Sokushinbutsu (suicide monks)

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posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 05:45 PM
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Sokushinbutsu (即身仏) were Buddhist monks or priests who caused their own deaths in a way that resulted in their mummification. This practice reportedly took place almost exclusively in northern Japan around Yamagata Prefecture. It is believed that many hundreds of monks tried, but only 24 such mummifications have been discovered to date.




For 1,000 days the priests would eat a special diet consisting only of nuts and seeds, while taking part in a regimen of rigorous physical activity that stripped them of their body fat. They then ate only bark and roots for another thousand days and began drinking a poisonous tea made from the sap of the Urushi tree, normally used to lacquer bowls.[1]

This caused vomiting and a rapid loss of bodily fluids, and most importantly, it made the body too poisonous to be eaten by maggots. Finally, a self-mummifying monk would lock himself in a stone tomb barely larger than his body, where he would not move from the lotus position. His only connection to the outside world was an air tube and a bell. Each day he rang a bell to let those outside know that he was still alive.

When the bell stopped ringing, the tube was removed and the tomb sealed. After the tomb was sealed, the other monks in the temple would wait another 1,000 days, and open the tomb to see if the mummification was successful.

If the monk had been successfully mummified, he or she was immediately seen as a Buddha and put in the temple for viewing. Usually, though, there was just a decomposed body. Although they were not viewed as a true Buddha if they were not mummified, they were still admired and revered for their dedication and spirit.[2]


Wow, this is dedication. I searched for this and didn't see a dedicated thread.

This is crazy what do you think of this? I feel like this is taking seperation of self from ego to the next level. This really makes me think that the Himalayas really is some sort of spiritual energy center for the world. (reference to bhuddism)
edit on 28-4-2013 by onequestion because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by onequestion
 
I have a question: Did the monks who did this know that they were in their final years or was this some sort of ritualistic suicide, sort of like "taking one for the team"? It seems to have taken several years to complete this process.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by onequestion
 


Interesting, this is the first I have ever heard of this. Some serious dedication no doubt! onequestion, do you have a link I can use for the original article, this is fascinating to me.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by littled16
 


It seems like there was some sort of honor attached to it, which in itself is kind of defeating the whole point.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by Lysergic
 


I put a link up in the OP. Ill see if i can find some cool videos to and add them in.

I put in an informative video that i quick checked for on youtube. Adds a little context and history to it for you.
edit on 28-4-2013 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by onequestion
 





This is crazy what do you think of this? I feel like this is taking seperation of self from ego to the next level. This really makes me think that the Himalayas really is some sort of spiritual energy center for the world.


Although it is an impressive discipline, I don't think it represents a separation of the ego and the body at all. On the contrary, it seems egotistical to work to preserve your body, so that it can be revered in a temple as having been the body of some holy buddha man. It also seems selfish to deprive the maggots of food.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


Thats true what you say.

Apparently they believed it was the only way to obtain the bhudda, i guess you would say. Im not sure what to make of this one.

I find it disturbing actually.
edit on 28-4-2013 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 06:20 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


If you watch the video i added to the op it says toward the end that they decided this was the best way to test your commitment and to test your ability to overcome mind body and spirit.

Interesting...



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 06:24 PM
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Probably one of the most disturbing things I've read on the internet as of late, heck, that's saying something...

Will not be drinking any mummifying tree sap tea anytime soon.




posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 06:26 PM
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So Stupid...
I wounder why they dies out?



posted on Apr, 30 2013 @ 03:03 AM
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Mummified Buddhist monks aren't confined to Japan. The Buddha recommended meditating in front of a corpse as a good way of coming to terms with the impermanence of all things. In my own country, there are monasteries where monks meditate before the dried-up remains of their predecessors.

I don't think those predecessors deliberately mummified themselves, though. And I wonder whether the story of Sokushinbutsu is true, or some kind of legend. One of the things the Buddha taught was the unwisdom of extreme asceticism, fasting and self-mortification. Suicide, also, is generally frowned upon as adding to one's karmic debt. However, there are many sects of Buddhism, and some of them have even practised human sacrifice, so anything is possible.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 03:35 AM
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Eastern mystics have a long tradition of self-sacrifice. I'm not so sure that separation from the ego is a good thing if that is what they are aiming for. The ego wants me to get some lick of enjoyment out of life whenever I can, drinking poison for 1000 days and then then death...well...just seems like such a waste of a perfectly good life.





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