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Buddha Statue. Pixabay
  • A mummy in lotus position was found in 1000-year-old Buddha statue in China
  • The researchers believe that the mummy found in the statue is that of a Buddhist monk who self-mummified himself
  • Self Mummification is an age old Japanese practice

July 21, 2017: A strange discovery was revealed by the scientists when they took CT scan of an ancient Buddha Statue dating back to 1100 CE from China. Inside the statue was a mummy sitting in the same lotus position similar to the statue. It was also found that some organs of the mummy were missing and replaced by scraps of paper engraved with Chinese writings on it.

The Buddha statue belongs to the Drents Museum in the Netherlands and is presently on loan to a museum in Budapest. Experts assume that the mummy found inside the statue is of Buddhist Monk Liuquan who was a member of Chinese meditation school.


“On the outside, it looks like a large statue of Buddha. Scan research has shown that on the inside, it is the mummy of a Buddhist monk who lived around the year 1100”, the museum said in a report published by Discovery News in 2015.

The researchers took the statue to the Meander Medical Center in Amersfoort for further scrutinization after identifying a skeleton inside the statue post the scan. Missing organs, unidentified material and scraps of paper with Chinese scripts were found in an endoscopy and additional scans.

The museum believes that the Buddhist master self-mummified himself. The process is extremely painful which involves starving oneself sustainably over years.

ALSO READ: Ancient Mummified Remains of an Indian Buddhist Monk Cixian Sanzang Donated to China

Discovery News calls the self mummification process, a Japanese practice. It also describes the process in a subsequent way. For 1000 days, a diet of nuts and seeds is eaten to reduce the body fat to the minimum. Then, for another 1000 days, a diet of barks and roots is consumed. And in the last stages, a Japanese toxic drink is devoured which induces vomiting and eliminates body fluid. The toxic nature of the drink helps to kill bacteria too.

The skeletal monk is then placed inside the statue tomb. An air tube and a bell are also provided so as to indicate whether the monk is still alive or not. The monk would ring the bell every day until expiration. His mummified body would then be preserved for another 1000 days. Only a handful of monks were able to achieve this exhausting stage of self mummification.

An additional research is going on to find out how the organs were removed from the mummified monk.

-Prepared by Staff writer at Newsgram


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