Thai monk beheads himself

It is the ultimate goal of Buddhist monks to attain “nirvana” or enlightenment. Like many other religious figures around the world, many Thai monks choose meditation as their method to achieve the enlightened state.

However, recently in Nong Bua Lamphu, a Thai abbot decided to walk a different path by beheading himself with a homemade guillotine. His “helpers” are now facing potential prosecution from the police.

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Religious followers could face charges

In hopes of attaining enlightenment, Thai Abbot Dhammakorn Wangphrecha decapitated his own head last Thursday – which marked his 68th birthday – at the Wat Phuhingong Monastery, according to Coconuts Bangkok.

According to his followers, the abbot took five years to plan his “divine” death, which involved building a guillotine with a one-metre long blade, two buckets of cement and a rope holding everything together. 

The abbot’s followers were well-informed of his intentions to speed up his journey to Nirvana.
Image credit:

He cut the rope himself right beside a sculpture of Indra who is also headless. Only hours after his death, over 300 individuals were participating in the abbot’s funeral rites. 

Once the police arrived at the scene, the guillotine was already disassembled and Mr. Wangphrecha was already lying in a coffin built by the hands of his followers, who may be facing charges like concealing, tampering, and even conspiracy to commit murder for those who helped with the guillotine. 

THAI MONK BEHEADS HIMSELFMany of Thailand’s famed monks claim that there is no evidence of a correlation between beheading oneself and achieving Nirvana. 
Image credit: Coconuts Bangkok

In response to the incident, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had come out to warn Thais not to solely rely on “faith” – particularly ones that lack reason – hoping that no such imitations would occur in the future. 

Psychiatrists have also been sent to the monastery to do a mental checkup on the people in the area.; according to many of the abbot’s followers, he showed no symptoms of being mentally unwell, according to Coconuts Bangkok

Take some time for yourself

Many people use faith as a tool to explain the many unexplainable aspects that the universe presents. While religion and beliefs are certainly guides for living a better life, it’s not exactly a substitute for having a robust knowledge of yourself and your own world views. So, it’s important to prioritise understanding the rationale you use in your daily decision making. 

More on Thai beliefs and superstitions: 

Cover images adapted from: Thammakorn Wangpreecha on Twitter via International Business Times (Left), The Thaiger (Right) 

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