Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ashes from 144 medical research volunteers to return home

Jan 30. 2019
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By The Nation

Relatives of the “Khru Yai” (deceased people who donated their bodies for medical research) at Khon Kaen University (KKU)’s Faculty of Medicine on Wednesday collected their ashes at the Golden Jubilee Convention Hall to return home.

Many said they were happy that their relatives were among the 144 Khru Yai bodies honoured with the same royally sponsored cremation rites at 20 temples on Tuesday as those for the revered northeastern monk Luang Phor Koon Parisuttho, who was cremated at Buddhamonton Isan in Muang Khon Kaen. 

Sakhon Mongkha, who collected the ashes of her nurse sister Vanidapa Mongkha, said she was proud that Vanidapa was a Khru Yai and was cremated in a royally sponsored rite at the same time as Luang Phor Koon. “It’s a rare opportunity. It is of great merit,” Sakhon said, adding that she would keep her ashes in their hometown of Chaiyaphum. 

Ubol Wisuttham, who collected her mother Thai Wisuttham’s ashes, said she was proud that her mother had made a great merit in supporting the country’s medical education. She said she would scatter the ashes in Nong Khai, as her mother requested. 

Several other relatives said they would keep the ashes at home while the KKU also helped arrange for the rest of ashes to be scattered on the Mekong River in Nong Khai, as is the usual practice.

Meanwhile, the Luang Phor Koon’s ashes were kept in a stainless steel box and sent on Wednesday morning to Nong Khai where a boat procession would perform a rite, scattering the late monk’s ashes on the Mekong at the “Phra That Klang Nam” religious site in the afternoon. On the way, the caravan would go slower through the town for people to pay their respects while souvenir coins would be thrown, said KKU dean Charnchai Panthongviriyakul.

Luang Phor Koon died aged 92 on May 16, 2015. His will donated his body for medical research at KKU and requested that it be cremated as to avoid a “burden to others” or of anyone taking advantage of his body, as well as preventing conflicts among disciples.

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