A mummified monk found preserved in Mongolia last week has been baffling and astounding those who uncovered him.
Senior Buddhists say the monk, found sitting in the lotus position, is in a deep meditative trance and not dead.
Forensic examinations are under way on the remains, found wrapped in cattle skins in north-central Mongolia.
Scientists have yet to determine how the monk is so well-preserved, though some think Mongolia’s cold weather could be the reason.
But Dr Barry Kerzin, a physician to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, told the Siberian Times that the monk was in a rare state of meditation called “tukdam”.
“If the meditator can continue to stay in this meditative state, he can become a Buddha,” Dr Kerzin said.
The monk was discovered after being stolen by a man hoping to sell him on the black market.