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How Thai Buddhist monks helped Leicester City win EPL

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The victory of Leicester City FC at this season’s Barclays Premier League has been a surprise to lovers of the English Premier League. Unknown to  many, the team is strongly linked with Buddhism.
The team have been visited regularly by Thai monk Buddhist monk Phra Prommangkalachan over the last three seasons.

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He has provided the players with good luck charms and even blessed the pitch they play. .
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Leicester’s owner, is reported to be a devout Buddhist, which explains his decision to bring the monks to the club.

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“I hang some amulets on their necks and I gave them these fabric talismans,” he said.
“I’m not sure if they understood what I explained to them about it, but they knew that it would bring them luck.
“He brought monks there to pray for auspiciousness and luck in the game, for the management team and the players,’ he added.

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Leicester City’s billionaire owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is from Thailand and asked a respected Thai Buddhist monk to bless his team at the start of this season.
The blessings of the monks, from the Wat Traimit Withayaram Woraviharn (Golden Buddha) Temple, in Bangkok, might just be the reason the team miraculously won the 2015/2016 English Premier League.
About 10 monks from the temple were flown to Britain for most home games by the club’s Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha to bless the players before the kick-off, before spending the match deep in meditation in a specially designated room at Leicester City’s King Power stadium.

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Thai monks have lashed us with sticks – but it’s all paid off says Leicester’s Jamie Vardy
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has revealed one of the secret’s behind the Foxes incredible great escape this season –  Vardy says that the club’s owners should also be handed some credit, for the additional inspiration they’ve sometimes brought to the dressing room.
“The owners bring the monks over from Thailand and we get a blessing off them,” revealed Vardy, speaking to the Telegraph. “As we were getting changed before the United game, the monks came round.
“They dip the sticks in the holy water and then lash us on our legs and feet. It’s not too hard, its just that you’re literally having a shower, there’s that much water going everywhere. It’s all over your gear you’ve just hung up. “That’s the Thai culture and we are happy for them to do it.” – Jamie Vardy

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That support continues during the team’s away games,   when the monks chant and pray for the team at their temple in Bangkok’s Chinatown district, where the Leicester’s billionaire owner has been a devotee for several years.
“This is not about magic,” Phra Prommangkalachan, who became a monk at the age of 15, told The Telegraph. “We can only offer spiritual support. We believe that helps the players with their good health, with avoiding injuries, with their focus. But they must still perform well.”
He has regularly led delegations of his fellow holy men, dressed in saffron robes, to bless Leicester City since Mr Vichai, who built his fortune on a string of duty free shops, bought the then struggling second tier outfit in 2010.
Flies Thai Monk With Private Jet For Divine Power
Mr Vichai usually flies the monks into Southend airport in Essex on his private jet, sometimes accompanying them on the same flight from Bangkok. It is routine for Thais in all walks of life to seek the blessing of monks for new endeavours and acquisitions – from cars to homes to businesses.
Alex Hylton, Mr Vichai’s former personal matchday assistant at Leicester City, said that the owner also prays in the shrine room for up to 45 minutes before each match.
“He’s clearly very devout,” he said. “It’s obviously unusual for a football club owner to bring along Buddhist monks to games, but now everyone at LCFC is used to it. It seems normal.”
As well as praying during games, they have reportedly overseen the burial of religious images under the turf. Players and fans have also taken to wearing Buddhist amulets and talismanic cloths which have been blessed by the monks.

There they bless the pitch and players before kick-off and then spend the match meditating in shrine room installed inside the stadium by Khun Vichai, a long-time devotee of the monk.

It is all part of what they regard as spreading the “good karma” that comes as a result of the club owner’s community work and his support for the team.
“Khun Vichai is a very strong and devoted Buddhist who has done many good works,” said Phra Prommangkalachan. “His good deeds help generate support which becomes power for Leicester City Football Club. The club is benefitting from that good karma.
“His good deeds are rewarded with the good performances of Leicester City. He is also a very wise man and knows how to manage the club, bring together the team and coaches and make sure their approach is united. The result is their success.”
“When they (Leicester City) were at the bottom of the Premier League, Mr Vichai said ‘we do not have enough merit,’” Phra Prommangkalachan told CNN. “He is a Buddhist who truly believes in good and bad karma.
“So he set about making good karma by building temples and supporting ordained monks both in and out of the country. He was determined to make good karma, and he has become successful.” Karma is not the only thing that is said to have boosted the players’ performance.

Phra Prommangkalachan, who has travelled to the once unfashionable Midlands club several times with the club’s billionaire Thai owner, said he prayed all night for a famous Premier League title win.
It was secured after Tottenham Hotspur could only manage a 2-2 draw at Chelsea.
“I prayed for them from 2am till 4am (local time during the Chelsea-Spurs match)… but the victory does not come from me, it’s from the team and the goodness of the owner,” – Times of India

“If they continue to uphold the law of karma, it will be their power,” said Prommangkalachan. “If they still have consciousness and good intention and determination to do good deeds — power will remain with them forever.”
“I hang some amulets on their necks and I gave them these fabric talismans,” monk Phra Prommangkalachan told AFP.
“I’m not sure if they understood what I explained to them about it, but they knew that it would bring them luck.”
Meditation

“I think at first they were not so sure about our role. But then they got used to us and I believe they now appreciate what we deliver,” he said. “We are all concentrated on a very positive force and they have seen how we can work together.”
“Meditation is all about making the mind as neutral as possible and avoiding excitement and disturbance,” he said, “You must not let winning or losing interrupt this process.”

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