What are the reasons specified in scriptures, behind the traditional funeral? are those reasons not fulfilled by Electric cremation?
The concept of a funeral in Hinduism is based on agni worship. Fire is of prime importance in the vedic life.
As a student one performs agniadhana as a preparatory practice for the post-marital fire worship of Agnihotra.
From the sacred fire, the fire of marriage ceremony is ignited.
This sacred fire of marriage is preserved by the couple in 3 sections throughout their life without letting it extinguished.
To this fire, they offer daily oblations of the Agnihotra and bi-monthly and quarterly sacrifices and special sacrifices.
At the end when one dies, his body is offered as an oblation to the sacred Agni which had been worshiped throughout their life.
The cremation of the body is also a sacrifice, the final offering: it is called "antyesti" and it is also to be performed with the chanting of mantras.
This is the concept for the funeral in Vedic tradition.
However, in the past, the population was limited and people were more environment-friendly.
But in the present time. The population has crossed billions and thus it would need a very high amount of wood and fuel for burning. This will cause more trees to be used up. Further, the ashes and half burnt bodies are offered to rivers like Ganges which is increasing water pollution.
Today's time an electric cremation is also a good option because it also uses heat for generating high temperature. Further, there is a less risk of transmission of endemic diseases.
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