Zhira Gompa no Sky Burials Please! The plane is landing

Zhira Gompa (吉然寺) –Yushu – Qinghai Province.

Zhira Gompa no Sky Burials Please! What’s a Sky Burial?

Zhira Gompa no Sky Burials Please! The plane is landing. Sky burials have been banned at Zhira Gompa due to vultures putting planes at risk.

Zhira Gompa

“Sky burial or ritual dissection was once a common funerary practice in Tibet wherein a human corpse is cut in specific locations and placed on a mountaintop, exposing it to the elements or the mahabhuta and animals – especially to birds of prey. In Tibet the practice is known as jhator (Tibetan: བྱ་གཏོར་; Wylie: bya gtor), which literally means, “giving alms to the birds.”

Zhira Gompa Yushu
The majority of Tibetans adhere to Buddhism, which teaches rebirth. There is no need to preserve the body, as it is now an empty vessel. Birds may eat it, or nature may let it decompose. So the function of the sky burial is simply the disposal of the remains. In much of Tibet the ground is too hard and rocky to dig a grave, and with fuel and timber scarce, a sky burial is often more practical than cremation.” (quote taken from Wiki-pedia)

Path to Sky Burial site
Path to Sky Burial site

The grisly details and other considerations

I’ve never gone out of my way to see a Sky Burial, though I’ve had the opportunity. In Litang, Continue reading “Zhira Gompa no Sky Burials Please! The plane is landing”