3 Flying Buddhist Monks Face Criticism for Leading Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous (VIDEOS)

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By Vittorio Hernandez | June 18, 2013 12:27 AM EST

In the 1960s there was an American TV show titled The Flying Nun which starred a very young Sally Fields. Her flying, though was in the magical sense, made possible by her veil.

However, three Thai Buddhist monks are now being criticised for flying high in the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous tradition. A video of their lavish lifestyle was posted in YouTube and had gone viral with so far more than 85,000 hits.

Besides riding on a private jet, the video showed one of the monks wearing stylish aviator sunglasses, lugging branded travel bag and even using a pair of high-tech wireless headphones.

Monruedee Bantoengsuk, the administrative officer of the Khantitham Temple in Thailand's Sisaket province confirmed the three high flying monks are from their temple, but promised to explain their behaviour later. The three are on a religious tour in France.

Following the spate of criticisms the three monks - who are supposed to lead simple lifestyles - the Office of National Buddhism warned the three not to repeat their behaviour.

Nopparat Benjawatananun, director general of the office, said the three monks were acting "inappropriately, not composed and not adhering to Buddha's teachings of simplicity and self-restraint."

The director-general urged Buddhist not to spoil the monks by providing them with expensive things such as sports cars or high-tech devices.

"While the monks need to keep themselves abreast of new knowledge, current events and technology, they are restrained to choose the appropriate tools," Nopparat said.

Reports said that it is not only the three monks who were misbehaving but 300 others out of the more than 61,000 Buddhist monks and novices in Thailand. The 300 had been reprimanded for misconduct such as drinking, having sex with women, extorting money, driving cars, scamming and claiming to use black magic.

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