Connect with us

Other News

Incombustible cleric

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

RANONG: Funerals of esteemed monks are always auspicious occasions for believers, a chance to bid farewell to a spiritual leader and wonder what rewards he will get for his life-long accumulation of merit.

At the funeral of an abbot in Ranong, the deceased clergyman’s spiritual power was reportedly so strong that his mortal remains refused to burn.

Phrakhru Praphasawiriyakhun, abbot of Wat Wareebaphot in Tambon Bang Norn, passed away on October 17.

When the day of his intended cremation arrived on November 8, the temple was packed with the faithful coming to see off their abbot. The ceremony was presided over by the Governor of Ranong Province, Kanchanapha Keeman.

Leading up to the ceremony, the heavens were overcast and rain poured down all day, threatening to wash out the proceedings. When it came to the hour of the ceremony, however, the rain suddenly stopped and the clouds cleared as if by a miracle.

At 9 pm, the body of Phrakhru Praphasawiriyakhun, or Phra Duan as he was known to his followers, was brought out and laid on the pyre. The flames were lit and began to lick at the monk’s body.

After a few minutes, the monk’s followers began to realize that something out of the ordinary was taking place before their eyes: Phra Duan’s body seemed to be impervious to flames.

After about half an hour on the flaming pyre, there were little more than a few minor scorch marks on his saffron robe. The body was unblemished by the heat.

With the body so steadfastly refusing to burn, the cremation had to be called off. Phra Duan’s body was brought down from the fire and placed back in his coffin.

He was then taken to the temple’s Hall of the Reclining Buddha, where stunned devotees changed his robes to the sound of cheering from the funeral guests, all amazed that the Phra Duan’s holiness had been stronger than the flames.

Police and volunteers worked together to prevent guests getting too near the body, fearing that scuffles would break out between people desperate to get pieces of Phr Duan’s singed robe to make into charms and amulets.

Witnesses reported that after the 30 minutes on the flaming pyre, the only marks on Phra Duan’s body were a couple of small burns on his arms. The lenses in his glasses were uncracked and his robe was only slightly burned.

Phra Duan’s followers then lifted his body above their heads and carried him among the guests for all to see.

When everyone had had a chance to catch a glimpse of the body, it was placed back in a coffin while the temple’s directors decided what to do it next.

In the end, the directors decided to keep the body in a glass coffin so people could come and pay their respects.

Somphian Banyicheng, a guest at the funeral and a follower of Phra Duan, said that he believed the reason the body’s flame retardant qualities came from Phra Duan’s holiness as he had been a strict follower of the dharma for many years.

As it became clear that the cleric’s corpse was incombustible, K. Somphian shouted for water to extinguish the useless flames.

Phra Duan, a native of Songkhla Province born Duan Prangsuwan, initially wanted to be a policeman. After failing the entrance tests at the age of 21, he became a monk instead.

After spending Buddhist lent in a temple in Phatthalung, he went and practiced meditation in a cave in the province’s Khao Chai Son hills for two years.

He then traveled around making merit, eventually ending up staying in Bang Non. As the story goes, one night a hairy, dark-skinned man dressed only in a loincloth appeared to him and asked him to stay in the village.

In 1959, Phra Duan started building Wat Wareebaphot, where he remained doing good deeds until his death.

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

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.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 mins ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket38 mins ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)43 mins ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

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

Sponsored by image

World1 hour ago

Myanmar: American journalist’s detention extended 2 more weeks

Pollution2 hours ago

Beached sperm whale covered in oil rescued in Phuket

Thailand3 hours ago

Unsatisifed with haircut, grandfather goes to police station for help

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Thai DDC probe into Covid-19 vaccine recipient deaths to finish next week

Thailand3 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Situation in Hua Hin, bars petition for overturn of alcohol ban, Sandbox

Politics3 hours ago

Thammanat Prompaew said to be PPRP’s next secretary-general

Thailand3 hours ago

Pattaya security guard dies after crashing into garbage truck

Thailand4 hours ago

Killer’s sentence reduced from 10 years to 3, plus community service

Phuket4 hours ago

Over 300 Phuket businesses awarded SHA Plus accreditation ahead of re-opening

Chon Buri5 hours ago

142 new Covid infections in Chon Buri, clusters in market workers and close contacts

Phuket5 hours ago

Phuket 62% vaccinated, Sandbox ready to play in, hopefully

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases and 22 deaths

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Trending