The religious ceremonies for Luang Phor Koon have taken place at the Golden Jubilee Convention Hall in Khon Kaen University since Sunday, May 17th, 2015. It is estimated that more than 800,000 people have attended the ceremonies.
On May 22nd, 2015, the evening religious ceremony took place at 7 p.m. with high-ranking officials and organizations co-hosting the event. These included Miss Yingluck Shinawatra, former Prime Minister of Thailand and other members of Pheu Thai party including Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan, former Acting Prime Minister of Thailand, and Assoc. Prof. Cherdchai Tantisirin, former MP.
The religious ceremonies continued for seven days after the revered Luang Phor Koon of Wat Ban Rai died on Saturday, May 16th, 2015. On Saturday, May 23rd, 2015, huge crowds gathered at the Golden Jubilee Convention Hall to join the last rites for Luang Phor Koon. More than 400,000 people are estimated to have joined the last religious event before the body of Luang Phor Koon will be transferred to the Faculty of Medicine on May 24th, 2015.
In the early morning of Sunday, May 24th, 2015, a group of 109 men consisting of students and Luang Phor Koon’s followers were ordained to give merit to Luang Phor Koon.
The last morning prayer for Luang Phor Koon was conducted at 11 a.m. at the Golden Jubilee Convention Hall. A group of 93 people offered robes to the monks who attended the religious ceremony. A video presentation of Luang Phor Koon’s history was displayed to those who attended the last ritual event.
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 24th, 2015, the body of Luang Phor Koon was transferred from the Golden Jubilee Convention Hall along Kalaprapreuk road to the Faculty of Medicine of Khon Kaen University. A group of 10 consistory monks led the cortege of Luang Phor Koon’s body. The body of Luang Phor Koon arrived at the Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University at 4.30 p.m. The ritual event to ask for forgiveness from Luang Phor Koon was conducted before the body of Luang Phor Koon will be further utilized for academic purpose. The body of Luang Phor Koon will be embalmed for a period of one year, and then medical students will have a chance to use his body as their “teacher” for the study of human gross anatomy for another two years.
The body of Luang Phor Koon and others donated for medical study this year will be cremated in a royally sponsored ceremony in 2018.
Donations from Luang Phor Koon’s followers exceeded 47 million Thai Baht. The money will be used to cover the cost of the ceremony, and the leftover money will be used to help sick monks being treated at Srinagarind Hospital located in Khon Kaen University as per Luang Phor Koon’s will.
Written by Bussarin Udomsap
Editorial board: Assoc. Prof. Supat Sinawat, Mrs. Duangsamorn Chankwang, Miss Karen Gail Welker,
The Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University