Tibetan Sky Burial Custom

Sky burial is a way of Tibetan funeral whereby people dispose of the corpses of their loved ones. This death ritual entails taking the body to a burial site in the mountains where it is left to feed vultures. The Buddhists in Tibet believe that the soul is immortal and death is only the beginning of a new life. Instead of letting the body vanish naturally, it is better for alms giving 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.

At present, there are several big sky burial platforms in Tibet. The Most famous sky burial platform is Drigung Til Monastery which is situated in Maizhokunggar County; other famous ones still performed sky burial including Samye Temple which is situated in Lhoka and Sera Monastery which is situated in 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.

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