The seated, mummified remains of a Buddhist monk have been discovered in Mongolia. While that may not seem overly strange or unique, the monk was found to be sitting and meditating in the lotus position, and early estimates suggested the body was about 200 years old.
The Siberian Times reports that the monk was discovered in Mongolia earlier this week, and it is a most unique find indeed. The ash-colored mummified remains show the man sitting in a pensive lotus position.
Somehow, even after 200 years, there appears to be no sign of visible decay.
— Siberian Times (@siberian_times) January 28, 2015
The Epic Times states that it could possibly be the remains of a lama teacher, and the body is currently undergoing a series of tests. Found in the Songinokhairkhan province of Mongolia, the body was brought to the Ulaanbataar National Centre of Forensic Expertise to allow scientists to continue their research.
It has not been revealed how the mummified monk was discovered, and the exact location was not disclosed. Additional descriptions of the body stated that it was covered with a cattle skin of some sort.
If the mummified monk was indeed a teacher of the famed Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, that could make things even more interesting. The body of Lama Itigilov was also found very well preserved and seated in the lotus position after his death in 1927.
Back in 2002, the body of Itigilov was exhumed from his grave before a crowd of dozens of witnesses, a photographer, and two forensic experts. His body was then placed deep in the monastery, not to be disturbed.
Between the 11th and 19th centuries, there was an ancient practice performed that was known as Sokushinbutsu. It was practiced mainly in northern Japan and is known as the Buddhist practice of self-preservation, which obviously worked well, according to recent finds.
This practice was considered the ultimate act of religious discipline and dedication. It also expressed much greater devotion to one’s religion than suicide, according to believers.
There is still much to learn from the Buddhist monk’s mummy that was found in Mongolia, still sitting in the lotus position. Scientists and experts hope to learn more about the time in which he lived and the practice which he appeared to follow before his death.
[Image via Siberian Times]