Connect with us


Thai monk beheads himself with guillotine in attempt to reach nirvana, followers could face charges

Tanutam Thawan



A monk, apparently ‘seeking nirvana’, has beheaded himself with a handmade guillotine in the northeastern province of Nong Bua Lamphu. Police are now investigating to determine if any of the monk’s followers should be charged for helping the abbot with his untidy path to enlightenment.

The monk, Dhammakorn Wangphrecha, reportedly spent 5 years planning his death and believed it would help him reach nirvana, his followers say. They say he decided to die last Thursday, on his 68th birthday. The guillotine was made with a metre-long blade and 2 buckets of cement held up by rope. It was placed near a statue of a beheaded deity. Followers say the monk cut the ropes himself.

While police say evidence say it’s a case of suicide, followers who moved Dhammakorn’s body could face charges for concealing a corpse. The guillotine had also been disassembled when police arrived, and followers could face other charges for tampering with evidence. If police discover that followers helped the monk build the guillotine, they could be charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Police found the monk’s body in a wooden coffin at the Wat Phuhingong Monastery. They say around 300 people attended the monk’s funeral just hours after his death. Police did not say how many followers are now suspects in the investigation.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke after the death of the monk, warning Thais not to put too much faith in superstition, and psychiatrists visited the monastery to do mental health checks.

“I ask you to not put too much faith in something unscientific, as the Buddha taught that his words can be proved… Everybody must have some logic to believing or respecting something. I don’t think anybody wants to imitate.”

SOURCE: Coconuts Bangkok


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar

    David Pilkington

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    Hmm . . . smells a little like teen spirit if you ask me. And these followers . . . will they face charges before or after beheading themselves? That could keep the RTP busy, on top of all their house-party busting, etc.

  2. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    That’s rather blunt. It would be more elegant to follow the Japanese shokushinbutsu tradition of self-mummification, now that’s true dedication…

    It was supposed to have been practiced in Thailand at some point as well.
    Can’t post links under new rules but do google shokushinbutsu.

    From the Wikipedia entry:

    “In medieval Japan, this tradition developed a process for Sokushinbutsu, which a monk completed over about 3,000 days.

    It involved a strict diet called mokujiki (literally, “eating a tree”).
    The diet abstained from any cereals, and relied on pine needles, resins and seeds found in the mountains, which would eliminate all fat in the body.

    Increasing rates of fasting and meditation would lead to starvation.
    The monks would slowly reduce then stop liquid intake, thus dehydrating the body and shrinking all organs.
    The monks would die in a state of jhana (meditation) while chanting the nenbutsu (a mantra about Buddha), and their body would become naturally preserved as a mummy with skin and teeth intact without decay and without the need of any artificial preservatives.

    Many Buddhist Sokushinbutsu mummies have been found in northern Japan and estimated to be centuries old, while texts suggest that hundreds of these cases are buried in the stupas and mountains of Japan.
    These mummies have been revered and venerated by the laypeople of Buddhism”

  3. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Gruesome Barry. A bit like the death of a Thousand cuts.
    Strange that the monk in the picture is dressed in white, or it the monk a monkette, a woman.
    They dress in white.

  4. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Kurt tried it……it doesn’t work

  5. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Watch out for copycats.

  6. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    There are mumified Thai monks that have slowly starved them selves to death in various caves about the place in northern thailand and a few have been removed from the caves and are in glass boxes at nearby temples.there are also a few mumified corpses of Thai monks intered in brass buhdda statue’s up north.been told that the ones inside the brass images climbed in alive and meditated them selves to death in situ,also been told the corpse of the monk was placed in the image after death.the second explanation sounds more plausible to me.may well be more about the place in other areas of thailand.

  7. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    barry, let’s remember the Buddha taught us to avoid extremes and practise the Middle Way. That is the way apparently which leads to Enlightenment.

  8. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    Now he is in sweet nirvana…

  9. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    I have read that they also drank sping water from a place with cyanide in the water which would kill all the bacteria and paracites in the body preventing it from rotting

  10. Avatar

    James R

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 12:48 am

    We are now all waiting for a postcard from Nirvana to see if he made it.

    How can people believe in theses stupid religions/cults or whatever else people call them?

    There must be some sort of context switch or part of the brain which has been brain washed since birth as I have friends who are medical doctors physicists etc and still believe in Christianity/Buddhism/Hinduism etc, very illogical.

  11. Avatar


    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 1:13 am

    You could say, it was a headless act…

  12. Avatar


    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 1:40 am

    toby andrews

    I believe I read somewhere that he disrobed first.

  13. Avatar

    James Pate

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 4:38 am

    5 years of planning. Well, at least he didn’t go in head over heels. Nirvana may be nice, but not something to lose your head over. Police are investigating, but accomplices got a head start.

  14. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Well if it worked he will be headed to nirvana now James.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Pattaya13 mins ago

Over 66 people arrested in police raid at Pattaya beach club

Coronavirus Vaccines39 mins ago

Government under increasing pressure to share details of vaccine procurement deals

Coronavirus Thailand1 hour ago

Covid patients with positive antigen test no longer need PCR test prior to treatment

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Tourism2 hours ago

Thai tourism likely to hit rock bottom this year

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 14,150 new cases and 118 deaths

Myanmar14 hours ago

Myanmar’s economy to shrink by 18% due to military coup and Covid-19

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Singapore15 hours ago

Singapore plans to vaccinate 80%, reopen with quarantine-free travel by September

Thailand17 hours ago

Pattaya suspects arrested for live streaming breaking curfew

Thailand17 hours ago

Sinovac/AstraZeneca highly effective, according to Thai research

Phuket18 hours ago

Phuket vice governor says “Sandbox” tourists aren’t scared off by Covid situation

Thailand18 hours ago

Ministry of Education seeks 21.6 billion education subsidy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

The ‘infodemic’ – interview with Helen Petousis-Harris about Covid misinformation

Best of20 hours ago

Phuket’s 8 Best Rooftop Bars

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Ayutthaya logs 255 new infections, hospital beds full

Thailand20 hours ago

Another “monkey war” in Lop Buri, hundreds fight in the street- VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8