Death Rituals: Tibetan Buddhist Sky Burials

622 WordsFeb 17, 20182 Pages
Death Rituals: Tibetan Buddhist Sky Burials There are many different types of people in the world. Different hair color, skin color, languages, religions, talents, etc. but there is one thing we all have in common, we all die. There is no one who can out run the long arm of death. People can however, have different attitudes and feelings towards death. For example, “Some of us know for sure that death is the implacable enemy of life. Others of us know for sure that death is the portal though which we enter a higher form of existence,” (Kastenbaum, 2012, p. 38). With these different feelings about death come different ways to mourn or celebrate the life of those lost. In Tibet there is a ritual performed by Tibetan Buddhist known as “Sky Burials”. The purpose of this paper will be to discuss the details of this ritual and where it originated. A Sky Burial has great religious importance to the Tibetan Buddhist. They believe “ the corpse is nothing more than an empty vessel. The spirit or soul of the deceased has exited the body to be reincarnated into another circle of life,” ( Sky Burial or “Jhotor” is the practice of offering the corpse of the deceased to the vultures that feed on the remains. “Jhotar is considered an act of generosity on the part of the deceased, since the deceased and his/her surviving relatives are providing food to sustain other living beings such as animals and birds,” (Shah, n.d.,

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