The Monk that Couldn't Die

Everything he had worked toward all of his life was for naught. Buddhism had failed him.

A Buddhist monk in Myanmar had dedicated his life to discovering total enlightenment. In Buddhism, this means that a person comes to a full understanding of the four noble truths that will end all suffering and the endless cycle of rebirth known as reincarnation. This journey is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. Many monks never reach full enlightenment. This monk had worked his way through the different stages of Buddhism over several decades. He was entirely devoted to his religion, highly respected, and well known for having reached such a high stature in the monastery. But he was discontented with his life and wanted to find fulfillment in death to reach nirvana, the final resting place of complete peace. His mentor believed he was ready for this highest and most challenging stage of enlightenment. He encouraged the monk to order his spirit to leave his body and embrace the final stage of death. The monk had learned a long time ago that he was in control of his spirit, and he had spent a lifetime teaching other monks the same truth. Yet when he tried to command his spirit to leave his body, absolutely nothing happened. Everything he had worked toward all of his life was for naught. Buddhism had failed him. Shortly after this revelation, a Christian evangelist visited the monastery to share about Jesus. The monk listened carefully as the man of God spoke. He felt a stirring within him, something new and different, and he realized he was hearing the truth for the first time in his life. The monk accepted Jesus with enthusiasm. He had finally found what he had been searching for. He wanted to leave immediately but his superiors did not support his decision, not after 40 years as a Buddhist. When he tried to remove his robes, his final act of leaving the religion, his superiors refused to take them. They did not want to see someone with so much authority and respect leave the faith. But the man persisted, and after two months of living among the monks as a born again Christian, his superiors saw he was not going to change his mind. They accepted his monk’s robes and sent him on his way. He was free, totally and wholly liberated with no more rules to follow and no more people to please! The God he now served was gracious and forgiving and the former monk wanted to tell everyone! He was given a sugar cane machine in order to earn a living and continue his independence to spread the Good News of Jesus.

This former monk was compelled by the truth of the Gospel, just as Paul was in 1 Corinthians 9:16, where it reads: For if I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to boast of. For I am under compulsion, for woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel.

The need to share the Good News of Christ has never been so urgent. We must remain compelled like others past and present, to preach the truth of Jesus.

He encouraged the monk to order his spirit to leave his body and embrace the final stage of death.

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