It’s Alive! Buddhists Insist That 19th-Century Mummified Monk Is Only Meditating

Let’s call this archeological find in Mongolia the Norwegian Blue mummy. Beautiful plumage, innit?

Scientists in Mongolia are examining a 200-year mummified monk who some Buddhists believe is still alive because he is in a deep meditative trance.

Possibly he’s just… resting. Or stunned. Or pining for the fjords. See for yourself:

The preserved body of the monk, sitting in the cross-legged lotus position, was discovered last week, covered in cattle skin, in the Songino Khairkhan district of the capital, Ulan Bator. … Gankhüügiin Pürevbat, the founder of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulan Bator Buddhist University, told the Siberian Times, a news website: “The lama is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolises 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.”

Some experts on Buddhism said the monk could be in “tukdam,” a kind of deep meditative state that crosses over between life and death.

Dr. Barry Kerzin, a monk and a physician to the Dalai Lama, told the website: “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.”

A very similar situation arose in India just last year:

Guru Ashutosh Maharaj is lying inside a freezer. Those who have seen him say his skin is blackened, his face skeletal. They — along with his own doctors who declared him clinically dead on 29 January — are convinced he is no longer among the living.

But many of the guru’s large numbers of devotees, along with those who control his network of ashrams worth up to £100m, insist he is still alive. He is, they say, simply in a deep meditative state, known as “samadhi.”

The matter is still not resolved. Despite the guru having been deceased (or “deceased”) for more than a year now, and despite a higher Indian court affirming that he’d joined the choir invisible, whether he’s truly dead is still in dispute, and legal proceedings are ongoing.

(Image via PATRYN World Latest News)

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