Meaning of Funeral Service
Why do Buddhists have funeral ceremonies? Most Japanese people hold funeral services, believing that somehow holding funerals will send their deceased loved ones to a happier place. However, Shakyamuni Buddha teaches that our future is determined by our own past actions and there is nothing we can do to alter the course of others' afterlife once they are deceased.
Yet, funeral ceremonies serve some crucial purposes. When people close to us die, we often contemplate on
the meaning of life. Why must we live despite our inescapable death?, we may ask. It's when we are earnestly thinking about the meaning of life that we are most able to listen to the teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha. Funeral ceremonies thus provide great opportunities for us to reflect on the life of the deceased and ours and to listen to the purpose of life, the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. It is not everyday that we can see our family, close friends and relatives, and what a wonderful way to listen to the teachings,
surrounded by those we cherish the most. Buddhism is taught in any true Buddhist funeral service.
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