• Thammakorn Wangpreecha, 68, had been planning to do the act for five years 
  • He committed the act on his birthday as other devotees prayed at a nearby pavilion
  • The National Office of Buddhism disagreed with his methods and called it a "private matter"

In a shocking incident, a Buddhist monk hoping to attain enlightenment beheaded himself with a guillotine.

The incident happened last Thursday at Nong Bua Lamphu province in Thailand, reports Yahoo News. Thammakorn Wangpreecha, 68, a monk at the Wat Phu Hin temple, used a DIY guillotine to chop his head off in a bizarre ritual, which he had been planning for more than five years.

He committed the act on his birthday as other devotees prayed at a pavilion just meters away.

The National Office of Buddhism (NOB) Monday reacted to the incident, saying it disagreed with his methods, reported Coconuts Bangkok. The office representatives said Thammakorn's actions were "a private matter" and that he had left monkhood long back.

The monk's headless body was found by his nephew Booncherd Boonrod along with a slab of marble that had been inscribed with Thammakorn’s plans.

It read that chopping his head off was "his way of praising Buddha" and he wished to offer his head and soul so that the "lord could help him reincarnate as a higher spiritual being in the next life."

The monk allegedly placed himself in such a position that his head, once cut off, would sit on the hands of a statue, which depicts a mythological lord Indra reaching out to offer up his own decapitated head.

The monk is also said to have informed other priests that he would be leaving monkhood. He did not tell them about his beheading plans, however.

Thammakorn's body was removed from the temple and taken to a hospital for post-mortem examination. After the news of his death broke, hundreds gathered at the temple for the cremation rituals.

His body was laid inside a coffin and his head placed in a jar before his followers. His family members carried his remains to the forest, where it was cremated.

"He had been planning this for five years now. He fulfilled his goal and met enlightenment," Yahoo News quoted Yu, one of his followers.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident. They recovered two buckets used by Dhammakorn and parts of the guillotine from the site.

Meanwhile, the NOB said they would ensure the right teachings reach devotees. "Temple executives and abbots should review their practices and look after other monks in their temples. This incident is possible evidence of neglecting to do so,” NOB spokesman Sipbowon Kaeo-ngam was quoted by Coconuts Bangkok as saying. “We have to prevent such unpleasant situations from happening again.”

Representational image Pixabay