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The body of Russian Buddhist lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, who died in 1927, did not decay over a 75-year period, medical experts and historians say, Russia’s Newsru.com website reports.
“Samples taken 75 years after the body was buried show that the organics of the skin, hair, and nails of the dead man aren’t any different from that of a living human,” Interfax quoted a professor of history at the Russian State University for Humanities, Galina Yershova, as saying.
The body of Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, who, as Hambo-Lama, was the spiritual leader of Russia’s Buddhists from 1911 to 1927, was first exhumed in 1955, at the Lama’s request. When a third exhumation in 2002 still showed no decay, medical experts decided to examine the miracle.
“His joints flex, the soft tissue is elastic just like in a living person, and after they opened the box, where the body of the lama lay for 75 years, there was a very pleasant fragrance,” Yershova was quoted as saying.
Yershova believes this is completely inconsistent with what one would expect of a body that has been buried for 75 years. The body has become holy for Buddhists in the Russian region of Buryatia, where it rests in the Ivolgin Buddhist Monastery in the regional capital of Ulan-Ude.
According to Yershova, this is the only recorded case in the world of a body not decaying over such a long period of time.