Here is a little article that caught my eye a Chinese website from Shenzhen (near Hong Kong) and give us a little window into other cultural cremation practices.
After a seven day cremation ceremony of the Buddhist master Benhuan, his cremator was opened and it revealed a number of relics, these appear to be ball like stones that are recovered from ashes in the cremator after it has cooled down. Apparently these precious objects and don’t occur at the cremation of every spiritual master and are considered very sacred. They are to be divided amongst the temples where Benhuan served during his 80 years practising the religion.
Yinshun, the abbot of the temple said: “We worshiped in front of this cremator for seven days. The cremation ceremony and cremator-opening ceremony were conducted according to the ancient ways of Buddhism, as Benhuan required.”
The amount and shapes (presumably these too are symbolic?) of the relics will be announced Friday, at the Hongfa Temple in Luohu District, Shenzhen. I will keep you posted if I can work out what these actually represent, fascinating stuff.
Original source – www.whatsonshenzhen.com