6 hours ago
#Repost @historycoolkids <--more pics
CT scan of 1,000 year old Buddha statue reveals the remains of a mummified monk. The discovery was made when the statue was sent in for repairs.
The body inside the statue is thought to be that of Buddhist master Liuquan, a prominent member of the Chinese Meditation School who died around 1,100 A.D. Historians have theorized that Liuquan's body ended up inside the statue through a process known as self-mummification, in which monks hoped to transform themselves into "living Buddhas".
The process took decades and required monks to follow a special diet that gradually starved their bodies in order to enhance their chances of preservation. These monks abstained from eating any food made from rice, wheat and soybeans. Instead, they would eat nuts, berries, tree bark, and pine needles in diminishing quantities in order to reduce their body fat and moisture. They also consumed herbs, cycad nuts and sesame seeds to inhibit bacterial growth.
After years of adhering to the strict diet, the monk would then be buried alive in an underground chamber while in the lotus position. They would breath through a bamboo stick and chant Buddhist scripture in complete darkness. Every day he would ring a bell from inside his chamber to signal to his underlings that he was still alive. When the bell stopped ringing, the bamboo air tube would be removed and the tomb would be sealed.
The scan reveals that the monk's organs had been removed and replaced with scraps of paper printer with ancient Chinese characters. Exactly how the organs were removed remains a mystery.
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