|Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov |
Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov was a Buddhist who was the head of the Russian Buryat Buddhists from 1911 to his death. As a Pandido Khambo Lama he was key in the revival of Buddism amongst the Buryats, an indeguous Siberian people. On his death in 1927, Itigilov became best known for the life like state of his dead body and how it is said to not be subject of decay.
On the time of Itigilovs death, he was buried in the position he had passed away in, as his request, in a pine box. His body was to be exhumed several years later, which showed that he had never decayed
Over periods in 1995 and 1973, Itigilovs body was exhumed for study by Buddhist monks and scientists. All results from these studies showed signs of zero decay, which lead to one last study in 2002. Results from 2002 were found to be the same with little or no decay at all. Reports showed that Itiglovs body was packed with salt for preservation, however it is unclear when such a process took place. Since 2005, Itigilovs body has been moved outdoors, for interaction, with no preservation measures taken.
It is unkown of what caused Itigilov to die, but it is said he knew it was coming. He chose to meditate with other Lamas until he did not breath anymore.
in 2003, the Buddhist community decided to recognize Itigilov as a sacred object to the Buddhists of Russia. Many Buddhists see Itigilov as still living today and interact with him as such. During World War One Itigilov set up a number of hospitals helping wounded soldiers, while presiding over Buryat brothers, an orginaztion which aided the Russian army. He was reward the Order or St. Anna for this work