Suicidal Buddhist monk forced to stop meditation inside coffin

(Photo: REUTERS / Chaiwat Subprasom)A Thai Buddhist monk blesses elephants prior to the opening ceremony of the 2014 King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Samut Prakan province, on the outskirts of Bangkok August 28, 2014. A total of 16 international teams and 51 Thai elephants are participating in the tournament that runs from August 28-31

Authorities and senior Buddhists in Thailand have prevented a Buddhist monk from carrying out his plan to wait for his death while meditating in a coffin.

Phra Khru Weruwan Chantarungsi, 65, entered a coffin on September 9 and told disciples not to disturb him until his death two days later.

He added that if he did indeed pass away, the coffin would "self-combust" on the same day, the Bangkok Post reported on September 10.

The monk, also known as Luang Pu Pim, is the abbot of Wat Weruwan temple in Tambon Thung Phra in Thailand.

His planned death came after news that the monk accepted cash to bless a businessman's luxury car. Critics say that accepting cash is against Buddhist tradition as greed and money are not part of its teachings.

Police Major General Pinit Maneerat, accompanied by Phra Ratpawana Warajarn, the Chaiyaphum province's ecclesiastical leader, and government and medical officials, showed up at the temple to negotiate with Pim.

The disciples, along with thousands of prevented the officials from entering as they were following the monk's order not to let anyone disturb the "meditation."

After long talks, the local authorities were allowed to open the coffin. The monk was said to look very tired and in a very serious condition.

Maneerat said Luang Pu Pim agreed to get out of the coffin after an hour of talks with Warajarn. The religious leader encouraged Pim by talking about his role sharing Buddha's teachings to others.

Luang Pu Pim, in his frail condition, agreed to be taken to the Khon Sarn District Hospital for treatment.

Chanakarn Srisombat, Pim's daughter revealed that Pim had once been sick and died in a cave.

But the monk miraculously came back to life claiming that the Angel of Death granted him a chance to live to spread Buddhism and finish building the temple, Wat Weruwan. He said he would die again on his birthday, September 9.

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