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Udon Thani temple blaze claims abbot’s life

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A famous forest temple in Issan’s Udon Thani province caught fire yesterday, claiming the life of its abbot. The temple has long been associated with the late Maha Bua Yannasampanno, thought by many of his followers to be an Arahant (someone who has attained Enlightenment) and a master in the Thai Forest Tradition.

75 year old Phra Ajarn Sudjai Thanthamano had served as the abbot of Wat Kesornsilakul, popularly known as Wat Pa Ban Tad, since the death of the Maha Bua in 2011.

Police were notified of the blaze at 1:37pm. Firefighters arrived at the scene to find flames engulfing the abbot’s living quarters. Monks, novices and citizens were trying to put out the flames and rescue the abbot, who was trapped inside.

The fire brigade sprayed water to control the flames. When the blaze subsided, monks rushed to bring the injured abbot out. He was taken to a van and rushed to Udon Thani Hospital but died on the way. The van then took his body back to the temple.

Although it destroyed the abbot’s quarters, firefighters were able to control the blaze before it could spread to any other areas of the temple. Police cordoned off the area pending the collection of forensic evidence, as followers began arriving at the temple after hearing of the abbot’s passing.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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