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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)

Let him rest in peace and return him were he belongs! God bless him xx
wendy owen, Huddersfield. great Britain
23/02/2015 02:05
20
2
Return him were he belongs and let him rest in peace! Hes not a live hes needs to be buried and be in peace. Bless him
wendy owen , england
23/02/2015 02:01
9
2
If you* died you wouldnt mind your body being sold. You are not him.
Catterina Freed, deming, nm
23/02/2015 01:24
2
8
..westerners are so...stupid..they only see what's so obvious..
rob, depths of hell

We ARE rather stupid like that....when a westerner sees a dead body, it's because it's dead. Are you actually thinking this thing is still alive? No heartbeat, breathing, bodily functions, EYES...yet, WE'RE stupid? Go for your hay sheep, it's calling you.
Katharine, St Andrew's Scotland
22/02/2015 23:54
9
16
Please try to understand. Yes, this monks physical body IS, for all intensive purposes, 'dead' and has been kept protected in a mummified state. However, his SPIRITUAL body is alive and still in a very deep meditative state. Put simply, he 'died' whilst in this very deep meditative state and, as such, remained there instead of moving on to the next state of life. It could be likened to a western person dying, but instead of his 'soul' going to 'Heaven', it stays within his body in a state of deep 'rest' until ready to move on. This is a very enlightened state indeed.
Beau Ravn, Australia
22/02/2015 23:33
36
5
I'm all for the science of discover and updating our bank of knowledge of time past, but to remove this guy from his chosen place of rest just isn't right. I think archaeology goes too far sometimes in the pillaging of burial places. I can appreciate the intention for discovery, but the precedence for knowledge shouldn't outweigh these people's wishes to be at rest. We should be more respectful, and place them back in their places of burial.
Jedrick, New Jersey
22/02/2015 22:58
74
9
punk's not dead. He used to be a loner
jaypee, philippines
22/02/2015 22:36
5
7
Is he breathing? Is his heart beating? No? Yeah, he's just dead.
Peter, NJ, USA
22/02/2015 21:38
13
6
I can imagine how somebody meditates himself to death - why not. But I don't see what insane mind would claim that he is still alive. I mean, it's hard to see precisely from the pictures but I bet he has no eyes anymore, his insides seem to be dried out and dead, skin dried... there's simply no chance he would ever wake up and be functional again. Last time I checked, that was what being dead is about. So why not say "he meditated himself to death"? Where is any clue that he is still alive? Opened hand doesn't prove that, unless he moves it or something. If they said his organs are just sleeping but still in a fresh condition, that would be something different.
Em, Czech Republic
22/02/2015 20:32
18
7
The monk should indeed be returned to his home.
Edwin Everly, Rantoul, Illinois/ USA
22/02/2015 19:34
37
5
Put his cloth back on and put him back where he should be, he is sacred and should not be messed with. Idiots!!!
Kj, USA
22/02/2015 19:22
49
5
The truth is no one is really dead every one is resting. But takdum is very special a high level of reaching the divine. absolutely beautiful. Vanity to reach the divine? I think not I think it is amazing
Kimberley , USA Denver CO
22/02/2015 18:29
17
6
Anyone that thinks that this corpse is alive has an extra chromosome.
Whocares, Whocares, ugh
22/02/2015 16:15
24
25
no. he is dead.
,
22/02/2015 15:41
11
7
This Monk should be returned to his homeland.
Cynthia, USA
22/02/2015 12:46
21
1

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