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

By 0 and 0 and 0
02 February 2015


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 (195)

Christians believe they are eating the body of their Christ at the altar rail. People can believe anything they like, but science will tell the rest of the story.
KoolBreeze: one can travel a million miles away in a dream, and still wake up in the same bed as s/he lay down in 8 hours earlier. A bit of dope might help the illusion seem real. Of such strands are our lives made real to us, dreaming or waking, and spiritual beliefs, as long as they don't scare the animals, are one layer of what makes life interesting.... if not understandable. I wonder: do the monks fear or embrace eternal death?
Mariadelamiamore, NorthCarolinaUSA
27/12/2022 20:14
Why couldn’t he have just been meditating and had a heart attack?
Nancy Costa, Marion I’ll USU
13/11/2020 18:03
My doubt is the monk is mummified but who mummified it? Or does it mean that since he is in special state of meditation his body won't decay. does it mean that he is still alive in that body his soul did not leave the body?
Ansha, India
02/11/2020 15:20
Show me how to meditate... I'm ready to bust out of this Popsicle stand
Robot, Nerd
17/08/2018 20:48
this article it can be true but possible of a human that can still alive in that condition or stage.
rica jane, philippines
14/03/2018 10:58
I don't see why people see this as a reason to judge religion. There is plenty of evidence of the things that happened in the Bible, it's just harder to find because scientists are trying to prove it wrong and prove their theories right to grow rich and famous. If you try to find evidence against something you will because you'll prpbably look over some things to prove your theory. if you try to prove something you'll probably look over things that disproves your theory. This is just one article, if you want to judge it atleast read alternative articles to clue yourself in.
Anja, South Africa
15/11/2017 22:47
Sorry to break it to you guys, this monk is dead. While I respect the sanctity of his decisions and cultural practices, he is very dead and has been for some time. Ignoring the fact that of course he is not breathing, he is medically deemed dead when he has a flat eeg showing no electrical activity in his brain. He is not in a state of deep meditation, his soul has left his body and we are left with human tissue that will deteriorate over time.
Antonio, USA
15/11/2017 22:13
He found a great way to evade taxation!
Scott Turnbaugh, United States
24/09/2017 12:26
I love the guy that comments that the monk has been dead for hundreds of years. Common core math at its finest.
Me, N/A
23/09/2017 07:21

"Tardigrade Frozen For 30 Years & Brought Back to Life"
Mr. Freeze, USA
17/09/2017 13:25
Kinda funny budhism was around thousands of years before Christianity yet every one believes a man rose from the dead with 0 proof he existed except a book written a thousand years after he fact. Atleast there is so evidence to look at even if he is dead in this case. I see 0 evidence for anything in the bible.
Jett, Earth
16/09/2017 10:45
i do not believe the fellow is alive but i have no proof that he is not either, but as someone who tries to follow Buddha's teachings, any thing is possible !
robert, texas
19/06/2017 10:16
Obviously this physical body will not suddenly start to breath again. It's skin will not turn pink as the heart suddenly starts to beat. The eyes will not open and glance at you. Organs and other essential parts of the body probably do not exist anymore. Maybe we should add some water, like in the story of Instant Cat by Frederic Brown.
It may be a very nice way to die in this way, deeply concentrated on a certain thought or on no thought at all. People are free to do what they want as long as it doesn't harm others or self. Did he do this to teach us something, to send a message to the world? What strength of mind and determination!
Mayatiita , Universe
10/06/2017 00:29
People now a days are very very uptight and closed minded. This man could be alive for all we know. Scientists could be hiding so many things from us. After what I just said I expect there to be some scientist saying "that's not true, and I would know because im a scientist" I am talking about the real scientists, the goverment scientists. Not the scientists who find a new kind of plant, or new kind of spider.
Open Minded, usa
03/06/2017 02:43
No of us in this comment section actually know whether or not this man is alive. Personally, I think that it is absurd that people don't even think that something like this is possible. Anything, and I mean anything is possible scientists don't know everything and haven't found everything about the earth. It is everyone's right to have an opinon, but to tell other people that they are stupid for believing something? Saying that people who actually believe this article should be get some "serious mental health" is like saying if someone belives in jesus or buddha or anything else should get mental help. Well that was all I had to say, you can call me dumb, stupid, annoying, crazy, a hypocrite, but it won't have any affect. Goodbye, thanks for reading and have a nice day!
Baily Smith, California
02/06/2017 09:17

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