Asia Pacific

PHOTO: Strange Discovery How Some tribes in Asia bury their dead

Sky burialsThese remarkable photos give a glimpse into the closely-guarded tradition of Tibetan sky burials, where bodies are chopped up and fed to the vultures. Sky burials are a funerary practice in the Chinese provinces of Tibet, Qinghai, and Inner Mongolia and in Mongolia. The majority of Tibetans and many Mongolians adhere to Vajrayana Buddhism, which teaches the transmigration of spirits.
 
This means they do not see a need to preserve the body, as it is now an empty vessel, so they dispose of it through a sky burial.  Morbid: A lama walks past a flock of vultures after a sky burial. The sky burial is a funerary practice in which the body is cut up and fed to the vultures
 
View: Local lamas and tourists look at a flock of vultures. Sky burial is the usual means for disposing of the corpses people who are not high lamas
 
 
Beliefs: A vulture sails above a flock resting on a hillside. The majority of Tibetans and many Mongolians adhere to Vajrayana Buddhism, which teaches the transmigration of spirits. There is no need to preserve the body, as it is now an empty vessel
 
Dispoasal: The function of the sky burial is to dispose of the remains in as generous way – the donation of human flesh to the vultures is considered virtuous because it saves the lives of small animals that the vultures might otherwise capture for food
 
Ritual: The body parts are left in the Tower of Silence for a year, exposed to the elements and birds – men and women are placed in different sections
 
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These remarkable photos give a glimpse into the closely-guarded tradition of Tibetan sky burials, where bodies are chopped up and fed to the vultures.   Sky burials are a funerary practice in the Chinese provinces of Tibet, Qinghai, and Inner Mongolia and in Mongolia.
 
The majority of Tibetans and many Mongolians adhere to Vajrayana Buddhism, which teaches the transmigration of spirits.
 
This means they do not see a need to preserve the body, as it is now an empty vessel, so they dispose of it through a sky burial. 
 
Tradition: A lama prays in front of a flock of vultures. Prior to the procedure, monks may chant mantra around the body and burn juniper incense. When only the bones are left, the pieces are broken up with mallets, ground with tsampa (barley flour with tea and yak butter, or milk), and given to the crows and hawks that have waited for the vultures to depart
 
High spirits: Eyewitness accounts suggest the body-breakers do the grim task in high-spirits – according to Buddhist teaching, this makes it easier for the soul of the deceased to move on
 
Some stories suggest the body parts are left in the Tower of Silence for a year, exposed to the elements and birds – men and women are placed in different sections. 
 
Then when only the bones are left, the pieces are broken up with mallets, ground with tsampa (barley flour with tea and yak butter, or milk), and given to the crows and hawks that have waited for the vultures to depart.
 
The function of the sky burial is simply to dispose of the remains in as generous a way as possible  – this donation of human flesh to the vultures is considered virtuous because it saves the lives of small animals that the vultures might otherwise capture for food.
 
The function of the sky burial is simply to dispose of the remains in as generous a way as possible reports TravelChina- the process is considered virtuous because it saves the lives of small animals that the vultures might otherwise capture for food.
 
 

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