Buddhist monk ends nine-day ritual without food, water or sleep


A Buddhist monk on Wednesday finished a grueling nine-day ritual of not eating, drinking, or sleeping as he chanted sutras 100,000 times.

The endurance test by 41-year-old Kogen Kamahori made him a living form of the Buddha, according to his temple’s beliefs.

He was the 13th monk to complete the test since the end of WWII.

The monk emerged from a training facility at Mount Hiei, a holy mountain that straddles Kyoto and Shiga prefectures, to be greeted by some 600 onlookers and members of the media.

Dressed in a white robe, he appeared shortly before 2:00 a.m. and was assisted by fellow monks.

The program is considered the toughest part of a seven-year training that includes a total of 1,000 nonconsecutive days walking around the mountain in a bid to achieve enlightenment.

He started in 2011 and had completed 700 days of walking before beginning his fast. He is expected to finish the mountain walk in the fall of 2017.

  • Karagarga

    Good to go!

  • 151E

    A feat as impressive as it is pointless.

    • KetsuroOu

      Your comment is pointless, but not impressive.

      Meditate on that.

      • 151E

        A cleverly concise riposte with a nice inversion of my wording, but I really feel it is the “Meditate on that” at the end that ties it all together and gives your retort that extra bit of playful bite. Kudos. Have a rec.

        However, beyond simple word play, perhaps you can enlighten me as to the value of this David Blaine-equse stunt. I was under the impression that Buddhism primarily seeks (1) personal liberation from (a rather dubiously a prori assumed) cycle of birth and death, i.e. Nirvana, through satori, and (2) to ease the suffering of other sentient beings. I fail to see how this admittedly impressive feat of endurance furthers either of those goals, thus largely pointless, but I am open to persuasion.

      • Silae

        You have already answered your own question if you read the article carefully:

        “The endurance test by 41-year-old Kogen Kamahori made him a living form of the Buddha, according to his temple’s beliefs.”

        He is achieving your first stated goal regarding personal liberation, by becoming a living form of Buddha he is escaping the cycle.

      • 151E

        I did actually read that and, fair enough, point taken, if that is what he and his temple members truly believe. But it seems to me a rather odd, weak, empty criterion by which to substantiate buddhahood, and I wonder how many other Buddhists outside his temple or sect would recognise him as such on the merits of this alone. Impressive as his mental fortitude is, this feat feels to me more spectacle than substantive.

      • Tando

        Just look at the way Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment. You will discover that he did pretty much the same.

      • KetsuroOu

        I have some good news, and some bad news, for you.

        The good news is, your question has an answer.

        The bad news is, you must fast for nine days to get it.

        : )

      • Sam Gilman

        If you look up the “four noble truths” (and the eightfold path that the fourth truth refers to) it should become clearer. For example, you’ve separated personal liberation (a double edged phrasing) from easing the suffering of others, but in Buddhism they are profoundly connected.

  • zer0_0zor0