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Monk Defends Smacking Temple-Goers with Holy Stick

A monk who was seen forcefully hitting temple-goers’ heads with a bundle of dried grass has defended the unorthodox practice, calling it his unique way of blessing the faithful.

violent monk ThailandPhra Jirapan Analyo, the 53-year-old abbot of Pha Sadej monastery in Saraburi, admitted that the practice may look violent in a video that went viral this week, but insisted that it does not hurt.

“The knocking of heads is a way to cure diseases and illness for the faithful,” Phra Jirapan said. “And the knocking may look violent, but it didn’t hurt anyone.”

The practice drew criticism on social media after a video of Phra Jirapan forcefully hitting temple-goers was posted on Youtube on 6 June. Many commentators argued that the aggressive action contradicted the calm and stoic demeanor monks are required to possess by Buddhist doctrine.

“This monk is so sadistic, like Buddha Issara!” one user joked, referring to the ultra-conservative monk who commanded “hardcore” factions of anti-government protests in 2013 – 2014

Full Story Khao Sod English

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