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Eat It Up Or Throw It To The Dogs? Dge ’Dun Chos ’Phel (1903–1951), Ma Cig Lab Sgron (1055–1153) And Pha Dam Pa Sangs Rgyas (D. 1117): A Ramble Through The Burial Grounds Of Ordinary And ‘Holy’ Beings In Tibet

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the origins of sky burial in Tibet, based on Franz Grenet's research a sufficient number of elements confirm a close connection between Zoroastrian and Tibetan practices of 'stripping the flesh from the bones', with an historic link through the neighbouring land of Sogdiana at the time of the expansion of the Tibetan empire of Spu rgyal. The sky burial has become one of the characteristics of Tibetan civilisation. Although direct historic links between this form of disposal of bodies and the introduction of the gcod ritual from India remains to be established, it is suggests that both practices stand in perfect conceptual harmony with each other. The overlapping time period of the arrival of 'décharnement' from the northwest and that of gcod from the south created an effect, which turned into symbiosis within the collective consciousness of the increasingly Buddhicised population.

Keywords: décharnement; gcod; sky burial; Sogdiana; Tibetan civilisation



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    Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, 2003. Volume 12: Buddhism Beyond the Monastery — Recommend this title to your library
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