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‘Ab Lockdown ke Baad hello Milega’: How Covid-19 Has Blocked Road to ‘Moksha’ as Lockers Brim with Ashes

Lucknow: The lockers of the now-desolate Baikunth Dham in Lucknow are brimming with the “asthi” (ashes) as households of the deceased are unable to gather them for immersion within the Holy river because the stringent coronavirus lockdown has impaired motion. The crematorium lies virtually empty alongside river Gomti for the reason that nationwide shutdown got here into pressure.

The caretaker of the lockers, Arvind, advised Information18 that the chests had by no means been so full ever earlier than. “As per Hindu rituals, the ashes must be taken directly for immersion in Ganga river, but due to the lockdown, people are unable to travel. Some go to Gaya, some go to Prayag while some go to Ayodhya. The lockers here, which never used to be occupied to their capacity, are now packed to the core. At the moment we have around 150 to 200 ‘asthi-kalash’ stored in these lockers.”

As per Hindu traditions, it’s believed {that a} soul attains ‘moksha’ or salvation as soon as the ashes are immersed within the Holy Ganga after the cremation.

“There is a decrease in the number of bodies coming for cremation, it keeps varying every day. We have nowhere to store the ‘asthi-kalash’ apart from these lockers. Those who manage to get permission they take the ashes for immersion, but such people are very less,” Arvind mentioned.

The lockers on the Baikunth Dham, also referred to as Bhainsa Kund, are managed by a non-public agency and other people have reportedly requested them to maintain the ‘asthi-Kalash’ of their family members until the time lockdown is in place.

“We have not received any dead body till now whose cause of death was coronavirus. There was one suspected body yesterday but that was cremated in the electric crematorium. People working at the crematorium are still apprehensive about the last rites of a person who had died due to COVID-19. You speak to anyone here about cremating such a body and the person will immediately run away from you,” mentioned a priest sitting exterior the wooden retailer.

“Usually wood from mango tree is used in the last rites, but at the moment there is no definite supply of mango tree wood. Hence, people are using whatever wood they are getting for the purpose,” mentioned a person sitting beside the priest.

The Lucknow Municipal Corporation’s counter for facilitating dying certificates on the Baikunth Dham just isn’t useful for the reason that lockdown began. A middle-aged man sitting exterior the LMC workplace mentioned, “This office is closed since lockdown started, no body from LMC has come here since then. So how will people get the death certificates? The priest is noting down all the details in the register, so whenever the office opens up, death certificates will be issued then. Ab to bhaiya lockdown ke baad hi Moksh Milega (Now Moksh will attained only after the lockdown),” he mentioned.

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