Sokushinbutsu - The ancient Japanese monks mummified to death

Sokushinbutsu and the ancient Japanese monks that mummified themselves to death

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Sokushinbutsu of  Dainichi Temple – Atlas Obscura. Available from:

By April Holloway


This is mental. The endurance and ascetism needed for this is completely incomprehensible. I feel a great deal of respect for these men but I don't pretend to understand them. It is both a testimony to the strength humans have and the surely strange motivations we garner too. What have I really learned from this practice though? I'm not quite sure. I'm not sure at all. 

This makes my skin crawl.


I have been thinking about it all day.

Of course it demonstrates the srength of mental power , but why? Of all things they could have with so much willpower, his is what they choose.?

For fame?? These monks who are supposed to be humble.  Nay I don't think so..

I think I'll never forget this.


Sunny Young

I second this motion!

I am sorry to say but IMO this is pointless, if existence(life) only served to achieve the most painful death, why bother at all? Whatever is the purpose of Life I can't imagine it being something like this.

I think this is an example of a philosophy going Amok, which is the case with any Religion, anything which involves belief ends up in a Dead End often quite literally.

There is no proof of Nirvana, Heathen, Hell, Reincarnation(although probably much more than the rest), etc.

And what exactly is "Enlightenment" ? And why bother with it in the first place? Yes, knowledge, wisdom, intuition are all noble virtues but this "enlightenment" what does it do you can't get anywhere else? Seems to me to be just another gimmick (like Heathen) to con you into doing stuff you would otherwise not want to do, like self immolate or self mummification.

I don't think you can "buy" your way into Heaven or Nirvana or to Enlightenment, with "buy" I mean working overtime on achieving it, torturing your self, killing your self, zealously observing rituals, performing any specific tasks solely designed to get you there etc.

Live your Life! The Journey is more important than the End. How you die, as long as it "just happens", is of no consequence to your afterlife if such a thing exists, you are far more likely to "mess it up" by trying too hard like those guys.

Your reflections are those of a "normal" human being, whose life is centered on accomplishments desirable in human society and efforts towards fulfillment of ambitions serving to satisfy the ego and a sense of self-importance.

You could pause to ask yourself how many of the billions of human beings leading a "normal" life are serving the purpose of life.


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