Buddhism Death Emergency Assistance Triratna Buddhist Order

Updated 27th March 2015

Buddhism Death Emergency Assistance Triratna Buddhist Order

Submitted by Munisha (Catherine Hopper)
Liaison and Communications Officer, The Triratna Buddhist Order

http://www.triratnabuddhistorder.org/
The Triratna Buddhist Order has no set rituals around death but creates them according to the needs of the person, family and sangha.

One member of the Triratna Buddhist Order who conducts funerals suggests these two texts:

Metta Sutta

(see page Buddhism The Buddha’s Words on Loving Kindness (Metta Sutta) on this website)

Mahanama Sutta: To Mahanama

Samyutta Nikaya
SN 55.21
PTS: S v 369
CDB ii 1808
Mahanama Sutta: To Mahanama (1)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2005

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Sakyans near Kapilavatthu in Nigrodha’s Park. Then Mahanama the Sakyan went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, “Lord, this Kapilavatthu is rich & prosperous, populous & crowded, its alleys congested. Sometimes, when I enter Kapilavatthu in the evening after visiting with the Blessed One or with the monks who inspire the mind, I meet up with a runaway elephant, a runaway horse, a runaway chariot, a runaway cart, or a runaway person. At times like that my mindfulness with regard to the Blessed One gets muddled, my mindfulness with regard to the Dhamma… the Sangha gets muddled. The thought occurs to me, ‘If I were to die at this moment, what would be my destination? What would be my future course?”

“Have no fear, Mahanama! Have no fear! Your death will not be a bad one, your demise will not be bad. If one’s mind has long been nurtured with conviction, nurtured with virtue, nurtured with learning, nurtured with relinquishment, nurtured with discernment, then when the body — endowed with form, composed of the four primary elements, born from mother & father, nourished with rice & porridge, subject to inconstancy, rubbing, pressing, dissolution, & dispersion — is eaten by crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, hyenas, or all sorts of creatures, nevertheless the mind — long nurtured with conviction, nurtured with virtue, learning, relinquishment, & discernment — rises upward and separates out.

“Suppose a man were to throw a jar of ghee or a jar of oil into a deep lake of water, where it would break. There the shards & jar-fragments would go down, while the ghee or oil would rise upward and separate out. In the same way, if one’s mind has long been nurtured with conviction, nurtured with virtue, nurtured with learning, nurtured with relinquishment, nurtured with discernment, then when the body… is eaten by crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, hyenas, or all sorts of creatures, nevertheless the mind… rises upward and separates out.
“Have no fear, Mahanama! Have no fear! Your death will not be a bad one, your demise will not be bad.”

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn55/sn55.021.than.html

How to cite this document (a suggested style): “Mahanama Sutta: To Mahanama (1)” (SN 55.21), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (version ati-legacy-2013.12.17.18), 2 December 2013.