funerals and buddhism


a simple buddhist
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augusta, ga
i recently lost a dear uncle. it was rather hard for me, but i handled things much better than i used to. ive lost many dear friends and relatives in my short 20 years however, i was curious if anyone had any information on buddhist funerals and what they are like. my uncle was a christian however, i wanted to do things just for myself, in a buddhist way. i chanted mantras silently to myself and i tried to remember that everything is impermanant. however, i havent come across anything that dealt with how buddhist normally celebrated funerals. if anyone has any information on this or maybe a link to a website where there would be information, it would be greatly appreciated. thank you.

be well in peace
Namaste toujour,

thank you for the post.

my compassionate concern for your uncles transition, they can be difficult if one is particularly attached to the being, in my experience.

Buddhist funerals are, generally, predicated more upon cultural considerations than upon Buddhism, per se. for instance.. in Indias' Golden Days, there were a lot of folks living there... so many, that it became the custom to burn the corpses of the transitioned beings. this practice continues to this day in a variety of cultures.

in Tibet, on the other hand, depending on where you live, there isn't a whole lot of wood for building, let alone burning flesh logs. they have a... unique burial rite called a Sky Funeral. basically... and i don't mean to be gross, though i'm trying to speak plainly... the corpse has certain mantras and rites performed by the monks for a certain number of days... generally, 49. after this period of time, or before depending on certain indicators, the corpses are taken to a high mountain and cut into bits to be fed to the raptors and vultures. pretty radical recycling there, don't ya think? ;)

in any event.. then you will have more... shall we say, traditional, sorts of funerals in Thailand and Laos and so forth.

with respect to the Buddhist aspect.. i would tend to suggest that you inquire with your teacher/guru, if you have one and are a member of a Sangha. if not, then i would suggest that you check this link out:


In Tibet, the Sukhavati practice is common for the dead. Sukhavati is the pure land of Amitabha, so we pray that the dead are reborn in a pure land. (Pure lands are said to be places where it's easy to become enlightened.)

According to the Bardo Thodol - Liberation through hearing in the bardo, commonly known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the deceased takes 49 days for rebirth, so practice in this period is particularly effective.
Bardos are intermediate stages between birth and death. It is said change can happen much more easily here.

Amitabha's mantra is Om Amitabha Hrih!
thanks for the information. ill have to check that link out soon. right now its rather late so im about to go to bed, but i appreciate the compassionate response. there are so many great people on here that have helped me out along my path that everytime i get online and come here i am overjoyed and filled with happiness to know that there are so many peaceful, happy, and helpful people. i thank everyone on here.

may u all be well in peace