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Luang Phor Niam - Wat Noi2014Chris Jones

Luang Phor Niam  - Wat Noi, Suphanburi

DIRECT DISCIPLE OF SOMDEJ BUDDHACHAN TOH


 

 

           

Luang Phor Niam, was a well known and highly respected monk from Wat Noi in Suphanburi province. Wat Noi is an ancient temple, established several hundred years ago but deserted in B.E.2310 after the Burmese army had invaded the Thai Kingdom.

Luang Phor Niam who was invited to become abbot of the temple spent years renovating the structure until such time it was one of the most beautiful in the province.Nowadays the temple is located on the east side of the Supan River in Kokkram Sub-district, Bangplamar, Supanburi Province.

Luang Phor Niam was born in around B.E.2372-B.E.2373, during the reign of King Rama III, in Ban Parperk Village, Bangplamar, Supanburi Province.(Note: King Rama III reigned the Kingdom during B.E.2367-B.E.2394.) 

Although his background is not entirely clear it is believed that Luang Phor Niam was ordained at Wat Rakhang in B.E.2393 and had learned sacred sciences from the most famous of all monks, Somdej Prabuddhacharn Toh.


As abbot of Wat Noi, he sent many of his disciples to be educated at Wat Rakhang, many of whom are now highly respected themselves, such as, Luang Phor Parn of Wat Bangnomko, Ayudhaya Province, Luang Phor Nong of Wat Klongmadan, Supanburi Province, and Luang Phor Sorn of Wat Palaylai, Supanburi Province.

 

Luang Por Niam had remained in Bangkok for approximately 20 years, returning to Supanburi Province in B.E.2413, when at the age of 40 he dwelt at Wat Rocharern later being invited to become abbot of Wat Noi in B.E.2413-2414.

Luang Phor Niam worked hard apart to renovate much of the temple and construct new buildings. Whilst not working on the temple his free time was devoted to the locals, and was well known for his medicinal skills using Thai herbs


On November 17, B.E.2453, aged 81, Luang Phor Niam passed away peacefully in the unique aspect of a laying Buddha Image. His corpse was burnt on April 13-14, B.E.2454, five months after his death.

Worshippers congregated at the temple attempting to collect ashes in the belief that they would protect against danger, black magic and evil.


Amulets

Most of Luang Phor Nium's amulets were made of lead mixed with mercury, although some were made of baked soil. Needless to say all are rare and very expensive. Having said that it is still possible to pick up bargains. We frequently see various pims on the market at less than 700 USD, and these amulets are more than highly recommended.

Buddha-Image amulets

Luang Phor Niam began to create his Buddha-Image amulets in B.E.2442, when he was 53 years old and had just returned from the deep forests in some northern provinces. His sacred Buddha-Image amulets were divided into three groups as follows:

1.Pim Niyom, or popular Pim (styles or types), such as Pim Sianlone, Pim Sianlam, Pim Ngobnum-oi, Pim Chairman Buddha Image ( big and small sizes), Pim Prajao Hah Pra-ong, etc. It is not known which was created first.

2. Pim Tua-pai, or general Pim, such as Pim Praprunung, Pim Nakprok,Pim Pratumsuer, Pim Pra Pitda, Pim Klongtakian, Pim Mokullarn, Pim Salibutr, Pim Somdej, Pim Yodnam, Pim Mahesuan, etc. Most of the amulets were designed like ancient amulets.


The composition of amulets varies depending on the percentage mix, which determined the physical properties. Those amulets created with more mercury tend to be slightly harder than those created with less, which results in slightly less clear features.


Most of his amulets are now aged between 95-129 years old, and the colour varies tremendously depending on the level of oxidation, something which is hard to fake, making authentic amulets easy to verify. Actually most fakes are made just from pure lead, and when rubbed do not have the illustrious properties of the originals. Tin has also been used a substitute for mercury, but in doing so, the amulet looses its ability to create a line on paper.


White and red staining is very common on his amulets and not easy to fake. the red staining appears on those amulets that were previously kept in a kru


Sacred Materials

Most of Luang Phor Niam's amulets were made of lead and mercury in various proportions.

Lead it was believed had the power to defeat some forms of black magic whilst at the same time absorb sacred power readily.

Mercury on the other hand was thought as a powerful substance that would help the worshipper avoid danger.


1. Kru of Wat Rocharoen, where the amulets were kept inside a small chedi. Most amulets found were Pim Ngobnum-oi, Pim Prajao Har Pra-ong, and Pim Pru-nung amulets.

2. Kru of Wat Saotongthong, which was discovered in B.E.2500 and all amulets were kept in a small chedi. Most amulets found were Pim Ngobnum-oi amulets.

Phra Sianlone amulets are the most popular and also the most expensive, some priced in excess of 100,000 baht/each.