Currently, in the UK, outdoor cremations are not allowed. However, under the 1902 Cremation Act, outdoor cremations are not specifically banned, which is why Davender Kumar Ghai, a Hindu spiritual healer, has been allowed to seek a judicial review challenging the current refusal to allow outdoor cremation:
“In South Asia the vast majority of cremations for Hindus and Sikhs are held outdoors, often on the banks of a river that has been deemed holy. Although widely practised in the Sikh faith, outdoor cremations are not considered compulsory.
In Hinduism, however, there is more widespread agreement that the 4,000-year-old practice of open-air burning is the most spiritually appropriate way to release a soul from the body following death. Many Hindus believe that mechanical cremations lead to akal mrtyu (a bad death), where the soul is forced to mingle with other souls because it has not been able to escape.
On a hillside outside Brighton a marble memorial stands on a spot where 53 Hindu and Sikh soldiers who died fighting in the First World War were cremated outdoors. in 1934, the Home Office helped to organise the cremation in Woking of Shumshere Jung, a member of Nepal’s royal family and wife of the Nepalese ambassador at the time. Mr Ghai’s lawyers believe these examples will help show the courts that a precedent exists for open-air cremations.”
If there aren’t any public health issues I cannot see the problem with this.
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Filed in: Current affairs,Hindu,Religion