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Phayul - Tuesday, October 07, 2008 12:38]
Thukdam is also known as 'clear light' and in this case, it is death meditation. It clearly shows that this master is highly attained and has control over his death. While in this meditation, he sits in full meditation with his heart and breath had ceased but his chest remains warm and there's no sign of rigor mortis or decomposition until the meditation ends.
The end of the meditation is signified when his head leans forward and a drop of blood flows out from one of his nostrils and the warmth in the chest is gone. The purpose of the meditation is to prepare the mind to leave the body at will. You see, when we die, we die without control and we can take rebirth anyway in the 6 realms but for meditational masters like these, they die with full control. That's the power of Buddhist Tantra.
Former Ganden Tripa Stays on 'Thukdam'(Death Meditation) for 18 Days
Dharamshala, October 6 – Doctors and researchers at the Drepung monastery were amazed to witness a rare spectacle in the south Indian Tibetan settlement of Mungod. His eminence Lobsang Nyima, the former Gaden Tripa, who passed away on September 14, stayed in Thukdham for 18 days, till 1st October.
Thukdham, as per Tibetan Buddhist Tantric practice, is explained as a stage in which a highly learned lama or practitioner with his life time practice of meditation is able to meditate on the ‘Clear Light Stage’, an ultimate process of inner dissolution of five elements and consciousness. The practitioners, while in Thukdham, are able to control their body from decomposition and to maintain the internal body heat.
Tenzin Namdul, a Tibetan doctor at the Men-Tsee-Khang, and Dr. Yangzom Dolker of Delek hospital, were sent to Mundgod, South India to scientifically investigate the effect of Thukdham on Trisur Rinpoche's body. Thukdham project was initiated last December in collaboration with Dr. Richard Davidson's brain imaging laboratory at University of Wisconsin under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, says Dr. Namdul. The doctors measured the effect of Thukdham on Rinpoche's body through EEG, ECG and body temperature using latest scientific equipment.
Tibetans as well as Indians thronged Drepung for Rinpoche’s blessing. A team of researchers and scientists from Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation from Bangalore arrived to witness what they later termed as a "scientific breakthrough in the effect of intense meditation". Another team of senior doctors and neuroscientists from Belgaum’s KLES Prabhakar Kore Hospital where Rinpoche breathed his last also arrived to witness the spectacle.
“The doctors commented this is something they need to see to believe and now that they have witnessed it, they said they are simply surprised and speechless. Both the team expressed strong desire in initiating a collaborative project on this important and complex subject”, Dr. Namdul said.
Some say that longer period of meditation will prolong the arrival of his reincarnation. Dalai Lama had asked the attendants of Gaden Trisur to allow the mediation to continue. Earlier, the Tibetan leader had said that scientists should examine the state of thukdham of Tibetan masters and Lamas.
Under guidance of Dalai Lama, Trisur Rinpoche's body will be mummified so that people can have his audience and be blessed by his presence, Dr. Namdul said.