Author Topic: Jhator - Sky burial the circle of compassion of the vultures  (Read 1428 times)

Offline Hanzze

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Jhator - Sky burial the circle of compassion of the vultures
« on: October 17, 2011, 11:57:25 pm »
Just came across and thought to share a very special way not only in the present life:

Jhator - Sky burial
(movie on youtoub)

Jhator - Sky burial

Sky burial or jhator (in Tibetan „giving alms to the birds“) is a burial custom of Tibet where a body of the deceased person is cut into small pieces and put on top of a mountain.

Body parts are there exposed to the Mahābhūta and animals (especially birds of prey). As to the fact that most of Tibetans are Buddhists, let’s mention that the Mahābhūta (in Sanskrit and Pāli “great element”) in Buddhism are “four great elements” - earth, water, fire and air.

It is believed that the vultures (birds of prey) are Dakinis ("sky dancers"). Dakinis are kind of angels. They'll take the soul into the heaven. For Tibetans heaven is a windy place where souls wait to be reincarnated in their next lives.

One of the main teachings of Buddhism is rebirth. For Buddhists body is just an empty vessel and there is no need to preserve it. Because of such beliefs it is not strange that the Sky burial is practised in Tibet.

There are also some more practical reasons for this tradition. The soil after only few centimeters becomes very hard with many rocks so digging a grave would be extremely difficult task. Trees are rare so even performing a cremation would be a problem too.

Sky burial was first mentioned in the Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol). There are some opinions that one of the reasons for the Sky burial was to prevent the use of some human bones in tantric rituals like for example kapalas (skull cups) and thigh-bone trumpets.

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« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 12:01:09 am by Hanzze »

Offline dhammaseeker51

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Re: Jhator - Sky burial the circle of compassion of the vultures
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 10:15:01 am »
Makes a lot of sense, even in the UK.
Would prefer this method myself but no doubt it wouldn't be allowed under health and safety regulations here.
Think of the benefits: saving fossil fuels, releasing land for agriculture or housing, feeding other beings. 
It's like a final bit of good kamma or compassionate action you can do.
Pity pigeons don't eat meat!

with Metta


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