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Mummified Monk Found inside 1000 Year Old Buddha Statue in Lotus Position in China

The Buddha statue belongs to the Drents Museum in the Netherlands and is presently on loan to a museum in Budapest

Buddha Statue
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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‘World’s Oldest’ Buddha Statue Unearthed in Pakistan During Excavations

A centuries-old sleeping Buddha statue has been unearthed during excavations near Bhamala Stupa in Haripur district of Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Buddha Statue
Buddha Statue is found excavated in Pakistan. Pixabay.

Islamabad, November 17: A centuries-old sleeping Buddha statue has been unearthed during excavations near Bhamala Stupa in Haripur district of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Archaeology And Museums Director Abdul Samad told Dawn News: “The 48-feet-long sleeping Buddha statue dates back to the third century, which makes it the world’s oldest sleeping Buddha statue.”

He said that archaeologists found the statue, with its head intact, during excavations near the Bhamala Stupa.

“We have discovered more than 500 Buddha-related objects during excavations, in addition to the 48-feet long ‘sleeping Buddha’,” he said.

The latest discoveries by the archaeologists have opened new chapters in the history of the ancient Taxila Valley Civilisation.

“This is one of the few sites in the world to have the cruciform Stupa, which was reserved for Buddha himself,” Samad had said. (IANS)


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White Stone Bearing Buddhist Architechture Found in Collapsed Hindu Temple in Andhra Pradesh

Representational image. Wikimedia Commons.

Andhra Pradesh, November 24, 2016: In a Hindu temple site at Ghantasala village in Krishna district, a white stone wheel bearing Buddhist architectural carvings was found.

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According to the locals, the height of the wheel is almost two and a half feet which is dated back to 2nd century B.C. The wheel was found by the villagers, when they were collecting some construction materials at the Visweswara temple which collapsed a few years ago.

According to The Hindu, Buddhist Monk Banteji said, “Portrayals of a cow, horse, and an elephant are carved on the wheel. The Buddhist remain arguably belongs to the construction of the Buddhist stupa. The engravings are clearly visible and the wheel is in a great shape.”

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Mr. Banteji and some other Buddhist scholars are occupied in establishing the history and is also trying to find out its connection with the village, where the Buddhist stupa is in good shape and is being conserved by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI).

Mr. Banteji further added, “We have to take up a deep study to examine the wheel belongs to which Buddhist site in Krishna district.”

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The Buddhist architectural wheel would be displayed at the ASI museum here.

-prepared by NewsGram team

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A team of Italian Archaeologists Restores Historic Buddha Statue in Pakistan

The Italian team started restoration work on the Buddha in 2012, employing latest 3D technology

Representational image. Pixabay

Islamabad, November 14, 2016: An iconic 7th-century Buddha statue in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which was defaced by the Taliban nine years ago has finally been restored to its original form by a team of Italian archaeologists, it was reported on Monday.

The Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan, helped along by the locals of Jahanabad in Swat district, was able to undo the damage inflicted by the Taliban militants in September 2007 after four years of hard work, the Geo News reported.

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“It was our professional and moral obligation toward the people and heritage of Swat and Pakistan which forced us to restore the Buddha. It took about five missions of about a month each from 2012-2016 in its complete conservation program,” said head of the Italian Archaeological Mission, Luca Maria Olivieri, adding that international experts worked on the restoration process.

The militants had blown up the iconic statue’s face by inserting explosives and damaged the shoulders and torso by drilling holes into the structure. The act had sparked worldwide ire, especially among the Buddhist community, historians and archaeologists.

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The Italian team started restoration work on the Buddha in 2012, employing latest 3D technology and restoration and 3D experts.

The meditative Buddha statue, dating back to 7th century, is considered to be the biggest such structure carved in stone in South Asia.

Towering at 21 feet long and 12 feet wide, the statue is an icon of the Gandhara art – a style of Buddhist visual art that developed in what is now northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan between the 1st century BCE and the 7th century CE.

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There are around 20 sites in the Swat valley with ancient historical significance.

The statue at one time drew a large number of tourists to the Valley, including Tibetan pilgrims and archaeology enthusiasts. It is now hoped the restored Buddha statue would once again be able to attract people from all over the world as well as from other parts of Pakistan. (IANS)