On the morning of April 15th of this year, Dhammakorn Wangphrecha, a monk, awakens before the sunrise. This morning would be dramatically different from the routine morning at this northeastern Thailand temple. Wangphrecha had plans of decapitating himself in hopes of remerging as a higher being. With the assistance from some of his fellow followers the grizzly request was concluded by sunrise.
According to officials this extreme religious act has shattered the peace within the Buddhist community and has prompted an investigation into the matter.
Wangphrecha was under the impression that a sacrifice of his life would earn him the stature that he would emerge as a divine being, or even being within the ranks of a Buddha.
A shockwave of sorrow is resonating within the Buddhist community within Thailand, in which prominent monks have rejected the ideals behind Wangphrecha’s suicide. While others believe that he severely misinterpreted the holy texts and adapted an extreme version which resulted in the act. His plan has been set in motion for at least five years in the making according to reports provided by the temple.
Within the temple walls lies a large statue of a deity who is holding his own head as an offering, a familiar image used within the Thai media. The suicide ritual was done close to the deity. According to The National Buddhism Office they claim that Wangphrecha was teaching his followers that by performing the same act one could be granted enlightenment.
For now, it is up in the air if any individual will face charges in connection with the suicide while the police are still investigating the matter. Wangphrecha was provided a traditional Buddhist funeral by his temple members and volunteers.