Wat Khunaram, home of Koh Samui’s mummified monk, is an unusual sight but offers a unique insight into Buddhist and Thai culture. Monk Luong Pordaeng died in a seated meditation position in 1973, and his body has been on display in a vertical glass case in the temple ever since. Surprisingly, even after several decades, the monk’s body shows little sign of decomposition. For some visitors, seeing a dead body can be a shocking sight. But for Thai people, it is something to think about and worship.
Far from being afraid of death, most Thai Buddhists accept the end of life as the natural order of things and see death as an opportunity to be reborn in a better place, one step closer to nirvana. Other mummy monks on Samui and throughout Thailand, but Loung Pordang is among the most revered.
A brief history of the mummy monk at Wat Khunaram
Loung Pordang is said to have told his followers shortly before his death that his body should be cremated if it decomposed. Otherwise, he wanted them to display it as a visible reminder of the Buddha’s teachings. For Thais, the life and death of Loung Pordang serve as inspiration to follow Buddhist precepts and walk the middle path. Loung Pordang was born Dang Piyasilo on Koh Samui in 1894 to a prominent family within the close-knit island community. Like many Thai Buddhist men, Khun Dang was ordained as a monk at 20.
He spent two years at Wat Samrat before he undressed and married a local woman with whom he had six children. Later, as his children grew up, he returned to monastic life, where he immersed himself in studying Buddhism. Texts and meditation. The name was given to him as a monk was Phra Khru Samathakittikhun.
After spending some time in Bangkok, he returned to Koh Samui, where he is said to have had an intense meditation session at Tham Yai (Big Cave) and spent his days as a highly respected monk and abbot. The week before his death, 79-year-old Loung Pordang stopped eating and speaking and sat in a deep state of meditation before his life slipped away. His simple life, healthy diet, and lengthy meditation sessions are believed to have contributed to his long life and physique. Excellent preservation after death. The only noticeable change to the body was the dissolution of the eyes, now respectfully covered by sunglasses.
Good to know about Wat Khunaram
Besides the mummy monk, Wat Khunaram is a typical Buddhist temple where locals come daily to offer merit and to pray. Amulets and other Buddhist artifacts can be purchased, and visitors can join in, observe, and observe the daily rituals. You can find Wat Khunaram on Route 4169 (the ring road) between Na Muang and Hua Thanon waterfalls, 13 km southeast of Nathon Pier and about 6 km west of Lamai Beach. The temple is open to visitors. Every day during the day, the best times to do this are early morning or late afternoon when the temple is busiest with merit activities and monastic chanting. Parking is available on the temple grounds.
Admission is free, but donations for temple upkeep are welcome. It is a sacred place of worship, so dress modestly by wearing knee-length pants or skirts and covering bare shoulders with a shirt, scarf, or sarong.