frank224 Report This Comment
Date: March 05, 2009 07:01PM
Sokushinbutsu were Buddhist monks or priests who allegedly caused their own
deaths in a way that resulted in their being mummified. This practice reportedly
took place almost exclusively in northern Japan around the Yamagata Prefecture.
Between 16 and 24 such mummifications have been discovered.
For three years the priests would eat a special diet consisting only of nuts and
seeds, while taking part in a regimen of rigorous physical activity that
stripped them of their body fat. They then ate only bark and roots for another
three years and began drinking a poisonous tea made from the sap of the Urushi
tree, normally used to lacquer bowls. This caused vomiting and a rapid loss of
bodily fluids, and most importantly, it killed off any maggots that might cause
the body to decay after death. Finally, a self-mummifying monk would lock
himself in a stone tomb barely larger than his body, where he would not move
from the lotus position. His only connection to the outside world was an air
tube and a bell. Each day he rang a bell to let those outside know that he was
still alive. When the bell stopped ringing, the tube was removed and the tomb
chompa Report This Comment
Date: March 05, 2009 07:15PM
Cool, like the tibetan yogis who dissolve the physical elements of their body
until nothing but hair and nails remain. Way to go indeed.