Essay on Tibetan Sky Burials

896 Words Feb 26th, 2011 4 Pages
Gunshots are going off, my men are dying everywhere the chaos does not seem to stop, and suddenly a mortar strikes our bunker. An eerie silence fills the air along with a thick cloud of black smoke. Ok, now that I’ve got your attention I would like to explain a bit about Tibetan Sky Burials. There are many burial ceremonies around the world but, the Tibetan Sky Burial in particular, proves to be the most interesting and ultimately the most gruesome of all. The origin of this fascinating burial remains vastly hidden in Tibetan mystery. Since the introduction of Buddhism to the region in the 800s, sky burials have become the most common way to dispose of the dead. They're also among the most captivating social practices to appear from a …show more content…
People turning up unexpected at sky burials, taking photographs and videotaping proceedings must be reported to the local ministry which will punish them. Similar to rules, Tibetan Sky Burials have several taboos that burial masters and anyone involved in the process try to avoid. After the death of a person, relatives must not dance or sing to ensure that the soul of the deceased can arrive peacefully in heaven. First of all, the relatives are not allowed to watch because it is too painful for them to watch. Just imagine a wife witnessing hundreds of vultures devour her recently deceased husband’s body, not a pretty sight. Also, mourners are strictly restricted from returning to the relative’s house, in fear of having the soul brought back. Besides relatives and friends of the recently deceased having taboos, there are also a few for non-related audiences. Visitors are not allowed to watch the ritual, for Tibetans believe it will bring negative effects to the ascending spirits. With the ensuring of taboos in place it is time to begin the process. At dawn on a selected day, the corpse is sent to the burial site, which is far from the residential area. Then the Daodeng, or man who is in charge of the ceremony, starts off by spreading the scent of juniper to attract the vultures. Why vultures you wonder? Well vultures, in the eyes of Tibetans, are sacred birds

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