It seems impossible that someone could mummify themselves. But that's exactly what sokushinbutsu is. This self-mummification was a religious practice undergone by Buddhist monks in 11th to 19th century Japan. While the extreme process may seem brutal, the monks who attempted it viewed it as a way to achieve further enlightenment.
That doesn't mean self-mummification is easy. Monks deprived themselves of food and eventually entombed themselves while they were still breathing, all in pursuit of a higher state of being. Successful sokushinbutsu monks are considered living Buddhas.
Sokushinbutsu has been banned in Japan, but some of these Japanese mummy monks still survive today. The Dainichi temple mummies on display give an eerie window into this sacred ritual, with their carefully preserved bones and colorful robes. The monks' remains stand as the ultimate reflection of a life of self-denial.
It's A 3,000 Day ProcessPhoto: AllThings Creepy / via YouTube
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Starvation Staved Off DecayPhoto: AllThings Creepy / via YouTube
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