Garry Shandling Buddhist Honors In Death

3/31/2016 1:00 AM PDT

Garry Shandling: Buddhist Honors in Death

EXCLUSIVE

Garry Shandling will achieve monk status in an elaborate Buddhist funeral the comedian planned before his death.

He was never very vocal about it, but Garry was a devout Buddhist and sources close to him tell us he secretly made arrangements -- with the help of a longtime employee -- to honor his spirituality with a very specific ceremony. 

We're told the decedent is dressed in casual clothes and gets ordained as a monk by having his head symbolically shaved by another monk. He's then laid to rest with a card detailing the "Five Precepts of Buddha." Finally, a monk leads a chant while the congregation lights incense to help guide the spirit to the next life. 

It's unclear if Garry will be buried or cremated -- both are acceptable in Buddhism. 

We're told -- true to Shandling's Jewish roots -- food will be served afterward while close friends begin a period of mourning ... which lasts 49 days for Buddhists. 

We're told the small, private ceremony will go down next month.