Sunday, January 12, 2014

Shugendo, Self-mummification Monks

Shugendo, Self-mummification Monks

Thousands of years ago, monks Shugendo or so-called Sokushinbutsu also practiced self-mummification is where the monks torture themself for many years until their death in a state that even the decomposer ceatures are not able to eat it.

This process consists of three phases, each phases the length of 1000 days.

1000 days in the first phase is where the monks only eat nuts and berries that are found around the forest and added with vigorous exercise will deplete their body fats

1000 days in the second phases the monks only eat the roots of an areca tree in this second stage where the monks will change as due to their thin skulls.

1000 days of the the last stage is where have started drinking tea made from toxic tree substances. Drinking this tea will cause to vomit, sweat, and the other to remove all the body fluids . But more important is that after the death of toxins in the body will cause the body to secrete toxins that can not decompose properly. Thus corpse will be mummified.

In this third stage the monks would go into a very narrow cave just enough to sit cross-legged. They entered with a bell and every day they would ring the bell to indicate that they are still alive. After the bell does not ring anymore, then the cave will be sealed and the monks considered to have reached perfection.

The monks practice has been banned in Japan since the late 18th century. It is estimated that hundreds of mummified monks only about 16-24 Sokushinbutsu mummy found. Although this practice has been banned in huku, in July 2010 still found the latest Sokushinbutsu in Tokyo. The following images of the mummy. - Shugendo, Self-mummification Monks





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