When you could not afford a burial, should you just burn?

This is a theological question for my Christian and Muslim readers alike:

When you could not afford a burial, should you just burn?

It is expressly forbidden to burn bodies in the Abrahamic religions since it is said that

"what comes from the dust must return to dust"

(I am quoting neither from Bible nor Quran here, since the above quote is just my own estimation of what were said there)

Some may take it easy by saying that "ah, we will pay for the funeral no matter how much it costs".

Now I ask them back, "Oh, REALLY?"

While in some outer islands of Indonesia it costs only Rp 16,000 (EUR 1.03) to buy one square metre of land, some other places in the world are not as fortunate.

If you happen to be living in Tokyo, be prepared to cash out some large bucks out of your pocket.

One square metre of land in Tokyo could cost up to US$2 Million (EUR 2.5 Million).

Yes, you read it right:

TWO MILLION American Dollars for one square metre of land!

You must be extremely rich to afford such an amount.

Looking for graveyard plots on the outer areas of Tokyo such as Chiba and Saitama could be much less pricey, perhaps putting a figure of US$50,000/square metre of land.

US$50,000 is still expensive nonetheless.

So how do you manage your body if you happen to drop dead in extremely expensive cities such as Tokyo or London or Vienna?

Here are some suggested solutions of mine:

  1. Look for the sparsely populated lands outside of Tokyo such as Hokkaido... or you could choose to bury it outside Japan altogether, perhaps by managing a burial in countries where the land is cheap, such as Kenya or India or Guyana. But that would make it difficult for your relatives to pay last respects then, since you must travel half the world to do that.
  2. Consult your local cleric/laymen if it is possible to burn the body in Tokyo instead, firstly making sure that you do not cross the line from your religion. Hence, relatives could always feel the body much closer to home, and you could always pray for the dead by making annual homage to the ashes instead.

Perhaps anyone out there have had a personal encounter on this, or should you just happen to have some other solutions, please feel free to comment.

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