Zoroastrianism – a different type of funeral

Posted: February 22, 2012 in 2011 Winter - India, India

So, after witnessing my first outdoor human cremation on huge log funeral fires I have discovered another mode of disposing of the dead.

The Zoroastrians basically believe that the burning of bodies or burial of bodies into the ground undermines their belief that fire and the earth are ‘holy.’ Therefore when one of their kind passes on the leave the body in huge towers called TOWERS OF SILENCE, where they are left for soaring buzzards and vultures to shred the skeleton all flesh, muscle, sinew, etc. The bones are then exposed to natural decay and decomposition.

To preclude the pollution of earth or fire, the bodies of the dead are placed atop a tower—a tower of silence—and so exposed to the sun and to birds of prey. Thus, “purification with all its concomitant evils… is most effectually prevented.”

For health and religious reasons one can not just wonder round these towers, nor would one want to, although the birds make short work of the bodies so the smell is limited. There is also an abundance of spices, incence and perfumes in and around said area to avoid unwanted wiffs and pongs… although sites are generally on the outskirts and away from main populated areas.

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