Sikhs Seek Ribble Funeral Permission
Sikhs are currently seeking permission to use the River Ribble as a place to scatter the ashes of their departed loved ones.
The Sikhs concerned have clearly responded to the quiet beauty of the river - the lush greenery that lines its banks helps people feel directly connected to nature, as do the tides, that echo the ebb and flow of life itself.
A peaceful last resting place?
The Ribble is a place that has been seen as sacred by local people for thousands of years - the name of the river itself comes from the name of the ancient Celtic Goddess Reigh Belisama.
In earlier posts we have pointed out the significance of the Ribble to other religious groups, such as The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who regularly visit the site of the first Mormon baptisms in Britain - a site that would be submerged if the barrage that is being promoted so vigorously by some elements in Preston City Council were to be built.
This shingle beach, sacred to Mormons, would be lost forever under a watersports park if the barrage is built. Thanks to Greg for the picture.
Charanjit Singh Heera explained why Sikhism favours rivers as a place for the departed person's ashes in today's Daily Mirror: "We believe people should be put back into the water as all water flows as one. We would love a place to say our goodbyes."
A Sikh funeral in India
People who follow the Sikh religion simply wish to scatter the ashes of their departed in the river following Cremation, in a quiet respectful ceremony perfectly in keeping with the natural surroundings. This seems a very appropriate way to use our beautiful river, and, if permission is granted, I am sure that many people of many other religions (as well as atheists and humanists who love nature too!) will also be requesting that their ashes be scattered in the Ribble.
It is certainly a far more appropriate and sustainable way to use the river than to turn it into a playground for speedboats and jetskis - as suggested in the Riverworks proposals.
Link to Times of India Article
Link to article on Sikh Religious Philosophy