Shreya Chauhan Updated: Sep 05, 2019,
The process of mummification is a fascinating one. Not just the ancient Egyptians, the Chinese did it too. Why and how they did it is something experts are still trying to understand in detail.
Recent reports talk of a Chinese monk who apparently mummified himself over a 1,000 years ago. But how this was unraveled is equally fascinating.
It was after scientists scanned the old statue from a temple in China that they made this mind-boggling discovery: the bones of the monk who sat in a lotus position were preserved perfectly inside the statue.
According to The Telegraph, the religiously devoted monk is said to have starved himself in either China or Tibet. He died around 1100 AD. The image below shows the mummified remains.
It is believed that the remains belong to Zhang – known as Patriarch Zhanggong and Liuquan Zhanggong.
The idea behind the self-mummification was to be become a living Buddha. Reportedly, the monk did not eat anything for the first 1,000 days except, nuts, seeds, and berries to strip the body of fat. For the next 1000 days he ate only bark and roots of Urushi tree.
That led to vomiting and a rapid fluid loss and acted as a preservative to stop decay after death. After that for six years, the monk was probably locked in a small stone tomb with an air tube and a bell.
It is believed that then he meditated in lotus position until he died which was supposed to be signified when the bell stopped ringing.
The Telegraph quotes Dr Rosendahl as saying: “He was probably sitting for 200 years in the monastery and the monks then realised that he needed a bit of support and preservation so they put him inside the statue.”