Luang Phor Piyak’s body had been in the temple for 60 years.
When: January 7th, 2021
Where: Tha Sae district, Chumphon province
Perpetrator: Mr. Sakharit, 26
Victim: Luang Phor Piyak (หลวงพ่อเปียก), deceased monk
What: On January 8th, 2021, police in Chumphon received a report that a man had started a fire at Wat Na Sang, a temple in the Tha Sae district of Chumphon province. Investigators reviewed CCTV footage of the man entering the temple with camo shorts, no shirt, his body covered in tattoos, bringing a canister of gasoline into the Mondop (a Thai Buddhist structure https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondop), dousing the monk’s body in the gasoline, and lighting him on fire. The monk is known as Luang Phor Piyak (หลวงพ่อเปียก), a renowned monk from Chumphon, whose body had been kept at this temple since 1962.
The perpetrator, Mr. Sakharit, confessed that on the night of January 6th he took 2 yaba pills and later had a dream of another monk, Luang Phor Daeng, who told him to go to Wat Na Sang and burn Luang Phor Piyak’s body. When he woke up in the morning he drove his motorbike to the temple, taking machetes with him. He bought gasoline along the way.
He broke into the Mondop with the machete and smashed the glass coffin holding the monk’s body. Then he doused the body in gasoline, lit it on fire, and ran out. He assaulted a monk on the temple grounds before fleeing the scene. Authorities found Mr. Sankharit at his sister’s house and arrested him, charging him with damages caused by fire and drug use.
Later in the day, Mr. Jaruk Kaew Saengon, Director of the Office of Buddhism in Chumphon province, checked on the damage. The fire took about 30 minutes to put out. According to monks and staff, only the robe that wrapped around Luang Phor Piyak’s body was burned. The body only had a black stain from the soot. This is considered a very lucky outcome.
The event has deeply moved locals in the area who honor and respect the body of Luang Phor Piyak. The monk had been kept in this temple for 59 years. Many amulets are made of Luang Phor Piyak, which are highly prized and expensive due to their rarity.
The incident with the fire is now considered miraculous and a sacred matter of the monk, considering that the body burned for 30 minutes and only the robe was damaged. After the COVID19 pandemic passes there will be a large merit-making ceremony held at the temple to encourage the locals.
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My take: A very encouraging story and it’s definitely very Thailand no matter what you believe. If it gives the locals hope and encouragement, then I’m all for it.
I’d love to go to the temple myself and see the body of Luang Phor Piyak someday!
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