Luang Phor (= reverend father, venerable monk) Kasem was born as Kemagoh Pikku in a family of descendants of the Lampang King from the Lanna Period.
He became a novice monk in BE2468 after the death of his uncle, the abbot of Wat Bunyeun. In BE2470, he went to Bangkok, Wat Setuwan to study Pali language and after some time he returned back to the North to continue studies in Wat Seelom and Wat Bunyawaht.
After passing his exams in Pali in BE2476, he was ordained as a monk at Wat Bunyeun at the age of 21. His preceptor was Tahn Jow Koon Tammajindah.
He met Luang Phor Krubah Gaen, a very famous monk in North Thailand, a forest monk who had rich experience in meditation. Luang Phor Kasem became his disciple and started practising with him in forests and cemeteries.
When the abbot of Wat Bunyeun - Pra Dtomkum left his post and the temple (because of boredom), the villagers approached young Luang Phor Kasem (still deep in practicing meditation) to return to Lampang and fill the post of a new abbot.
Luang Phor Kasem continued his learning dhamma and practicing meditation even when he was the abbot. The more he trained, the more he realised how uncertain the life is. However his duties as an abbot kept him busy the way that was far away from his spiritual intentions more than he thought. Therefore, in BE2492 he left the Wat and settled at Susahn Sahlahwangthan, a cemetery surrounded by the jungle at Lampang suburbs. The area was looking very different to the well developed site we as can see it nowadays. Many people were scared to even go there since it was said to be haunted. LP Kasem was determined to keep practicing the highest meditation right there. He would sit in front of the crematory and watch the burning corpses. Whether in hot sun or raining, Luang Phor would just sit quietly and watched dead corpses being burned to ashes.
Luang Phor Kasem would sit deep in meditation for as long as 3 months, without any shelter under the hot sun or heavy rain. Even though his robes were wet of rain, or during the cold season when the cold wind blew, Luang Phor Kasem would just sit quietly without any complain or request. Also, he would stay without food for as long as 49 days. Since BE2514, he only had bathed once a year, but there was no strange or foul odour around him, despite the sweat was pouring down his body under the roasting sun. And more surprisingly, without a shelter or mosquito net, he never suffered from mosquito bites at the cemetery.
In his meditations he was often in touch with his friend Luang Phoo Doo from Wat Sakae, Ayuthaya.
Luang Phor Kasem would always point out that as a forest monk he does not require any property. The only things he owned were an alms bowl, his robe he was wearing and a piece of human bone to practice meditations. He did not even own any shoes or even pillow to sleep. To him, a pillow was a luxury. He used to sleep on the ground at the same spot where he was meditating. Whatever people gave to him, he would give away to the other monks. He was just completely determined to find the truth of life. He asked for nothing in life - although, as a descendant of the royal blood in Lampang, he could enjoy all the luxury.
Luang Phor Kasem passed away on Jan 15, 2539 (7:42 pm) at the Lampang hospital. He was 84. A memorial and mausoleum were built at the area by the cemetery and his dead body was placed in a glass coffin for reasons that make yet many local people upset. However he had reputedly never wished to be burned.
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