned using wood every day at this site. Not everyone is allowed to be burned at the numerous cremation sights throughout the country, and pregnant women, children as well as holy men and poor families who can’t afford the cost [~250$]  are just thrown into the Ganges river - more on that later.

towards the end.

I was lucky enough to be living at Manikarnika Ghat alongside a religious sect called that cannibalism - the Aghoris of which one of their members died at the supposed age of 130. The ritual there is different, as he is separated from normal society and doesn't have to be prepared for the next cycle of reincarnation. The AhHis body is initially put on ice

explain the entire funeral process, ending with dumping him into the Ganges river

The life and death of the Aghori's is covered in the third article