Buddhist Funeral Beliefs.
With over 500 million followers, Buddhism is the world’s fourth-largest religion. Its adherents, known as Buddhists, follow the spiritual practices based on the teachings of the Buddha. Mainly categorized into three branches, the Buddhist schools have unique interpretations of the teachings but share the fundamental beliefs.
As per the Buddhist funeral beliefs, demise is just a transition from this life to the next. We are believed to be in a cycle of life and death, and the supreme goal is to achieve Nirvana, a state of absolute bliss. It is our actions in this life that will determine how we will be reincarnated in subsequent life.
When a person is approaching demise, according to the Buddhist funeral beliefs, the family members and a monk should sit beside him/her and chant protective verses. It will help create some peace for the person passing away.
Buddhist Funeral Services.
After demise, as per the Buddhist funeral services, a Wake ceremony is conducted so that family and friends can visit the deceased and pay condolences. According to personal preferences, the Buddhist Funeral services take place either before cremation/burial or after. The service is a simple and dignified event where the casket/remain is displayed near an altar. Some decor including an image of the deceased, an image of Buddha, flowers, and incense, is used. The mourners pay regards to the deceased and pray. The monks deliver sermons and conduct the rites as per the Buddhist funeral beliefs. After the rituals, the casket is transported to the cremation or burial ground. While cremating/burying the monks and family members chant for the deceased.
In Buddhist funeral services, organ donation and donating the body for medical research are accepted and seen as a way of helping others. They also accept embalming.
The inclusion of a reception ceremony will depend on the Buddhist funeral beliefs and traditions of the person who has passed away. Organizing the reception, as well as the Buddhist funeral services in the Delhi NCR region, are done by many funeral service providers to allow the family to mourn in peace.
Buddhist Funeral Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How are Buddhists buried?
What is a Buddhist funeral like?
Buddhists don’t have set-in-stone protocols for their funerals, but you can expect either an open casket funeral, a funeral that takes place just before cremation, or a memorial service that takes place after burial/cremation. Whatever form it takes, the funeral will typically involve prayer and meditation, often led by a monk or monks. Chanting will be led by family members if no monks are present.
How are Buddhists buried?
Buddhist funeral rites vary, but in general, there is a funeral service with an altar to the deceased person. Prayers and meditation may take place, and the body is cremated after the service. Sometimes the body is cremated after a wake, so the funeral is a cremation service.
Why do Buddhists cremate their dead?
Buddhists believe that cremation is an important ceremony for releasing the soul from the physical form. The spiritual leader of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, was cremated on a funeral pyre, so Buddhists will often follow that tradition.
Do you send flowers to a Buddhist funeral?
Yes, it is appropriate to send flowers to be displayed at the wake/funeral service. Some mourners may also bring the flowers to the funeral with them, placing them on the altar as a form of condolence to the family. But no red flowers.
How do Buddhist monks bury their dead?
Monks may bury their dead, but in some areas where burial is not possible, they cremate those who have passed.