Dispositing of Cremation Ashes
The Hindu community has been working together with the Provincial Government and the different Conservation authorities and has reached an understanding on a short term solution, to address the need for the disposition of Cremation Ash. Honorable Minister Harinder Takhar Minister of Government Services announced on June 25, 2009 on Pickering’s waterfront that Ontarians may scatter cremated ashes of loved ones on Crown land and water such as Provincial Parks, Conservation areas and Great Lakes. It was clearly outlined that the disposition of cremation ash in bodies of water would have no adverse effect on the eco system.
Based on this understanding the Hindu Federation has investigated the different approaches and recommends the following:
- Identify capable boat chartering companies who would be willing to take five to ten people on a boat to a certain point in the lake (Lake Ontario or any other major body of water) where the Pandit and the family members can conduct the ceremony. Update (05/21/11): We now have an understanding with "Harbourfront Centre Sailing and Power Boating" regarding the scattering of the cremated ashes. [Address: 275 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON, M5V 1A2, t: (416) 203-3000, f: (416) 203-8000]
- We will work with the charter company to establish a fixed pricing for such services and recommend these companies to the community. This information will be provided to all Funeral parlors and crematoriums, Mandirs and Pandits.
- This method does not provide for situations such as when the lake is frozen. It this case it would be recommended that the families wait until the weather changes
- Please note that it is the understanding that only the ashes, flowers, leaves, Pinda and maybe Ganga Jal (water from the holy Ganges river of India) will constitute the offering deposited in the water.
LONG TERM OPTIONS:
- Identify specific locations on the banks of moving bodies of water that can be designated as a sanctuary for the specific use of disposition of cremation ashes. (This option is still being investigated and we are still in discussion mode with the ministry and related organizations.)