Tibetan Sky Burial Culture

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By bga1992
Words 2248
Pages 9
Tibetan Sky Burial Culture

Brandon Andres
Medicine Hat College
IDST 485 – Death and Dying
Susan Sverdrup-Phillips
Due: March 10, 2014

Word Count = 1985

The most popular method of disposal of the dead in Tibet is a sky burial. This will seem exceedingly savage and disrespectful to many others outside this culture. A sky burial is the funeral and burial process of feeding a dismantled and cut up human corpse to vultures. If one is to fully study the country of Tibet and its peoples’ history then one can understand the reasonable logic to why this form of burial is not savage or disrespectful to a being. This Sky Burial tradition is still the most popular and desired way that Tibetans are buried after their death due to their enlightened beliefs. Firstly, this essay will state and discuss the historical reasons why sky burials would have started and became prevalent in Tibet. Second, this will look at the process and impacts of performing a Sky Burial. Lastly, it will discuss the debates of having a ceremonial sky burials in Tibet.
In North American culture the most common and traditional method are to use caskets and accompany it by some type of ritual or ceremony or else the most common alternative to disposing of human remains is cremation (Basmajian and Coutts 2010:309-310) This method in North America is so common to hide the physical corpse from others and bury or cremate it that when people are presented with a sky burial one might think the “profession involves something between a weird science of dissection and witchcraft” and “anyone with a sensitive nature would be thoroughly shocked by the images” (Woeser 2012:92). Sky burials may appear like this to many people outside of Tibet but it is a form of compassion and gratitude towards the deceased. According to Evans-Wentz “a human body is said to consist of four elements, earth, water, air, and…...

Similar Documents

A Gabe of Sky

...A Gap of Sky A) In the short story “A Gap of Sky” we follow a young woman on her quest for the essence of life. Throughout the story, which stretches across an afternoon, she digs deeper into herself, through sleepiness, drugs, university and a general indifference towards life, until she sees herself, on a grey afternoon in the centre of London, “filled with something fizzing and alive and beautiful”. Ellie wakes up around 4 pm after a rough night with alcohol and various drugs that ended on a rooftop somewhere in London. She remembers that she felt happy that early morning, affected by the drugs and the surreal surroundings, but as she wakes up in her wretched little apartment, the joy of last night seems far away. She needs to hand in an essay on Virginia Wolf the next morning, so she rushes of to get some printer ink, cigarettes and possibly also some more coke. Ellie seems tired, worn out from last night and you understand that she has a hard time getting out of bed. You might get the impression that her life is a bit shallow, for instance when she tells that last night she was surrounded by people who laughed and had a good time, but now she is alone, coping with the harsh realities of a Monday morning. She seems tough, or wanting to seem tough, but she changes towards the end of the short story to a more real toughness of calm confidence. The core of Ellie's life isn't exactly to fulfil society's or her parent's wishes for a bright young woman. She has already......

Words: 875 - Pages: 4

Into the Sky

...Bobby Bolin 9/19/12 Into The Sky For thousands of years, we have gazed into the sky in quandary about cosmic phenomena. Cavemen, peasants, kings and astronomers could do nothing more but hypothesize the mysteries of outer space and the universe. It was not until the 17th century did astronomers create the telescope to see more than just the naked eye however, the Mesopotamians recorded constellations that still exist in modern day age today. Our desires to find extraterrestrial life and answer cosmic phenomena will ascent our technology beyond belief in many years to come. Decades ago, astronomers believed that our solar system was the only one that existed though there was still a dire explanation sought of the galaxies: are there any other habitable planets out there? What was the history and chemistry of our planets thousands of years ago? These questions inspire our most ambitious endeavors of space and Mars exploration and moon landings. With Mars being a planet with extreme similarities such as: mountains, canyons, rocks, dry river valleys, polar ice caps and water in the clouds. If we could understand the geological history of Mars, it would be a step closer that grants limitless technology and opportunity. The Kepler mission is another huge endeavor for which we are now able to detect other planet that orbit other stars; in essence, we have found other solar systems other than our own that habitable. This, just like other discoveries, is leading us one step closer...

Words: 612 - Pages: 3

Home Burial

...in his poem “Home Burial” how even though the husband and wife are both grieving for the death of their child, they each handle their grief in different ways. “Home Burial” revolves around a husband and wife who are at opposition over how to deal with the death of their child. The entire scene in the poem takes place on a staircase. At the beginning, the wife, Amy, is at the top of the stairs and her husband is at the bottom. By the end of the poem, he is at the top of the stairs and she is at the bottom. The opposite’s ends of the staircase represent the conflicting ways they deal with their grief. Amy expresses her grief with Amy is suffering from extreme sorrow over the loss of her first born child and is unable to stop grieving. Her grief causes her to lash out at her husband because she feels he is being insensitive and unaffected by the death of their child. Amy first begins to feel as if her husband’s grief was not as great as hers when she saw him “making the gravel leap and leap in air”. Amy feels that if her husband had any feelings at all that he would not have been able to dig their own child’s grave. She no longer knows this man who can dig their child’s grave and then come in and “talk about everyday concerns.” She does not understand how he can make small talk about things when their child has just died. As he talks, she thinks “he still had “the fresh earth from your own baby’s grave. “ The husband in “Home Burial is suffering in......

Words: 552 - Pages: 3

Sky Bakery

...        Sky Bakery/Drinks                Jose Negrete Wei-Yu Liao           Sky Bakery 18455 E. Colima Rd. Rowland Heights, CA. 91748 (310) 341-5271 (310) 354-5472 www.skybakery.com Confidentiality Agreement The undersigned reader acknowledges that the information provided by _______________ in this business plan is confidential; therefore, reader agrees not to disclose it without the express written permission of _______________. It is acknowledged by reader that information to be furnished in this business plan is in all respects confidential in nature, other than information which is in the public domain through other means and that any disclosure or use of same by reader may cause serious harm or damage to _______________. Upon request, this document is to be immediately returned to _______________. ___________________ Signature ___________________ Name (typed or printed) ___________________ Date This is a business plan. It does not imply an offering of securities. 1. Executive Summary 5 2. Company Description 6 2.1. Mission and Objective 6 2.2. Management Team 7 2.3. Location and Geography 7 2.4. Development Stage 9 2.5. Product and Services 9 2.6. Financial Status 10 3. Management and Organizational Structure 11 3.1. Overview 11 3.2. Management Team Background 11 3.3. Human Resources Management 12 3.4. Training Program 13 4. Industry Analysis 13 ......

Words: 8301 - Pages: 34

Mudras Practices in Tibetan Culture

...symbolism was enriched by the cultures it came in contact with. For example, Tibet has borrowed Buddhist art and culture from India since 7th century. The most popular symbolic art in Tibet is comprised of the Eight Auspicious Symbols and the mudras: the hand gestures used by Buddha. These symbolic arts are not simply for decorative purpose, but contain a depth of meaning within them. Tibet also uses sound for Medicine Buddha practices, and although it may seem to be an ordinary chanting, certain musical sounds are categorized as a sound healing medicine. This research paper will examine the symbolic and healing properties of Tibetan Buddhist art and explain their significance in the 21st century. Buddhism, founded in India 2,500 years ago, still remains the leading religion of the Far East that has advanced into a wide variety of forms. It wasn’t until 7th century that Buddhism arrived in Tibet which was comparatively late date compared with the rest of Asia.The religion, writing system, art and many other aspects of Tibetan high culture were obtained directly from India. During the 7th century, the emperor of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo, was fascinated by what Indian Buddhist culture had to offer, so he sent scholars to India for both religious and non-spiritual studies. He also invited Indian scholars to lecture in Tibet. It was Vajrayana Buddhism that Tibetans were most fascinated with that possessed a strong tradition of shamanistic practices which Tibetans than incorporated......

Words: 3993 - Pages: 16

A Gap of Sky

...A Gap of sky This essay, written by Anna Hope, is about a girl, who wakes up after a long night of partying with drugs and alcohol. The girl in the story is named Ellie. She is in a big hurry because she has to hand in an assignment at nine a clock. She doesn't have any printer ink left, so she starts trying to find some stores that are still open. After a long time of searching to find a store that is sells printer ink, she finally find a store which is not closed. She buys the ink and walks home to write the essay. There is only one character in this story. Her name is Ellie and she is presented as a girl who likes to party. She is already shown this way in the start of the story, where she is waking up from a wild party the day before. "Cans, some cans of lager, and them more coke arriving and - K, didn't they do some K?" This quote shows the reader, what type of girl Ellie is. There are no doubt that she loves to party, and maybe too much. I would also like to highlight an another quote "Will they really kick her off the course? Or will she have to repeat the year?" This quote indicated, that she has been taking drug and drinking a lot for a longtime now. She has probably recieved a lot of warnings from her school, so it isn't the first time that she is in this bad position. I believe that the author would like us to feel a little bad for her actually. Because she is all by herself, she doesn't have any parents to make limits for her anymore. "Her mother......

Words: 827 - Pages: 4

The Burial at Thebes

...Bianca Meier C788603X Assignment 06 Option 2 Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes How does Heaney attempt to make his play, as a reworking of an ancient Greek play written by Sophocles, relevant to a modern audience more than 2000 years later? How far do you think he has succeeded? Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes is a reworking of Sophocles’ play Antigone from over two thousand years ago. In many ways The Burial at Thebes aims to rework the ancient Greek tragedy to make it relevant to a modern audience. This essay firstly analyses the challenges Heaney faced during the process of translation and writing including his own conscious effort to make the play suitable for a contemporary audience. Secondly, it describes how Heaney’s use of language aided in presenting modern ideas through poetic timbre and language, Irish diction and English idiom in an attempt to make the play more ‘speakable’. Thirdly, this essay identifies features of Greek theatrical conventions and how Heaney used these to shape his play. Heaney also presents social and political issues through The Burial at Thebes in a way that resonates with a contemporary audience. Vital to understanding the challenges Heaney faced in his work, is his own assertion that his work is not a translation of an ancient Greek text but rather a version of it essentially because he drew from the existing translations by Jebb and the Loeb (Heaney, 2004, in Hardwick, 2008, p.222). For Heaney, it is imperative to be aware...

Words: 1668 - Pages: 7

Tibetan Street Art

...TIBETAN STREET ART This paper will be examining ways ideas of Tibetan Art are being changed through the use of street art/graffiti. To do so it will give a brief overview of: street art/graffiti, Tibetan Art and Western Religious Art, as much of Tibet Art is religious in nature. Using this information it will address the question of the paper and look at any similarities between the ways Tibetans have adopted street art/graffiti and Western street art/graffiti. It will also examine the reactions of the Chinese Communist authorities not only to Tibetan Art and street art/graffiti but Tibetan culture in general. Graffiti is unsolicited markings on public or private property, the word graffiti coming from the Italian graffito, meaning ‘to scratch’. In recent years, the word graffiti has also been used to refer to a particular style of art, painted legally or not. It “…is art removed from art’s own precious arena; it inhabits the everyday world of people…is the art of the general. First and foremost its purpose is to focus the public’s sense of space. It has to be immediate, forceful”[1]. The reasons given for graffiti/street art are diverse. Banksy, probably the most well known graffitist in the world says “Although you might have to creep about at night and lie to your mum it’s (graffiti) actually one of the more honest art forms available. There is no elitism or hype, it exhibits on the best walls a town has to offer and nobody is put off by the price of......

Words: 1353 - Pages: 6

The Burial of Count Orgaz

...“The Burial of Count Orgaz” analysis The Burial of Count Orgaz is a painting by famous renaissance artist El Greco. The painting is sixteen by eleven feet and was drawn with oil on canvas. The painting depicts a burial scene of Count Orgaz and a heaven scene with Christ above them. This painting is the most intriguing for El Greco’s use of two focal points. In El Greco’s career The Burial of Count Orgaz is widely accepted as his greatest work. In describing the painting itself it is divided into two sections, one being a burial scene of Count Orgaz in the lower half portion of the artwork, and a scene of heaven with Christ and the saints swirling overhead among thin silky clouds. The two distinct sections of this artwork give the painting two focal points, which the eyes are drawn towards. The section of the artwork depicting heaven has Christ as a focal point, he is centered at the very top of the painting with virtually every figure around him looking up with some motioning towards him. Christ is dressed in white robe, and the figures surrounding Christ vary from Saints to musicians, angles, multitudes of followers, and the Virgin Mary. The figures all seem to be swirling among silky clouds around Christ which gives each figure a distinct position and proportion in the painting, some closer up and distinctive, other more further away and faded. The burial scene directly below the heavens has the Count Orgaz as the focal point and he is positioned near the lowest part...

Words: 1226 - Pages: 5

Blue Sky

...Final Blue Sky Management and Leadership Question 1 In the past, Blue Sky leadership led from an autocratic leadership style. An autocratic leadership is similar to a dictatorship where only one person has the authority over the followers or workers. The autocratic leader decisions are to be taken as the final authority and should never be questioned. This leader plans out all of the companies agenda and demands that subordinates work according to their rules. The former CEO but still remained the Board Chairman, Max Blue, believed that meeting was not necessary therefore planning was considered a wasted of time. None of his employees seem to question his authority. This leadership style led to very passive employees at Blue Sky because they were unable to make decision caused them to lack passion about their jobs. Although the past CEO leadership style was autocratic, there were several different leadership styles among the various departments. The structure of the organization was divided in to the CEO, VP of the division, director of marketing, CFO, and the regional directors, who were consider upper management level. With the regional directors being younger and being with the Blue Sky for relatively a short period of time, they were more aggressive wanting to expand different product lines and clientele. However, the younger regional directors were presented with many challenges from the older managers that were mainly in vice presidents roles. These managers......

Words: 1588 - Pages: 7

Burial Rites

...“Knowing what a person has done, and knowing who a person is, are two different things”. How does Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites provide insight into the experience of Agnes? * * * * * * * * In Burial Rites, Hannah Kent explores the idea that behind even the most heinous of actions, there can be ambiguity; that stories are shaped by self interest, biases and ideologies of the day, which can challenge preconceived beliefs of guilt. Using excerpts from archival material, juxtaposed with a story told through multiple narrators, including first person monologues of the protagonist, Kent allows us to appreciate Agnes not just as an evil scheming murderess, but as someone with a complex history and vulnerabilities, offering a deeper understanding of her experience. The use of material from historical archives to preface the chapters of Burial Rites, creates a powerful authenticity to the story that provides a factual skeleton of Agnes, as well as insights into the way she was treated by the authorities. Kent is able to use ‘truths’, such as her literacy, intelligence and poverty, established by the Ministerial Records and inventory of her possessions, to flesh out the persona of Agnes and explore their implications in terms of her experience. They also reveal the deep love and attachment that Agnes had for Natan and her continuing grief over his loss, through her poetry in response to Poet Rosa, with lines like “do not scratch my bleeding wounds” and “my soul is......

Words: 1203 - Pages: 5

Half Sky

... | Half The Sky | Women’s Clinical Assignment | | Bridgette Bynum | 8/7/2014 | Drexel University | Half The Sky: Women’s Clinical Assignment Half the Sky changed my perspective of women’s and maternal health. Prior to reading the assigned chapters for this book, I was aware that maternal health was not truly respected throughout the world. I was vaguely aware of the lack of maternal resources in developing countries and how this may contribute to a higher mortality rate than that of their more developed counterparts. Although I was somewhat aware of this fact the numbers and statistics on maternal morbidity and maternal mortality were still quite alarming. The fact that no major progress has been made was very disturbing. Since we are in the 21st century I assumed that in general progressive strides in healthcare were a universal right and not a privilege. However after reading the assignment I realized I was mistaken. Prior to reading the chapters, I knew of the social and cultural barriers of undeveloped countries but these few chapters undeniably highlighted those issues. Through my readings I was forced to acknowledge and consider the fact that it isn’t economically advantageous to invest in the progression or development of maternal health. When compared to the cost of vaccines the cost of saving a single mother’s life seems enormous. With this being said, I can see why it is not seen as a cost effective measure of healthcare, however......

Words: 828 - Pages: 4

Egyptian Burial

...When it comes to ancient burial practices a huge trendsetter would be the ancient Egyptians and there unique and very elaborate tombs. Egyptians had the belief that these tombs were made to protect the bodies and secure the immortality after death. The design of these tomb structures like pyramids and mastabas had a main goal of preserving each corpse of the deceased and the Egyptians in return though this would keep their souls in what they called the “afterlife”, a place you go after you die In the early period, Egyptians had buried much simpler graves in the stranded deserts. Overtime these leaned towards the use of royal mastabas that were rectangular structures made of stone or mud bricks that kept the corpses of many Egyptian people. During the Old Kingdom, mastabas evolved and developed into rock-cut pyramids. The Pyramids of Giza, which were giant stone-cut structures, constructed from limestone, and are the most popular and evident example of pyramid tombs built during the Old Kingdom. With pyramids as massive as these it’s only fitting that they were constructed for the kings. Tombs were created out of permanent materials and the interior walls of the tombs show decoration of scenes portraying everyday life as an Egyptian along with funerary rituals. The Egyptians preserved the bodies they kept in the tombs in a process they called mummification, it was done in a variety of stages like removing all internal organs, they were able to wrap the whole body...

Words: 556 - Pages: 3

A Gap of Sky

...A Gap of Sky “A Gap of Sky” by Anna Hope is a short story about a young girl named Ellie who is constantly on drugs. She is a student in London, and from the story we can tell that she is tired of education and lacking freedom so she goes against this by doing drugs. The story describes how someone can lose control of themselves when they are alone in a city, with no one to turn to for support. The story is told by a third person narrator, but the way that the story is written makes it seem like Ellie, the main character, is telling the story. The writer shows Ellie’s thoughts very clearly through the narrator using very casual language and different sentence structures to get inside Ellie’s head and describing everything in a way that shows she is very distracted. It is like a running view of what is inside her head and helps us understand that she is on drugs. We are almost reading her thoughts and are witnessing her search for freedom, a theme in the story. The type of writing used in this story may seem like it is messy and unfocused, but it is actually very effective in showing the reader what it is like in Ellie’s head as her thoughts and actions are blended together and told by the narrator - “She’s going to have to work through the night, but it’s fine.” Here, we see her thoughts about having to work on an essay. She is also extremely distracted and constantly changes her mind and thoughts. After thinking it would be “fine” to work on the essay, she thinks back......

Words: 912 - Pages: 4

A Gap of Sky

...A Gap of Sky She was only nineteen, only living, and if that was sometimes a little extreme, well, how should life be lived? (L. 98-99) In the Short Story “A Gap of Sky”, by Anna Hope, we meet a nineteen-year old girl whose name is Ellie. She wakes up after a day with party and drugs. She is a regular girl who lives in London and studies at a university. We follow her through her day were she thinks back on last night and the essay she have to write for the next day. If she doesn’t handle in the essay they will reconsider her on the course she is taking. The themes in this short story are freedom, drugs and responsibility. Her life is a mess and she can’t really see it herself. She lives her life as wants too. She goes to parties and gets drunk and takes some coke and K and hangs out with her friends, were they go somewhere and get really high, so they will forget everything. And everyone laughing, everyone pissing themselves like it was the funniest thing ever. (L. 24-25) .She has ended up with some bruises from the party last night rets her swollen cheek against her palm. (l. 3). She is not feeling well after the abstinence from the drugs she has token last night. Ellie’s language is very filthy because she swear a lot Fuuuuuuck… she shoots up from the under the duvet, scrabbles for her phone, finds it beside her pillow. 16:29. Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit. (l. 12-13). She is not responsible person because she has brought herself in that situation that she might......

Words: 996 - Pages: 4