Did you read about the mummified monk who was very recently unearthed in Mongolia?
He is around 200 years old and was found sitting in a perfect lotus position, as if in deep meditation. Buddhists call this kind of meditation, ‘tukdam’.
But that is not the surprising bit. The surprising (in fact shocking) bit is that the mummy could still be ALIVE.
Dr Barry Kerzin, a famous Buddhist monk and a physician to the Dalai Lama says:
“If the meditator can continue to stay in this meditative state, he can become a Buddha.”
The founder and professor of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulaanbaatar Buddhist University, Ganhugiyn Purevbata, says that the left hand of the lama is open, and the right hand symbolizes the preaching of Sutra, which means that he is alive.
This mummy was, however, unearthed while it was being smuggled out of Mongolia.
This is why it was in a box.
Such a practice is neither uncommon nor restricted to a particular geographic area.
The Japanese call this, Sokushinbutsu, and monks in northern Japan practiced it between 11th and 19th centuries.
Forensic examinations are still being carried out on the remains. So we need to wait to see whether the mummy returns to life or not.