2.11.Question: Is cremation of the deceased a great sin? This was my late mother's wish.
Answer: Please accept my condolences. I can say that for our ancestors until not long ago, until the introduction of Christianity, it was not a sin at all! That was the norm! And not only the norm.
Imagine the situation when you are bound to your body until the body is decomposed,. After you have left your body you would will be able to see how it has decomposed. Is that a nice picture?
So, the essence (soul) is bound to its dead body until the body decomposes completely.
That's why we have the 9 day, 40 day and one year commemorations. Usually, under normal conditions, if the body is buried in the ground and the body decomposes, then after a year, in principle, there would be no organic cartilage left. Everything disappears, except the bones as calcium!
And until then, the essence (soul) is bound [to its body], especially at the begining, while the body is decomposing. Not a "pleasant“ picture.
When a body is cremated, within 2 hours of cremation only non-organic ash is left of the person. The essence (soul) is free instantly!
So where is the sin in this? To force a person to watch his body decomposing? Or to let the essence (soul) free itself from it’s body that is no longer alive, and go to where it should be, without the additional emotional stress.
By the way, in Tibet (not everywhere, of course, just in some areas), bodies were not burnt, they did something different. When the person died, the monk would sit in a certain place and the body of the deceased was placed in the center of a circle.
He [the monk] would leave his body, enter the body of the deceased, raise this body and perform 3 ritual circular passes around his own physical body which was sitting motionless in a trance.
With these 3 circular passes, the monk would destroy the connection between the dead body and the essence (soul) of the deceased. Then the monk would put the deceased body back in its place, exit hat body and return into his own body. And that's all! Then the body was empty, with no essence (soul) bound to it.
But I think it's much easier to organize a cremation. There are not many monks, especially Christian monks, who could perform that ritual.
Therefore, I believe cremation is a normal and natural process in order to set the essence (soul free. If you think about the essence (soul), then its only a blessing for the essence (soul) and not a sin!