Buddhist officials in Thailand are on the hunt for a monk that went viral for having well-toned abs.
The still unidentified cleric has been dubbed by netizens as the “six-pack monk” after photos of his exposed abs were posted online and became widely shared on social media.
In the images, the ripped monk is shown holding hand weights while wearing an orange robe around his waist.
The photos, posted on Facebook by user Surasek Kwatijak on Saturday, are now the subject of an investigation initiated by Thailand’s Office of National Buddhism (ONaB), Coconuts Media reports.
Surasek Kwatijak wrote in the images’ caption: “Though working out isn’t really part of a monk’s daily routine, I’ll let it pass this once.”
Upon questioning, Surasek claimed he randomly found the photos on Twitter and doesn’t know where they actually originated.
ONaB, a government agency which presides over Thailand’s religious affairs, has ordered agencies such as the Buddhist protection group and its counterparts in every province to investigate the photos and locate the monk.
ONaB deputy director Narong Songarom noted that while he believes the man may not actually be a real monk, the investigation was initiated just to be sure.
If the said individual does turn up to be an actual monk, will be penalized for his “inappropriateness” as he is reportedly in violation of the 1962 Sangha Act, the law which prescribes a monk’s behaviour in Thailand. While sharing the images is not an actual criminal offense, the agency has also urged the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to have it banned as it reportedly poses a negative impact on people’s faith in Buddhism.
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