Hsu Yun
Human Mummy
Anthro mummy website photo.jpg
Biographical Information
Name(s) Hsu Yun
Age 119
Sex Male
Status Chan master
Height Unknown
Culture Chinese
Date(s) Born: 26 August 1840, Fujian, Qing China

Died: 13 October 1959

Site Unknown
Current Location
Location China
Catalog #

Hsu Yun was born on August 26, 1840 in Fujian, Qing China. His mother died during childbirth. His first exposure to Buddhism was during the funeral of his grandmother. Soon afterward he began reading Buddhist sutras and later made a pilgrimage to Mount Heng, one of the most important Buddhist sites in China. When he was fourteen years old, he announced that he wished to renounce the material world in favour of monastic life. he is known as a renowned Chinese-born Chan Buddhist master and one of the most influential Buddhist teachers of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Hsu Yun was a Mahayana Buddhist monk. When it came to preserving bodies, these monks would usually leave instructions behind to inform others what to do with their own after their passing, which consisted of burying them sitting in the "lotus position", put into a vessel surrounded by bricks with drying agents (such as coal, wood, paper, or lime), only to be exhumed later, after three years. Their preserved bodies would then be decorated and adorned with gold and paint, a common method in Chinese culture. In other cases, the bodies would sometimes be covered with clay or salt.


Hsu Yun tirelessly worked as a Bodhisattva, which is the Sanskrit term for anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated Bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish and a compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. He also taught precepts, explained sutras, and restored old temples. He worked throughout Asia, creating a following across Burma, Thailand, Malaya, and Vietnam, as well as Tibet and China.


No known pathological issues.

Additional Info

In 1953, along with Dharma Master Yuan Ying and others, Hsu Yun formed the Chinese Buddhist Association at Kuang Chi (Extensive Aid) Monastery where he was Honorary President. The following resolutions were proposed to the government: In all places, further destruction of monasteries and temples, the desecration of images, and the burning of sutras shall immediately cease; The intimidation of bhikshus and bhikshunis to force their return to lay life will not be tolerated; and All monastery property shall be returned forthwith, and there should be returned to the Sangha enough arable acreage to make the monasteries self-supporting. The petition was approved. He then represented the Association in receiving three gifts from a Buddhist delegation from Sri Lanka.


Gauci, Damian, John (2011). Chan-Pure Land: An Interpretation of Xu Yun's (1840-1959) Oral Instructions, Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal 24, 105-120

Huimin Biksu (2009). An Inquiry Into Master Xuyun’s Experiences of Long-dwelling in Samadhi, Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal 22, 45-68

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.