No one enjoys talking about death. Yet, it is crucial to give a thought to matters about the end of life. To some people, the way they depart from earth is as important to them as celebrating life.
The common decision to make is this: cremation or burial? For a number of religions, the decision has already been made, according to their religious teachings. However, for others, the dilemma can be quite a concern.
Cremation in Buddhism
In the current day and age, cremation is an increasingly popular choice amongst people faced with this decision. Although Buddhist teachings do not restrict followers to any method, many do prefer cremation because it is believed that Buddha himself was cremated.
There are also various other reasons why Buddhists tend to prefer cremation. Apart from the religious, others are very practical reasons as well.
Cremation is cheaper
Death can be expensive business, once you count in all the funeral arrangement costs. Thus, it is natural to want to choose the cheaper option when it is available. Some people explicitly state their choice to be cremated upon death, so that their family will not be burdened by expensive burial costs.
Cremation is a top choice amongst those seeking an affordable choice. It is more affordable in Singapore because land for burials is scarce. If you choose a government-managed crematorium and columbarium, you can save significantly on body disposal fees.
Cremation has a smaller impact on the environment
There is no perfect method that is completely eco-friendly. Cremation requires significant amounts of energy to produce heat, and produces fumes like carbon dioxide. However, burial takes up precious land space, and puts chemicals like formaldehyde-based embalming fluid into the ground.
Yet, most people feel that cremation is the lesser evil of the two when it comes to eco-friendliness. For an even ‘greener’ option, people are looking to natural burials, although that is currently not an option in Singapore.
Cremation is more flexible
The cremation rate amongst urban and developed societies is generally higher, as cremation is highly suitable to the modern way of living. For example, cremation offers families the option to bring the remains home, making it easier for them to take their deceased loved one along if they ever relocate to another city.
Cremation also opens up many possibilities for memorialisation. Some concepts that are picking up favour are putting the ashes into a biodegradable urn with a plant seed, or converting ashes into a gemstone.
The advantages of cremation are also well-aligned with Buddhist beliefs like compassion and being in harmony with the earth. So, it explains that many Buddhists prefer cremation as the way to go.
For matters of funeral arrangements and advice, 1Stop Buddhist Funeral Services is here to assist you. We specialise in Buddhist and Taoist funeral services planning, to ease the burden on families who are grieving.