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Funeral Customs

Here exist many modes of funeral such as inhumation, incineration, stupa burial, celestial burial, water burial, cliff burial, tree burial, stone coffin burial and multi-person burial, each having its special existent time, scope and sense. Inhumation is said to be the earliest practice in Tibet. The stupa burial and incineration are regarded as noble ways; the former in particular was only for the successive Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama as well as a few grand Living Buddh's, i.e. being buried in gold and silver stupas; while the latter is for ordinary Shamen and noblemen. In the forested areas such as Nyingchi Prefecture, however, incineration is also practiced by the ordinary people. 

According to the doctrine of Tibetan Buddhism, every thing has soul, and every life will be reincarnated. These doctrines dominate funeral customs. With their understanding of "death" as a synonym of "rebirth", the Tibetan people will be calm without any fear or grief. It is not only the dying person who can peacefully accept the destined fate, but also the relatives and friends who do not appear to show any deep sorrow as the people in other regions do.

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