What Are the Pearl-Like Objects Found in Monks’ Ashes After Cremation?
What Are the Pearl-Like Objects Found in Monks’ Ashes After Cremation?

In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

It has long been held in Buddhist tradition that accomplished monks accumulate a substance in their bodies that ordinary people do not.

This substance is left behind in a monk’s ashes when he is cremated, appearing as pearl-like beads or gems. The substance is thought to be accumulated from other realms, to be not quite of this world.

The beads are called sarira or ringsels. There appear to have been few studies done on this phenomenon. Some sources say the sarira have not been tested, because they are rare and considered sacred.

Stanford University physicist William A. Tiller, PhD., and a team of researchers have studied the energy surrounding sarira.

Nisha J. Manek, M.D., is the lead author of the report, which was presented at the annual Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference at the University of Arizona in 2012. Dr. Manek completed her specialty training at Stanford University and was a long-time Mayo Clinic faculty member before starting her work with Tiller’s Institute for Psychoenergetic Science.

Manek, who is not Buddhist, explained what she felt in the presence of the sarira: “I felt a tangible radiation of exquisite energy flowing from the relics to my heart center. 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.”

The researchers used methods developed by Tiller to objectively measure what Manek perhaps subjectively felt to be an energy emanating from the relics.

Tiller has been studying the physical impact human consciousness has. He posits that there are two types of substances. One is the kind we are able to perceive with our conventional sensors; he describes these substances as being in the electric atom/molecule level.

The other kind exists in the space between the atoms and molecules.

We usually cannot perceive this other kind, which Tiller describes as having a higher thermodynamic free energy state—it is immensely powerful. Tiller says he has found a way to detect this substance, but only when it overlaps or interacts with the kind of electric atom/molecule substance we are able to perceive and measure. This does not always happen, as the two substances often remain separated. 

Human intention activates a sort of in-between substance called deltrons. The deltrons facilitate the interaction between the two kinds of substances.

Tiller and Manek’s study of the relics found that the relics have been imprinted with human intention.

“Although we may not consider these objects … to have phenomenal consciousness, there is no doubt that an aspect of consciousness is imprinted into both kinds of objects. In the case of the Buddha relics, over hundreds of years, reverential ‘pumping’ has kept these objects imprinted. If there is no respect or love, the relics disappear,” the report states. The researchers also found that “the atom-molecules within the space [around the relics] are ordered more coherently.”

Sarira remain mysterious. It seems the cremation of ordinary people do not leave behind such substances, yet the sarira have not been definitively proven other-worldly.

Ebay is flooded with objects said to be sarira on sale for as little as $10. One Buddhist organization is selling a small collection of sarira for $4,000 to maintain its operations.

Tiller’s and Manek’s studies suggest the sarira may have a certain energy about them that can impact worshipers, but the energy may in part be projected onto the sarira by the worshipers. 


  • HeyJude

    An interesting phenomenon….but I am distracted from that by the conflicting information given here. At once, they are not studied because they are sacred relics and rare….and yet they are for sale on Ebay for $10??? How in the world do ebay sellers obtain cremated remains of monks? I suspect they are substituting tapioca pudding beads. :-) And why would Buddhist organizations sell collections of such sacred things for operations funding, yet deem them too sacred to be studied?

    • OneOtherPerson

      I ordered some on e-bay for the intent purpose of getting to the bottom of this mystery, but I ate them before the microscope I also ordered arrived.
      I love tapioca pudding

      • HeyJude

        LOL! That’s probably why they are never studied…who doesn’t love tapioca pudding? :-)

        • Tara MacIsaac

          There is a saying about pearls being jumbled with fish eyes … sometimes it’s hard to tell the genuine from the fake! When I first started researching sarira, the first thing I came across was the Ebay page. I just had to sort of laugh at people selling “priceless things” for $10–“Get your salvation here for the low price of $9.99.” It’s probably easy in this case to tell the pearls from the fish eyes, or the tapioca balls from the sarira!

          • HeyJude

            I’m always drawn to the odd and unusual…I wouldn’t have known about sarira if you hadn’t brought it to my attention in this article. :-) They certainly fall into that odd and kind of creepy category, and of course lead us to fish eyes, tapioca (same as fish eyes, imo…who really wants weird gelatinous lumps in pudding?) and ebay! I had to google that too….great deals on these sarira today, apparently they can be found in the fashion outlet! Who knew? LOL

          • rg9rts

            What are they saying for you?? Dusting to 2 up here.

          • HeyJude

            Good morning, rg! Since I fall south in the viewing area, they are calling for up to 4. PHEW….for a few days there they weren’t sure and some models said 8-10. I’m jaded now, 4 inches? No sweat, that will only come up to my ankles. LOL I’m doing early Christmas shopping here. Having been introduced to sarira, I’m thinking of getting you some from ebay. I think I can fashion them into a nice (but manly!) necklace for you. :-)

          • rg9rts

            Afternoon Jude that must be a narrow strip for that snow belt. Better them than us for a change. Is that necklace my armor?? LOL Okay dear speak at you in the morning….another fun week begins

          • HeyJude

            LOL I’ll make sure it’s shining. Rg – relic necklace, check. :-) The less snow model is still holding, worst of it still staying south of me. In other years that did happen quite a bit, my brother in law down in MD got hit with so much more snow than us, looks like he will again. And yes…you know me, if it snows/ices in the AM I won’t go to work, I am not essential (hmmmffftt am too!!!!) so it makes no difference if I go in on Tuesday instead. See you over coffee and chatter!

  • takawalk

    Pearls of wisdom?

  • Arcturus

    “The energy surrounding them?” What BS.

  • liebowitz


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