When it seems inhumane, why is it practiced?

I know Buddha didn't find.

Wikipedia document says:

Sky burial (Tibetan: བྱ་གཏོར་, Wylie: bya gtor, lit. "bird-scattered" is a funeral practice in. which a human corpse is placed on a. mountaintop to decompose while exposed to. the elements or to be eaten by scavenging. animals, especially carrion birds.

So are people still doing this kind of funeral practice? And what is meaning of it?

Though the body is decomposed and exposed to the elements, this isn't seem a respectful way to do.

  • @ChrisW Thank you.
    – Swapnil
    Jun 27, 2019 at 8:19

1 Answer 1


Upasaka Swapnil, interested,

It's a still practiced way in the high cold mountains, with also practical aspects, since such as fire-wood for burning is raw and soil might be frozen. Next to that it serves good for Asubha-meditation for yogies and monks.

Nothing generally wrong with such and not inhuman but not beloved by those attached to body as the Self and Subha.

Good to watch for everyone to get more detached to rupa: Sky Burial: Tibetan Burial Ritual (video on YouTube)

(Note that it has not been given for trade, exchange, stacks or entertainment but to use it skillful as means out of this wheel)

  • Thank you so much Bhante. I got that this is the way to restrain from desire.
    – Swapnil
    Jun 26, 2019 at 6:45
  • And is it practiced only in vajrayana tradition?
    – Swapnil
    Jun 26, 2019 at 6:46
  • The introduction to the video suggests there's another purpose/reason: Sky Burial follows the ritual of "jha-tor", the giving of alms to birds in a northern Tibetan monastery - where the bodies of the dead are offered to the vultures as a final act of kindness to living beings.
    – ChrisW
    Jun 26, 2019 at 8:01
  • 1
    Yes, Upasaka Swapnil, although donating one body to monks was also usual in Theravada, for asubha meditation.
    – user11235
    Jun 26, 2019 at 9:48
  • 1
    Nyom Chris, yes, that is the deaths and the relatives thought as a "final" giving of Dana. Such kind of value less abounding was usual in all traditions, mostly to what ever animals, worms...
    – user11235
    Jun 26, 2019 at 9:49

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