Hmmm, doesn’t seem like a very Buddhist thing to do. But I am learning that there are all sorts of Buddhists…
Buddhist monks in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh have decided to preserve the body of their master so he can be worshipped forever.
Disciples of Yogi Amtrin, who died on 1 July last year aged 84, plan to mummify his body, breaking with tradition.
Tibetan Buddhists oppose preserving the dead, but his followers want to continue to be able to pay respects.
Yogi Amtrin, who belonged to the minority Drupka Kargu sect, came to India from Tibet nearly 45 years ago.
He spent years teaching yoga and meditation at the Khampagar monastery at Tashijong in the Kangra valley – 260km (160 miles) away from the state capital, Shimla.
Khampagar is considered to be the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India.
Since his death, the monk’s body has been placed in a wooden box in a lotus sitting posture as if he is meditating.
“Yes we are preserving the body of Yogi Amtrin. Currently the body lies in a wooden box packed with salt which is changed every two months,” said Nawang Negi, a senior monk at the monastery.