Buddhist monks in Thailand are in hot water after a YouTube video surfaced sometime last week, revealing the monks wearing designer bags while flying on a private jet.
Thailand's Office of National Buddhism has come forward with a new statement explaining its plans to monitor Buddhist monks in the area more closely. The statement is in response to a YouTube video that has surfaced, depicting the monks favoring material objects.
In the video the monks, dress in orange and flying on a private jet, can be seen wearing flashy aviator glasses and packing a Louis Vuitton bag. One monk is rubbing his eyes, apparently stressed, while a second monk sits in the back with earphones. The behavior of the monks has been referred to as "inappropriate."
"When Lord Buddha was alive, there wasn't anything like this. There were no cars, smartphones or cameras, so the rules were much simpler. While the monks need to keep themselves abreast of new knowledge, current events and technology, they are restrained to choose the appropriate tools," the agency's director-general Nopparat Benjawatananun said in a statement this week, according to The Gloss.
Nopparat added that the monks in the video were acting "inappropriately, not composed and not adhering to Buddha's teachings of simplicity and self-restraint."
It is unclear where the monks might have collected such expensive items. The director suggested that at times, followers of Buddhism often share gifts with monks to show their appreciation.
"In many cases, it was the followers who gave the monks the luxury. Some bought them sports cars. This is by no means necessary," he said.
This is not the first time that Thailand has experienced problems with individuals who have chosen to be monks. Last year, according NBC, about 300 out of 61,416 Buddhist monks and novices in Thailand were reprimanded due to misconduct that included alcohol consumption, having sex with women, and extortion. Certain individuals were removed from monkhood.