Dokhmenashini Vs Cremation – A Comparison
- Dokhmas are not only for disposal of dead bodies but also to liberate Ravan (soul)
from the worldly attachments. (i.e. Maya in Gujarati). Cremation just disposes the
body and there is no mechanism to liberate Ravan.
- Dokhmas are a consecrated place with long and exhaustive liturgical ceremonies
done during the construction. No consecrated ceremonies exist for cremation.
- Natural elements like air, fire, water or earth are not defiled even one percent. While
during cremation fire and air elements are defiled besides causing nuisance and
health problems to the nearby localities. E.g. Chandanwadi at Dhobi talao.
- Dokhmas are kept open from the top, so as to allow sunrays to fall on the dead
bodies. This has two types of effect on the bodies. First drying up of body so that
putrefaction stops and secondly the minutest of body particles – atoms (or anasars)
are taken up by the sun rays and given to Dahm Yazad – a Fareshta especially for this
purpose. That is why the tenth day ceremony is known as ‘Dasmoo’. Cremation does
not get benefit of sunrays.
- When a body part like limb etc. get separated due to accident or surgery, that part
should also be given the benefit of Dokhmenashini though the human being is still
alive. Each and every part of the body should be given the benefit of Dokhmenashini
as well as Khorshed nagirashni, i.e. sunrays, so that every atom of the body goes to
Dahm Yazad. This is a smooth transition from the physical to spiritual world. No
benefit of sunrays if body is cremated.
- The death ceremonies of a Zoroastrian starts from Sachkar, Geh sahrnu and finally
Dokhmenashini. When a body is consigned in Dokhma, no priest is required to
perform any ceremony, but 101 cotton threads which were embedded in the
Dokhma during construction time had absorbed these ceremonies done during that
time (like CD or tape which records the sound) and these recorded ceremonies
remain forever in Dokhma which help the Ravan of a Zarthosti to liberate from this
world and it joyfully goes to its destination in the other world, i.e. Minoi world.
Secondly, it cuts off lots of putrefaction (Naso). Once the Sachkar ceremony is
started, no other person except Zoroastrian can see the dead body till it goes into
Dokhma. Only after Dokhmenashini is done, afternoon and night Uthamna and
Charum ceremony (4th day) can be performed. If a body is cremated, all the above
ceremonies are null and void and has absolutely no effect on progress of Ravan.
- During first three days, the Zoroastrian Ravan remains in this world under protection
of Sarosh Yazad, so that evil forces do not attack or capture it. That is why nobody
has heard about Parsi ghost or witch. Crematorium has no protection of Sarosh
- As per our religion, Dokhmas are revered as the holy place. That is why we have a
prayer of “Dokhma-No-Namaskar” Whenever a Zarthosthi visits Doongerwadi, he is
supposed to pray this Namaskar. While for burial ground or crematorium, there is no
- When a dead body is put for cremation, the relatives – dear and near ones commit
unpardonable sin of putting dead body on fire, which is revered as “Son of Dadar
Ahura Mazda” and thus insulting the creator. When we want to fulfill our wishes, we
run to Iranshah, Atashbehrams and agiaries fires and after that during the death you
forget and defile the holy fire by doing cremation. What type of faith is it?
- Our prophet Asho Zarthushtra gave us strict instructions not to defile natural
elements like fire, earth, water or air. Dokhmenashini takes care of all the elements.
Remember, ours is the first religion of the world who proclaimed that the nature, i.e.
environment should be protected.
- When a human body which is composed of kilos of proteins and acids burn, you get
foul smell in the surroundings. We experience that while passing through
Chandanwadi and worli areas. We inhale this foul smell which goes into your body
and causes various diseases like T.B., Asthma, Cancer, etc. and also endangers birds,
- Thousands of years back our prophet Asho Zarthushtra has shown the way and gave
us the system of Dokhmenashini so that we can protect our environment. This
system is appreciated by scientist who have studied it and found to be best, most
efficient, most hygiene and perfect to the core. Cremation does not protect even
one percent of environment.
- If a Zoroastrian wishes that he/she be cremated after his death or he has written in
his last will, his near and dear one will be doing a great service to him/her by doing
Dokhmenashini. They will be blessed by such Ravan, because this Ravan during his
life time did not realise the true facts of the religion. In 1971 when a trustee of BPP
went against Dokhma in favour of cremation and made tremendous propaganda, but
could not succeed in his aim. On his death bed after sufferings, he wished that his
body should be put in Dokhma and finally it was done. This is the natural way of
realization of a human being whose thought went astray for some time.
- So long as a dead body of Zarthoshti is not laid down in Dokhma, its salvation does
not take place. The birds are only for disposal of dead and not for salvation of Ravan,
which every Zarthoshti understand. Khorshed yazad takes care of both.
- Dokhmenashini is most supreme for Zarthoshtis and that is why Dokhmas are sacred
where Naso (microbes of infection) are destroyed and not created.
- During plague epidemic in Mumbai some years ago, 15 to 20 bodies used to come to
Dokhma, but at that time no problem arose. No pallbearers died because of handling
of dead and even birds were not affected. Similarly, during influenza epidemic no
- Oh Parsis, behold and fear by disrespecting son of Dadar Ahura Mazda, i.e. fire. Think
before you leap. Our forefathers used to say do not play with fire and that is very
The above write up has been taken from lectures of our guru Behesti Minocher
Nasserwanji Pundol saheb who was in close contact with Pak Magav Sahebs of
Summing up, those who do propaganda in favour of cremation and built the so called
prayer hall at Worli, thereby bringing Zarthoshti towards cremation plus those mobeds
who are doing fictitious ceremonies there, have taken curse of fire – son of Dadar Ahura
Mazda and also of all Ravans put for burning.
The above article has been written with the faith for those doubting about
Dokhmenashini. We sincerely hope now that after reading the above points, they should
change their thinking and stick to Zoroastrian customs, as enunciated by our beloved
Prophet of Prophets Asho Zarathushtra.
Courtesy : Cyrus Cooper