In Tibet there are five types of funerals.
Only outlaws and criminals are buried in the manner that is customary in the West. It is believed that the land on the body prevents the development of the soul and reincarnation is impossible.
Cremation is the most widely used method. But it is an expensive ritual, there is not much raw fuel suitable [for cremations] in Tibet.
Thus, without an option, the dead of the poor are thrown into the river.
Interestingly, the most venerated saints of Tibet were not burned or thrown into the stream; were bricked up inside the temples and tombs are special [vertical, we assume] prepared in his honor.
Then what may seem the most brutal to the Western way of thinking, is the sky funeral: The most common is the funeral Funeral in Heaven (sometimes called the sky funeral). The body is taken to a mountaintop where your muscles and bones are shattered by blows from a stone. After completely mangled, crushed, dismembered the corpse is left at the mercy of prey of eagles, vultures, and others.
The authorities have tried to ban this type of funeral but the population continues in the practice and the rite remains the most practiced.
"May the birds that feed upon him take his spirit soaring among the clouds with a light and free spirit."
Colored Bones: A Tibetan mystery that goes beyond belief is the fact that the bones of the saints are colored while the bones of ordinary people are white or yellowish. Japanese scientists, proving the phenomenon, see trying to explain its causes for several years without success.
- 2 Tibet Teens Set Selves on Fire (newser.com)
- China - Buddhist monk sentenced to 7 years for spreading information about Tibet (en.rsf.org)