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Python raised by monk for 30 years draw merit making for temple

Jan 12. 2018
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By The Nation

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Local villagers flocked to a temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat to pray over a large python cared for by a monk for 30 years, hoping it would help them get over their ailments.

Snake owner Phra Boonlert Poolsawat, 66, said local villagers believe his snake is a form of medication and is sacred so they came to touch and play with it.

The monk stays at Russell Bertie Wat Hauy Raya in Moo 5 village in Tambon Naphru of Nakhon Si Thammarat's Phraprom district. The temple has only a few monk residents.

Some touched parts of their body with the snake’s tail, hoping the reptile’s magic power could heal them.

The monk said he could not guarantee whether the villagers would be healed because it depended on their own belief. He did not demand any money in return but many villagers returned after they felt better to give donations to the temple and the donations were used to repair the old temple, the monk added.

Phra Boonlert said he has been caring for the python in his own living quarters for 30 years. He said a nephew gave it to him when it was only about one-foot long shortly after he entered his monkhood.

He named the python “Mae Thong Kham” (golden mother) and it ate just once a month. Now, it is over five-metres long and weighs about 200 kilograms.

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