A Monk, whose Mummified body of over 200 Years, was found in Mongolia, was found alive.
He is reported to have been under a rare Meditation called ‘Tukdam”
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Tukdam (Wyl. thugs dam) is an honorific term for meditative practice and experience that is frequently used to refer to the period following the death of a great master, during which time they are absorbed in luminosity. As Sogyal Rinpoche describes it in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying:
- A realized practitioner continues to abide by the recognition of the nature of mind at the moment of death, and awakens into the Ground Luminosity when it manifests. He or she may even remain in that state for a number of days. Some practitioners and masters die sitting upright in that state for a number of days. Some practitioners and masters die sitting upright in meditation posture, and others in the “posture of the sleeping lion.” Besides their perfect poise, there will be other signs that show they are resting in the state of the Ground Luminosity: There is still a certain color and glow in their face, the nose does not sink inward, the skin remains soft and flexible, the body does not become stiff, the eyes are said to keep a soft and compassionate glow, and there is still a warmth at the heart. Great care is taken that the master’s body is not touched, and silence is maintained until he or she has arisen from this state of meditation.
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.
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.
The ash-coloured mummy has reportedly been sent to the National Centre of Forensic Expertise in Ulan Bator for further study.
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.”
Local media said a 45-old-man had been arrested because the monk’s body had been stolen from a cave with the intention of selling it off. It was unclear in what circumstances it was originally found.
The mummified monk is generally thought to have died in the 19th century. His identity is unknown.
In a similar case, the body of Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, a lama in Russia’s Buryatia region, showed few signs of decay when it was exhumed in 2002. Monks say Itigilov is “not completely dead” and the temperature of his body rises during ceremonies at the monastery where it is kept near Ulan Ude.
Itigilov died in 1927 while meditating, having asked fellow monks to bury him in the lotus position after he passed away. His body was packed in salt.