In a bizarre development, a 68-year-old monk in Thailand chopped his head off as an offering to Buddha and believing he could be reincarnated. The man was identified as Thammakorn Wangpreecha who believed that after the ritual, he would be reincarnated as a higher spiritual being.

It appears that Wangpreecha had been planning the ritual sacrifice for the past five years. Monks believed that the ritual would give them good luck in the afterlife, a Buddhist belief called “making merit.”

The headless body of Wangpreecha was found on Apr. 15 at the Wat Phu Hin temple in Nong Bua Lamphu province, in north-eastern Thailand. It was the 68-year-old monk’s nephew, Booncherd Boonrod who found the body and a letter detailing what his uncle was up to.

“His wish was to offer his head and his soul so that the Lord could help him reincarnate as a higher spiritual being in the next life,” Booncherd said about the letter.

Wangpreecha made a makeshift guillotine that was next to a Buddhist God statue to behead himself. He made it look like the figure would appear to be holding his head after it was cut off.

Before the beheading of Wangpreecha, the 68-year-old had already informed other priests that he planned to leave the monkhood. However, most never knew about his plans, including the guillotine. Following the incident, roughly 300 monks showed up at the temple as they prepare to give Wangpreecha’s body a rite.

His body was placed in a coffin while his head was placed in a jar. Followers and family members carried the remains of Wangpreecha to the forest and were eventually burned.

“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,” office spokesman Sipbowon Kaeo-ngam said.

Representational image. Photo by Nicolas Häns on Unsplash

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