Ever catch yourself thinking about the wild ride of getting older, the stories etched into every wrinkle and gray hair on your body? Or perhaps, you’ve even wondered how you’d look on your death bed? Not to get all morbid here💀😵 but we’re definitely talking about death and aging in this story you’re about to read…
We’re talking about this viral TikTok sensation featuring an elderly man in an orange robe that has captured the hearts of millions, but it has also sparked intriguing discussions and, at times, unfounded rumors.
Keep scrolling to read about Luang Pho Yai, a Thai monk who passed away just before reaching his 110th birthday this year.
1. When his granddaughter started sharing glimpses of his life
Luang Pho Yai, the 109-year-old Buddhist monk from Thailand, became an international sensation thanks to his presence on TikTok. Donned in the traditional orange monk robe, Luang Pho Yai’s videos captured the attention of viewers worldwide. His journey into the limelight began when his granddaughter, Auy Auyaray, started sharing glimpses of his life on her TikTok account @aui.saranya_kh .
2. It all started when one of the videos garnered a staggering 132.3 MILLION views
Auy Auyaray, the monk’s devoted granddaughter, documented videos of his life in the hospital after he suffered a hip injury in January. Through her TikTok updates, viewers watched as Luang Pho Yai’s health appeared to improve, drawing millions of views. One touching video, featuring the monk interacting with his great-granddaughter, garnered a whopping 132.3 million views and 8.4 million likes.
เมื่อเหลนน้อยมาเรียกหา หลวงตาสัมผัสได้ถึงความรักและห่วงใย เรียกมาเคาะหัวให้พรเหลนเลย สาธุๆๆ🙏🙏
Tragically, Luang Pho Yai passed away on the 22nd of March 2023 and Auy Auyaray shared poignant videos showcasing memorial images and funeral ceremonies.
Auyaray’s online portrayal of her grandfather received mixed responses, with some criticizing her for sharing his vulnerable moments, while others offered heartfelt support.
3. Rumor had it that he was a 399-year-old woman!
As Luang Pho Yai’s TikTok videos went viral, internet rumors took root, claiming he was a remarkable 163 year old man. Some internet creators seized the opportunity, resharing Auyaray’s videos without her consent, spreading fake news, misinformation with sensational titles and music for quick clicks and views.
For instance, a YouTube channel called ZyKai media reposted one of her videos with a title asserting that the monk was the world’s oldest person at 163 years old.
Such speculations continued to spread on platforms like TikTok, with even one account weirdly suggesting he was actually a 399-year-old woman (no record of human being has lived that long).
4. Netizens left ruthless & heartless jokes on the comment section
หลวงตาพูดเป็นภาษาอีสานเบาๆว่า “กูอยากแล่นแล้วเนี่ย” โอ้ยยย!! ใจเย็นๆเด้อหลวงตา😁😁 นั่งได้เท่านี้ก็โอเครแล้ว🥰🥰
While many admired Luang Pho Yai, the internet’s darker side couldn’t resist making heartless jokes about his age and condition. Online users playfully called him “bro” and humorously claimed he had outlived dinosaurs.
These ruthless comments demonstrated a lack of empathy for the elderly monk’s situation.
The fact that there have been a lot of comments on @aui.saranya_kh TikToks could be contributing to their popularity. According to TikTok, the more likes and comments a video receives, the more likely it is to show up on other users’ feeds.
6. Is Yai pursuing Sokushinbutsu?
The frail appearance of Luang Pho Yai sparked speculation about whether he was undergoing sokushinbutsu, a unique Buddhist practice in Japan where individuals mummify themselves while still alive. However, it’s important to clarify that he was not partaking in this process.
Auy Auyaray, his granddaughter, requested respect and empathy from those who had misinterpreted the situation and made jokes at his expense.
Luang Pho Yai’s journey from a hospital bed to internet stardom was a unique one.
As we remember this remarkable monk, let us not forget the importance of treating individuals, especially the elderly, with kindness and respect, both online and offline.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to the late Luang Pho Yai’s family.