From Death to Life – The Hydrological Circle of Cosmos and Copulation


  • Terje Oestigaard



Hindu Mythology, eroticism, funeral practice, sexuality


When a person dies, how is the soul transferred from the dead body to an infant in a mother's womb? In Hinduism this process in understood and explained metaphorically by the hydrological circle and the interrelatedness of fire and water. The cosmological circle of reincarnation is a life-giving process which includes the life-giving waters; the essence of life. Based on mythology and the sacred scriptures, this process is investigated.

Key Words: Hindu Mythology, eroticism, funeral practice, sexuality

DOI = 10.3126/dsaj.v2i0.1360

Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology Vol.2 pp.121-144


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Author Biography

Terje Oestigaard

Oestigaard, Terje works in the interface between archaeology and anthropology, and he has a board international field-experience from Bangladesh, Greece, Jordan, India, Nepal and Palestine, and his doctoral research in South Asia (Nepal India and Bangladesh) addresses the relation between water and religion from historical perspective. Apart from his dr. thesis Death and Life Giving Water- Cremation, Caste and Cosmogony in Karmic Traditions, his publications include the books Fahlander, F. & Oestigaard, T. (eds.). The Materiality of Death. Bodies, Burials, Beliefs (2008), Goldhahn, J. & Østigård, T. Rituelle spesialister i bronse- og jernalderen Vols. 1-2. (2007), Political Archaeology and Holy Nationalism - Archaeological battles over the Bible and land in Israel and Palestine from 1967-2000 (2007), Østigård, T. (ed.). Lik og ulik: Tilnærminger til variasjon i gravskikk (2006), Tvedt, T. & Oestigaard, T. (eds.). A History of Water Vol. 3. The World of Water (2006), På liv og død. Med døden som følgesvenn i 1500 år (2006), Water and World Religions. An Introduction (2005), Death and World Religions. Human responses to the inevitable (2004), Fahlander, F. & Oestigaard, T. (eds.). Material Culture and Other Things - Post-disciplinary studies in the 21st century (2004), Oestigaard, T., Anfinset, N. & Saetersdal, T. (eds.). Combining the Past and the Present: Archaeological perspectives on society (2004), An Archaeology of Hell: Fire, Water and Sin in Christianity (2003), Norge uten nordmenn - en antinasjonalistisk arkeologi (2001), and The Deceased's Life Cycle Rituals in Nepal: Present Cremation Burials (2000).


How to Cite

Oestigaard, T. (2008). From Death to Life – The Hydrological Circle of Cosmos and Copulation. Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 2, 121–144.