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This fire has been tended and burned continuously for 4000 years, they say

‘Chaudharys (the untouchables) are the lowest social caste in India, whose job, for the last thousands of years is to burn dead bodies in the holy city of Varanasi. This extremely tough profession has been assigned to them as one of many unprivileged works they perform in the Hindu society. It is Them, who protect the symbolic Eternal Flame of the heath of Manikarnika Ghat, keeping the hundreds of bodies constantly burning in stacks, every night and day. Cremations, done there by Chaudharys, provide the full closure of sansara and allow to reach the state of nirvana. Hand to hand, they work to burn the bodies – fathers with sons, cousins with uncles, young and elderly ones’

From here

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