What Is Buddhism and Its Funeral Symbols?

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Although Buddhism is called the “middle way,” it’s an ancient tradition with roots in India, China, and other parts of Asia. This approach to spirituality emphasizes ideas of neither good nor evil but instead sees everything as one. As a result, there are many cultural interpretations of Buddhism across the globe, including funeral rites that are meant to prepare the dead for their next reincarnation. You should be aware of Buddhism’s afterlife beliefs so that you won’t lag from any details.

  • Juzu Beads

In Buddhism, the yuzu is a rosary that people of the Nichiren sect often use. It’s a string of 108 wooden beads or sometimes beads made from metal. The yuzu was originally made using 108 grains of rice, which were then covered in lacquer and strung on a thread. The number 108 depicts the number of possible temptations that one must overcome to attain enlightenment in Buddhism.

  • Earth, Water, and Tree

While not considered a religious symbol, the earth is considered sacred by many historical Buddhist sects. They believed it would again support any being that was enlightened during their lifetime. Because of this belief, some Buddhists bury materials that can eventually grow into trees over the place where their loved one was buried. If the family’s budget doesn’t allow for an elaborate cremation ceremony, they may have a modest service and choose to have a pot placed at the bottom of a tree.

  • Fruits, Stones, and Flowers

Because of how simple it is, Buddhists often use fruits, flowers, or stones during their ceremonies. They are used to both symbolize the life being celebrated and send it on to the afterlife with dignity. These are traditionally placed at the site of burial in front of the urn or grave marker.

Other items that may be included in a Buddhist ceremony are an incense holder and a candleholder. It is crucial to know about other factors to have extra knowledge with a better understanding.


Walter Wade is a feature writer focusing on creative writing.

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