(Photo credit: IB Times/Dominic Gover)

SIBERIA: Mongolian scientists are examining a 200-year-old mummified Buddhist monk found in the lotus position who some believe is still alive as he is in a heightened meditative trance called 'tukdam'.

The mummy of the monk was found in Songino Khairkhan district of Ulan Bator, in the lotus position with his legs crossed and his arms folded, covered in cattle skin.

The 200-year-old mummy has been sent to the National Centre of Forensic Expertise in Ulan Bator for further study.

According to an expert on Buddhism, the lotus position in which the body was found indicates the mummy is still in a heightened spiritual meditation called "tukdam".

That is very close to Nirvana, which according to Buddhist beliefs, is the highest possible state achievable when the physical body dissolves.

Profesor Ganhugiyn Purevbata, the founder of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulan Bator Buddhist University in Mongolia, has advanced the incredible theory the mummified monk is still alive - despite it looking very dead after two centuries spent wrapped in an animal hide.

"Lama is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolises of the preaching Sutra," he said.

"This is a sign that the Lama is not dead, but is in a very deep meditation according to the ancient tradition of Buddhist lamas."

The mummified monk was discovered inside a cave by a 45-year-old man who planned to sell it off.

Initial speculation say that the mummy could be a teacher of famous Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov.