Jayalalithaa was born in a Sri Vaishnava Brahmin Community. She was an ardent believer of God and visited south Indian temples frequently for prayers and offerings. But she never utilized her caste or her beliefs for political gain.



When the doctors of Apollo Hospital announced her death, it was believed that the funeral rituals will be conducted by her family members according to the Sri Vaishnava funeral conventions. But she was buried next to the grave of MGR next to the MGR memorial on Kamarajar Salai.



Burying is not practiced by the Sri Vaishnava sect, who burn corpses as per Brahmin tradition. Besides, the funeral rituals for a married woman and an unmarried woman differ in that sect. And 'Narayana Bali' ritual is compulsory if the dead happened an orphan.



In the Sri Vaishnava sect, 'Agni Homa' is performed on the chest of the corpse. Sri Churna Paripalana (Purification of the dead body), Karana Mantra Pathana (Chanting of Mantras in the ears of the corpse), Asthi Sanchaya and Nadi Visarjana (collection of bones and disposal in the sacred river) are the main features of the last rites.



Yesterday none of the Brahminical rituals were performed. The last rites were practiced as per Dravidian notions.



Responding to this, AIADMK leaders said that Dravidians were non-believers. Since Jayalalithaa ruled the Dravidian party for three decades they decided to conduct her last rites according to Dravidian culture. Besides, Dravidian leaders of the previous generations like Periyar Ramaswamy Naicker, Annadurai and MG Ramachandran were also buried according to Dravidian tradition without considering the inherited practices of their castes and families.



In 1987, when MG Ramachandran died more than 30 people were died in the stampede and violence incidents. Fortunately this time no such disaster happened though more than 10 lakh people had gathered for her funeral.