Sunday, 14 November 2010
There are many Thai temples throughout Thailand that preserve the tradition of mummifying dead monks that then become revered icons and subject to devotion and pilgramage as well as reminding us all of the frail mortality of our lives.
I remember one particular story which personally sums up for me the gob-smacking magic and surprise of Thailand. We had been holidaying in the south of the country on the coast and had arranged for a car and driver to take us to the airport and stop at places along the way. I had been watching sensationalist Thai TV the night before which had a programme featuring a dead monk preserved in a glass coffin complete with dark sunglasses ! I had seen one before -the same one as in the video below - as they are quite common around Thailand. As we drove along I started to think I wouldn't mind seeing a dead monk ! And it was at exactly this point the driver said in Thai "would you like to see a dead monk?". Of course we agreed !
Wat Khao Suwan Pradit was home to one of South Thailand's most famous Buddhist monks. Phra Kru Suwan Praditkan or Luang Phor Choi was the chief Abbot here and had this temple restored. His mortal remains are preserved in a glass coffin in the temple which lies at the foot of the mountain.
What We Think We Become - The Buddha
The Buddha's Face