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puzzled

Why do we cremate?

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Why do we cremate?  A Christian girl asked me that and i didn't know the answer!   in Christianity fire represents Hell.

I said we cremate so we become dust and part of earth     mitti  ਮਿੱਟੀ ?   thats what we are made of after all?     and she said Ok that makes sense 

I once read that Hindus cremate because that releases the soul,  that dont make sense to me   some even smash the skull with the club! 

Edited by puzzled

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Some Mahapurash use to request a sea "burial", i.e. releasing the body to the elements and allowing wildlife in the water to devour it. I'm not sure whether that's still happening.

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17 hours ago, puzzled said:

Why do we cremate?  A Christian girl asked me that and i didn't know the answer!   in Christianity fire represents Hell.

I said we cremate so we become dust and part of earth     mitti  ਮਿੱਟੀ ?   thats what we are made of after all?     and she said Ok that makes sense 

I once read that Hindus cremate because that releases the soul,  that dont make sense to me   some even smash the skull with the club! 

A heavy part of Indic dharam seems to be a separation of the eternal (paraatma), from the impermanent (maya), so maybe that's why they don't really value the actual vessel? Plus it being a hot region, those bodys would start to decompose really quickly. 

Maybe that plays a part? I don't think our bodies being cremated or buried really plays that big a deal on what subsequently happens according to Sikhi. It's not like say Islam where a body being burnt has significant impact according to beliefs - where having no physical remnants means that they will be unable to rise again on judgement day as per their prophecies.  

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7 hours ago, Redoptics said:

Its clean, we dont have attachment,  space etc

100 % correct but the Vedas recommend burial not cremation! The practice was introduced by the Dravidians which spread all over Hindustan. Sikhs just followed suit!  No big deal.

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Apart from Guru Nanak ji and Guru Arjan ji all the gurus were cremated. Even Guru Gobind Singh ji asked the Singhs to set up a funeral pyre and then guru ji walked into it.   When Guru Tegh Bhadur was executed lakhi shah vanjara took guru jis body into his house and then set his house on fire to cremate gurus jis body.   

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I have always thought abrahamic religions like muslim/christian/jewish have a benefit over us in this sense, because atleast on superficial level , they can visit their dead loved ones by visiting the grave and feeling their dead ones are still with them. 

In Punjab, people still have a concept of 'mitti kaddna' , wherein your surname will have some random samadh which no one surely knows of LOL in some remote part of some farm in punjab and you go there and pull some soil and put some sweets . What utter rubbish I witnessed as a ritual next day after my marriage. And ofcourse , brahmin women still leading our wedding rituals. What was the point of sikhism when the vast majority of people in punjab still continue to live in such utter ignorance, but this is topic for other thread

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8 hours ago, AjeetSingh2019 said:

I have always thought abrahamic religions like muslim/christian/jewish have a benefit over us in this sense, because atleast on superficial level , they can visit their dead loved ones by visiting the grave and feeling their dead ones are still with them.

In Japan they kind of do both. They cremate but they have very space efficient "cemetaries" where a remebrance of each person is placed usually with remains of their family group. 

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I know this jumps threads, but somebody suggested setting up a sikh community in japan. In many ways it would be perfect...except the japanese are so nationalistic they don't give anyone citizenship really. Japan is for the japanese and they are dead set on that. 

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Best to let the dead go. Remembrance, shrines, whatever, it's not good for those left behind and the departed. It's a form of attachment. There's nothing wrong with looking back on happier times with affection for a loved one who's passed, but anything more is not recommended. I think the Dharmic cultures have it correct on this one. 

Edited by MisterrSingh
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5 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

Best to let the dead go. Remembrance, shrines, whatever, it's not good for those left behind and the departed. It's a form of attachment. There's nothing wrong with looking back on happier times with affection for a loved one who's passed, but anything more is not recommended. I think the Dharmic cultures have it correct on this one. 

its interesting how panjabi culture in certain aspects seems to do the complete opposite i.e. jagga in the pind.

have read how sum r in the same place as sri guru granth sahib ji.

who do these ppl worship then? their loved one or their true guru?

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20 minutes ago, GuestSingh said:

its interesting how panjabi culture in certain aspects seems to do the complete opposite i.e. jagga in the pind.

have read how sum r in the same place as sri guru granth sahib ji.

who do these ppl worship then? their loved one or their true guru?

People do whatever it is they feel like doing. In all cultures and religions regardless of geography, the disparity between what people say and present to others compared to what they actually believe and do is significant. Put it this way: the contemporaries of Guru Sahibs didn't miraculously see the light and change their ways just coz. Only a relative minority were fortunate enough to cut through the nonsense and realise what was going on. Most didn't realise that truth for themselves but instead took someone else's word as enough to adjust their beliefs for a short while. Others continued doing what they always did according to their pre-existing beliefs and cultural norms because they were afraid of abandoning beliefs that had followed by their ancestors for hundreds or even thousands of years.

Now that hundreds of years have passed since the physical lifetimes of Guru Sahibs, there's obviously going to be a further degradation of the immediacy and urgency of those beliefs; that's not a reflection on the inherent message contained within those beliefs but more of a statement on human nature. Most people revert to their default ancestral or cultural norms if the current belief system itself -- and its most orthodox adjerents -- do not enforce those values and beliefs constantly and consistently. We are creatures of habit after all. This is even more applicable to the practice of religion. The masses can't be trusted or left to their own volition in certain regards, because they either eventually discard those practices through laziness, apathy, or general disinterest, or a competing belief system emerges (or re-emerges) to challenge and compete for attention. That's why I believe an excessive doctrine of tolerance and acceptance of competing belief systems is not of benefit to the Sikh religion. Billion-strong faiths can harp on about interfaith dialogue and bridge-building because they have the luxury of numbers on their side. A religion such as ours that is layered in its beliefs and practices according to the respective rate of spiritual progress of its followers is always going to be "punching up" against naturally "predatory" and longer-established faiths, especially if those religions are backed up, however loosely, by social and political means.

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11 hours ago, AjeetSingh2019 said:

I have always thought abrahamic religions like muslim/christian/jewish have a benefit over us in this sense, because atleast on superficial level , they can visit their dead loved ones by visiting the grave and feeling their dead ones are still with them. 

In Punjab, people still have a concept of 'mitti kaddna' , wherein your surname will have some random samadh which no one surely knows of LOL in some remote part of some farm in punjab and you go there and pull some soil and put some sweets . What utter rubbish I witnessed as a ritual next day after my marriage. And ofcourse , brahmin women still leading our wedding rituals. What was the point of sikhism when the vast majority of people in punjab still continue to live in such utter ignorance, but this is topic for other thread

There's probably more worms and maggots under the grave than your actual loved one. 

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Like mentioned above many punjabis have a jaggah/tomb built for their ancestors. And they worship it. 

Both side of my families have this! They treat it like a living person. Like I winter they spread thick blankets on the floor and they leave wedding invitions there etc. 

I guess this was how some punjabis worshipped before they came into sikhi buy still continued it.  

These places are no different to the muslim dargahs in India. 

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