Mummy remains of a meditating monk have been found encased in a Buddha statue dating back to the 11th century. Erik Bruijn, a Buddhism expert, led the study that determined the mummy was of Buddhist master Liuquan, who belonged to the Chinese Meditation School.
The CT scan and endoscopy were carried out by Drents Museum at Meander Medical Centre in the Netherlands.
While it was known before the CT scan that a mummy was inhabiting the statue, it wasn’t until after the scan that researchers discovered that the monk’s organs had been removed from his body.
Rolls of paper scraps inscribed with Chinese writing were also discovered alongside the mummified monk.
Following the scan, the mummy was taken to Budapest, Hungary where it will be on display at the Hungarian Natural history Museum.
Many practicing Buddhists believe that mummies like that of Buddhist master Liuquan aren’t actually dead, but are rather in an advanced state of meditation.
In January 2015, mummified remains of a man apparently meditating in the lotus position were uncovered in Mongolia. The human relic is believed to be around 200 years old and was preserved in animal skin.
Initial speculation is that the mummy could be a teacher of Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov.
Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, born in 1852, was a Buryat Buddhist Lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, best known for the lifelike state of his body.
While researchers are still looking into their findings from the hollow statue, the mummy was taken to the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest where it will be on display until May 2015