Chiangrai Times– Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani province on Monday stirred an internet controversy when it released an article on its website referring to the afterlife of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, claiming the American legend has been reincarnated as a mid-level angel dwelling not far from his Apple office in a parallel world.
According to the temple’s website (hwww.dmc.tv), the article named “Where is Steve Jobs?” was in answer to questions about Jobs’s afterlife that had been asked by a man identified as Tony Tseung, a senior engineer at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
It claimed Mr Tseung sent a letter asking Phrathepyanmahamuni (Luang Por Dhammachayo), the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, whether he knew where Jobs went after his death and how he was faring.
He said Jobs was a practitioner of Buddhism and at one point wanted to become a Buddhist monk, but failed to do it as work kept him busy.
The website said the answers to Mr Tseung’s questions resulted in knowledge gained from Phrathepyanmahamuni’s long-time practice of meditation.
The abbot claimed Jobs is now “a half Witthayathorn, half Yak (Thai word for ‘giant’), which is a mid-level angel. Witthayathorn is the term representing one of the angel types who love to seek knowledge in various sciences. Another trait of his angelic character was a hot temper, he said.
Before Jobs died, he was worried about many things such as his family and work projects, and his life after death.
Jobs is living in a big heavenly palace, the height of a six-storey building, made of white, silver metal and crystal glass, located not far from where he worked when he was alive. He has 20 servants as a result of his worldly virtue, the abbot said.
The content in the article was from a Phrathepyanmahamuni sermon that had been aired on the temple’s cable television channel Dhamma Media Channel (DMC) last week. It was intended to teach the law of karma to Dhammakaya followers, not meant to defame or insult any parties, the website explained.
The website said the article had been disseminated on many websites and social media channels and the text may have been edited, paraphrased or distorted. As a result, it urged people to use care and read the “correct” original text on its website. It also said the “Where is Steve Jobs?” article was only an individual opinion and whether to believe it was up to the audience.
Wat Phra Dhammakaya has been embroiled in controversy over its donation campaigns and claims of miracles. The temple, however, is believed to have millions of followers around the world, including many powerful Thai politicians.