Hambo Lama Itigilov-Wiki

Picture above is inside the temple where Hambo Lama Itigilov is at currently, here is the home page:

http://www.datsan.buryatia.ru

Visitor’s info:

http://www.sacred-destinations.com/russia/ivolginsky-datsan-buddhist-temple.htm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov (1852-1927)Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov (Russian: Даши-Доржо Итигэлов) (1852–1927) was a Buryat Buddhist lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, best known for the lifelike state of his body, which is not exposed to decay.

Biography

Itigilov was born in 1852 and began his religious education at the age of 16. He studied at the Anninsky Datsan (a Buddhist university in Buryatia, of which only ruins remain), earning diplomas in medicine and philosophy (the so-called “nature of emptiness”). At that time he wrote an encyclopedia of pharmacology.

In 1911, he was appointed the 12th Pandido Khambo Lama (as the head of Russian Buddhists is styled), at which post he inaugurated the period of a Buddhist revival among Buryats. Between 1913 and 1917, Itigilov was prominent in the spiritual life of Imperial Russia. He took part in the Tercentenary celebrations of the House of Romanov and opened the Gunzechoyney datsan, the first Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg and indeed in Europe. The tsar had him invested with the Order of St. Stanislas on 19 March 1917.

During the First World War Itigilov presided over the society of “Buryat brothers”, an organization helping the Russian army with money, provisions, clothes, and medicaments. He also helped set up a number of hospitals, with lama doctors helping wounded soldiers. For his charitable activities Itigilov was awarded the Order of St. Anna.

In 1926 Itigilov advised the Buddhist monks to leave Russia, since “the red teaching was coming to land”, himself choosing to remain in the country. A year later, aged 75, he asked other lamas to begin meditation ceremonies and funeral rites, since he said he was about to die. Lamas did not want to perform this meditation because Itigilov was still alive. As a result, Itigilov began to meditate alone until other lamas joined him and soon his body ceased to breathe.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Life after death
Itigilov left a testament asking to be buried as he was at the time of his death, sitting in lotus posture. According to his wishes, his body was put into a pine box and interred at a bumkhan (a graveyard for the lama burials) in the locality of Khukhe-Zurkhen (Dark-blue Heart in Buryat language). One of the testament clauses stipulated that his body should be exhumed by other monks within several years. This clause is interpreted by enthusiasts to demonstrate Itigilov’s precognisance of his body’s incorruptibility.

The exhumed body of ItigilovIn 1955 and in 1973, Itigilov’s body was examined by Buddhist monks, who were astonished to observe no signs of physical decay. They were too reluctant to divulge their finding to the atheistic authorities of Communist Russia and the body remained in situ until 2002.

On 11 September 2002 Itigilov’s body was eventually exhumed in the presence of the leaders of the Buddhist Traditional Sangkha of Russia. The body was transferred to Ivolginsky datsan (a residence of today’s Hambo Lama) where it was closely examined by monks and, which is now more important, by scientists and pathologists. The official statement was issued about the body – it was “in the condition of someone who had died 36 hours ago”, very well preserved, without any signs of decay, with whole muscles and inner tissue, soft joints and skin [1].

Although Itigilov’s body was never embalmed or mummified, it is said that his corpse still bleeds if punctured. The Buddhist monks approach him as a living person and shake hands with him. Some devotees even claim that Itigilov is still alive, only immersed in a hibernation- or nirvana-like state. “Buddhists say that only the most advanced masters can fall into some particular condition before death and purify themselves so that his dead body could not decay” [2]. Some scientists explain the state of Itigilov’s body by abnormal quantities of bromine discovered in tissues and muscles.

On 23 April 2003, the Buddhist conference recognized the body of Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov as one of the sacred Buddhist objects of Russia. At that time, they laid the foundation stone for a temple entitled Itigel Khambyn ordon and consecrated to Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov. As of 2005, Itigilov’s body was kept outdoors, in contact with other people, without preserving any temperature or humidity regimens.

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…message contains no words…


From: http://www.neplaneta.ru/hamba_lama.shtml – page no longer up on the server.
“Exhumation of the body of Hambo Lama Itigelov took place September 10th, 2002 on the territory of cemetery near the city of Ulan Ude (Russian Federation). He died and was buried in 1927 and the exhumation was performed in presence of relatives, officials, and specialists”.

This was the information that appeared in Russian mass media regarding Buryat Lama who was exhumed from the grave in the beginning of the 21 st century. The grave contained a wooden box and there was a sitting Buddhist lama in ‘lotus’ pose. His body was preserved as if it was mummified, however it was not. Soft muscles and skin, folding joints. The body was covered with silk clothes and fabric.

Hambo Lama Itigelov is a real person quite well known in Russian history. He stidied in Anninsky Datsan (Buddhist university in Buryatia, nowadays there are ruins only) and got degrees in medicine and philosophy (nature of emptiness), he created encyclopedia of pharmacology. In 1911 Itigelov became a Hambo Lama (the head of Buddhist church in Russia). During the period from 1913 till 1917 he participated in social actions of the Tsar, being invited to 300-year anniversary of Romanov’s house, opened the first Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg, and Nikolai II gave him St. Stanislav award on 19 th of March, 1917.

During the First World War Itigelov created and inspired the organization called “Buryat brothers”. He was helping the army with money, meals, clothes, medicaments, he also built a set of hospitals with lama doctors helping wounded soldiers. For that he got St. Anna award and others.

In 1926 Itigelov advised the Buddhist monks to leave Russia, since ‘the red teaching was coming’ (Itigelov himself never left Russia). In 1927, being 75, he told lamas to begin meditation, since he said he was preparing to die. Lamas did not want to perform this meditation because Itigelov was still alive. Thus, Itigelov began to meditate by himself, lamas joined him and soon he died.

Ititgelov left a testament where he asked to bury him as he was, sitting in lotus pose in the cedar box on traditional cemetery. It was done. There was also a statement, where he asked other monks to exhume him after several years. (This is the exciting point – this means he knew that his body would be preserved). This was done in 1955 and in 1973 by Buddhist monks but they were scared to tell everybody about this, since communist regime did not leave any space for religion in society. Only in 2002 the body was finally exhumed and transferred to Ivolginsky Datsan (a residence of today’s Hambo Lama) where it was closely examined by monks and, which is now more important, by scientists and pathologists. The official statement was issued about the body – very well preserved, without any signs of decay, whole muscles and inner tissue, soft joints and skin. The interesting thing is that the body was never embalmed or mummified.

Two years passed. Itigelov’s body is now kept open air, in contact with other people, without any temperature or humidity regimes. How Itigelov keeps this condition, nobody knows.

This is the ONLY KNOWN AND CONFIRMED CASE OF IMPERISHABLE BODY throughout the whole world. Embalming and mummifying is well known among different nations and peoples – Chili (Chinchora), Egypt mummies, Christian Saints, communist leaders and others. Some bodies were found in permafrost, however when they contacted with oxygen atmosphere they perished within several hours.

However, there are descriptions of such things in Buddhist texts, but there are no confirmed examples. Well, now there is.

For two years after the exhumation of Itigilov’s body it does not perish nor decay, no fungus, no negative things happen to it. Itigelov said before he died that he left a message to all peoples on Earth. This message contains no words. Now it is our turn to understand it.

Hambo Lama Itigilov 2005

About image:

ULAN-UDE,Russia: A believer decorating the body of Hambo Lama Itighelov, a Siberian Buddhist leader who looks and feels just the same as when he died in 1927 in a temple in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Buryat republic. (HO/AFP/Getty Images) The body of Hambo Lama Itighelov, who was a spiritual leader of Russian Buddhists from 1911 to 1927, was first exhumed from the grave in 1955, at the Lama’s request. When after the third exhumation in 2002 after 75 years since the Lama’s death, his body still showed no signs of decay, medical experts decided to examine the miracle.

Imperishable Body of Russian Buddhist Lama

By Nataly Teplitsky

Epoch Times San Francisco Staff Dec 08, 2005

http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/5-12-8/35535.html

The grave contained a wooden box and there was a sitting Buddhist lama in a ‘lotus’ position. His body was preserved as if it were mummified, however it was not. The body was covered with silk clothes and fabric. “Samples taken 75 years after the body had been 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,” a professor of history at the Russian State University for Humanities, Galina Yershova stated at a press-conference in “Interfax” central office in Moscow, according to Pravda.ru.
“His joints flex, the soft tissues are 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 now rests in the Ivolgin Buddhist Monastery in the regional capital of Ulan-Ude.
Hambo Lama Itighelov is a real person, well known in Russian history. He studied at the Anninsky Datsan, the Buddhist University in Buryatia. Itighelov got degrees in medicine and philosophy (on the nature of emptiness). He also created an encyclopedia of pharmacology.
In 1911, Itighelov became a Hambo Lama (the head of Buddhist church in Russia). During the period from 1913 to 1917, he opened the first Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg. Itighelov published religious tractates and teachings and united many of the religion’s factions.
He was invited to celebrate the 300-th anniversary of Romanov’s house, and on March 19, 1917, the Russian Tsar Nikolai II gave him St. Stanislav Award.
During the First World War, Itighelov was helping the army with money, clothes and medications. He also had built a set of hospitals where lama doctors helped to cure wounded militants. For his contributions, Itighelov was awarded with St. Anna medal.
In 1926, he warned the Buddhist monks about the coming ‘red’ terror and advised them to flee to Tibet. But he himself never left Russia.
In 1927, Itighelov told lamas that he was preparing to leave this world. He started a meditation and soon was dead.
Itighelov left a testament where he had requested to bury him as he was, sitting in a ‘lotus’ position in the cedar box on a traditional cemetery. There was also a statement, where he asked monks to exhume him after several years.
His will was fulfilled in 1955 and in 1973 respectively, by Buddhist monks. But it was kept in secret, since all kinds of religions were forbidden under the communist rule.
The Soviet Union, under Stalin, repressed most manifestations of religion, executing hundreds of lamas and destroying 46 Buddhist temples and monasteries.
In the years since the Soviet Union collapse, across Russia the Buddhists have begun to thrive again, rebuilding ruined temples that attracted more followers.
On September 11, 2002, seventy five years after Itighelov’s death, the body was for the third time lifted from the earth. This time there was a record of the event: a dozen of witnesses, including two forensic experts and a photographer.
Soon the Lama’s body was transferred to Ivolginsky Datsan (a residence of today’s Hambo Lama), where it was closely examined by monks, scientists and pathologists.
With the permission of the Buddhist clergy, scientists investigated samples of tissues of the “imperishable body”. They compared them with those of living people.
When one of the scientists approached the body, she could clearly feel the warmth of his hands.
Professor Viktor Zvyagin from the Federal Center for Forensic Medicine, examined Itighelov’s body in Ivolginsk last November, and conducted analyses of hair, skin and nail specimens after his return to Moscow. He concluded that Itighelov’s body was in the condition of someone who had died 36 hours ago.
According to the results, the protein structure of the body was not damaged; it was identical to the one of a living person.
Scientists were dumbfounded by the results of the chemical composition of his body. They could not explain the fact that chemical elements in Itighelov’s body were either absent or present in negligibly small quantities.
Two years had passed. Itighelov’s body is now kept in the open air, without any temperature or humidity restrictions.
Nobody understands how the body can stay in this condition.
The official statement was issued about the body – very well preserved, without any signs of decay, muscles and inner tissues, soft joints and skin being intact. It was confirmed that the body was never embalmed or mummified.
“He was 75 years old, and he promised to return to his followers after another 75 years,” Yanzhima Vasilyeva, the director of Itigilov’s Institute, said.
“The most amazing thing is that he was still sitting upright. Scientists say that after two weeks a dead body cannot stay upright on its own,” Vasilyeva continued.
Itighelov’s caretaker Bimbo Lama, stays close to his teacher almost at all times.
Once in a while he changes Itighelov’s clothing, and at that time Lama’s joints become more flexible. Bimbo lama has noted that while changing the clothes, he could smell a fragrance coming from the teacher’s body.
The lamas have dressed the body in a golden robe, with a blue sash laid across his lap. His eyes are closed, his features blurred, though the shape of his face and his nose doubtlessly resemble his picture taken in 1913. His hands remain flexible, his nails perfectly trimmed. His skin is soft. His head is still covered in short-trimmed hair.
According to Professor Yershova, this is the only confirmed and recorded case of the body, imperishable over such a long period of time in the entire world.
Embalming and mummifying is well known among different nations and peoples – Egyptian mummies, Christian Saints, communist leaders and others. Some bodies were found in permafrost, however when they contacted with oxygen atmosphere they perished within several hours.
Lamas from the temple relate many miracles, taking place around the “precious body”. Some people become magically healed upon seeing the body of Hambo Lama.
Itighelov said before his death that he had left a message to all people on Earth.
“There is a great moral crisis in Russia today,” Vasilyeva said, “Itighelov’s return presents a great opportunity to help people believe.”
A fragment of the interview with Hambo Lama Ayusheyev, the spiritual leader since 1995, has been also demonstrated at the press-conference.
“Many people don’t see what’s obvious,” he said. “Many people won’t understand even if they see him.”
However, there are descriptions of such things in Buddhist texts, but there were no confirmed examples. Well, now it looks like there is one. And that time came to comprehend the Lama’s unspoken message.
“To me, it is the greatest miracle in life,” said Hambo Lama Ayusheyev. “It turns out there are things on which time has no power.”

Hambo Lama Itigilov 2002

Foreign Desk | October 1, 2002, Tuesday

Ivolginsk Journal;
A Russian Lama’s Body, and His Faith, Defy Time.

By STEVEN LEE MYERS (NYT) 1139 words, Final, Section A, Page 4, Column 3

IVOLGINSK, Russia: A miracle has occurred here in Siberia. Or it may be a hoax. Others believe science can explain it. It is a question,it seems, of faith.
The story begins in 1927, when a spiritual leader of Russia’s Buddhists gathered his students and announced his plans to die. The leader, Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, the 12th Pandito Hambo Lama, then 75 and retired, instructed those gathered around him to “visit and look at my body” in 30 years.
He crossed his legs into the lotus position, began to meditate and, chanting a Prayer for the dead, died.
The years that followed were difficult for all faiths in Russia, including the Buddhists here in Buryatia an impoverished Siberian region on the Mongolian border. The Soviet Union, under Stalin, repressed most manifestations of religion, executing hundreds of lamas and destroying 46 Buddhist temples and monasteries.
After World War II, Stalin relented somewhat and allowed the Buddhists to rebuild their monastery outside Ivolginsk, along a low desolate valley 35 kilometers (20 miles) from Buryatia’s capital. Ulan-Ude. But religious practice remained tightly restricted.
When the 30 years had passed -it might have been 28(?) the details are murky; Itigilov’s followers did what he had asked, exhuming his remains from a cemetery in Klinkhe-Zurkhen.
What they found, as the story goes, was Itigilov’s body, still in the lotus position, still perfectly intact, having defied nature’s imperative to decay.
Stalin was dead, but Soviet power remained absolute, and so the Buddhists reburied Itigilov-and the secret- in an unmarked grave, packing his wooden coffin with salt.(That may be important, or not.) “Nobody could talk about it then,” said the current Pandito Hambo Lama, the 25th, Damba Ayusheyev. “To bring him back to the temple it was forbidden, impossib1e. So he was put back.”
Unlike supreme Tibetan lamas, who are considered reincarnations of previous lamas and are enthroned for life, Pandito Hambo Lamas are elected by other lamas, serve relatively short terms and are free to step down.
The story might have ended with the reburial had not a young lama, Bimba Dorzhiyev, turned his curiosity for history into a quest to resolve the mystery of Itigilov. He found an 88-year-old believer, Amgalan Dabayev, whose father-in-law had been there when the coffin had been opened and who himself had seen Itigilov. Dabayev led him to the grave.
On sept.11, 75 years after Itigilov’s death, the body was once again lifted from the earth. This time there was a record of the event: a dozen witnesses, including two forensic experts and a photographer. The lamas who opened the coffin wore surgical masks, but they need not have. Itigilov’s body remained preserved.
The current Hambo Lama ordered the body brought to Ivolginsk where it was greeted with fanfare, ringing bells and lulling chants. He ordered the body placed on the second floor of one of the monastery’s four temples, where it remains today, secreted behind heavy curtains and locked doors.
The monastery’s 150 students keep a vigil on the first floor, praying around the clock, though only the lamas may see the body.
“To me it is the greatest miracle in life” said Ayusheyev, the spiritual leader since 1995. “It turns out there are things on which time has no power.”
The 12th Hambo Lama was born in 1852 in czarist Russia and orphaned early, according to the Buddhists’ history. At 6 he studied to become a lama and served in several monasteries in Buryatia. In 1911 he was nominated along with nine other candidates to become the Hambo Lama and he was ultimately appointed by the czar’s governor in Irkutsk.
During his time as Hambo Lama, Itigilov is said to have strengthened the faith especially among the Buryats, a nomadic people of Mongol descent who have lived in the region for more than 30 centuries. He published religious tracts and teachings and united many of the religion’s factions.
Most of Russia’s Buddhists – estimated today at 1 million – adhere to the “yellow hat” sect that is predominant in Tibet. The Dalai Lama is their highest spiritual leader.
In the years since the Soviet collapse, Buryatia has remained a republic of the Russian Federation. Across Russia the Buddhists have begun to thrive again, rebuilding lost temples, opening schools and attracting new followers, even among ethnic Russians.
In Moscow Vladislav Kozeltsev an expert at the Center for Biomedical Technologies, the institute that keeps the body of Lenin – who died in 1924 – in state on Red Square said the salt in the coffin might have slowed the decay but could not alone explain the preservation of the lama’s body. Other factors may include the soil and the condition of the coffin.
More likely, Kozeltsev said, Itigilov suffered from a defect in the gene that hastens the decomposition of the body’s cellular structure after death. He added, “You cannot rule out some secret process of embalming” Ayusheyev says the body was preserved because Itigilov achieved a heightened state of existence through meditation known as shunyata, or emptiness.
He acknowledged that there would be skepticism. When greeted with it, he relented on his own order and led a visitor into the temple to the darkened chamber where Itigilov sits atop a simple table, surrounded by candles and metal bowls holding oils. The lamas have dressed his body in a golden robe with a blue sash laid across his lap. His eyes are closed, his features blurred, though the shape of his face and his nose certainly resemble the 1913 photograph. His hands remain flexible, his nails perfectly trimmed. His skin is leathery but soft. His head is still covered in short-trimmed hair.
“Many people don’t see what’s obvious,” Ayusheyev said. “Many people won’t understand even if they see him.”