How important is the three-day lying in period for ordinary mortals like us?
Usually, the instruction is not to disturb the body, not to touch it, just leave it for three days or something like that, that’s the general instruction.
Usually in the teachings in Tibet, for instance, it is recommended that the body of an ordinary person is left untouched, at least, for about three days, but if it’s really necessary to move it then you don’t have to wait for three days. Also in India, because of the geography and things like that people are always buried or burnt the same day that they die because the place is too hot, so they cannot keep the dead body too long.
So, therefore, I’m not a hundred percent sure that keeping the body long is absolutely necessary, so I think even if you are a Buddhist then it is not absolutely necessary for your body to be kept for three days and otherwise if it’s totally impossible, it is only suggested that the body is not disturbed for as long as possible. It can be one day, two days, three days if it is possible, otherwise then try to make the arrangements as according to the need of the place, according to the situation, according to the geography, according to the local customs and traditions, I think that would be more appropriate.
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche