It is always best to dispose of the bodily remains as soon after the body has been diagnosed as being clinically of no further use to the soul (dead).
Embalming process. are you ready for this!
A body is collected from the hospital, old peoples home, someone’s house or from an accident scene. They can be bloated from being in the river for ten days or unrecognisable from being in a serious accident. They are placed on the embalmers stainless steel table and all their clothes removed. The body is washed down with a strong antiseptic. The mouth and nose are wiped out with a large cotton swab before the mouth is stitched closed. This is done with a large curved suturing needle and a piece of nylon string. The needle is pushed up under the chin, through into the mouth, through the top of the mouth and out through the nose. The other end is also put through the chin, into the mouth, through the nose and tied to the other end where it is pulled tight and tied off. The loose ends are pushed down the back of the nose out of sight. Little plastic serrated caps are inserted under the eyelids to keep them closed. An incision is then made in the side of the neck and cut down to locate the main vein and artery. These are clamped, tied and cut. A pump with about 8-10 litres of embalming fluid is connected to the artery and slowly put into the body. The vein is left open to allow the blood to drain from the body. This process may be repeated on the other side if the circulation is not good or the legs may be done separately if the circulation is poor as is often the case with elderly people. The next stage involves making an incision in the abdomen and inserting a device called a trochar. This is a sharp metal probe connected to a suction apparatus which basically punctures all the organs. This is first pushed up into the heart, to bleed and create tracts in the tissues for the formaldehyde to permeate. The lungs, liver, kidneys etc get the same treatment before it is pointed the other way to damage the bladder intestines etc. A bottle of formaldehyde is then poured into the abdominal cavity which stops any decomposing and gas formation. (bloated bodies). A plastic plug is then screwed into the hole to stop any leaks, the cuts in the neck or groin area are superglued together and in the case of a possible leak from the anus or vagina, a large threaded plastic device is screwed into place. The embalmers have to be very creative with making people presentable, especially if they have no legs or half their scull missing and the family insist on an open casket for family viewing, but that is a story on its own!!
Devotees should understand that this doesn't need to happen, and that we probably only need to be washed and dressed with a bit of tilak applied. If your family are a bit anti ISKCON and want you embalmed and buried, then there might not be a lot you can do about it unless you put it in your will. Most of us would have parents who would contact the temple if anything happened and we were killed, so we could avoid all this.
Anyway, a bit of food for thought prabhu !!! Sweet dreams, Jd
(Jananirvas dasa CHCH)