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Man who stole mummified monk remains is finally jailed

By The Siberian Times reporter
21 May 2015

Taken from his mountain grave in Mongolia, the body of Tsorzh Sanzhzhav had been destined for the black market.

D Enkhter took the remains in October last year from Sodnomdarzhaa Mountain, 50km from Tsakhir in the Arkhangai district, and hid it. Picture: Morning Newspaper 

The thief who stole the mummy of the Mongolian monk found in the lotus position has been jailed for six months.

D Enkhter took the remains in October last year from Sodnomdarzhaa Mountain, 50km from Tsakhir in the Arkhangai district, and hid it. He was only caught three months later when he tried to sell it for 300million tugriks (7million roubles/$155,000).

No details on his prosecution have emerged from Mongolia but it is known he was sentenced according to Article 129.1 of the Criminal Code, for destroying the grave.

It comes as the Mongolian government announces that it plans to allocate 164million tugriks (4million roubles/$84,000) to return the monk’s body to his burial place.

The remains of Tsorzh Sanzhzhav, who was born about 200 years ago, are being kept and restored in Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar, but will soon go back to the mountain. There are hopes that one day a temple can be built above the grave to allow pilgrims and tourists to visit and pray.

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


Mongolian mummy

It comes as the Mongolian government announces that it plans to allocate 164million tugriks (4million roubles/$84,000) to return the monk’s body to his burial place. Pictures: Morning Newspaper

Tsorzh Sanzhzhav was a disciple of one of the greatest Buddhist teachers that ever lived and had been buried alongside his elder master.

He was a student of His Holiness Incarnate Ovgon Geser Lama, who is revered in the region and whose grave is visited annually by pilgrims wishing to pray.

But his identity became known around the world when his body was taken from that final resting place, in a mountain cave, and was destined for sale on the black market.

There had been speculation that the monk was not dead and was instead in 'very deep meditation' in a special spiritual state known as tukdam. But that was subsequently proved to be unfounded.

Comments (3)

That was quick justice. Good job by the police and the prosecution. It is hard to believe that in this day and age, there are still grave robbers around. What about that Mongolian actor who took a "selfie" with the monk's mummy? Shouldn't he be penalize too for "dishonor and disrespect" of a deceased' remains?
E. Espinosa, Edmonton, Alberta Canada
25/05/2015 20:55
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0
Ya, such a sad story happened here. Hope that there would be no more such incidents.
G. Gansukh, Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA
23/05/2015 20:33
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How sad that money is more valuable than love. I am grateful the thief has been caught and Tsorzh Sanzhzhav is now known for his understanding of that thieves moral values, and has from his state forgiven the weaknesses that pursuit of money brings. It is fine to live within one's means and make a living to support oneself and family. Even the rich can be comfortable in their finances and for a cause-give money to help others, but to make money in this manner is wrong. I hope the thief is now aware of this. I respect all religions and admire people that take time to walk gently when others are praying - Respect of one another's religion is the mark of peaceful people. I pray this contemplative servant of Buddhism, Monk Tsorzh Sanzhzhav, will have that temple built and pilgrims will be able to pray alongside him, as he continues to be in Tukdam. I remain, Sincerely, Norma Iris Montalvo (b. 1955)
Norma Iris Montalvo, OK, USA
22/05/2015 23:29
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