(Siberian Times) -A mysterious mummified monk found almost perfectly preserved in a lotus position last month is causing controversy after a well-known Buddhism expert claimed he isn’t actually dead but in a deep meditative trance.
Interestingly, the monk came to the attention of the authorities after a man was attempting to sell him on the black market in the Songinokhairkhan province of Mongolia. Mongolian police have arrested the man, and the mummy is now being guarded at the National Center of Forensic Expertise at Ulaanbaatar. They believe that the man might have stolen the mummy from another part of the country – a cave in the Kobdsk region – and then hid it in his home. Scientists are currently conducting forensic examinations on the 200-year-old mummy that was found wrapped in cattle skins. They are trying to determine how the body was so well-preserved, although they do suspect that the nation’s cold weather could have played a part.
Dr. Barry Kerzin, a physician to the Dalai Lama, told the Siberian Times that the monk isn’t actually dead, but in a rare state of meditation known as ‘tukdam’. He explained that if a person manages to achieve the state and remain in it for more than three weeks, the body starts to shrink very, very slowly. In the end, all that will remain of the person are the 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.”
“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,” he added.
The identity of the monk has not yet been established, but he is speculated to be the teacher of Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, who was also found mummified. Itigilov, who was from neighbouring Buryatia in the then Soviet Union, apparently told his disciples in 1927 that he was going to die, and that they should exhume his body in 30 years.
When he was dug up as per his instructions, legend has it that Itigilov’s body was found intact and perfectly preserved. Fearing interference by the Soviet authorities, the followers buried him once more. He remained that way until 2002, when he was dug up again and still found well preserved. His body was then placed in a Buddhist temple to be worshiped by his followers.