Charnel grounds: what do they look like?

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Charnel grounds: what do they look like?

Postby Luke » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:57 pm

I have read many books which mentioned Indian or Tibetan Buddhist masters who were "charnel ground yogis" who lived and practiced in their local charnel grounds in India or Tibet.

Could anyone describe to me what these ancient charnel grounds would have looked like? I have a hard time visualizing what they would have been like. My Western mind wants to think of a yogi sitting on a tombstone, but I know that's totally wrong.

Would they have just been flat, sandy, bad-smelling places with human ashes, bone fragments, and body parts which were partially eaten by vultures lying on the ground?
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 1679
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: Charnel grounds: what do they look like?

Postby justsit » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:00 pm

Google "Tibetan Sky Burial."
Warning: graphic
User avatar
justsit
 
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Charnel grounds: what do they look like?

Postby kirtu » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:28 pm

Luke wrote:Would they have just been flat, sandy, bad-smelling places with human ashes, bone fragments, and body parts which were partially eaten by vultures lying on the ground?


They were like the ghats along the Ganges River now except nowadays that seems to be a pretty picture. Like the link to the sky burial they were graphic but also they were terrifying according to Thurman because people thought that monsters also lived there (and maybe they did as cannibals) as did fearsome unseen entities. So American Indian burial grounds of some peoples who essentially did an in place sky burial would be like them. Also maybe criminals lived there as a safer hideout than other places (I seem to have read this somewhere).

I know a Theravadin practitioner who got permission to follow/work with a major city examiner in a morgue for some 2 wks or so for this exact purpose. Also Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about doing meditation near a decomposing corpse in Vietnam for months until the corpse was just bones. When he did this he was 18 and thought it was too much but he wrote about it as an older man (this was about 10 years ago) and in retrospect thought it was correct practice for him.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4531
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Charnel grounds: what do they look like?

Postby muni » Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:05 pm

Luke wrote:I have read many books which mentioned Indian or Tibetan Buddhist masters who were "charnel ground yogis" who lived and practiced in their local charnel grounds in India or Tibet.

Could anyone describe to me what these ancient charnel grounds would have looked like? I have a hard time visualizing what they would have been like. My Western mind wants to think of a yogi sitting on a tombstone, but I know that's totally wrong.

Would they have just been flat, sandy, bad-smelling places with human ashes, bone fragments, and body parts which were partially eaten by vultures lying on the ground?


Some people cannot pay for sky offering and leave the body behind on a ground for corps. One most known charnel ground is near by Sera monastery. Vultures are coming on those grounds. Practices like Chod in the middle of the night to see all imaginations are mind only.

Near prisons are grounds as well. Also corps are offered to rivers, special animal corps like dogs. In India corps of spiritual people are offered to the Ganges.


To give the temporary body to the peaceful vultures (ritual) or cremations ask paying.
muni
 
Posts: 2945
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am


Return to Tibetan Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: supermaxv and 20 guests

>