PureInsight | January 30, 2003
[PureInsight.org] Many Chinese people may have heard stories of incorruptible bodies in the world of cultivation practice. For example, there is the earthly body of a god at Jiu Hua Mountain, the body of Ci Ming monk at DiCang temple, and many others . According to recent reports, this phenomenon also exists in western society .
In March 2001, the body of Pope John XXIII was dug up because the present pope decided his predecessor needed a new resting place to accommodate the large numbers of people who wanted to revere his tomb in the crypt of St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Amazingly, even though Pope John XXIII passed away thirty-seven years ago, the body was in excellent condition.
There have been many instances in history where bodies have been dug up and re-buried. The records confirming many incorruptible bodies are undeniable. There are many records of people who have been recognized as saints in medieval England whose bodies did not decay regardless of temperature or dampness, including Cuthbert, Weburgh, Waltheof, and Guthlac, as well as many others.
There are numerous recent examples. Joan Carroll objectively recorded in detail many cases in her book, The Incorruptibles, published in 1997. Those cases include St. Teresa of Avila, whose corpse, though buried in wet mud, has never decayed.
There might be people who think that the truth of these types of records is hard to prove. In reality, the records of these events are well-preserved and complete. Many of these corpses can still be seen today. Furthermore, many workers and family members were eye-witnesses during the exhumation. This type of event has occurred throughout Christian history, from the first century to the twenty-first.
Catholic Saint Biona died in 1879. In 1909 her body was dug up to be re-buried. Two doctors and a bishop witnessed the exhumation. There were also two stonecutters and two carpenters present at the time. They all saw that the body was in excellent condition. The only way that a nun who witnessed the burial thirty years before could tell that so many years had passed by was the weathering of the coffin.
Why is it that the bodies of many cultivators of Buddhism and Christianity do not decay after death? This phenomenon baffles modern science, but occurs regularly in the world of cultivation practice. The common understanding is that when cultivators purify their thoughts, elevate their morality, and return to their original true selves, their bodies will also change accordingly.