Like in Hindus, fire is the penultimate entity a dead body meets, before charring down to ashes, similarly Parsi community is reliable on vultures to decompose the bodies of their religion. But dwindling vulture’s population has inflicted other alternatives on them to carry out the process of cremation.
The belief behind such cremating practice
Do you know about the Tower of Silence?
A Tower of Silence is an elevated structure, circular in shape, used by Parsis to subject dead bodies to scavengers like vultures for de-fleshing. But what made them practice such praxis? There happens to exist several dialectics to justify theirs’ this practice. One, concern for environment, is the prime motive. In their eyes, impure body should not desecrate the purity of earthly land and water. The tower hence is designed in a way to let not an iota even, of the remaining of the dead body, to seep into the sacred soil. Two, to them, after death befalls on one, one’s body is circumvented by a slew of evil spirits which renders impurity to the body and to not transmit its impurity to land and water, they prefer scavengers. Three, they believe that enigmatic eyes of vulture boost up the cosmic transition of the bodies. Four, they postulate that being prey after death is kinda charity work.
Vulture Dwindles, New Crematorium Kindles
Since vultures are on the brink of extinction, another alternative to get bodies buried had to be adopted. Resultantly, A Parsi association has built a new crematorium and prayer hall in Mumbai at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore, which will become fully functional later this month.
By Prerna Daga