Category Archives: Buddha

泰國傳奇:財佛鑾波梭通

佛教是公元前5世紀基於佛陀悉達多喬達摩的教義所建立的主要世界宗教, 全世界約有5.35億佛教徒,其中超過1億是上座部佛教徒。上座部佛教,也被稱為“長老教義”,是佛教中最古老,最純粹的形式,保存和實踐了佛陀時代的教義和傳統。這些古老的教義和傳統皆很詳細的被記錄在巴利教規中。現今,上座部佛教在南亞最為強大,同時也漸漸在整個東南亞甚至歐洲西部大陸都佔有一席之地。

由佛教遍布世界各地看來,佛教寺廟數量便不想可知。在我們早期的文章“帕澤渡金拉瑪帖: 泰國境內外的狂熱文化”我們曾提到僅在泰國王國就有40,717座上座部佛教寺廟,或許, 也是世界上最多上座部佛教寺廟的國家。在這40,717座上座部佛教寺廟中更包括一座歷史悠久的寺廟,一座大城府年代晚期建於泰國東部北柳府的西部曼芭空河岸邊的古廟佛寺。這座寺廟的歷史和它所供奉的主佛像都充滿了神秘和懸念。

一座古老而簡單的寺廟,裡面供奉著國寶財佛鑾波梭通

在曼芭空河漂流的三尊巨大銅佛

三個多世紀以前,在那萊大帝或暹羅大城王國的拉瑪鐵菩提席桑碧國王統治期間,一名漁民在曼芭空河上發現了三尊巨大的金銅佛像,不可思議的漂浮在水面。漁民迅速聚集村民,想將三尊巨大的金銅佛像從水中拉出來。但是,所有嘗試都失敗了。他們甚至試圖將繩索綁在佛像上,但是繩索卻啪的一聲斷了,佛像也一直沿著河流流動。村民們充滿了失望和悲傷,因為他們深信是村莊沒有足夠的福報來供請這三尊佛像到他們的村莊裡接受村民的朝拜才會沒能把佛像拉上河岸。

突然,水流增加並變得紊亂,三尊巨大的金銅佛像中的兩尊隨著河流往下河急流而去,唯有一尊神奇的保留在原地水中。兩尊往下河急流而去的佛像其中一尊直流出了79公里後方落足在北欖府,即今被稱為鑾波瓦曼幣的佛主,而另一尊佛像則流到152公里外的夜功府,即今被稱為鑾波瓦曼聯的佛主。

繩索拉斷而不動 聖僧卻一線恭請佛上岸

一位來自瓦鴻佛寺的神靈派高僧應村民之邀來幫助恭請剩下的佛陀神像留居北柳府。該位大師吩咐村民備了香燭鮮花和一些祭品便在河岸邊就坐進行祭拜儀式,不一會,大師吩咐村民將“賽新”(泰國誦經線)帶到佛像處並將其綁在佛像上時,村民們難免感到驚訝甚至懷疑。村民們心想,即使是一條粗繩子也會被扯斷,一條細如髮的“賽新”還能管什麼用。儘管如此,他們還是按照大師的吩咐去做了。然後高僧坐在河岸邊,開始念誦。令村民們驚訝的是,當僧人高呼時,佛像盡然應聲開始向河岸“漂”過來。

該金銅佛像寬1.65米,高1.48米,經高僧一番誦經恭請,盡然隨著高僧收回的“賽新” “漂”到岸邊,再經村民輕輕一撈,便輕而易舉的將佛像搬上岸來。鑾波梭通佛祖的特徵與其他佛像的特徵截然不同,祂臉如滿月且嘴角更帶著平靜微笑,這種神態的佛像在暹羅大城王國年代或之前根本不成有過。鑾波梭通佛祖被入住瓦鴻佛寺受供奉,後來瓦鴻佛寺也因而改名為瓦梭通沃拉蘭沃拉維漢佛寺。不要感到驚訝,今天在瓦梭通沃拉蘭沃拉維漢佛寺大殿受供奉的佛像尺寸比以上所述要大得多,原因是原本的鑾波梭通佛祖的佛像,為防備盜竊,從在瓦鴻佛寺受供奉時便已在佛像外多加了一層水泥,把原有的佛像隱藏在其中。

泰國東部北柳府的守護神和福神

在鑾波梭通佛祖被供奉于瓦鴻佛寺之後,北柳府便從起初的一個人煙稀少的漁村,開始繁榮發展,商人逐漸將他們的交易帶到了村莊,並在那裡建立了更多的業務。那些向鑾波梭通佛祖致敬的人更是看到他們的生意興旺起來,因此,幾個世紀以來,鑾波梭通佛祖倍受商人信奉,一般的信徒也同樣得到深厚的福報,因此,鑾波梭通佛祖一直是泰國最著名的財佛。

在大城王國時期,醫療設施幾乎是原始的,因此人們通常採取信仰治療。在那時期,經常爆發疾病和瘟疫的,而病死的人不在少數。北柳府的村民,隨後包括來自其他省份的人們,在遇病患時都向鑾波梭通佛祖祈禱尋求幫助。用作祭品的香和花都被用作藥物,或將它們煮沸飲用,或將它用於洗澡以去邪。隨著許多奇蹟的發生,尤其是在佛歷2433年爆發瘟疫的治愈,更是加強了人們對鑾波梭通佛祖的信心,至今祂不僅是北柳府的守護神和福神,也是世界各地人們的守護神和福神。

信徒答謝鑾波梭通佛祖的厚德高恩

兩個主要的功效觸動了數百萬人的心

鑾波梭通佛祖賜給信徒的兩樣主要恩典,即是財富和健康。凡是到北柳府祈求的信徒無不得到鑾波梭通佛祖的祝福,几乎是靈驗無比,隨著有關鑾波梭通佛祖多靈驗的消息也漸漸傳開來,泰國各地的許多人也聞風乘坐木筏穿過曼芭空河前往瓦梭通沃拉蘭沃拉維漢佛寺敬拜鑾波梭通佛祖。有許多前來敬拜鑾波梭通佛祖的信徒索性在北柳府定居下來,因此,北柳府人口也迅速增加,把原本一個小村莊變得繁榮起來。或許,正是由於這個特殊的原因,今天有些人也把鑾波梭通佛祖當成“生育”佛來膜拜。

敬拜鑾波梭通佛祖為財富和治療萬病的佛陀一直保留至今,而每年都有數百萬來自世界各地的商人和信徒特地前往北柳府省敬拜鑾波梭通佛祖,當然也有許多人是去還願的,這一來,不但帶動了北柳府的經濟,同時瓦梭通沃拉蘭沃拉維漢佛寺也因為香客鼎盛成為泰國最富有的寺廟。帕普達鑾波梭通或簡稱鑾波梭通佛祖已成為泰國王國的主要財佛。

一座雄偉壯觀的白色修道院,金碧輝煌

國王普密蓬•阿杜德陛下的願望

在1966年,當泰國國王普密蓬•阿杜德陛下親臨瓦梭通沃拉蘭沃拉維漢佛寺敬拜鑾波梭通佛祖時,曾說希望有一天,最受尊敬的鑾波梭通佛祖神像會被奉於一座宏偉的寺廟內。自那時起,寺廟管理會便開始著手實現國王的願望。終於,在1992年,瓦梭通沃拉蘭沃拉維漢佛寺進行了為期15年的重建工程,並於2006年完成。

外景包括花園和梭通佛寺

新寺廟佔地5496平方米,不包括周圍的寺廟設施,整座寺廟採用獨特的建築外觀,混合傳統的泰國建築特色和現代風味,並且使用意大利卡拉拉大理石瓷磚和鍍金陶瓷等鋪設,整個設計都以白和金色為主,使整座寺廟看起來優美時髦但也不失傳統的雄偉壯觀。

在“維漢”或大殿的中心是一個方形結構,四個拱門豎立成一個85米高的八層金字塔形屋頂,五個4.90米高的金色皇家傘,重77公斤。據估計,整個重建項目的總額超過20.4億泰銖。

鑾波梭通佛祖和其他佛像以非傳統的開放和寬敞的風格供奉於中央

2006年8月30日,泰國公主瑪哈•扎克里•詩琳通殿下在北柳府代表當時泰國國王普密蓬•阿杜德陛下主持新建的瓦梭通沃拉蘭沃拉維漢佛寺開幕儀式。新寺廟被認為是世界上最美麗,最大的上座部佛教寺廟。

鑾波梭通佛牌和古董帕順德佛牌一樣昂貴

由於靈驗的關係,鑾波梭通佛祖的佛像和佛牌備受追捧。為了迎合不同的群眾,這些聖物的價格有很大的距離,一些佛像和佛牌價格昂貴到不可思議,但是一般佛像和佛牌則是適中的價格。大約一個世紀以前所製造的那些聖物,無論是效果還是古董價值,不問可知皆屬超級昂貴的範圍,它們的價格往往都是從幾十萬泰銖到幾千萬泰銖不等。佛歷2460年所出廟的鑾波梭通佛牌最高紀錄價為3000萬泰銖。特殊紀念品或由特別材料製成的佛像和佛牌也同樣價格不俗。鑾波梭通佛祖的靈驗程度不言可知,既是那佛歷2460年的偽造品通過互聯網銷售的價格也能從僅僅幾百泰銖到高達50萬泰銖。

2509年所出廟的鑾波梭通佛祖佛牌

後者,即佛歷2534年出廟的那一批佛像和佛牌,是採用新瓦混合佛理2530年所餘留的久瓦製成的。它們價格適中,並開放給公眾恭請。在佛歷2534年那批聖物,還有比較特殊的兩種,一種是由泰國銀行提供的破碎鈔票製成的佛像,代表著財富和繁榮,而另一種則是用經過高僧誦經加持的千年紅花朵所製成的佛像,表示身體健康。

在泰國還流傳著一句俗語道:如果你沒有恭請過鑾波梭通佛祖的佛像或佛牌你就不是泰國佛教徒。從這一句俗語中,可以聽出泰國人對鑾波梭通佛祖的敬重。鑾波梭通佛祖不僅是一尊重要的佛陀,而且祂也是泰國三大財佛之一。雖然到目前為止,還沒有人知道鑾波梭通佛祖真正來自哪裡或祂的佛像是什麼時候鑄造的,祂的起源悠然是一個謎,但是,整個泰國王國的人民都崇拜鑾波梭通佛祖,來自世界各地的人也是如此,而鑾波梭通佛祖也沒讓祂的信徒失望。如果您認為我們言過其實,誇大了鑾波梭通佛祖事蹟和祂對泰國佛教的重要性,請隨時向泰國人詢問有關鑾波梭通佛祖的信息便可知其真相。最後,如果你想知道誰是另外兩尊泰國財佛,請繼續關注我們。

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.

 

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.