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200-Year-Old Mummified Monk Not Dead, Just Meditating, Buddhism Expert Claims

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. Read More »

Sokushinbutsu – Japan’s Self-Mummified Monks

Sokushinbutsu were Buddhist priests who took their own lives in such a way that they became mummies and were revered for their spirit and dedication.

Popular in northern Japan, especially around the Yamagato Prefecture, the practice of becoming Sokushinbutsu is believed to a tantric ritual from Tang China, brought to the Land of the Rising Sun by the founder of Shingon Buddhism. Read More »