The impacts on tikanga of the Hindu practice of scattering human ashes into waterways compared with the practice of disposing of blood via the wastewater system as part of the arterial embalming process

  • Byron Rangiwai

Abstract

This paper will summarise Māori religion, tapu, and traditional Māori death practices. This paper will provide a basic outline of some general aspects of Hinduism and Hindu death rituals. This paper will discuss the impacts on tikanga of the Hindu practice of scattering human ashes into waterways and compare this with the disposal of blood into the sewerage system as part of the arterial embalming process—a practice that many, if not, most, Māori engage in wittingly or otherwise. While the two practices are different—the former being directly connected to Hindu theology concerning samsara (the cycle of life and rebirth), karma (spiritual cause and effect), and moksha (liberation of the soul from the cycle of rebirth), and the latter being a result of a mortuary sanitation procedure used to preserve the body—both practices impact negatively on tikanga. This paper will also discuss some potential remedies for both issues.

Published
2020-02-25
How to Cite
RangiwaiB. (2020). The impacts on tikanga of the Hindu practice of scattering human ashes into waterways compared with the practice of disposing of blood via the wastewater system as part of the arterial embalming process. Te Kaharoa, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.24135/tekaharoa.v15i1.288
Section
Articles