Mummified monk isn't actually dead, says Buddhist expert
A mummified monk thought to be more than 200 years old is "not dead," but actually in a state of "very deep meditation," according to Buddhist monk and doctor to the Dalai Lama, Dr. Barry Kerzin, as reported in mashable.com.
Kerzin claims that the monk is in a spiritual state called "tukdam," and is just one step from becoming a real-life Buddha, the Siberian Times reported.
The mummified remains were discovered in Mongolia's Songino Khairkhan province on January 27, and delivered to the National Centre of Forensic Expertise in Ulan Bator.
Covered in cattle skin, the monk was found still sitting with his legs folded in lotus position. Initial speculation suggests he may have been a teacher to the late Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, a spiritual leader of Russia's Buddhists whose preserved body serves as a cultural artifact.
Since the monk's discovery, Mongolian police have revealed that the body had been stolen from a cave in the Kobdsk region, and was set to be sold on the black market. Police have since arrested the man who stole the body, and hid it in his Ulan Bator home.