Kumanthong is known to bring wealth and prosperity
According to a currently prominent and popular Guru Monk Arjahn Jet (Phrakhru Sujittaporn) of Wat Noak, who is also versed in the skill of making and blessing Kumanthongs, people who honor and pray to Kumanthongs as if they were ghosts induce bad Karma as it is neither the teaching nor advocacy of the temples. It is the evil inner-self within a person that encouraged him or her to crave keeping a ghost that is thought to be capable of fulfilling whims that is not catered for under Buddhism. According to another Guru Monk Luang Phor Ruay (Phrakhru Sangkarak Phra Wichet) of Wat Kau Phrachuntheap, Kumanthongs made and blessed in a temple are referred to as Kumantheap whereby “juvenile” deities would peregrinate the images to bless and protect believers. Although these young deities may establish closer contact with humans and make their presence felt, they are nevertheless not ghosts or pee. Therefore, the classification or coining of Kumanthongs as ghosts reveals a pathetically high level of ignorance or malice and believers should avoid being drawn into such falsehood and
“Listen, think, and digest before believing. The bottom line is still Buddha’s teaching,” says Master Tan. “Any form of advocacy contrary to the Great Lord’s teaching cannot form part of a Buddhist practice least to be a Buddhist culture.”
In our next updates we will bring you about the transformation and/or innovation of religions in our contemporary society. Is it Good or Bad or simply No Choice? So stay with us and find out more!
Kumanthong – Knowing the Truth
“…people who honor and pray to Kumanthongs as if they were ghosts induce bad Karma as it is neither the teaching nor advocacy of the temples,” says Phrakhru Sujittaporn of Wat Noak
Wonders Evolving from Thai Buddhism
Thai Buddhism is known for its aptitude in creating sacred and holy items capable of bringing wealth, prosperity, charisma, avoiding danger and evil, and more than often, Guru Monks are able to perform such miracles that their spiritual powers are directly felt by believers honoring images and/or wearing amulets blessed by them. This inevitably leads to much folklore and stories of which are more than often cooked-up by parties with a vested interest. Take Luang Phor Tae of Wat Sangam for example; he is known for the making and blessing of Kumanthongs to the extent that even decades after his reaching Nirvana he is still revered as the Grandmaster of the said field. Many tales flowed therefrom and many were eventually tainted with untruths of which surprisingly, found favor and gained roots with the less learned believers.
Fallacies of the story about Luang Phor Tae and the Making of Kumanthongs
One interesting tales concerning Luang Phor Tae and his unique skills in the making and blessing of Kumanthongs is that it was alleged that the revered master would collect soil from seven different cemeteries and mould it into figurines of young boys whereby he would then chant and invite the spirits into those figurines to help believers in gaining wealth and prosperity. These figurines are called Kumanthongs and are individually named. It was further alleged that honoring Kumanthongs blessed by Luang Phor Tae, the believers would have to treat them as their own children by providing for their meals and in return these Kumanthongs will guard the believers’ houses, punish intruders, and bring wealth and prosperity. However, if the believers for any reason forgot to make offerings, they will usurp the harmony of the house and create such obstacles for the believers.
Identifying and Uncovering the Untruths
Analyzing the story closely would allow you to identify such fallacies that run contrary to Buddhism as a whole of which Luang Phor Tae serves honorably. Firstly, utilizing soil from seven cemeteries has no significance in Thai Buddhism but rather it exhibits certain relationships towards Chinese ghost movies in lieu. Secondly, manipulating the spirit of the deceased is contrary to the basic principles of reincarnation of which is intrinsic to Buddhism. Thirdly, any sacred elements blessed by Guru Monks observing 227 precepts is meant to help believers and would not do harm to people. And last but not least, such stories only set roots in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hongkong but not in Thailand whereby any such act is viewed as un-Buddhist and therefore strongly deplored and abhorred.
The Thai Sangha Council defrocked a novice named Nen Ae or Harn Raksajlit in 1995 for roasting the corpse of a baby and paving way for his arrest and incarceration. More recently, the Royal Thai Police has arrested and charged several foreigners for the possession of human remains. These actions from both the Thai Sangha Council and the Royal Thai Police are self-explanatory of Thai value with regards such the handling of infant human remains.
Why is it that many people are speculating and even advocating such misconception and falsehood? This is a topic that calls for more in-depth analysis in which we will cover in our upcoming article on “Religions Transformation and Innovation”.