• Kayantha Sthanam – Isha’s Cremation Services

    Help Revive an Ancient Tradition

“As we have responsibilities for the living, we have
responsibilities towards the dead”

Sadhguru

The Significance of Death Rituals

Over the last century, certain significant rituals pertaining to the ‘journey beyond’ have lost their fundamental essence.

The process of death is not simply an abrupt ceasing of an individual’s existence; rather, it is a process that begins when a body is declared medically dead and continues afterwards for a minimum of 14 days. Understanding this, earlier generations took great care in creating the necessary situations to ensure a peaceful exit for their loved ones. Only in the last 100-150 years have these traditions become largely dormant, while what is left is generally corrupt and commercialized.

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Challenges of India’s Crematoriums

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Infrastructure

Crematoriums across India are plagued by substandard infrastructure and maintenance as well as unhygienic conditions. Most workers lack the necessary understanding about the ancient tradition of death rituals and the relevant processes that need to be performed.

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Exploitation

The families of the deceased are often exploited. While the last rites are performed, families are asked to offer footwear, clothes, money etc. Such gross handling of the grieving families prevents them from experiencing the loss of their loved ones with sanctity and ease.

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Environmental Impact

Today, funerals also have a negative environmental impact. Trees are cut for wood used to burn bodies, thereby increasing carbon emissions and degrading the environment.

Isha’s Involvement

Isha has revived ancient traditions and death rituals with a powerful energy basis, conducting them in the spirit of service rather than as a commercial venture. The processes are performed with sensitivity and awareness to ease the hearts of the family of the deceased.

Sustainable Practices

At Isha, cremations are conducted in a traditional way, with appropriate chants and karmas to benefit the departed life and the grieving families. Isha’s adopted crematoriums also provide services such as tonsure, 16th day karma ceremony and hygienic amenities.

A fixed standard fee is charged for each cremation (as agreed with the municipal government), preventing any kind of exploitation. The crematoriums also have mortuary vans, which provide transportation at a nominal cost.

The installation of LPG pipelines to replace the use of firewood improves the burning efficiency and reduces carbon emissions. The use of efficient burners hastens the cremation process, thereby enabling the family members to collect the ashes on the same day.

Exhaust pipes pass through a water tank to remove carbon particles before their release into the air, controlling pollution. This contributes to a safer, cleaner environment.

The crematoriums also provide employment to youth, training them to maintain the facilities and conduct themselves with care, grace and dignity.

Adoption of Government –
Run Crematoriums

Isha Foundation has adopted crematoriums from the government, providing necessary improvements to the infrastructure, including:

  • Replacing the usage of firewood with LPG.
  • A well-maintained garden area with a lotus or lily pond to create a peaceful ambience. Each garden is a minimum of 1000 square feet.
  • Mandapam for performing the last rites before cremation.

Current Services

 Isha currently operates  4 crematoriums in partnership with the State Government.

• Nanjundapuram • Thudialur • Veerakeralam • Podanur

Seven more crematoriums are also in the process of being adopted:

• Alandurai • Thondamuthur • Vellalore
• Namakkal • Karamadai • Athupalam • Chokkanapudur

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Get Involved

The local government authorities would like Isha to adopt as many crematoriums as possible. However, the inherent funding constraints have limited the expansion so far, as certain capital and operating costs are incurred in running these crematoriums.

Although the government refunds major costs in the capital outlay, the gap of incurred non-refundable capital costs still needs to be bridged.

Each crematorium has its own specific funding requirements. You can enable the adoption of a crematorium with a contribution between 10-25 lakhs. Within 3-4 years, the crematorium will become self-sustainable.

You can also make a donation towards meeting the running cost requirements. The cost to sustain these 11 crematoriums is approximately 1-1.25 crores per year.

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Corporate Partnership

The ministry of corporate affairs vide its notification number S.O 582 (E) dated 27th Feb 2014 has provided Schedule VII of CSR activities to be included under CSR Policy, encompassing:

  • Revival of our ancient culture / tradition
  • Environmental sustainability: conservation of natural resources

You can fulfill your CSR mandate and also explore branding/visibility opportunities with this association. Your support provides avenues for employment for the local people and gives you an opportunity to be associated directly with the State Government and a meticulously organized social project from Isha.

Isha is 100% committed and involved in making a difference to the departed life and their grieving families.

Our current supporters include SIPRA Engineers and APAX Partners. We are already in discussion with Reliance Foundation, HPCL, ILFS Foundation, TVS Group, Cholamandalam Finance and Shriram Group, among others.

Individual contribution

Individuals can also contribute to this project in a substantial way. You can do so by spreading awareness about these crematoriums and the importance of sustainable practices that cater to the deceased and their loved ones. In addition, you can contribute and/or facilitate raising substantial resources to meet the capital costs and other expenses. Please contact us to learn more about how you can contribute to this initiative.

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