Sky Burial Research Paper

464 Words2 Pages
The traditional Tibetan Buddhist funeral ritual is the Sky Burial, better known as "Jhator" in Tibetan. As Stupa burials and cremations are generally reserved for High Llamas who are being honored in death, Jhator is the ritual of the common man. First described in the Bardo Thodol, Jhator is believed to be more than just a funeral by the people of Tibet, but above all an act of compassion and generosity. Organized only at specific locations in the region or adjoining areas with Tibetan communities, the Drikung Thil Monastery located 150 kilometers east of Lhasa is one such famous Sky Burial site. So typically after death, the body of the deceased is generally left untouched for three days till the monks can arrive to perform the Sky Burial ritual. After the Lama and accompanying monks chant the necessary "mantras" (prayers) from the Bardo Thodol, the corpse is cleaned and wrapped in a white cloth. The corpse is then moved into a fetal position for transport, the same position in which people are born, serving as a reminder of the…show more content…
The particular species of vultures that usually arrive for the rituals is the Eurasian griffon, a type of old world vulture. Sometimes the vultures have to be fended off until the body-breaking is complete; alternatively at the grounds which host multiple Jhators, the birds have to be coaxed to eat after the offerings have been made. To assure the ascent of the soul, the entire body of the deceased must be eaten; it is considered a bad omen if even a small portion of the body is wasted. Once the entire ritual is completed, ending with the consumption of the whole body in this way by the vultures, the earthly life of the deceased comes to an end. However the journey of the soul into the afterlife has just begun, and the Bardo Thodol helps us to get a deeper insight into Tibetan beliefs in this
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