The term Sokushimbutsu refers to the practice of Buddhist monks who developed asceticism to the point of death and entered mummification while alive.
To achieve this condition, the monks eliminated all their body fat and stopped drinking fluids to avoid rotting the meat. For this they followed a very strict diet, after giving up all worldly pleasures.
So far, it is estimated that the founder of the shingon school, It was Kukai, who learned secret tantric practices during the time of the tang dynasty on China.
According to the writings, Kukai managed to enter a state of suspended animation after his biological death and his followers assure that he will return within five million years to show that he achieved succeed on death.
Kukai prepared for many years to enter this state. First, he ate only nuts and seeds and mixed this diet with a very disciplined exercise routine, to eliminate all body fat.
After a thousand days, he entered the second stage in which he began a new diet that exclusively included bark and roots, plus a has made with the sap From the tree war
For being highly toxic, this drink caused him severe vomiting. This intoxication voluntary had a dual functionality: it allowed him to quickly eliminate a greater amount of bodily fluids while discarding all kinds of parasites that could contribute internally to the decomposition of his body, after his death.
Some sacred texts of Buddhism affirm that the monk Kukai spent the last 20 years of his life in this training until he entered the last stage of the process.
The last phase consisted of stop eating completely. Only stayed for the last 100 days drinking small doses from water with salt while dedicating himself entirely to meditation until he died.
In his last moments, his companions took him to a 3 meter deep well, where they buried him with Coal, leaving just a small bamboo vent.
Inside his coffin they also left a bell, which Kukai toward sonar once a day to let his followers know that he was still alive.
The day the bell stopped ringing, they removed the vent and sealed his grave. All this long and painful journey achieved a perfect natural mummification. A thousand days later, they removed his body and placed it in the temple as a buda so that it was beloved.
It is estimated that they were hundreds of monks those who tried to reach the Nirvana through this method, but to date only 24 mummifications of these characteristics.
Some quit along the way. Others did not achieve mummification and their bodies rotted without achieving the goal of becoming Buddha.
The oldest “self-made” corpse ever discovered is presumed to be of a Buddhist monk named Sangha Tenzin and it is located in a region of northern himalayas corresponding to an area of the India.
This mummy can be visited in a temple in the village of I, located in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.
The body was rediscovered in 1975 when the old stupa that preserved it collapsed during an earthquake. The villagers found her and worshiped her.
However, in 2004 an excavation was made for the construction of a road. Under these circumstances, they removed it from the place and put it in the temple, inside a glass box, without chemical preservatives since the dry and arid environment of the area keeps it in good condition.
Carbon dating at the time revealed that the mummy has been around since approximately the year 1475, long after the Islamic government came to India and Buddhism practically disappeared there.
Some villagers call her Momia Lama, and is believed to be the body of Sangha Tenzin, a monk of the order Gelugapa. This is the only known natural mummy in India.
A mountainous version of Buddhism called Shugendō also arose in Japan as a syncretism between Vajrayana, Shinto Y Taoism in the 7th century, it emphasized ascetic practices.
This discipline was perfected particularly in the region of the Three Mountains of Dewa: Haguro , Gassan Y Yudono. These mountains remain sacred in tradition Shugendō to this day, and ascetic austerities continue to be practiced in the valleys and mountain ranges of this area.
Many Buddhist mummies have been found from Sokushinbutsu in northern Japan and are estimated to be centuries old, while texts suggest that hundreds of these cases they are buried in the stupas and mountains of Japan. These mummies have been revered and revered by the laity of Buddhism.
Luang Pho Daeng
Luang Pho Daeng It is one of the most popular and recent mummies that exist within this ancient practice. He was a Buddhist monk Thai who died while meditating on 1973.
His mummified body is displayed in the Wat Khunaram (temple) on the island of Ko Samui in the province of Surat Thani in Thailand. The mummy stands out for sporting a pair of Sunglasses, which were put on by the caretakers to hide the decomposed sockets of their eyes. In this way, the image is less grotesque.
It is important to note that practitioners of sokushinbutsu did not see this practice as an act of suicide, but rather as a way of illumination. Despite that, the emperor Meiji prohibited this practice in 1879, in Japan, as well as the assisted suicide, including the religious suicide, which is illegal to this day.