Kultureline INTL
on June 12, 2014 332 views

Cremation in General is the process through which body is being transformed back to its basic elements with intense heat. The method and ritual associated with it varies from one society to another. But basically in some societies, it is done by cremator in crematory. And crematory is usually housed in crematorium. A cremator is an industrial furnace which is able to generate temperatures of about 870–980 °C or 1600–1800 °F for adequate disintegration of the body. Unlike the early cremators that used either coal or coke, most of the modern ones uses: natural gas, oil, propane etc. And majority of them are computer controlled. The time required for cremation depends on the mass of the body in question. In modern furnaces, the process may be as fast as 45 kilograms (99 lb) of body weight per hour. The inner chamber of cremator where body is placed is made of heat resistant refractory brick called the retort and a body when placed in the cremator chamber is disintegrated into an ash-like bone fragment of about three to nine pounds on average that is usually seen or kept in the cremation urn by the families.

The family may or may not witness the charging depending on the law of the region, the religion and the wishes of the dead and the family. When the cremation is completed the remaining dry bone fragments are swept out of the retort and then pulverized by either hands or machine called cremulator into "cremated remains" or "ashes" except in some places like Japan and Taiwan where the pulverization does not take place unless specially requested by the family. A crematorium maybe built independently or as part of chapel or funeral homes.

The final disposition depends on many factors: the personal wishes of the deceased, the culture and the religion or beliefs. Some religion permits sprinkling of the cremated remains; some wanted it kept at home, while some insist on either burying or entombing it. Some on the other way round obliges the closest male relative, either: son, grandson, etc to immerse the cremated remains in the holy river. Cremation does not replace the customary funeral services, but just another form of final disposition.

Finally, it must be noted that in some Asian traditional/religion when a member or relative is pronounced dead, final bath is given by family and friends on a wooden stretcher on a community cremation grounds with funeral pyre and feet pointed south, toward Yama, the lord of death, and the head north toward Kumera, the lord of wealth. The fire, after this, is lit by the eldest son, using: wood, dried cow dung and ghee as ignition materials. 3 to 10 days after this, the ashes are collected in urns and scattered in various places representing the prakriti.

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