History, Art and Medicine Converge: The hospital admissions sheet simply read: “Name: Buddha; DOB: 1662.”

History, Art and Medicine Converge: The hospital admissions sheet simply read: “Name: Buddha; DOB: 1662.”

• When the 350 year old Korean Boddhisatva statue was X-Rayed, an unknown mass was discovered inside his head, and another in his stomach. After three more scans at two medical centers, doctors revealed the mystery mass: rare, sacred texts of Buddhism (the Lotus Sutra) written in Korean and a combination of Chinese and Nepalese script called Ranjana.

• The CAT scans, X-Rays and endoscopy also revealed that the statue was made of a single wooden piece, except for the ears and hands which were attached by hand made nails.

• On March 31, the bodhi will make his debut at the University of Florida’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/8ym7xem

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17 Responses to History, Art and Medicine Converge: The hospital admissions sheet simply read: “Name: Buddha; DOB: 1662.”

  1. Rajini Rao says:


    I also found this: The Ranjana script is found in many Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts from India and Nepal and it is still used by the Newari community (the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu valley) for their religious texts both Hindu and Buddhist – and for some other writings in Sanskrit and Newari. Tibetans use this script, which they call lanydza, particularly for writing the Sanskrit titles of books which have been translated from Sanskrit toTibetan. They also use it for writing decorative script in temples, bijamantras in mandalas, etc.

  2. Rajini Rao says:


    Good point, Gnotic Pasta , and I have not been able to dig out the answer to your question about the age of the scripts.

  3. Rajini Rao says:


    Feisal Kamil , yes..it’s a shame that they can’t seem to retrieve the documents in the head without damaging it. Pretty neat to see those nails sticking the ears on 🙂

  4. Rajini Rao says:


    The article makes the point of saying that the docs were put in place just months after the statue was made. How could they know that?

  5. Tom Lee says:


    Very interesting!

  6. Rajini Rao says:


    Do you mean in situ, Daniel Toschläger ? For the docs that are still inside the head?

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Absolutely, Daniel Toschläger ..it would be cool to come up with a way of scanning them through the wood. How about sending a microcamera inside a tiny cable through the ear? Like they do laproscopic surgery..after all this is being done at a hospital! 🙂

  8. Rajini Rao says:


    The commentators to the article say that it was common for texts to be placed inside these statues when they were consecrated. I’m guessing the hair piece is real, because it is not attached by a nail..probably glued on.

  9. Chad Haney says:


    Fantastic. Thanks for sharing.


    We did microCT on a mummified bird from the Oriental Institute. We’re putting together an essay for the upcoming display. I’ll post video/image after.

  10. Seyadu Babu says:


    very nice………..


  11. wow good one Rajini Rao


  12. Yet another post that blows me away. Thank you for these windows into other worlds.

  13. Robert Brown says:


    thanks for the share

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