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Mummified monk is ‘not dead’ and in rare meditative state, says expert

By Kate Baklitskaya
02 February 2015

As police say lama found in lotus positon was destined for sale on black market, there are claims it was one step away from becoming a Buddha.

The mummified remains, covered in cattle skin, were found on January 27 in the Songinokhairkhan province. Picture: Morning Newspaper 

A mummified monk found in the lotus position in Mongolia is 'not dead' and is instead one stage away from becoming a real-life Buddha, it has been claimed.

Forensic examinations are under way on the amazing remains, which are believed to be around 200 years old, having been preserved in animal skin. But one expert has insisted the human relic is actually in 'very deep meditation' and in a rare and very special spiritual state known as 'tukdam'.

Over the last 50 years there are said to have been 40 such cases in India involving meditating Tibetan monks.

Dr Barry Kerzin, a famous Buddhist monk and a physician to the Dalai Lama, said: 'I had the privilege to take care of some meditators who were in a tukdam state.

'If the person is able to remain in this state for more than three weeks - which rarely happens - his body gradually shrinks, and in the end all that remains from the person is his hair, nails, and clothes. Usually in this case, people who live next to the monk see a rainbow that glows in the sky for several days. This means that he has found a 'rainbow body'. This is the highest state close to the state of Buddha'.

He added: 'If the meditator can continue to stay in this meditative state, he can become a Buddha. Reaching such a high spiritual level the meditator will also help others, and all the people around will feel a deep sense of joy'.

Initial speculation is that the mummy could be a teacher of Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov.

Born in 1852, Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov was a Buryat Buddhist Lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, best known for the lifelike state of his body.

Mummified monk is ‘not dead’ and in rare meditative state, says expert


Mummified monk is ‘not dead’ and in rare meditative state, says expert

The 'meditating monk' and the house in Mongolia where it was hidden. Pictures: Morning Newspaper 


Ganhugiyn Purevbata, who is the founder and professor of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulaanbaatar Buddhist University, said: 'Lama is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolizes of the preaching Sutra.

'This is a sign that the Lama is not dead, but is in a very deep meditation according to the ancient tradition of Buddhist lamas'.

The mummified remains, which were covered in cattle skin, were found on January 27 in the Songinokhairkhan province of Mongolia.

However, there is more to the story and now police have revealed that the monk had been stolen from another part of the country and was about to be sold off.

An unnamed official said that it was taken from a cave in the Kobdsk region by a man who then hid it in his own home in Ulaanbaatar.

He had then been planning to sell it on the black market at a 'very high price', with local media claiming he wanted to take it over the Mongolian border. Police uncovered the plot and quickly arrested a 45-year-old, named only as Enhtor. 

According to Article 18 of the Criminal Code of Mongolia smuggling items of cultural heritage are punishable with either a fine of up to 3million roubles ($43,000) or between five and 12 years in prison. The monk is now being guarded at the National Centre of Forensic Expertise at Ulaanbaatar.

Comments (188)

Seems really disrespectful to remove his robes and photograph him naked when he is so revered and when whether he's dead is being called into question. I hope he achieves or achieved his goal of becoming a Buddha.
M. Fraser, Albuquerque NM, USA
24/02/2015 11:56
47
11
Maha SAMADHI!!!
jay shiv, vancouver usa
24/02/2015 09:51
5
9
after having read some of the most rated comments, id like to state is it not amazing how much controversy can spring from a comment on what some would call a mummified Buddhist. Arguments about the terminology of life and death as they are understood currently and even what I feel are uneducated comments about " There is only one family I want to be in and it's the family that guarantees that I'm safe not by my own actions, but by complete grace." (which I feel is extremely lazy of anyone) this story raises the mind to a higher since of things engaging us to conversation about such deeper issues than, "that man was going to sell a body on the black market" or "how do I get ahold of the black market do they have a contact number" perhaps even this "Incredible that this lama was capable of remaining in lotus position even through his transcendence from life to death as some might refer to it" Also if you have never sat in a meditative position before try doing so for lets about one hour if you make it that far I will be incredibly impressed, while doing so attempt to think of only one statement and focus on only one image conjoining the two into a single idea, meditate on this then comment. As id have to agree there entirely too many judgmental (including this one) and abrasively rude comments about this lama and his faith. P.S. Jesus was probably a studier of Buddhist monks and Hindi yogi's " I am the path and the light for which you seek" LOOK INTO THAT ONE!
michael weise, Ruidoso, New Mexico
24/02/2015 09:25
25
10
WOW Some of the posts on here are very judgement and disrespectful.
Julie Elliott, Ontario Canada
24/02/2015 08:19
14
5
We are more than our bodies in the flesh he is gone; but his soul remains in this realm, for now. Some people can't understand words beyond there dictionary definition.
Marlee Putney, colorado; united states
24/02/2015 06:48
20
19
I can't imagine giving up a life of action for this. Jesus is the only God I know that calls us to live. Not to give up a life of greatness and action for the Lord to sit in silence. Faith without works is dead. If you're looking at this and you're not religious but you think all religions have some good aspects and are good in their own way, well, that's a nice way to think but it just isn't so. There is only one family I want to be in and it's the family that guarantees that I'm safe not by my own actions but by complete grace. The only religion whose God doesn't require us to save ourselves is the true teachings of Jesus Christ. Not the phony Christianity you see nowadays but the real hidden truth that you won't find until you start looking to God for the truth. God bless you all, I pray you all may have opportunities to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Chelsea, Ohio
24/02/2015 06:32
27
157
The way this article is written suggests that the monk is still alive, obviously for clicking purposes and that is quite disappointing. Also there is no express reference to "the expert" and "the physician"... thank you for almost no information.
JNC, Lausanne
24/02/2015 03:19
30
3
I find all of this indignation over the very suggestion that this man may be alive to be very interesting. Why do you care that some people choose to believe that he achieved a higher state of consciousness through meditation? No one is asking you to do it. Personally, I kind of admire him, whether he succeeded or not. As a person of very little faith, I have to agree that yes, he appears to be very, very dead. I can't think of anything in this world that I would lay down and starve myself to death for, but I can't help but wonder what I might accomplish if I had even half of the will and faith that it must've taken to do what he did.
Renee, AL, USA
23/02/2015 23:19
129
153
"Life" "Science" "Dead" "Bhuddist"

These are merely our agreed "definitions" of strategically sequenced forms we call "letters" to make larger, increasingly diverse and complex forms we call "Words" to polarize our own varience of "existence" to build "identities". Those of which we contrast to all of our accumulated life experiences from which we have our "life experiences", derived "knowledge", and everything around us that we call perspective.



I understand that words have meaning, as I just used words to interpret my own perspective; but these things we call " words" are merely a base on which we build the illusion of understanding...

Many of you seem to have sacrificed what you call happiness to express such discorded tonalities, isn't all of this bothering you limited by what we may so call them...

Aren't you all seeming to miss the "fact" that we create whatever upsets us within out own minds, why trampel over this as such?
Brandon B, United States
23/02/2015 22:57
19
16
Can't you people read? Since this is a story about a mummified Buddhist monk, it has to be understood through some religious filter. 'This is a sign that the Lama is not dead, but is in a very deep meditation according to the ancient tradition of Buddhist lamas'. According to the ancient tradition of Buddhist lamas, not according to medicine or biology standards which defines death as the termination of all biological functions that sustain a living organism.
Dax, Bilbao, Spain
23/02/2015 19:43
48
4
I cursed him because he owes me money
Mr_FiendLord, Bakers field/future
23/02/2015 13:25
12
21
The current definition of the live vs the dead state is only one definition. A definition does not define the thing...it is the thing itself that defines the definition. All processes can slow, and if they are veeeerrrryyyy slow, how can we evaluate the ongoing process?
that laz guy, Albuquerque, NM, EEUU
23/02/2015 09:00
6
10
Monks in this state are not really dead. Body temperature is typically a few degrees higher than room temperature and is quite stable. They also seem to exchange water: eyes aren't completely dry and bits of sweat can be seen on the skin. Tissues remain relatively soft and the distant smell they emit is by no means of a dead body.
Ashot, Moscow
23/02/2015 08:57
10
14
Burial grounds serve two purposes: 1) to get rid of decomposing bodies which are a health risk (decomposition starts right after death). 2) for those who stay behind to have some kind of closure and memorial place. Purpose 1 is the most important one.

The dead are dead, they are gone, they don't care. Don't believe me on this? Ask a dead person. Their silence speaks volumes.
El Bearsidente, Antarctica
23/02/2015 07:38
17
8
Does it matter whether he is dead or alive, No...he has to be returned to his home. Would we like it if our loved ones were dug up and put on display, I think not. Put the man back with his people and respect his wishes.
Rickie Acton, Australia
23/02/2015 03:48
50
1

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