Buddhist monk cremated after 16 days

Buddhist monk cremated after 16 days

The final rites of senior Buddhist monk, Geshe Lobsang Wangyal Makhampa, 86, who had passed away 16 days ago, were performed as per Tibetan tradition at Gaden Shartse Monastery in Lama Camp 1 of the Tibetan Colony on Thursday morning.

Many Buddist monks had gathered to pay their obeisance to the departed monk. The Buddist religious leaders presided over the rites after offering special prayers.

Geshe Lobsang Wangyal Makhampa had died on January 21. However, the body didn’t decompose. For the last 16 days, the mortal remains were kept in a corner of the monastery where monks lighted hundreds of lamps every day.

The Tibetan monks believe that the soul of the departed leader was present in the monastery. This condition where a monk dies but his body doesn’t decompose due to the presence of the soul is known as Tuktam in Tibetan Buddhism. On Wednesday night, foul smell started emanating from the body which made monks believe that the soul had embarked on its final journey and hence cremation was performed on Thursday.

“This is the first time that the soul of a monk has stayed in the monastery for 16 days,” monk Geshe Tashi.

However, the incident didn’t go unnoticed. A team of doctors and experts arrived from Bylakuppe and Dharmashala to collect details. Another team headed by international scientist David Richardson is already conducting research to bring out the truth about the incident, said Monlyam Makhampa.

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