A Buddha statue was unexpectedly found inside a mango tree when it was being cut down during landscaping works at a temple in Thailand’s eastern Chonburi province.
It is believed that the statue dates back to the era of the first abbot who lived in the Nongsang Pracha Bamroong temple about a hundred years ago.
The statue was discovered when the current abbot asked monks to improve the temple’s landscape to prepare for a Nov 5 event.
A tree cutter was brought in to help trim the trees on the temple’s premises.
While cutting down a 10m-tall mango tree, whose trunk measured 80cm in diameter, the tree cutter stumbled upon a small emerald Buddha statue within the tree’s trunk.
The statue was then carefully extracted and kept in the abbot’s room. It is not clear when the statue was found.
Reporters who visited the temple noted the diverse range of tree species within the temple grounds.
They were guided to the spot where the mango tree had been cut, now merely a stump.
A monk explained that a tree cutter had been brought in from outside as the person would need to remove the wood from the premises.
During the process of cutting the tree and splitting its trunk, the hidden Buddha statue was discovered.
The green statue, which portrayed a smiling figure, appeared to have suffered damage from the use of a saw during the cutting.
Initial inspection suggested that the statue was quite old, possibly more than 100 years old, and likely from the era of the first temple abbot.
The current abbot is the third in the temple’s history. The mystery of how the statue ended up inside the tree trunk remains unsolved.
As of now, the Buddha statue is housed in the abbot’s bedroom. It is not known whether it will be restored for public worship. — The Nation/ANN