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古曼童金佛童:消除迷信和虛假

古曼童開光

在我們之前的文章“古曼童”中,我們試圖通過消除錯誤的謊言,過分強調神秘主義和放縱迷信來對泰國佛教以理性方法來瞭解和分析。巧合的是,在2018年7月20日,與幾位台灣客戶的對話促使我們認為有必要更深入地探討這個話題。什麼原因促使我們的決定呢?或許是我們對市場無知吧!我們已經從事這個行業已有二十多年,但我們還沒有聽說過古曼童有一個“大哥哥”或一個被稱為“大哥族”的酋長。我們的困惑可能是荒謬的,但是,我們還是要探個究竟。所以,我們通過互聯網進行了一些信息搜索,並且,像往常一樣,我們得到大量未經驗證的信息。

然而,很幸運地,當我們用泰語“พี่จุก”來搜索時,我們直接被導入了瓦蒜鑾佛寺的 網站且發現一篇名為“帕瓦批族古曼貼卡題”的文章,該文章是由翁珀恩亦延澇女士撰寫有關”批族“的起源。我們已經重新發佈了上述文章,並把資料來源歸由翁珀恩亦延澇女士和瓦蒜鑾佛寺。將“批族”翻譯成中文的“大哥族”可能也導致了失實陳述。如果有人需要字面翻譯,就讓我們提供微勞吧!“พี่”是“兄弟”,“大哥”,“大姐”,或“先生”等的總稱而“จุก”是奶嘴,因此,“พี่จุก” 是指“奶嘴兄弟”,不過經翻譯拼音便成“大哥族”。

儘管如此,我們也會儘快提供這篇文章中英文版本的更新。總而言之,該文章既不支持也不肯定其他作者所假設的任何不確之談。批族是瓦蒜鑾佛寺的古曼童的名字,而不是被推測的古曼童“酋長”或“大哥大”。唯一正確的信息是,批族出現在鑾波麥之前,並提出幫助籌集資金讓鑾波麥修建寺廟。除此之外,批族就像任何其他古曼童一樣,是“囝仔”神,有助於增強信徒的運氣,商業,事業和保護等等作用。此外,如同我們的前文所提,在瓦蒜鑾佛寺的網站上也特別指出,批族不是幽靈或靈魂,祂是古曼貼即古曼童天神,如果家中已有神桌,那就必須把批族和“關帝,像神,五王,觀音或其他神靈”同桌供奉。試想,如是鬼怪,能跟神明一起供奉嗎?

泰國佛教在許多方面,特別是有關晦澀神秘的那一方面,是一個即有趣又具爭議的主題,使許多人感到困惑,迷茫甚至偏執。古曼童在有關神秘主論題中名列前茅。我們不是在這裡“賣膏藥”,而是與讀者們分享我們對泰國佛教與晦澀神秘之間聯繫的概念。它是關於生命的可能性與業力因果報應法則相關,是關於兩種科學的相互作用,其中事物從物理存在開始,並且對延續影響進入晦澀神秘製作,和反之亦然。古曼童就存在於此波長範圍內。但是我們必須在此刻重申,古曼童的存在等同於我們早期文章中提到的天神,故其存在可以根據天體神祇壽命來計算。

不幸的是,“古曼童”這個詞已被用於人類從災難中至重生的循環,以描述許多佛教基礎故事中的業力報應,其中抱過入世前的幽靈階段,入世為人類遭遇因果過程,到最終死亡後再次成為鬼魂。循環重新開始重生,業力報應並重複演變,直到該人修成正果得到解脫為止。在這些故事中,雖然目標通常是善意的,但不幸的是,古曼童和皮德克(鬼仔)之間的劃分被誤傳的信息給破壞和消除了,導致可怕的迷信和某些邪惡副產品的演變和產生。這些由墮胎引起的故事中通常描繪的是小鬼(皮德克)而不是古曼童(金童),但是,一般對宗教亦懂非懂的編劇人員們都太任意地使用了“古曼童”這個詞,間接誤導了觀眾們,導致錯誤的宗教觀念。

如果觀眾夠細心觀察的話,編劇人員們一般都喜歡用小女鬼多過小男鬼,但是他們還是把小女鬼稱之為古曼童。讓我們在這裡為讀者提供一道配菜,在泰國文化中,古曼童的女性對手稱為古曼莉。這是許多人所不知道的事情,特別是外國人,可能古曼莉不如古曼童出名,所以編劇人員們便乾脆把小女鬼也叫古曼童。此外,這些神秘故事中缺少了一種必要的儀式,以便產生一個由咒語控制的嬰兒幽靈。一個小鬼不是墮胎的自然結果,否則在目前這個文明世界,我們將會有太多的小鬼到處狂奔了唄!除此外,鬼仔的先決條件是一個完全發育的胎兒,它與其母親一起死亡,再通過黑魔法將其從母親的子宮中取出,並將其靈魂召回胎盤。到目前為止,只有“坤平 – 軍閥的傳說“戲中有向觀眾介紹了這段程序。

坤平將軍金身

該過程很複雜,產品自然稀少且昂貴。坦白地說,這在泰國是一種刑事罪,可能在大多數其他國家也同樣是一種刑事罪。如果你認為你可以以個幾百或幾千塊錢就買到一個小鬼仔任你為所欲為,我們建議你不如給自己買一個Chucky收藏版品來得更有價值。

Chucky

儘管有這些謬誤,為了使其更完美,編劇們隨後增加了越來越多的荒唐添加內容。如果觀眾有主意到的話,在這些故事中,業力報應通常是在未來十年後方出現,並且 隨著時間的推移,小鬼也已成長為一個小男孩或小女孩。也許,編劇發現一個嬰兒甚至一個牙牙學語的小孩都無法造成太大的恐懼和殺傷,所以他們概念化了小鬼需要長大。這條故事後來被稱為 “賣”鬼仔的人所借用,然而,這“概念”本身就具有太多疑問,其中一個是個非常基本的問題,假設所述傳播屬真,那麼小鬼不是最終會長大成為一個成年鬼,一個老 鬼甚至一個垂死鬼嗎?好笑吧,不是嗎?或者,不,該是好可怕……被人愚弄了!這些都是故事講述者無法預見的漏洞和逆境,但仍然有很多人還是因為本身的邪念而遭受神棍給騙了。

實際上,古曼童既不是鬼故事,也不是坤平將軍文學中的典故,它是關於圍繞生命週期的宇宙定律,但這些定義在一般故事中都沒有令人滿意的描述出來。這個宇宙定律 是通過關於業力因果報應法則的佛教哲學來演變和解釋的。對那些不瞭解佛教概念的人,特別是南傳佛教概念,這些故事內容通常是困惑的,因此破譯其表麵價值信息不可避免地導致對泰國佛教和古曼童 的錯誤理解。這聽起來可能會對無知者造成很大的傷害,但不幸的是,真相往往是不會令人愉快的,特別是當它與個人信念產生矛盾時。

作為泰國佛教信徒和實踐者,且懷有一絲學術基礎,請允許我假設這個世界不可能僅僅依靠純粹的科學存在,儘管科學和技術都在不斷發展,但在這些不為人知的情況下仍然存在 著一些科學和技術既不能解釋也不能涵蓋的事項。然而,拒絕不明事項的存在除了隱瞞無知和沮喪之外,也沒有任何有益的目的。同樣的,迷信在實體上或心靈上都沒有積極 的貢獻。溫和派學者最近開始接觸雙重存在理論和概念,但我認為這種理論雖然對心靈提供款曲和對科學添加光澤,但也僅此而已。它仍然沒有解釋科學上的模糊地帶,即 隱藏在某個空間範圍內的神秘。代替雙重存在理論,我們更傾向於通過雙重科學的視角來觀察世界和泰國佛教,這是兩種科學的共存,即純科學和心靈科學。

我們並不否認隱藏於某個空間範圍內的神秘感,我們將其歸類為心靈科學,但我們堅持拒絕主要基於虛假和無知的迷信。作為泰國佛教徒,你必須要瞭解泰國佛教的基本原則,那就是“盤吶”,一個巴利詞語,意思是智慧。您可能沒有具備知識庫,但您必須擁有或至少培養識別和拒絕謊言的能力。故事可能很有趣也很動人,內容可能與您的個人價值觀一致,無論如何卻不能與事實混淆,成為生活的一部分或一個生活方式。再舉一個例子,重生,在佛教宗旨明確指出,眾生將在死後靈魂重返輪迴,那試問在佛教界內誰有權無視這一宗旨把亡魂以法術剝去輪迴使其淪陷成鬼仔?像這樣的簡單分析便能很明顯的告訴你,篡改死者靈魂非佛教行為,更不可能和教規嚴厲的泰國佛教扯上任何關係。因此,不要讓自己無知或邪念誤導,陷入一種非佛教的生活方式。

泰國南傳佛教受戒儀式

泰國佛教文物商店的許多業主都會聲稱自己曾經在泰國當過僧侶,以便對南傳佛教道統有一定或深入的瞭解。我當然也不例外。在這篇文章中,我將陳述我在泰國一座歷史悠久的寺廟中,依據泰國佛法受戒的過程。我使用了“依據泰國佛法”的描述是因為泰國南傳佛教受戒儀式(具足戒)是遵循釋迦牟尼佛陀所制定的古老的秩序和佛教修道院規則(維納亞)且為泰國2505年“僧伽法案”所管制。在當代泰國,隨著旅遊業的興起,許多寺廟都非正式地降低受戒儀式的先決條件以方便外國人請求剃度為僧。儘管如此,若非根據佛教寺院規則進行的任何儀式都是無效的,無論寺廟的動機是否是要為他人開啟方便之門或如何,剃度者都不是真正僧侶,只能說寺廟開了方便之門給這些請求剃度的外國人一個心靈上的安慰。因此,剃度者必須熟悉聖職任命過程且依法一一通過。我不會重述整個泰國南傳佛教寺院規則,但只在此分享我個人經歷足矣。


我將把泰國南傳佛教受戒儀式分為兩部分,即納迦的剃度和正式進入維納亞。

納迦的剃度

泰國南傳受戒儀式到如今仍然採用原始佛教語言巴利文進行,以保持一定程度的神聖和莊嚴形式。這泰國神聖任命儀式不以任何其他語言進行。老實說,巴利文是一種沒有多少人熟悉的語言。我也不例外。因此,在我的 神聖 職任命之前,我請求泰國朋友把整個儀式過程如劇本般的誦讀給我聽,而我將其發音用注音給記下,並且我的泰國朋友也不厭其煩地把整個巴利文所記載的儀式含義一五一十的為我解釋。我把這些資料帶了回去,直到我將整個“劇本”記住後,我才又回到了寺廟正式要求被任命為僧。

那是在2534年12月1日左右的清晨,我在泰國曼谷一座歷史悠久的佛寺,瓦耐南鴻佛寺時代由一位備受尊敬的冥想禪師,來自瓦道東薩嵐佛寺的鑾菩蘋達瑪所建造的。兩個多世紀以來,瓦耐南鴻佛寺一直是泰國佛教的重要中心,現任住持鑾菩文若更是目前為數不多的巴利語言專家之一。

瓦耐南鴻佛寺

瓦耐南鴻佛寺

我已故的父親為我受戒儀式啟動了剃度儀式過程開端,他為我剃了第一縷頭髮,代表他批准我進入維納亞和授予他對我的祝福。接下來是由我 師兄瑪哈巴Maha Bard啟發納迦的剃度儀式,師兄口中唸唸有詞地剃光了我的頭,眉毛,並用純淨的白水塗抹我,這代表了我身心的清潔,一心向善。

父親為我剃了第一縷頭髮

師兄瑪哈巴為我剃度

納迦儀式的根源可以追溯到佛陀時代,話說當時,有一條蛇(巴利語稱之為納迦)將自己變成人形並被任命為僧侶,但是當他的身份被發現時,佛陀召喚了它 並告訴他只有人類方可以做和尚。佛陀賜予納迦五戒,以便他在下輩子獲得人類的肉身,從而允許他進入維納亞。與此同時,佛陀宣佈所有未來的僧侶候選人將在正式授予僧袍之前皆以“納迦”稱之,而且受戒儀式的前端便稱為“納迦”儀式。

納迦打扮

納迦然後打扮成:


1.長袖白襯衫

2.白色圍裙


3.白色背帶


4.納迦腰帶。


5.白色長袍卷滿了金色


6.項鍊。

寺廟環繞遊行

當納迦儀式完成後,親朋戚友和祝福者都狂歡起來,音樂將響起,人們也隨著跳起舞來,開始了一陣寺廟環繞遊行。

祭拜典禮

寺廟環繞遊行的過程中實際上也是一種儀式,是對靈界發出公告公佈我即將剃度為僧侶,它們應該高興並挺身而出來分享和接受功德。 這就是為什麼當我環繞寺廟時,我不得不停下來為靈魂獻祭 。

在對靈界發出公告公佈我即將剃度為僧侶後,我被招到“薩拉”或簡稱為聖殿,聽我未來師父泰國著名人緣大師鑾波順治蘇赫講道。他告訴我,如果我成功地成為一名正式的僧人,他將接受我為他的徒弟。

正式進入維納亞

正式進入維納亞

在獲得恩師的祝福之後不久,我便被傳喚到“梧泊屬”或受戒院。那時,大廳僧侶聚集,好不莊嚴。在我抵達受戒院門口便被兩名高僧長老在入大約十二英呎 處給攔住了。那是代表受戒儀式正式開始了。如前所述,只要是巴利語言,我就是文盲,因此,我焦急地,專注地聽取了兩名長老以巴利語誦出經文,等待著我所背好的對答出現。

當我順利通過“安塔拉亦卡達嘛”即使進入維納亞的障礙,並被召喚出現在僧伽面前時,我終於鬆了一口氣。在我進入受戒院的那一刻,我從贊助者手中接過加沙。僧伽會眾是由一位重量級高僧昭君蘇帖(現稱昭君帕帖)主持,他是瓦帕葩屯徹底佛寺的住持。昭君帕帖是我的戒律導師,負責我在整個僧侶生涯中的良好行為且堅守佛門227條戒律。儀式繼續進行,我跪倒在僧伽面前,把僧袍放在我的左邊,這樣我就可以把供品一一呈上給戒律導師昭君帕帖以及兩位高級監考長老鑾波蘇博(前瓦耐南鴻佛寺的住持)和鑾波文若(現任瓦耐南鴻佛寺的住持)。接著,我便以巴利語朗誦芭蘭帕查經文三次請求出家。然後我的戒律導師在發出正向和反向命令之前指導我進行冥想。他隨後將內袍放在我的頭上,然後把剩下的束縛還給了我,讓我換上 。

在我穿上袈裟之後,我又回到了僧伽之前。在那裡我正式皈依三寶且接受十戒。這真的是對記憶的考驗,我不得不用巴利語朗誦“霧卡薩萬達密潘茶,薩巴嘛帕拉談卡嘛它美潘茶……“,要求受戒。經過與鑾波蘇博和鑾波文若以巴利語一陣對答之後,我成功完成接受十戒承諾,成了沙彌。

雙手合十請求尼薩雅

接下來,我從贊助者手中接過了缽,鮮花,香和蠟燭,再回到了我的戒律導師跟前,把缽放在我的左邊,同時把鮮花和香燭供給昭君蘇帖。

把鮮花和香燭供給昭君蘇帖

然後我用安加利手勢即雙手合十,並用巴利語請求尼薩雅。隨後進行了一系列的往返巴利語對答。隨後我的戒律導師告訴我我的巴利文法號叫刊惕帕 咯並將缽給我抬在我的左肩。之後,我被指示退休到後院去。

在大約一炷香的時間後,我又被兩位高級監考長老召回集會。那時我要求霧帕薩帕達,正式接受全部227條戒律,並真正成為一名正式的僧侶。

正式接受全部227條戒律

儀式結束後,我成了鑾闢刊惕帕咯。經過休息一陣後,我的戒律導師向我詳細解說何為修道院四大罪行以及何為僧侶四個基本需求。然而,與修道院的指示相反,我在當天收到了大量的禮物甚至金錢,遠遠超出僧侶四個基本需求。我把所有禮物與僧團成員分享,而又把收到的金錢捐贈給了寺廟基金。總而言之,進入維納亞基本上不全有關於放棄世俗物質和慾望,不是嗎?

進入維納亞的儀式終於完成了,但另一系列的儀式即將開始。拜師儀式便在當晚進行,我也順利拜在人緣大師鑾波順治蘇赫門下成為他老人家的入室弟子。這為我後幾十年對泰國佛學和靈異學展開一連串的學習,研究和練習……

古曼童 Kumanthong

我們也不再多說一些伍肆叄的,在此,我們將在這第一篇文章首先推出與泰國佛教有關且最具爭議的話題,即是供奉古曼童。許多人,包括一些泰國人在內,都錯誤地將古曼童比擬嬰兒的幽靈,這兩者之間存有明顯的區別。古曼童在泰語的字面意思即金童,而嬰兒的幽靈在泰語叫“皮德克”。古曼童通常源於泰國寺廟,並經由高僧加持,而“皮德克”卻是黑魔法的產物。也許我們做這樣的比較會更容易理解,古曼童就像蓮花三王子或散財童子,祂是天神。


根據泰國的信仰,供奉古曼童主要原因還是圍繞著財富和繁榮。有些人只是要求在他們的工作或生意中取得良好的結果,並且一旦他們的祈禱達成後,就會獻上一些貢品答謝神恩,因此,建立了一種雙向關係,尋求幫助的人必須記得實現他或她的承若。泰國人歷經多代的古老術方,自40多年前,隨著旅遊業和人口動員的蓬勃發展,這種古老的術方已經傳到世界各角落。

Fig. 1 皮德克 Pee Dek 俗稱鬼仔

有些人可能會質疑道,如果他或她的願望沒有實現那該怎麼辦?如果信徒們的祈禱很簡單,那麼事情通常就不會複雜,無奈,通常事情並非如此。人們往往無法使自己的想法變得清晰和簡單,相反的,他們的祈禱通常是混亂的,並且通常是多個願望交織在一起。在這種情況下,本行陳師父建議您逐步考慮,將您的願望分解成小部分,仔細確定每一部分。是否有一小部分的願望實現了?這裡有一點點,哪裡也有一點點嗎?在這種情況下,你必須考慮適當的答謝。泰國人的習俗是向古曼童提供適當的供奉,虔誠的膜拜,即使沒有要求古曼童也會給他們帶來好運。


如果一位信徒的祈禱已經實現了,但卻拒絕實現自己的若言,不肯答謝神恩,那會發生什麼事情呢?關於古曼童嚴厲懲罰及使不實信徒遭遇各種不幸的傳說,那未免誇大了。根據陳師父的說法,這類型的東西不會來自古曼童或任何神明,因為神明都是慈悲的,別被一些小說或電影給誤導了!事實上,在這種情況下,古曼童通常只會撤回他的幫助,而不再繼續幫助不真實的人,而不真實的人往後所遭遇的不幸無非是因果循環罷了。

Fig. 2 古曼童,俗稱金佛童,列為小天神

有一部分人認為鬼在給予他們的願望方面會比神的速度來得更快,因此,他們便把古曼童當鬼或幽靈祭拜。根據目前知名且受歡迎的靈學高僧,瓦諾佛寺主持阿曾傑(拍估蘇基達珀)的鑑戒,如果人們將古曼童當鬼或幽靈祭拜,會招來極大惡業,那絕不是廟宇的教導或主張。這種無知的做法是出自一個人的內心的邪惡,自我鼓勵且渴望得到一種被認為能夠實現佛教所不滿足的怪念頭。根據另一位靈學高僧,瓦犒巴村提佛寺主持高僧的龍坡瑞(拍估桑卡拉拍威伽)所述,古曼童是經過一座寺廟中製作並開光加持的神聖物體,由此“囝仔”神會遊行神像以祝福和保護信徒。雖然這些“囝仔”神可能與人類建立更密切的聯繫並使他們存在能被感覺得到,但它們絕不是幽靈或小鬼。因此,將古曼童歸類為鬼魂,顯示出一種無可辯駁的高度無知或惡意。信徒應該避免陷入這樣的謊言且不要懷有那些非正統的邪念。

四面佛

Phra Prom

談到泰國四面佛,我們也同時能聽到各式各樣的流言,使得泰國佛教在許多人的心目中難免蒙上一片詭異。也有不少愚者不但誤己更欲誤人,捏造許多毫無根據的故事來把四面佛描繪近乎邪神。

Youtube

那到底誰是四面佛?拜四面佛是用葷還是素?答謝四面佛當真要跳脫衣舞或艷舞嗎?帕蓬“四面佛”的來源….

帕特里穆迪

帕蓬“四面佛” 的來源

談到泰國佛教,許多人,特別是香港人,台灣人,新加坡人和馬來西亞人,一般都誤認為“帕蓬”(外地人稱之為“四面佛”)是泰國佛教代表象徵卻不知其實四面佛 源於印度教神袛。在印度教中,帕蓬被稱為梵天大天王霸拉瑪,祂是創造之神。正如名詞所示,泰國佛教是以佛陀為中心的而非梵天大天王。

在我們即將發表關於像神的文章中,我們將向讀者介紹特裡穆迪的印度教概念,那是包括梵天大天王霸拉瑪,濕婆天王和毘濕奴天王三大王合一而成的至尊神。當三位至尊神合璧成一個超級體時,祂們被統稱為“帕特里穆迪”,形象是一尊三頭六臂的神,代表創造,保護和毀滅。根據印度教經文中記錄的說法,梵天大天王霸拉瑪的起源雖些為 複雜且不詳細,但本文的興趣並不是深入研究其中所包含的每一個細節,而是從印度教經文中證實梵天大天王霸拉瑪是為帕特里穆迪的領導者便足以。然而,我們也必須在此強調,依據濕婆經文聲稱 濕婆天王才是帕特里穆迪的領導者。因為缺乏時間和空間,我們不會在此討論不同經文之間的差異 。

梵天大天王霸拉瑪,由於祂的至高無上的地位,祂在神話中的描寫就像道教中的玉皇大帝,沒有太多關於祂們的神蹟。儘管如此,在祂們最初階段,這兩尊神名都沒有任何視覺概念,而這兩大宗教中的其他神班都已經被人形化了,並在祂們的神聖航行中承擔人類特徵以便與祂們的人類信徒聯繫,但是,梵天大天王霸拉瑪和玉皇大帝的視覺描繪都是後期的創作。梵天大天王霸拉瑪在被灌入視覺概念時,被描繪成有四個頭,代表至高無上智慧,四條臂,代表萬物創造,並有一個孔雀作為哇哈喃即坐騎。

令許多人感到驚訝的是,儘管被尊為帕特里穆迪的領導者,但梵天大天王霸拉瑪並沒有在印度教徒中受到廣泛的崇拜。

濕婆天王詛咒傳說

根據濕婆經文的說法,有一次梵天大天王霸拉瑪和毗濕奴天王被浮誇所淹沒,兩大天王竟然爭論誰比較強,而且,越爭論越激烈,使得濕婆天王不得不介入干預做仲裁。濕婆天王將自己變成了一個巨大的“林甘”即陽具(濕婆天王化身“林甘”在泰國被稱為“帕拉吉”)。

帕拉吉

林甘從天堂向地獄兩個方向伸展。濕婆天王告訴梵天大天王霸拉瑪和毗濕奴天王,誰找到了林甘的極端誰便是勝者。梵天大天王霸拉瑪和毗濕奴天王皆接受了挑戰,並以相反的方向開始尋找林甘的終結。搜索持續了許多人間年日,兩位天王便警覺到林甘其實根本就沒有盡頭。毗濕奴天王隨即意識到濕婆天王才是帕特里穆迪中的最強者。然而,梵天大天王霸拉瑪雖也有同感,但祂卻決定欺騙濕婆天王。祂與林甘最上部的“克塔奇”花串通,向濕婆天王撒謊,說祂,梵天大天王霸拉瑪,已經到達了林甘的最極端。被召喚時,“克塔奇”花依約為梵天大天王霸拉瑪作假證而惹來濕婆天王的憤怒,祂們的不誠實激怒了濕婆天王,使祂對梵天大天王霸拉瑪下了詛咒,詛咒此後梵天大天王永遠不會受任印度教信徒所崇拜。他同時也禁止“克塔奇“花從今而後被用於任何未來的印度教儀式。因此,今天在印度沒有多少梵天大天王霸拉瑪的寺廟倖存下來。

然而,在濕婆天王的詛咒下少數倖存的梵天大天王霸拉瑪的寺廟中是一座位於印度拉賈斯坦邦普什卡的十四世紀寺廟,每年都會看到大量的朝聖者到那朝拜梵天大天王霸拉瑪。在濕婆天王的詛咒下,梵天大天王霸拉瑪在印度或許沒有太多剩餘的寺廟和信徒,然而,祂是呼在“流亡”他方之際做得很好,並且在 泰國獲得了更廣泛和多樣化的信徒基礎,這有助於祂在整個地區領土不斷地擴展。整個東南亞,特別是印度尼西亞,新加坡,馬來西亞,香港,且現在包括台灣,都相繼看到了梵天大天王霸拉瑪的信徒崛起和增加。

梵天大天王霸拉瑪在泰國

雖然在泰國沒有純屬梵天大天王霸拉瑪的寺廟,但是你們到處都可以可以看到供奉帕蓬的神社,而且,在泰國許多寺廟中也有設立供奉帕蓬的神社,讓信徒們崇拜這尊 來之印度教的大天王。也許在泰國最大的帕蓬神像是在位於春武裡府的瓦崇薩美叄薩特喜佛寺內所供奉的雕像。該雕像高7.8米,寬4.99米,這是朱拉隆功國王統治時期建造的一座歷史悠久的寺廟。

瓦崇薩美叁薩特喜佛寺

另一座供奉著巨大帕蓬神像的佛寺應該是位於北柳府的瓦薩曼拉塔納然佛寺它。瓦薩曼拉塔納然佛寺近年來已成為頂級旅遊景點,特別受遊客喜愛。

大多數不熟悉泰國的外國人大約只聽說過伊拉灣酒店的帕蓬神社,並且忽視了具更大規模的崇拜帕蓬的其他著名聖地。 除了上述的佛寺之外,位於巴吞他尼府的瓦邦庫迪通佛寺也供奉著一尊建造莊嚴的帕蓬神像。

外國人大多熟悉的帕蓬神社便是位於拉差帕頌十字路口的伊拉灣酒店禮儀場所,現在很多網站稱為“愛侶灣酒店”,但是,本行還是以正統稱呼,因為“伊拉灣”是印度教因陀羅天神的名字,根本以什麼情情愛愛扯不上什麼關係。以下我們將會為讀者解釋到。

此外,如果不是全部也該是大多數人都誤將伊拉灣酒店帕蓬神社視為一座寺廟(在泰國,寺廟有著嚴格先決條件),更可笑的是,幾年前有一批假佛牌印刻著“瓦伊拉灣四面佛寺廟”流入市場。

有關伊拉灣酒店帕蓬神社的故事基本有兩個版本,一個是互聯網前版本,另一個是互聯網後版本。

互聯網後版本

有關伊拉灣酒店帕蓬神社的故事最新版本刪除了所有的神秘關係。據說,在佛曆2494即1951年,袍斯里亞楠將軍被任命為泰國警察局長。拉差帕頌十字路口的伊拉灣酒店正計劃建造以容納外國客人,然而,在施工的早期階段,發生了許多事故和意外。拖拖拉拉經過五年的漫長歲月,該項目終於在佛曆2499即1956年年底完成。當時的海軍少將鑾蘇瓦昌應邀參加了開幕儀式。然而,海軍少將鑾蘇瓦昌評論說,伊​​拉灣酒店工程在施工前沒有進行適當的祭祀儀式,並且基石沒有根據占星術的要求鋪設。此外,酒店“伊拉灣”的名稱是陀羅天神的名字。因陀羅天神重天之神,並且是閃電,雷聲,風暴,雨水和河流之神,沒有適當的祭祀儀式,是不吉利的,更容易發生更多的不幸。海軍少將鑾蘇瓦昌指示必須尋求創造者帕蓬的祝福,以便解除所有障礙。

帕蓬神社即時速速建成。最初是欲以銅鑄造一尊帕蓬神像,並塗上金箔,但由於時間的緊迫的原因,便求其次建造了塗上金箔的水泥神像。帕蓬神社如期於1956年年11月9日完成。

互聯網前版本

這個前互聯網版本的故事不是以占星術感知為基而是充滿了神秘。據說,伊拉灣酒店所處的位置是古代大象墓地,而酒店的建設,其樁帽和柱子建設擾亂了象靈,因此 在建築工地上發生了許多意外事故。一名僧人被邀請到現場進行一些祭祀儀式看到了受驚憂的象靈,因此,他指示在酒店前方建造帕蓬神社以製服象靈。

無論哪個版本的伊拉灣酒店帕蓬神社的故事才是正確的並不重要,重要的是相信對帕蓬的崇拜有助於消除厄運,排除挫折,同時促進好運和成功。

無論哪個版本的伊拉灣酒店帕蓬神社的故事才是正確的並不重要,重要的是相信對帕蓬的崇拜有助於消除厄運,排除挫折,同時促進好運和成功。

目前,伊拉灣酒店帕蓬神社在供奉的神像已非原有的神像,因為原有的神像已在2006年3月21日一件事故中被故意破壞了。目前的帕蓬神像是當時泰國總理達信命人製作的一個新神像,並且迅速在2006年5月21日完成。儘管如此,現在的伊拉灣酒店帕蓬神社依然是外國人的神話和故事的發源地,也是一些泰國人的生計來源,他們為實現外國人的宗教幻想提供了便利。

帕蓬神像和佛牌

正如我們在其他文章中一貫提到的那樣,神聖物品必須由泰國寺廟正確地鑄造和加持開光。

鑄造物品自古便是泰國寺廟的一部分,許多泰國寺廟都會鑄造神像和佛牌讓信徒們恭請,而帕蓬也是信徒高度需求的神聖物品之一。有許多寺廟製作怕蓬的神像和佛牌,但其中最著名的是瓦其奧佔法佛寺和瓦諾佛寺。

出自瓦其奧佔法佛寺且由鑾普帕貼鑄造和加持開光的帕蓬神像和佛牌相當昂貴,相比之下,由瓦諾佛寺鑄造且由鑾波傑持開光的帕蓬神像和佛牌不但款式多,手工精製,供金更是大眾化。然而,源於這兩座寺廟的帕蓬神像和佛牌因其靈驗效果而備受信徒追捧。

在家裡供奉帕蓬神像

在家裡建立一座帕蓬神社是另一個通常被外國人誤解的項目,一般人們普遍認為因為帕蓬有四張臉所以必須被安置在房子外面崇拜,那麼就不必有一面面對牆壁,因此, 若要設立帕蓬神社必須如同伊拉灣酒店神社相似。不過,只要信徒退後一步想想,看看梵天大天王霸拉瑪在寺廟中的形象時,他們就不難理解上述因愚昧而 產生的誤解。一旦發現這種愚昧後,對祈禱時就必須在帕蓬的神像周圍繞之說也一定覺得好笑。有很多花樣原本和宗教都沒關係的,只不過人們一般都喜歡有花樣方覺得 有效,所以就會產生一些專門塑造迷信的“師傅”囉!如果依照以上所述的迷信,只有擁有大院子的富家子弟才有資格崇拜帕蓬了!

繼承我們先師鑾波順治蘇赫的教誨,我們概念和實踐便是,若要在家中供奉帕蓬應該與任何其他神佛一起供奉,除非為了特定的目的,例如鎮邪押煞。

答謝神恩

當談到答謝神恩時,我們不斷從有趣的人那裡看到有趣的動作。向素食的帕蓬提供肉類祭品已屬罪過了,在祂面前裸舞更顯得異常邪惡。對於脫衣舞的宣傳可能是受到印度教的“薩拉瓦蒂故事”的影響,但是,這故事不在本文的討論範圍內,不過建議信徒,尤其是我們南傳佛教徒,請放棄這種愚蠢的行為 。

實際上,答謝帕蓬的儀式和貢品都很簡單。主要貢品包括所有類型的鮮花,水果(特別是椰子),糙米,芝麻,豆芽,草藥,胡椒種子,芫荽葉,羅勒葉,新鮮蔬菜,香和甘文煙。切記貢品不可混合。

The Truth of Tattooing Talisman (ความจริงของการสักยันต์)

 

Sakyan or Just Modern Tattooing

 

Tattooing of talisman or “sak yan” originated from time immemorial and it entails special rituals of “wai kru” before it can be done. The tattooing of talisman is not mere tattooing. It is something magical and purposeful. Conventionally, the tattooing of magical talisman is performed by a handful of learned guru masters for only a selected number of their disciples mainly for strengthening of their mind and, exceptionally, for battling evil forces or as their successors. These talismans are usually representation of animism together with ancient inscriptions. Each design and form of talisman carries with it a different alchemy and it is the master who chooses the designs to be tattooed on the individual disciples and what type of mystical knowledge he will impart to the latter. Basically. the disciples do not enjoy the liberty of choice.

 

The Ritual of “Wai Kru” (ไหว้ครู)

The ritual of “wai kru” is a serious ceremony. It is also a grand ceremony whereby both Gods and human come together to witness the initiation process. In the presence of both the immortals and mortals, an individual begs to be accepted as a disciple and takes an oath to abide by certain rules and regulations, including the “dos and don’ts” of the specific lineage. Different masters may impose varying stipulations but those in common are as follow:

 

The recipient of magical tattoo will (1) observe the taboos imposed by the master; (2) adhere to canon laws; and (3) exercise self-restrain. There are also some universal taboos imposed by the various masters, amongst other things, (a) refrain from immoral practices; (b) refrain from being un-filial; (c) refrain from certain types of food, e.g. food offered in funeral; (d) refraining from walking under clothe hangers and bamboos; (e) refrain from allowing a woman to cross over the body and et cetera.

 

When the master agrees to accept the requestor as his disciple, he will instruct the latter to make offerings to Rheesi, the witnessing Gods and ancestors. Tributes in the process include (1) joss sticks; (2) candles; (3) flowers; (4) gold leaf foils; (5) betel nuts; (5) cigarettes; (6) liquor; (7) baisri; (8) coconut; (9) banana; (10) 7 types of fruits; (11) tea; (12) cooked and raw pig’s head; (13) cooked and raw duck; (14) cooked and raw chicken; (15) cooked and raw shrimps; (16) cooked and raw fish; (17) raw pork, heart and liver; (18) raw eggs; (19) pastries; (20) sesame seeds; and water.

 

Tributes for Waikru

Photograph extracted from http://upic.me

 

When this ritual of “wai kru” is completed, only then will the master tattoo for his disciple and impart to him the magical knowledge. It is important to understand that a talisman tattoo has to be in a certain position where it should be for it to produce magical effect. Tattooing a talisman in the wrong position of the body will bring about counter-effect and extreme bad luck.

 

The Modern Trend of “Sak Yan” (สักยันต์)

 

 

Up-to-now, the ancient tradition of “wai kru” is not and cannot be dispensed with if the “sak yan” process is to be meaningful and useful. However, many laypeople, both men and women, are having their bodies tattooed but few actually went through the process of “wai kru” least being taught the secrets of activating the power of those talismans tattooed.

 

People nowadays went on tattooing talisman for a variety of reasons, ranging from the desire of wealth and invincibility to melancholic craving for love and sexual attraction. They choose their own tattoo designs and where they want them to be tattooed. They have very little knowledge and understanding of the tradition of “sak yan” (although many pretended as if they know a lot!).

 

What Happened to the Power of Invincibility?

 

corpse with talisman tattoos

Photograph extracted from www.dailynews.co.th

 

Furthermore, most secular or individual who perform popular tattooing of talisman without due consideration for the traditions is not a real master. Such individuals are at best tattoo artists who allows clients to choose their own designs and where they want the talismans to be tattooed. Both the tattoo artist and clients are eager to build a reciprocal relationship without the onus of rituals of “wai kru” and the precepts flowing there-from. Therefore, at the end of the day, the tattoo artist gets paid for his work and his clients get the required symbol tattoo on the surface of their skin.

 

Although this revelation may be crude but take a look around you and analyze your observation critically. How many of those who had had their bodies inked with talisman through the modern process have prospered, gained social acceptance, charmed others, and are really invincible? Or has the ink appearing on their bodies, especially their necks, hands, and legs projected them negatively and impressing on the general public a subculture of hooliganism that is being frowned upon?

 

Does She Look More Attractive with Tattooed Talismans?

 

girl with talisman tattoos

Photograph extracted from โพสท์จัง Webboard

 

Traditionally, talisman tattoos are supposed to help an individual avoid danger or difficult situation and bestow mental strength and stability but if it, on the contrary, causes one to slip into a subculture of tattoo superstition then the puzzle really needs to be reworked with a little more intelligence.

Wat Palelai (Supanburi)

Wat Kare (Supanburi)

พระพุทธเจ้าสอน

อย่าเชื่อในสิ่งใดเพียงเพราะคุณเคยได้ยินมัน อย่าเชื่อในสิ่งใดเพียงเพราะมันจะพูดและข่าวลือมากมาย อย่าเชื่อในสิ่งใดเพียงเพราะมันจะจดไว้ในหนังสือศาสนาของคุณ อย่าเชื่อในสิ่งใดเพียงในอำนาจของครูผู้สอนและผู้สูงอายุของคุณ ไม่เชื่อในประเพณีเพราะพวกเขาได้รับการส่งลงมาหลายชั่วอายุคน แต่หลังจากการสังเกตและการวิเคราะห์เมื่อคุณพบว่าสิ่งที่เห็นด้วยกับเหตุผลและเอื้อต่อการที่ดีและประโยชน์ของหนึ่งและจากนั้นยอมรับและอยู่ถึงมัน  (กาลามะซูต)

Lord Buddha taught:

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.  (Kālāma Sutta)

Wat Phra Keaw (วัดพระแก้ว)

Phra Keaw Morokut
Phra Kaew images and amulets are believed to bring about success and prosperity to believers.  Devotees in Singapore and Malaysia usually prefer the Buddha image adorned in the summer cloak but the Thais prefer a complete set of three representing the three seasons which symbolize success and prosperity all year round. Apart from these, it is also believed that reverence of the Emerald Buddha bestows authority on the believer and helps in overcoming dangers.

Phra Keaw - LP Pirn

Wat Phra Keaw

Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, or more commonly known as Wat Phra Keaw, houses one of the Buddhist treasure, the Emerald Buddha or Phra Keaw Morakot, in its ordination hall. The sacred Buddha image is officially known as Phra Buddha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon. It is carved from a single block of emerald and adorned in one of the three seasonal cloaks (summer, rainy season, and winter) that are exquisitely made from gold. The costumes changing ceremonies take place three times annually during the 4th, 8th, and 12th lunar months and are personally performed by His Majesty the King to bring about good fortune to the Kingdom and its people. It is enshrined on a traditional Thai-style throne made from gilded-carved wood of which is known as Busabok in Thai. The Royal Monastery is located in the historic centre of Bangkok within the premise of the Grand Palace.

The Controversial Origin

The exact origin and history of the Emerald Buddha hitherto remains controversial. There are many versions of claim. One version propounded that the sacred Emerald Buddha originated from Pataliputra in India around 43 BC where it remained for three centuries before it was moved to Sri Lanka. It was claimed that the Burmese King Anuruth, in an attempt to strengthen Buddhism in Burma, sent a mission to Ceylon to receive the holy image and other Buddhist scriptures. However, during the return voyage, the Emerald Buddha’s image was lost in a storm together with the ship and crew sent out by the Burmese king. It was not explained how the sacred Buddha image subsequently surfaced in Cambodia when the Thais allegedly took possession in 1432 after they captured Angkor Wat.

Phra Keaw - LP Pirn (W)

The Various Claims and Contentions

Another version of claim was said to be based on archeological and historical findings. It proposed that the Emerald Buddha image was a creation of the Lannathai period in the 15th century. Historical sources adduced explained that the Emerald Buddha was first discovered in 1434 during King Sam Fang Kaen era in northern Thailand when an old chedi in Chiang Rai fell apart. A clay Buddha image was discovered in the ruined chedi and it was taken and housed in Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai. However, it was not until the Buddha image began flaking that it was discovered that the Buddha image was actually carved from a single block of jade. (Note: there was another version claiming that the Buddha image was dropped and the clay fell apart during transportation).

Phra Keaw Being Stolen

It was said that the Emerald Buddha was moved from Chiang Rai to Lamphang where it remained in Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao until King Tilok shifted his capital to Chiang Mai. King Tilok had the Emerald Buddha enshrined in Wat Chedi Luang until 1552 when an interruption occurred in the Lannathai line of succession when Prince Setthathirah of Luang Prabang was invited to succeed the throne to become King Chaichettha. However, shortly thereafter, King Chaichettha returned to Laos to succeed the Lan Xang throne upon the death of King Photisarath and he allegedly stole the Emerald Buddha image and carted it to Vientiane.

Phra Keaw - Wat Phra Keaw

King Rama I Reclaimed the Holy Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha image was detained for 226 years by the Laos until 1779 when General Chao Phraya Chakri, who later became Phra Chao Yodfa Chulaloke or King Rama I, successfully invaded Laos and captured the Laotian capital of Vientiane. General Chao Phraya Chakri regained the holy image and brought it safely back to Siam. The Emerald Buddha was then temporarily housed in Thonburi.  When General Chao Phraya Chakri ascended the throne, he built his capital in Krungtheap – the City of Angels (Bangkok) in 1782. Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram was then constructed to house the Emerald Buddha. Construction was duly completed in 1784 and the sacred Emerald Buddha was thence enshrined in the Royal Monastery.

 

The Four Fulfilling Conditions of Ordination (สี่คุณสมบัติของบรรพชาอุปสมบท)

Ordination Ceremony

Ordination ceremony in Wat Noi Nanghong with Chao Khun Phratheap of Wat Pathom Chedi as the preceptor.

Since time immemorial, there are those people who took up the life of brahmacariya of one ordained and who renounce earthly wealth and desires to pursue a more fulfilling spiritual life in instructing others on religious practices. These are the sattha or teachers whose teachings are believed by many people and passed down through the generations.

 

However, in our contemporary world, there are as many good teachers who took up a chaste life to teach and instruct others in the practice of the Dharma as there are self-proclaimed “teachers” who are either monastic or laity and who spread sectarian or outright fake religious practices. Therefore, as previously mentioned in “Mysticism in Thai Buddhism”, it is imperative for you not only to understand the Dharma but also the Vinaya so as to distinguish between the true teachers and the phonies in order not to be duped.

 

In this article, I will refer to the writings of His Holiness Somdej Phra Maha Samma Chao in starting off with a summary of the rules and regulations of giving the upasampada of which is also known as the “Four Fulfilling Conditions” or Sampati in order to be accepted into monkhood. The “Four Fulfilling Conditions” are summarized as:

 

(1)              Vatthu-sampati – of the material relating to personal qualities;

(2)              Parisa-sampati – of the assembly;

(3)              Sima-sampati – of the boundary; and

(4)              Kammavaca-sampati – of announcing the Act

 

An individual to be ordained as a monk has to possess the right personal qualities as stipulated in the Vinaya. Firstly, the person who wishes for upasampada has to be a male of at least 20 years of age; not physically defective; must not have committed any serious crime; and must not have committed any serious spiritual offence according to the Buddhasasana. It is also a tradition that the upasampada must only be given to a willing aspirant who utters the words requesting the Going-forth. The ordination of any individual not fulfilling the afore-mentioned prerequisites is defective of the material (vatthu-vipatti) and is not considered a monk according to the rules set by the Exalted Lord Buddha.

 

The second and third conditions are intertwined. An ordination ceremony can only take place within a prescribed boundary (sima) with one or two examiners of qualities (acariya), a preceptor (upajjhaaya) who has completed a minimum of ten rain retreats and a required quorum of monks (parisa-sampatti) to confirm the prescribed Sangha Act. Only when the formal rules and regulations are satisfied (sampatti), a senior monk would move the first motion (nanti) informing the Sangha and requesting that it accept the aspirant. The recital would be made another three times (anusavana) of which, in the course thereof, any monk can oppose the motion and announcements. The ceremony is spoilt if any objection takes place.  The quorum of monks unanimously assents to the motion by remaining silent during the anusavana.  Thereafter, the acariya through chanting witnessed the consent. Finally, the name of the aspirant, the upajjhaaya, and mention of the Sangha is uttered, fulfilling the final condition of kammavaca-sampati. 

 

The aspirant is then admitted into the Sangha, the community of monks. The newly ordained monk is expected to behave properly and uphold good conduct (Abhisamacara). For this purpose, the Exalted Lord Buddha has established the Buddhapannatti – the rules and regulations precluding wrongful behaviors. The Buddhapannatti and Abhisamacara are collectively known as the Vinaya. In the next article, I will provide a prelude to the origin and advantages of the Vinaya before delving into the rules of training in the subsequent articles.

Mysticism of Thai Buddhism (เวทย์มนต์ไทยพุทธ)

Rheesi

 

Religion and Culture

 

Thailand is probably the world’s largest Buddhist country with 95% of Thais being Theravada Buddhists. From an anthropological perspective, religion and culture are intertwined, that is to say, religion is actually a cultural universal of which includes beliefs and activities pertaining to supernatural beings, powers, and forces. Therefore, by virtue of Thai demographic composition, Thai Buddhism and, thus, Thai culture invariably comprises an integration of Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and other indigenous folk religions. The beliefs in supernatural beings, powers, and forces are traditional beliefs of the Thai people and they form a deeply entrenched culture known collectively as “Sayasak” (ไสยศาสตร์).

 

Thai Buddhism

 

Theravada Buddhism is Thailand’s de facto national religion and, unlike other religion, Buddhism in general does not seek to force convert individuals to a particular set of belief system and, hence, is able to integrate other traditional beliefs, rituals, and practices in Thailand. As a result thereof, supernatural powers in the forms of Buddha images, amulets, talismans and et cetera are in toto important aspects of Thai Buddhism. The supernatural aspects of Thai Buddhism have become a popular culture that transcends beyond national boundary.

However, it has to be noted Thai Buddhism does not focus on the supernatural powers alone. The essence and fundamentals remain deeply-rooted in Buddhist principles. As Thai Buddhism grows and expands so do the number of religious teachers. Therefore, it is imperative for you to understand both the Dharma (the Buddhist teachings) and the Vinaya (the monastic discipline), which constitutes the main root of the Buddhasasana vis-a-vis the Buddhist religion.

 

It is hence our endeavor to dedicate this category for this purpose. In our upcoming article we will start off with the “Four Fulfilling Conditions” or Sampati in order to be accepted into monkhood.

 

Please check out this category regularly for new updates.

 

 

 

 

Luang Phor Wat Raikhing (หลวงพ่อวัดไร่ขิง)

Luang Phor Wat Raikhing

Today most people have heard of Wat Raikhing, the most prominent temple in Nakhom Pathom province.  The temple was built in 2334 by the then abbot of Wat Sala Poon Woravihan Somdej Phra Buddhacharn Poot near the Nakhon Chaisri River in Tambon Raikhing, a village in Amphur Samphran, Changwat Nakhon Pathom during the reign of His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn or Rama V. Wat Raikhing is also known as Wat Mongkhun Chinda Ram Raikhing. On July 10, 2533, Wat Raikhing was officially upgraded from a common monastery to the status of Royal Monastery.

 

Annual Wat Raikhing Festival

 

Annually, during the Chinese Lunar New Year, thousands of faithful Buddhists flood to Wat Raikhing to worship Luang Phor Wat Raikhing, the golden Buddha image in the posture of Maravijaya that signifies victory over Mara. The atmosphere is festival with a host of entertainments. It is believed that worshipping Luang Phor Raikhing helps believers to be victorious. Then again, in the fifth month of the lunar calendar, there are yet another series of celebrations, collectively known as Wat Raikhing Festival, which begins on the 13th day of the waxing moon and ends on the 4th day of the waning moon.

 

A Brief History of Luang Phor Wat Raikhing

 

The golden Buddha image of Luang Phor Wat Raikhing measures 4 feet 2 inches in lap width and 4 feet 16 inches in height. The Buddha sits on a 5 level grandly decorated concrete base and faces north in the direction of Udon Thani. The origin of Luang Phoe Raikhing is not conclusively documented. However, it has been determined that the craftsmanship of the Buddha image resembles that of the Chiang Saen (Lanna) period.  According to legend, the golden Buddha image was found drifting in the Chao Praya River close to Ayutthaya, and was retrieved by villagers who brought it to the Wat Sala Poon. It was subsequently relocated to and enshrined in the newly constructed Wat Raikhing in Nakhon Pathom.


Somdej Phra Buddhacharn Poot named that temple Wat Raikhing after the district it was located. However, Prince Vachirayan Varoros gave the temple the official name Wat Mongkhun Chinda Ram Raikhing. Nonetheless, most people continued calling it Wat Raikhing until this day and its official name is seldom used or even known. The villagers also addressed the golden Buddha as Luang Phor Wat Raikhing or simply as Luang Phor Raikhing.


Once the construction of Wat Raikhing was completed, thousands of huge sawai fish began appearing in the river behind Wat Raikhing. The image of the golden Buddha was then sailed downstream from Wat Sala Poon in Ayutthaya to Wat Raikhing in Nakhon Pathom on a bamboo raft. It was said that the arrival of Luang Phor Raikhing changed the weather in Nakhon Pathom from a burning heat to a cooling pleasure that was interpreted as an auspicious sign of prosperity. True enough, the village began to prosper and the villagers devoutly made frequent homage to Luang Phor Raikhing. Hitherto, those huge sawai fish still exist in huge numbers in the river flowing through the Mae Nam Tha Chin behind the temple and it has since become customary for worshippers to feed the fish with bread after praying to Luang Phor Raikhing.

 

Amulets consecrated by Luang Phor Panya

 

Luang Phor Wat Raikhing FLuang Phor Wat Raikhing FIt is believed that Luang Phor Raikhing bestows devotees with success, affluence, and good health. Annually, thousands and thousands of devotees from all over the world travel to Nakhom Pathom specifically to worship Luang Phor Raikhing. Most believers would also enshrine a holy image of Luang Phor Raikhing at home and the more devout would even wear an amulet of Luang Phor Raikhing.

 

Luang Phor Panya, or Phra Ubali Khunupamajarn, the greatly respected abbot of Wat Raikhing, who was awakened at the age of 84 in Februabry 14, 2008, has over the years made various images and amulets of Luang Phor Raikhing. Each of these images and amulets were consecrated through traditional Thai incantation and they are quite pricey. However, despite the costliness these sacred items their demands are ever escalating.