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Phra Somdej - Prathat Panom201514 October 2011Chris Jones

Phra Somdej Prathat Panom

Somdej Toh was one of the most famous Buddhist monks in modern Thai history. His amulets fetch prices anywhere from a few million Baht to 30 Million Baht.

He created and blessed Phra Somdej amulets other than the much publicized and promoted Somdej amulets originally blessed c. BE 2400

One perfect example is the amulet below known as Phra Somdej Wat Rakhang, Phra That Phanom (Song Chedi), which he created and blessed in c. 2508. Most of the amulets were then stored in the chedi at Nakom Panom, close to the Laos border

It wasn't until BE 2518 that these amulets were finally recovered after a violent storm and subsequent flooding damaged the chedi walls.

Phrathat Phanom is an important chedi not only in Thailand but also Asia because the relics of Lord Buddha are situated inside. The wishes of many worshippers have been fulfilled after giving homage at the chedi.

As such any amulets contained within the Kru would be very scared indeed, and in particular amulets created by one of the most sacred monks in the world’s history, Phra Buddhacharn Toh.

This account details such a discovery of thousands of amulets originally created in BE 2408.

Phra Buddacharn Toh is now known not only to have deposited a hoard of amulets in the Chedi but also to have renovated the scared chedi in BE 2408, in order to preserve the ancient structure for future generations.

The most interesting aspect of this is that very few people were aware of the deposit of amulets, certainly even fewer were witness to the amulets because they were buried very deeply in what was then one the most important chedis in the Kingdom.

Severe flooding caused the chedi walls to collapse, and on August 11, B.E.2518, at 07.38p.m. the chedi was opened in order to expose the cell that retained the hoard of amulets.

These amulets were highly respected by worshippers because of the realization of the sacred power that would be able to help them in many ways. A great crowd gathered to worship the hoard in its entirety.


 Royal Fine Arts Department

The Royal Thai Fine Arts Department came to inspect and repair the chedi and also to inform Phra Thep Ruttanamoli (later Phra Dharma Rachanuwat), the then abbot of the temple , also head Monk of Nakon Panom Province, about the sacred amulets, and that they could be sold. However no price could be agreed as he knew the value of the amulets.

Therefore Prathep Ruttanamoli decided to donate the sacred amulets to everyone who wished to own such a asacred object, but in particular to those who supported the renovation project of the sacred chedi,

In addition to the amulets there were also many other sacred objects which were retained for prosperity both inside the chedi itself and the temples museum. Today these amulets are very hard to find, some are priced more than 1,000,000 each, particularly those which have not be cleaned in any way.

History - Sacred Materials

After Somdej Phra Buddhacharn Toh announced his intention to create the amulets many senior foreign monks from Cambodia, Laos, Burma, etc, immediately came to the kingdom to pay respects to Phra Buddacharn Toh, and also to donate sacred materials.

1.Gold, which was received from Khmer and Burmese senior monks, ground into powder. Many of the pims you can actually see gold fragments embedded in the powder.

2. Ancient Tavaravati-period pills, received from senior monks originating from Laos, some were ground into a powder others added to the mixture, whole, giving the amulets their very distinctive appearance.

3. Jewelry, which was received from Khmer and Burmese senior monks, also ground into powder.

4. Sacred relics of Lord Buddha, received from some disciples of  Somdej Phra Buddhacharn Toh and Lao monks.

5.Wrecked parts of the old Prathat Phanom, renovated in B.E.2408, also ground into powder.

6.Other kinds of sacred powder such as Ittijae, Maharach, Buddhakun, kept by Somdej Phra Buddhacharn Toh  for many years were also added into the mixture. Fragments of Phra Benjapakee etc

Because King Rama IV wanted the renovation project to be completed within that year (B.E.2408) many monks from both Wat Rakhang and Wat Phratat Phanom were involved in making these sacred amulets.

Interestingly this resulted in the amulets created that were different in design and composition depending on where they were made.

Anyway the amulets, created at Wat Rakhang, were easily identified because Jaoprakun Dharmatanacharn (Jaokun Nap), a high-ranking monk of Bangkok, also attached a gold plate onto the reverse of each amulet.


Great Sacred Ceremony

After the creation of all the amulets one of the greatest sacred ceremonies in the Thai history was organized:

1.To celebrate the newly renovated sacred Phratat Panom Chedi.

2.To invite all the sacred amulets into the chedi itself.

It was recorded that the sacred ceremony was held on the full-moon day of the 12th month of the year B.E.2408, according to the Thai lunar calendar.

Apart from many senior monks from both Thailand and other neighboring countries, one of the most participants of the ceremony was King Rama IV, who had graciously presided over the ceremony amongst many witnesses, including royal-family members and high-ranking officials etc.

It was also recorded that Somdej Phra Buddhacharn Toh had affirmed that all the amulets were very sacred because apart from the many sacred materials, particularly the relics of Lord Buddha and the wrecked powder of the old Prathat Panom Chedi, he had also prayed and recited sacred spells to transfer the power of Lord Buddha ensuring efficacy.