July 10, 2014

Harry Potter and the Mischievous Monks

Two Thai monks are in big trouble.

Joanna Piacenza

Now here are two worlds we never thought would collide: Buddhism and Harry Potter. It appears a few monks in Thailand have mastered the spell Wingardium Leviosa and are ready to play some Quidditch. 

Posted earlier today by Thai newspaper Phuket News, the photo was greeted with mixed reactions. Although some may view this as just a little inter-wat fun, the director of the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) in Thailand, Mr. Nopparat Benjawattananan, was not amused. "The organization will identify them," he said. "They deserve punishment."

The identity and location of the mischievous monks remain unknown. Let’s hope they have an invisibility cloak handy when the NOB comes after them.

Joanna Piacenza, Web Manager


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akikaze's picture

I think the more important question no one is asking is HOW ARE THEY FLYING?

wsking's picture

They are flying because they have perfected the meditation on the non-self-existence of gravity! And aligning themselves with the qualities of air,in both the subtle and gross body, they have become weightless! They are on their way to rescue suffering mother sentient beings as quickly as possible! It is a secret Thai technique.
Gassho
_/|\_

Dominic Gomez's picture

The out-of-focus feet give it away. They've been directed to jump up, just before the shutter is released.

wsking's picture

Hi Everybody!

You will be interested to know that Mr. Benjawattanan just sent me a letter in reply to an email I sent him, pretty much the same as my "Dear NOB" post here. Unfortunately, its in Thai and I can't read it, but as soon as I get it translated, I will let you know what he said! I can't wait to find out. We have a Thai restaurant in Raleigh, so hold on and Ill get it translated tomorrow if possible. Tune in again!
Gassho!
_/|\_

wsking's picture

The letter says: "We've got yours. We've forwarded it to Mr. B.
We'll be in touch."
The Thai translator says, "Those are fully ordained monks,
not novices, not children or teenagers. Thai people are
shocked at this. Monks do not play or laugh. They must
be very sincere. That is why we support them. We
expect them to be serious and sincere."
So: CROSS-CULTURAL MISUNDERSTANDING!!
Watch out! Do not project! Make space to accept the
opposite view. Mr. B's Dept. has a very serious job to do removing corruption from the sangha, so he may not have leeway as an administrator to overlook this.
But it will be a reprimand and probation, most likely.

brownhat's picture

i can see he is also very highly intelligent, as well as perceptive and compassionate.

michelemoon888's picture

Thank you, young monks, for helping to save us from ourselves.

anitacarter's picture

It is glorious! Of course I am a Harry Potter fan!

brownhat's picture

I relate to these monks with all my being. They do NOT deserve punishment! they deserve praise. they should be on TEDx Phuket. they should do //build.

Mr. Nopparat Benjawattananan should be a monk first before he decides their fate.

But then, if he were a monk, he would laugh. What human would not. What enlightenment is so closed minded and small hearted — so NOT enlightened.

And I am not even a Harry Potter fan.

wsking's picture

Dear NOB: This picture is great publicity for Buddha Dharma! Young people will relate to it! Don't be mad at the boys. Let them have a little innocent fun! They are obviously very happy. A happy monk is a good monk! Who wants a young monk to be a dour old sourpuss? Not me!

Actually, they are adorable! And if there was anything that made Buddhist monks seem more approachable, more human and less strange, this picture is it! Kids all over the world are playing just like this!

Mr. Benjawattanan, please don't get all upset. This is really no big deal. Just boys fooling around! You were a boy once too, weren't you? Of course, we have to scold them, but don't be too hard on them. Actually, they have done us all a favor by reminding us that laughter is the best medicine for all humanity. Once again, we are saved by our wonderful teenagers! We should take ourselves less seriously and practice lightly, lightly! A message sent by the Buddha!

caryl.s's picture

Well said! How many of us cracked a smile and had our hearts lifted when we saw this? Happiness is contagious and thanks to these two fun-filled human beings (and young monks are just that) a little more happiness appeared in the world. Wonderful!

comptongc's picture

Does not the Buddha Laugh?

mmhalliday's picture

I expect the abbot sorted them out with "Expelliarmus!"

barry.wharton's picture

They were meant to be sweeping the ceremony hall. :))

thesk0g's picture

I don't understand the frustration. What's wrong with their behavior?