Luang Phor Khantidjitto (Phra Palad Semit) or more commonly known as Arjahn Somjit Sukkho is the most revered and respected Master of Charm and Fortune in the modern history of Thai Buddhism. His loving kindness had touched numerous devastated and broken families of which he had helped to rebuild and reunite; and his grace had also been felt by many who fell into financial difficulties of whom he helped back onto the path of prosperity. His Venerable had in his lifetime performed so many miracles that touched the lives of many people from the Kingdom of Thailand to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and to as far as Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America. He has devoted his entire life to serving the true Lord Buddha and he had learned, practiced, and taught the Faith well. He was dedicated to enhancing and bettering the lives of people that in his lifetime he had made various images, amulets, and talismans to such effects and purposes.
A Brief History of Luang Phor Somjit
Luang Phor Somjit was born in Tambon Chaina Sena, Chanwat Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya on January 16, 2481 and has since childhood took a strong interest in Buddhist studies, with particular interest in spirituality and the “inner path” which pertains to the unknown including necromancy. He has a benevolent character and loved helping people, especially the poor and sick. From young, he showed great respect for monks observing the Sivali precepts and would make offerings to those monks and listen to their Dharma. Therefore, at the age of eight, he was accepted as a disciple of a legendary guru monk Luang Pu Yim of Wat Chao Chet, Sena District, Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya.
Wat Chao Chet is a historical temple which was partially destroyed during the war with Burma but was rebuilt in Buddhist year 2335. His Venerable was thought the Dharma and “inner path” by Luang Pu Yim until he was conscripted at the age of twenty-one. Thus, he disrobed and entered the Royal Military College in Saraburi Province for 2 years before returning to Wat Chao Chet at the age of twenty-three where he was officially ordained as a monk and assumed the name of Phra Kantidjitto.
Phra Somjit, as he was then known, became highly learned in Buddhist scriptures and vipasanna meditation. He was sent by Luang Pu Yim to nearby temples to teach both the Buddhist scriptures and meditation to monks and laypeople. Soon after, Phra Somjit became a popular Dharma and meditation master throughout the ancient city of Ayutthaya. He also began giving lessons in Wat Prasat in Supanburi Province. After a couple of years travelling around teaching and cultivating, Phra Ajahn Somjit, as he became known, returned to Wat Chao Chet and studied the mystical component of meditation from Luang Pu Wai of Wat Kradongthong. Luang Pu Wai was a renowned thudong monk and every year he will walk to Wat Siprawat at Nonthanburi before travelling to Wat Pladuchimpri in Krungthep Maha Nakhon. Luang Pu Wai had spent sixty years in the jungle and Phra Ajahn Somjit spent a total of six years under Luang Pu Wai’s instruction until he had his third eye or what is commonly known as “heavenly eye” opened before he was allowed to leave the jungle.
Owing to the lineage proximity, Phra Ajahn Somjit was also sent to Wat Bang Nomkho, Bang Nomkho, Sena District, Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya and Wat Nak-Tang Nok, Na Mai, Amphoe Bang Sai, Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya to learn and practice under the instruction of two other legendary guru monks Luang Pu Parn and Luang Pu Chung respectively.
The three legendary guru monks, Luang Pu Yim, Luang Pu Parn and Luang Pu Chung were collectively known as the three guru Tigers of the ancient city. To-date, amulets made and consecrated by these monks remained highly sought after and expensive. Even images and amulets originating from their temples command premium prices. Phra Ajahn Somjit’s intelligence and kind character won the approval and trust of both Luang Pu Parn and Luang Pu Chung who then imparted their knowledge and skills unreservedly to Phra Ajahn Somjit who in turn mastered and practised well. The origin of many of Ajahn Somjit’s amulets may be traced back to these three legendary guru monks.
After inheriting the knowledge from those three prominent guru monks, Phra Ajahn Somjit continued with his cultivation by travelling on foot to Wat Chaturamit, Wat Dangramarang before temporarily putting up at Wat Suthat where a relative was then abbot of the temple. Not long thereafter, he was also assigned to Wat Rakhang Kositaram, Thanon Arun Amarin, Khwaeng Siriraj, Khet Bangkok Noi, Krungthep Maha Nakhon to teach Dharma and meditation. His Venerable prominence rocketed and became a well-known guru master in Wat Rahkang Kositaram which caught the attention of the royal family. He was appointed Permanent Secretary of the royal family and assigned as abbot of Wat Dao Dungsaram, a royal monastery built during the reign of King Rama I at Bang Yi Khan, Bang Phlat, Bangkok.
The prominence and ability of Luang Phor Somjit rose even quicker after assuming the title of Permanent Secretary of the royal family and taking the office as abbot of Wat Dao Dungsaram, a royal monastery. Then in the Buddhist year 2525, abbot of a small and very rundown historical temple at the Bang Yi Khan district, Luang Phor Boonrod Sumethorong personally visited Wat Dao Dungsaram and asked for Luang Phor Somjit’s help to rebuilt Wat Noi Nanghong, at 346 Soi Charan Sanitwong 40 Khwaeng Bang Yi Khan, Khet Bang Phlat, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon. At that time, most people assumed Luang Phor Boonrod’s efforts will definitely fail. Who would want to leave the glamorous position of an abbot of Wat Dao Dungsaram, a royal monastery and take a role nothing more than a helper in a rundown temple? Yes most normal people would definitely not! However, albeit young, Luang Phor Somjit was already an enlightened being. To the surprise of everybody, he accepted Luang Phor Boonrod’s invitation.
In the course of helping to build Wat Noi Nanghong, Ajahn Somjit utilised his learning of the ancient art, the mysterious “inner path”, by performing rituals and conducting ceremonies for believers and, at the same time, he had also made and consecrated various holy images and amulets that help believers in their charisma, fortune, career, and family. Amongst his more prominent works are: Rheesi Petcherukhan, Ying-Tong, Bpatit, Somdej Leknampit, Somdej Nerwan, Somdej Sam-Heng, Somdej Heng-Talot, Khunpan Leknampit, Khunpan Pim-Lek, Kumanthong, Sekti-Sivali-Nana-Thong, Phra Pidta, and many more.
His Rheesi Petcherukhan amulets are most rare and sought after with prices of certain “phims” or moulds hitting as high as 400,000 baht. Even the last batch made in the Buddhist year 2530 which market value five years back was 80,000 baht has now climbed to 200,000 baht. The first batch of 5 inches Phra Narai Petcherukhan images has also hit a record high of 600,000 baht. Prices of other sacred images such as Ying-Tong, Rheesi, and et cetera are currently all well above 200,000 baht. For this reason, there appear to be many imitation products flooding the market.
Believe it or not, whilst most prominent monks took decades to built or rebuilt a standard Thai temple but Luang Phor Somjit merely took a few years to not only restore Wat Noi Nanghong to its past glory but also expanded it 10 times its original size. Furthermore, besides restoring and expanding Wat Noi Nanghong, His Venerable had also helped restore many old temples in different provinces and helped provide for education to children of poor families. However, with the speed Luang Phor Somjit was going made Luang Phor Boonrod extremely worried for His Venerable’s health, knowing that over-exertion in the “inner-path” inevitably shortens one’s life. However, Luang Phor Somjit was not in the least worried. On the contrary, in the Buddhist year 2534, he told his assembly of disciples that he was a monk in his previous life but due to specific reason he was not able to reach nirvana and, thus, he was here merely to complete what he had not completed in his previous life, which is to enter nirvana. Therefore, indeed his life will be a short one.
His Venerable continued performing his duties to help both temples and laypeople. He travelled extensively throughout Asia and also part of the western continent to preach Theravada Buddhism. Shortly after returning from a trip to Singapore, His Venerable was requested to perform a cleansing ritual on October 10, 2537. After completing that ritual, His Venerable collapsed and was sent to the Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok. A couple of days after his discharged from hospital, he was again admitted on October 21, 2537. According to temple records, His Venerable summoned all senior monks of his lineage and a few of his direct relatives and told them to arrange for his discharge as he will be entering parinibbana in a week’s time. Again, on October 26, 2537, Luang Phor Somjit summoned Luang Phor Boonrod to the hospital and this time demanded that he be immediately returned to the temple. Luang Phor Boonrod acceded and brought His Venerable back to the temple.
Once back in the temple, His Venerable summoned all monks and told them about his coming parinibbanna. He instructed that his body should only rest for 100 days in the temple for people to pay their last respect and thereafter to be cremated. He spent the night of October 26, 2537 with Luang Phor Boonrod and other senior monks, instructing them on his passing and will. After performing his prayers on October 27, 2537, Luang Phor Somjit took his last breath and entered into parinibbanna at 12.13 hours.
When news of His Venerable demise broke out, the whole of Bang Yi Khan District was flooded with devotees that traffic almost came to a standstill. Luang Phor Somjit took his last mortal breath on the afternoon of October 27, 2537 but He continues to live and protect those who hold their faith in His Venerable.
Master Tan was officially ordained at one of Thailand’s historical temple, Wat Noi Nanghong, by Chao Khun Pratheap of Wat Pathom Chedi and was formally accepted as a disciple by Luang Phor Somjit on December 1, 2534. Master Tan learned and practiced under His Venerable and other prominent guru monks of the lineage for many years and remains, hitherto, affiliated to the various temples of association. Therefore, on each January 16 and October 27, and 15th day of the lunar seventh month, we conduct the ancient Thai custom of “wai kru” to honour and remember our teacher Luang Phor Somjit and His teachings. Incremental thereof is also the ritual of divine lineage and offerings to Luang Phor Somjit and Rheesi of our “inner path”. This regular ritual helps disciples coordinate internal and external energy, remove obstacles and bad luck, and bring peace, happiness, wealth and prosperity. Anyone who joins us in this ritual, whether physically or spiritually, will also receive the blessings from Luang Phor Somjit and all the Rhessi within our lineage.