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Manjkarnika Cremation Ghat At Varanasi

Discussion in 'Central India' started by Tyson, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Tyson

    Tyson New Member

    I saw a photo here on the site about the Manjkarnika Cremation Ghat. Is everyone in India cremated? I know in a lot of cultures cremation is practiced. I'm just curious about India and how they bury their dead. I think what fascinates me about this practice is the time I spent in Mexico for the "Day of the Dead" festival. Each culture and religion have their own way of sending loved ones off.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Yes, traditionally, all Indians are cremated except babies, children and saints. The casket of the dead is usually carried in a stretcher. Then, the eldest man in the family has to accompany the casket into the cremation site. If we trace back to history, the dead were usually cremated in the Ganges River. The whole family will be there around the pyre built for the dead loved one. It will then be burned and they have to stay there until it's completely burned.

    Once completely burned, the funeral is done. A day after the funeral and the cremation, the family has to meet up again and collect the ashes. Traditionally, these ashes should be spread into the Ganges River. But nowadays, it's acceptable to spread the ashes even in other rivers.

    I hope this is helpful!

  3. Dhruv

    Dhruv Member

    Cremation is the most common funeral practice in India, but it's not mandatory for everyone. Here's a breakdown of how Hindus, the majority religion in India, handle death:

    • Cremation: This is the preferred method for most Hindus. It's believed to help the soul detach from the physical body and move towards moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth). The Manikarnika Ghat you saw is a famous cremation ground in Varanasi.

    • Burial: While less common, there are exceptions for certain groups within Hinduism. Infants, children below 12 years old, pregnant women, saints (sadhus), and people bitten by snakes are traditionally buried.
    Here are some additional factors that might influence burial practices:

    • Regional customs: Some regional traditions within Hinduism might have specific burial practices for certain situations.

    • Economic status: Cremation can be expensive due to the wood and other materials required. In some cases, families might opt for burial due to financial constraints.
    Other Religions in India:

    • Islam: Muslims in India generally bury their dead facing Mecca, the holy city in Saudi Arabia.

    • Christianity: Christians in India typically bury their dead in cemeteries, similar to practices in Western countries.

    • Other religions: Zoroastrians (Parsis) have unique practices involving exposure of the deceased in a Tower of Silence for vultures to consume the body.
    Your curiosity about death rituals across cultures is interesting! The "Day of the Dead" festival in Mexico is a vibrant example of how death can be celebrated as part of life's journey. In India, funeral practices vary based on religion, traditions, and personal beliefs.