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Monks leave mystery 'pearls' in remains

Posted on Sunday, 9 March, 2014 | Comment icon 18 comments

Sarira are formed during cremation. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Heinrich Damm
Some believe that Buddhist monks are able to accumulate a mysterious substance within their bodies.
Known as sarira, these strange pearl-like objects are considered both rare and sacred and are said to be found in the cremated remains of only the most accomplished of Buddhist monks.

Due to their scarcity there have been very few studies in to the nature of sarira and the few samples that do exist are considered too sacred to be submitted for scientific testing. A team of researchers at Stanford University however recently managed to gain access to some of the objects for study and later presented their analysis at the "Toward a Science of Consciousness" conference.

"I felt a tangible radiation of exquisite energy flowing from the relics to my heart center," said lead author Nisha J. Manek. "It was highly private and personal, and yet conveyed an immense sense of Oneness or unity with everyone and everything. It had no counterpart in ordinary experience."

Mainstream scientists however believe that, far from being a metaphysical manifestation, the sarira may simply be the result of crystalline structures forming from the bones under certain conditions during the cremation process.

Source: The Epoch Times | Comments (18)

Tags: Sarira, Buddhist

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Awake2Chaos on 9 March, 2014, 22:58
Calcim deposits in the body are very common. Nothing mystical about it.
Comment icon #10 Posted by davros of skaro on 9 March, 2014, 23:08
Yep..I had a tiny ball of calcium surface to my skin which I removed with a razor blade.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Junior Chubb on 10 March, 2014, 9:48
I struggled to read past this quote, and that was the second paragraph...
Comment icon #12 Posted by Calibeliever on 10 March, 2014, 14:57
Nothing spiritual here, just natural mineral deposits. Picking through the ashes of your deceased monk brothers to find them however, is gruesome
Comment icon #13 Posted by FLOMBIE on 10 March, 2014, 15:57
I don't think so. Not any more gruesome than displaying a dead body in a stiff suite and in an unnatural posrure under a bright spotlight. I see it as a respectful tradition, among the lines of the bone picking after a Japanese cremation, for example.
Comment icon #14 Posted by maximusnow on 10 March, 2014, 16:07
Its possible , I have had such pearls. Very , Very Painful to pass! I did enter a state of euphoria (Nirvana) when they left my body. Maximus
Comment icon #15 Posted by Mikko-kun on 10 March, 2014, 20:40
What I didn't find out is does this happen with other humans too, and how much. Maybe because I'm not in the cremation business.
Comment icon #16 Posted by coldethyl on 11 March, 2014, 0:40
I don't see how the monks selling the pieces for a low sum is any different than televangelists stealing life savings from dying grannies. What they are doing is nothing like that. They don't have a huge church where people come in weekly and a plate is passed around and people are asked to give money they don't have because the Bible says so.
Comment icon #17 Posted by ambelamba on 11 March, 2014, 1:12
People who are on the good path of Buddhist principle won't really care about relics. But... Most people, regardless of their backgrounds, are simply unenlightened. And monks and sages hesitate to tell the public about the truth about spiritual path because... all boils down to politics and conflicts of interests...Sad.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Simbi Laveau on 11 March, 2014, 10:18
If we don't know what they look like or are made of, how can we so easily dismiss it? I assume they observe other bodies, and the pearls are not found..? Just monks bodies? Also, stones and calcification, don't look like pearls. Theyre eluding to them being like pearls. Who knows? I mean lots and lots of shell fish live in the sea, but only a handful of them can make pearls. Maybe they're very religious. Heh

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