People can have their doubts about a mummy's age and origin, but never about its physical state. To us, and to science, every mummy is a dead mummy, but a bunch of monks in Mongolia respectfully disagree.
It all started when mummified remains of a monk (pictured above) surfaced in Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator last week. The unique thing about this one though is that it's in lotus posture and is of a monk who had mummified himself some 200 years ago by limiting his diet and ingesting toxic chemicals to halt the decaying process.
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The mummy's pose and ancient Buddhist traditions have led some present day monks to claim that the mummy is not dead, but alive and meditating.
“If the meditator can continue to stay in this meditative state, he can become a Buddha,” said Barry Kerzin, a local Buddhist monk and physician.
Ganhugiyn Purevbata, an expert of Buddhist Art, also agreed, telling The Siberian Times the mummy “is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolizes 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.”
Kerzin further added: "[I] had the privilege to take care of some meditators who were in a tukdam state. 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.
“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.”
While we certainly respect their beliefs, one can't help but notice the fact that the mummy in question looks deader than dead. It's been dead and then some – and then some more. Take a look at and decide for yourself whether this mummified body has any trace of life left.