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Why are Buddhist monks cooked in vats?

Why are Buddhist monks cooked in vats?

Extraordinary abilities attracted people since ancient times, like the ability to read thoughts, move things on distance, clairvoyance and even the ability to fly in the air, like a bird. The most of us would say it’s all fantasy or dreams. Others would deny, but what to do with legends and facts about the wonderful skills of some people? Let’s try to clarify…

People ascribe the biggest number of wonders to Buddhist monks.  Newly an amazing video went through the world, about a monk that meditates calmly sitting in the vat. It would seem as nothing surprising, people in our country also know that bathing in a vat is health-giving and pleasant. But we need to add that the metal vat was full of boiling oil and stood on a big fire.

How it is possible, and what is it all for?

The performance was held in Thailand, in province of Nong Bua Lam Phu. By the way, there are more than 32 thousand of Buddhists temples in this country and there are nearly 400 thousands of monks and their learners.

According to the tradition, every man aged 20-25 must be a monk for at least 2-3 months.

This custom is so important that even Thai kings keep it. Those, who couldn’t be a monk due to some reasons, try not to confess it, because it’s a great shame. Why do they need these so called temporary monks?

It is considered that in such way men understand the Buddhist doctrine better and achieve enlightenment faster. Of course, most of them return to a usual rhythm of life after monastery. But some become learners and later monks, in order to dedicate their life to learning and meditation for self-cognition.    

So when a learner is ready to become a monk, he must pass a certain religious ceremony to prove that he can truly master the sacred doctrine. A man must show his extraordinary abilities, which he received through spiritual self-cognition. One of such "examinations" was cooking in the vat. Throughout the procedure, the monk was in a calm state of meditation. He explained to the passers-by and the audience: "You see that it’s boiling, and it can burn, and I reassured myself that it’s not like that ..."

Despite the fact that photos and videos of the brave monk have struck people around the world, scientists say it’s impossible. A well-known scientist, Mr Jessada Dendouangbripant (Chulalongkorn University) doubts in the supernatural possibilities of a Buddhist monk, motivating them with scientific facts. “It was necessary to measure the temperature to find out if there was boiling oil in the vat. In addition, the cauldron itself has a rather unusual shape, it may have had a double bottom to isolate the heat from the fire. The most likely is that the monks used knowledge, not super skills". The scientist argues that there are methods when you can calmly touch the seemingly boiling oil. “The whole trick is to pour some water into the oil container. Until the oil starts to boil, it will not heat, that is, water will absorb heat, bubbles will be on the surface, and the oil will be just hot, not burning boiling water. Conclusion, water absorbs heat, so oil can not boil ", - explains the specialist.

Nevertheless, staying for several hours in the hot oil, it’s not a pleasure, besides, the exceptional possibilities of Buddhist monks were documented by scientists several times. For example, they can change the temperature at different parts of the body, slow down the metabolism to almost 70% (usually, during a person’s sleep metabolic processes decrease to a maximum of 15%), live without water and food for a long time ... Super power or trick, but the fact is that Thai monks have incredible endurance, sharp mind and great popularity! George Lucas created world-famous "Star Wars" inspired by the power of spirit and desire to do good things, which are preached by Buddhist monks. They became the model of Jedi in a cult film.


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