In India, when someone dies, the body is transported on a litter by the chanting family from the home to the sacred burning grounds. The litter carries the body as the song carries the soul. Halfway to the burning ghat, the procession halts and the litter is turned about so that the head of the deceased no longer points to the house from which he has just departed but toward the home he is approaching.

Stephen Levine, A Year to Live