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Thread: Funeral Homes

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    Funeral Homes

    Namaskar,

    Just thinking out loud. Have you noticed that in north American countries the funeral homes and cemeteries are made right in the city or town. Most of the time, I notice that a cemetery is placed at the entrance of a town, especially smaller towns. In contrast, in Indian cities, the cemeteries are usually out of town usually away from residential area.

    I find it weird that in american and canadian cities and towns the cemeteries and funeral homes are in residential areas. I find it creepy.
    satay

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    Re: Funeral Homes

    Probably it has got something to do with the christian way where they bury the dead at the backyard of the church! Though the graveyard is often separate from the church nowadays though...This is quite different from the Hindu way of life where the place of worship is very sacred and is indeed far off from any graveyard. The graveyard is frequently the haunting grounds for evil spirits so how can we have it in a temple? I find it a bit puzzling.

    Maybe the presence of cemeteries in residential areas explains some of the unexplained misfortunes and deaths we hear of?
    Guard your Dharma, Burn the Myth, Promote the Truth, Crush the superstition.

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    Re: Funeral Homes

    This is an interesting observation by Satay. It is my understanding that this is part of civilization and cultural differences.

    Let us just observe our latrines/bath rooms. In my village in India years ago latrines or the out houses were built farther way from the houses. We did not know any thing about flush toilets. Now my village house has an attached bath room with a flush toilet like many people. We became more educated, got aware of better system, that toilet is no longer considered dirty or unholy. As a part time janitor I know it better. If you want to see the ultimate toilet you should go to Japan. It is absolutely HOLY.

    Now coming back to Funeral homes, in Western countries dead bodies are kept at cooler temperatures, not to worry about decaying. By law, in most places dead bodies cannot be disposed off at least for 24 hours. By culture and convenience dead bodies are not placed in individual houses. Funeral homes are ideal settings for the family and friends to get together in those difficult times. Some consider this is also a joyous occasion eulogizing the life of the diseased. People like to seek comfort to their best regardless of the sad situation.
    In India dead bodies are considered unclean or unholy. More than hygienic reasons it is mostly it is superstition. Superstition is very much in India despite all the Vedanta talk. Mr. Sudershan who quotes Crush the superstition, himself asksThe graveyard is frequently the haunting grounds for evil spirits so how can we have it in a temple? I find it a bit puzzling.” My family still observes 10-13 days of some ritual after some one is dead. Personally sorry, I do not follow those rules. I do not find dead body is not holy. I guess Advaitans agree to that.
    My take is we live in different cultures and the best thing is to do the best according to the local custom, not hurting my fellow’s sentiments.

    Love.............................VC
    Last edited by vcindiana; 06 September 2008 at 01:39 PM.

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    Re: Funeral Homes

    Quote Originally Posted by vcindiana View Post
    [FONT=Times New Roman]
    In India dead bodies are considered unclean or unholy. More than hygienic reasons it is mostly it is superstition. Superstition is very much in India despite all the Vedanta talk. Mr. Sudershan who quotes Crush the superstition, himself asksThe graveyard is frequently the haunting grounds for evil spirits so how can we have it in a temple? I find it a bit puzzling.” My family still observes 10-13 days of some ritual after some one is dead. Personally sorry, I do not follow those rules. I do not find dead body is not holy. I guess Advaitans agree to that.
    My take is we live in different cultures and the best thing is to do the best according to the local custom, not hurting my fellow’s sentiments.

    Love.............................VC

    Which is superstition? That there could be evil spirits in the graveyard? You forgot that this is a forum on religion and certain beliefs such as the existance of spirits and God are taken for granted here - and not considered superstitions.

    But that is exactly the reason why graveyards are far away from temples. The dead body is not considered holy by any Hindu sect - why do you think the advaitin thinks the dead body is holy? A dead body is just mithya for the advaitin, something to be separated from the Self.

    In contrast, the bodies of some saints who have attained samAdhi is considered holy by the followers. Such bodies may not even decay thus justifying the conclusion.

    The body is perishable, while the soul in it is imperishable. Why is the dead perishable body( which will decay if left to itself) to be considered holy? That is why Hindus do not bury the dead, they mostly burn it - which is probably a better way to dispose off a dead body.
    Guard your Dharma, Burn the Myth, Promote the Truth, Crush the superstition.

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    Re: Funeral Homes

    namaskar,

    Quote Originally Posted by vcindiana View Post
    [FONT=Times New Roman]

    Now coming back to Funeral homes, in Western countries dead bodies are kept at cooler temperatures, not to worry about decaying. By law, in most places dead bodies cannot be disposed off at least for 24 hours. By culture and convenience dead bodies are not placed in individual houses. Funeral homes are ideal settings for the family and friends to get together in those difficult times. Some consider this is also a joyous occasion eulogizing the life of the diseased. People like to seek comfort to their best regardless of the sad situation.
    Yes, you are right about culture and convenience. It is convenient to put the elderly in "old-folks homes" where they live the last years away from their family members and eventually die there instead of taking the last breath in their own homes.

    Though I understand the logic of having funeral homes, I always get turned off when I see a cemetery at the entrance of a town. That is surely creepy and un-spiritual to me. But you are right, it might be a cultural thing to show off the death grounds to visitors first instead of showing something else more pleasing to the eyes.

    [FONT=Times New Roman]In India dead bodies are considered unclean or unholy.
    That is a blatant lie on your part.

    Superstition is very much in India despite all the Vedanta talk.
    I am not sure why you are picking at India but if you look around and observe 'superstition' is very much alive everywhere even in the western countries.
    satay

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    Re: Funeral Homes

    Dear Satay: You are right, many in Western culture prefers to put the elderly in “old folks home”, but not all. The problem is not as simple as all these folks just do not care about their elders. Many elderly also prefer to stay independent till they are very old. What we (who were brought up in an Indian tradition) cannot be guaranteed as we get older that we would be cared by our own children. This is already happening in India. Whether we like it or not it is rapidly changing world, traditional values are disappearing. I love to see my children to take care of me near the end of my life. But I am getting prepared in establishing enough insurance; trust etc so that I would not be a burden to some one then. I encourage every one to do so. It does not matter how best we raise our children.

    You say “always get turned off when I see a cemetery at the entrance of a town” As long as you live in this Western world you have no option. You words “Turned off, weird creepy” are interesting, Satay, it sounds like you are afraid of death like most of us. At times, I feel the same. Satay, please believe in Loving God, there is a saying “as I walk through the shadow of death, I will not fear, for You are with me. You comfort me.” I know it is difficult, but it is the only option if we care to really trust Him.
    Love.... VC

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    Re: Funeral Homes

    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    I am not sure why you are picking at India but if you look around and observe 'superstition' is very much alive everywhere even in the western countries.
    It was in the US that the so called missionary christians tried in vain to force their religion into school books. Better sense prevailed though. And these people talk of superstition in India.

    http://www.texscience.org/files/court-cases/

    Are these religeous fanatics interested in science and real knowledge? Their only aim was to "promote" their cock and bull stories under the banner of science. Most Hindus would never do it and force religion down the throats of others.
    Guard your Dharma, Burn the Myth, Promote the Truth, Crush the superstition.

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    Re: Funeral Homes

    namaskar,

    Quote Originally Posted by vcindiana View Post
    [FONT=Times New Roman]Dear Satay: You are right, many in Western culture prefers to put the elderly in “old folks home”, but not all. The problem is not as simple as all these folks just do not care about their elders. Many elderly also prefer to stay independent till they are very old.
    You are correct, yet, I fail to understand this 'independence'. Ever since I migrated here about 20 years ago, I have heard people peddling 'independent', 'independence' and such things yet if you truly think about it are you sure that when a parent kicks his or her child out at 18 that if he or she is 'truly independent' and similarly, when the same child decides to put his or her parents in 'homes' that it is for 'parents' independence'? I believe this 'independence' talk is to cover the guilt feeling even though most here in the western countries are now immune to it since it has become sort of a tradition or cultural thing.
    [FONT=Times New Roman]You say “[COLOR=black]always get turned off when I see a cemetery at the entrance of a town” As long as you live in this Western world you have no option. You words “Turned off, weird creepy” are interesting, Satay, it sounds like you are afraid of death like most of us.

    VC
    It's not that I am afraid of death. My observation is simple and one should not perform a psycho analysis on it. The observation is made looking with an Indian lens that's all.

    Looking through the Indian lens, it is weird to see cemeteries and grounds where dead bodies are buried at the front of towns and in residential areas though I know looking through the christian lens it might make sense.

    I like to drive around a lot in the summer to explore the areas in Canada in US. This takes me and my family to new towns and cities. I can say almost with certainity that there is a pattern here that most towns that I have visited especially smaller ones start with a cemetery at the entrance as it it is a 'good luck' omen for the town.
    satay

  9. #9

    Re: Funeral Homes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
    Probably it has got something to do with the christian way where they bury the dead at the backyard of the church! Though the graveyard is often separate from the church nowadays though...This is quite different from the Hindu way of life where the place of worship is very sacred and is indeed far off from any graveyard. The graveyard is frequently the haunting grounds for evil spirits so how can we have it in a temple? I find it a bit puzzling.

    Maybe the presence of cemeteries in residential areas explains some of the unexplained misfortunes and deaths we hear of?
    I thought a crematory (<> graveyard) is one of the holiest places for a Hindu as well, where the last rites of souls onward journey are performed and ties with the body is dissolved. Have you been to the city of Kashi?

    I know in tantrakto dharma samshan is of great importance. And I don't know any dictum saying it is not so in vaidika dharma.

    Spirts are not always evil, and what could be the reason for an astika to be afraid of spirits? I think they are everywhere.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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    Re: Funeral Homes

    Namaste everyone.

    The major problem seems to stem from the western custom of burying dead bodies. Bishop C.W. Leadbeater takes strong exception to it calling it a 'barbaric practice' in his Theosophical books. He says the departed soul has a fascination for its dead body and keeps returning to it, hanging over it and mourning, until the body decays sufficiently. This is not possible when the dead bodies are burnt, a process that quickly disposes their elements to their sources.

    That the departed soul is living in its astral body and haunts its customary and habitual places is not superstition. Whether its dead body is burnt or buried, the soul keeps haunting the places where it lived in its last incarnation. But then with a buried body, the soul's craving is much more.

    VCIndiana seems to think that since the Universal Self is immanent in every atom of the universe, an Advaitin should not consider a dead body as unholy. But then as Sudarshan has pointed out, any form, dead or alive is a mithya--illusion to an Advaitin. With the JIva departed, a dead body becomes unholy even for an Advaitin because it can no longer sustain the Universal Consciousness pent-up in the individual soul, which in turn is a conglomeration of the consciousness of the individual atoms that make up the body. The body of a departed soul is like a deserted house or a worn out garment that needs to be destroyed so the individual atoms are released to their sources.

    On a lighter vein, cemeteries at city entrances sustain the zombies so they can populate Holywood horror movies!

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