Organ donation is a highly appreciated and widespread practice everywhere around the world. There are some religions that are a little tentative and do not hold a clear stance on the issue but Buddhism is not one of them.
Cremation is the rite of passage in Buddhism and thus any organ donation is set to be performed before the funeral or the body is cremated.
Buddhism treats the process of death in a very respectful and calm way, demanding respect towards the deceased and the family both and so if the deceased already decided for organ donation after his/her death, the wish is to be respected.
There is no literature that goes in any way against organ donation in Buddhist funerals, so they are not considered to be a problem.
Donation in Light of Buddhist teachings
Buddhism is one religion that highly encourages its followers to give charity and help people in need as giving was considered one of Buddha’s greatest virtues. It is said that Buddha gave his life to a tigress in a previous life who had to feed her cubs and his eyes to someone who needed them.
Thus, the concept of organ donation is a very familiar one in Buddhism. Though it is an encouraged procedure, the choice lies heavily on the family and the deceased. There may be some deflecting opinions, so it is always better to consult with the elders or seniors in the community over whether a certain practice is right or not.
Embalming is basically the art and science of preserving the body or the body parts through the use of chemicals. The practice dates back to when Egyptians used to preserve their dead in the form of mummies and some religions and people still follow the practice. The main reason embalming is performed is to keep the body or maintain it until the funeral which may be at a later date.
Embalming in Buddhism
In Buddhism, embalming is generally not preferred in Buddhism but if it is needed, then there seems to be no literature against the practice.
Embalming is allowed if the funeral is set to take place sometimes later due to any reasons and the family needs to hold the body without cremating it.
It usually happens when the family wishes to perform a wake and are waiting for any of the family members to arrive when they do so. Even if that is not the case, there are a few conflicting opinions, but the practice is allowed according to the general consensus.
Buddhists take death to not be the end of something but rather the beginning of something new for the deceased. Death is considered part of a cycle of reincarnation, known as “Samsara” in Buddhism.
According to it, the actions of a person in life will determine his form in his next life and while the belief is widely accepted by most, there are again some that do not conform with the belief. The cycle of Samsara can only be exited through good deeds and virtue. Should you need funeral services, please visit our website.