Buddhist Monk, Who Died Is Still Alive

Interesting facts
Hambo Lama Itigelov

Hambo Lama Itigelov (Source: http://goo.gl/82h4O5)

The body of Hambo Lama Itigelov was exhumated on September 10 th, 2002 on the territory of cemetery not far away from the city of Ulan Ude (Russian Federation). After he died his body was buried in 1927. Exhumation was performed in presence of relatives, officials, and experts”.

This info appeared in Russian mass media as regards buried Buryat Lama who was exhumed from the ground in the beginning of the 21 st century. The grave consisted of wooden box and Buddhist lama was sitting inside of it in ‘lotus’ pose. His body looked like it was mummified, however the opposite is true. His muscles and skin was soft, folding joints. Hambo Lama was clad in silk clothes and wrapped in fabric of same material.

Hambo Lama Itigelov is a real person who is well known in Russian history. He was studying in Anninsky Datsan – Buddhist University in Buryatia, now a days we could find just ruins there. He gained degrees in medicine and philosophy (on the nature of emptiness), plus he is regarded as an author of an encyclopedia of pharmacology.

Itigelov became a Hambo Lama (the head of Buddhist church in Russia) in 1911. From 1913 till 1917 he participated in social events of the Tsar. On 19 th of March 1917 he was invited to 300-year anniversary of Romanov’s house, opened the first Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg. During this special occasion Nikolai II gave him St. Stanislav award.

Itigelov created the organization called “Buryat brothers” during the First World War. In that hard time of war he tried help the army with money, meals, clothes, medicaments, etc. He got many awards, concrete St. Anna award for built a set of hospitals, where was lama doctors helping wounded soldiers.

Despite the fact that Itigelov never let Russia he advised the Buddhist monks to leave Russia in 1926. The reason was ‘the red teaching was coming’. When he felt ready to die, he told lamas to begin meditation. However the Lamas refused to perform this meditation because Itigelov was still alive. When Itigelov began to meditate by himself, lamas joined. Then he died. It happened in 1927, when he was 75 years old.

The reason why they buried him in the cedar box in traditional cemetery in “lotus” position was his testament. He also requested other monks to exhume him after a few years. (Which means that he knew his body would be preserved). So, Buddhist monks done it in 1955 and in 1973 again, but they were too scared of communist regime, which refused any religion in society, to tell anybody. Therefore, the body was finally exhumed and transferred to Ivolginsky Datsan in 2002. Here, in a residence of today’s Hambo Lama, his body was closely examined by monks, scientists and pathologists. In official statement the experts agreed that body is very well preserved, without any signs of decay. Whole muscles and inner tissue, soft joints and skin stayed same. They couldn’t find any explanation how is possible that the body is preserved even if body wasn’t mummified or embalmed.

It is already 2 years that have passed since Itigelov’s exhumation. His body is now kept open air, without any temperature or humidity regimes, in contact with other people. Nobody can explain how it is possible that Itigelov´s body resist to external side effects.

This is the ONLY KNOWN AND CONFIRMED CASE OF IMPERISHABLE BODY worldwide. Embalming and mummifying is well known in total different parts of the world – Chile (Chinchorro), Egypt mummies, Christian Saints, communist leaders and others. Some bodies were found in permafrost, however when they contacted with oxygen atmosphere they perished in next a few hours.

We can find descriptions of such things in Buddhist texts, otherwise there are no confirmed cases. Well, till now.

For 2 years after the exhumation of Itigilov’s body there is no change on it. Still not perish nor decay, no fungus. Before Itigelov died he said that he left a message to all peoples on Earth. This message is without any word, despite of it now it´s our turn to understand it.


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Joseph Peters

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