Science

Tibetan Sky Burial Custom

Sky burial is a Tibetan custom whereby people dispose of the corpses of their loved ones. This death ritual entails taking the body to a designated site in the mountains. The Buddhists in Tibet believe that the soul is immortal and that death is only the beginning of a new life. Instead of letting the body vanish naturally, it is better for almsgiving to another kind of life and liberates the soul from the body enabling it to gain entry into rebirth. The method is widely used by common Tibetans.

The Tibetan Sky Burial Process

As this is a very important Buddhist custom according to the Buddhist burial laws. The following are the steps during the Sky Funeral Service:

a. Preparation

The Tibetans treat the body of the dead with respect as they try to facilitate a clear transfer of the soul from the body. After death, the body is wrapped carefully with a white traditional cloth. The body is then laid in a cleaned corner in the house where the dead person used to live. According to the traditions, the body is not to be disturbed as this might interrupt the soul’s transition into rebirth.

The body remains in the house for at most five days after which it should be disposed of. During this period, the family invites the monks or the Lamas who read the Holy Scriptures to the dead. It is believed that the reading expels the soul from the body and cleanses it from worldly sins.

b. Body Disposal

The final step of laying the soul to rest is feeding the body to the vultures. The vultures are holy birds in Tibet as they only devour dead creatures. The family of the dead, therefore, selects a day for the sky burial, calling it a ‘ lucky day.’

Several things happen on Lucky day. The body is unwrapped and bent into a fetal position to symbolize rebirth into another world. The body carrier then takes the body to the burial site.

The burial site is usually located in the mountains away from the residential areas. The carrier deposits the body of the dead, usually, there are several in number, at the burial site and uses mulberry smoke to attract the starving condors and vultures. The Lamas offer prayers as the vultures devour the corpses.

Taboos of the Tibetan Sky Burial

There are several taboos and regulations during the burial, failure to which will compromise the transition process of the dead’s soul. Firstly, strangers are not allowed anywhere near the burial site. This is because the presence of strangers will disturb the soul from getting into the bardo.

Family members cannot attend the funeral. Visitors must keep away from these occasions.

Sky Burial Platforms in Tibet

At present, there are several big sky burial platforms in Tibet.

The Most famous sky burial platform is Drigung Til Monastery which is in Maizhokunggar County; other famous ones still performed sky burial including Samye Temple which is situated in Lhoka and Sera Monastery which is situated on the outskirts of Lhasa. Larung Gar Buddhist Academy is also a very famous celestial burial platform in the Tibetan area, which is located in Sertar County.

Among the three sky burial platforms, Drigung Til Monastery’s sky burial site is the tallest and largest, almost as high as the towering Drigung Til Monastery. In Tibetan, it means the place of eternal life. Legend has it that the founder of Drigung Til Monastery, Jigten Sumgon, announced to the world before he passed away “I have received God’s revelation to build a celestial burial platform in Drigung Til Monastery. The corpses sent here can directly enter the celestial realm and get immortal…

Related posts
ScienceUncategorized

Why does an academic student need assignment help?

When students take addition in higher classes then professors give project work to students by which…
Read more
NewsScience

Supplements Benefits and Drawbacks

What Do Supplements Do? Whether they’re pouring out of your medication cupboard or filling your…
Read more
Newsletter
Become a Trendsetter
Sign up for Davenport’s Daily Digest and get the best of Davenport, tailored for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.