Londoner wrote:My father passed away recently (he was British). We will have the funeral soon. During his life he had a great interest in Tibetan Buddhism which he always read extensively about. He was not Christian and never actually officially converted to Buddhism. He will get cremated soon and at his funeral my sister wants some subtle Buddhist element to it in the way of a possession he could be cremated with. He will of course not have a traditional Buddhist funeral, a western secular (non religious) one. Don't mean to sound stupid but my sister wanted to include a small (wooden) Buddha statue for his cremation. I thought this might be a bad idea as burning a small Buddha statue might seem sacrilege or even 'bad luck' to a Tibetan Buddhist. He was not superstitious or anything but think he would not have wanted to do that if it is considered 'bad' in Tibetan religious beliefs.
I want to do the right thing so I would be most grateful if someone, (preferably a Tibetan Buddhist), could let me know if this is deemed ok to do at a funeral? I think Tibetan Buddhists just cremate the body by itself with no possessions accompanying it? I would be most grateful if somebody, (a Tibetan Buddhist?), could please let me know what in a Tibetan Buddhist cremation or for a western man would be considered ok to bring as possessions that will accompany his cremation that would symbolise Tibetan Buddhism.
Thank you very much
First of all, my condolences to you and your sister. Second, I have to say I'm a bit touched by the thought to include a Buddha, and then also the consideration towards Buddhism, whether this is appropriate. That is honestly beautiful.
Sending a Buddha with your father is definitely a good idea. After all, the motivation here is to include something positive (not to 'destroy' a Buddha, but to have your father take it with him). To connect your passed father to enlightenment / oneness with the universe / God / or however you prefer to relate to this. Cremating a Buddha with your father is certainly not disrespectful or bad luck. And with the very positive motivation you and your sister have in doing this, nothing could actually be considered a bad thing in Buddhism.
Find a nice wooden Buddha statue, make some good wishes for your father in any way that seem appropriate to you, and send him of in the most loving way you can. May he be well, wherever he goes.
Wishing you and you family all the strength and love you need in these tough times,