It's not suicide but a further form of enlightenment! The world we see with our senses is an illusion. The real truth is hidden behind the curtain.
Sokushinbutsu Buddhist monks take a path of years of meditating and self-mummification to become a "living Buddha". Their program:
- Step 1. 1,000 days live on special diet of water, seeds and nuts in order to shed body fat.
- Step 2. 1,000 days live on roots, pine bark and urushi tea to repel parasites in order to prevent the body of decaying.
- Step 3. Step into a stone tomb and ring a bell once a day. Once the monk failed to ring the breathing tube was removed and the tomb was sealed for 1,000 days.
- Step 4. Opening of the tomb to see if the body successfully mummified. If yes, they were put on display in their temple. If not, they remained entombed.
So far, 24 living Buddhas have been documented. Since 1879 this practice is banned by the Japanese government because they consider it as suicide.