Boys rescued from Thai cave ordained at Buddhist temple

The 11 boys, ages 11 to 16, became Buddhist novices in a religious ceremony, while their 25-year-old coach was ordained as a monk.

The young soccer teammates and their coach who were rescued after being trapped in a cave in northern Thailand were ordained Wednesday at a Buddhist temple, a merit-making activity to show thanks for their rescue.

The 11 boys, ages 11 to 16, became Buddhist novices in a religious ceremony, while their 25-year-old coach was ordained as a monk. One boy did not participate because he isn’t Buddhist.

The group prepared for their ordinations on Tuesday with ceremonies that included shaving their heads. The white clothes they donned then were exchanged Wednesday for the traditional orange robes. They prayed with guests and local officials attending the ceremony.

The ordainment ceremony took place at a mountaintop temple in Chiang Rai province. The group will spend a bit more than a week there.

Buddhist males in Thailand are traditionally expected to enter the monkhood, often as novices, at some point in their lives to show gratitude, often toward their parents for raising them. It’s believed that once a person is ordained they gain merit that is also extended to their parents.

Related: After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

Related: Daring rescue saves all 12 boys, soccer coach from Thai cave

In this case, said Praphun Khomjoi, chief of the regional branch of the National Office of Buddhism, the boys were dedicating the act of entering the monkhood to a volunteer diver and former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, who died while diving during a mission to supply the cave with oxygen tanks essential to helping the boys’ rescue.

“The teachings that we would like to the boys to learn is the awareness of themselves and the importance of their lives,” Praphun said. “It is extraordinary to be born as humans. And as we are given this opportunity, we should use Buddhist principles or principles of any religions as guidance for living. That’s the lesson that we want them to learn.”

Guests included Saman’s family and a doctor who accompanied the team inside cave for nine days while waiting for the divers to bring them out.

The 12 boys and their coach were released from a hospital last week. They became trapped on June 23 and were finally found by two British divers on July 2. They were brought out of the cave in a daring rescue mission that ended on July 10. Doctors say their basic health is good.

Tassanee Vejpongsaa, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Holiday light displays of Sylvan Lake

Readers of the Sylvan Lake News submitted photos of their holiday light displays

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

PHOTO: NexSource Power Inc. donates to Sylvan Lake Food Bank

NexSource Power Inc. donated $1,536 to the Food Bank

Sylvan Lake’s residential tax to increase 2.74 per cent in 2019

The Town presented the proposed 2019 Budget at an open house on Dec. 11 at Good Earth Coffeehouse

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Most Read