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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Somdej Toh of Wat RaKang

Somdej Pra Bhuddhachara Toh Prohmarangsri (we called him as Somdej Toh or Archan Toh among amulet collector) the most famous and beloved monk in the nineteenth century in Thailand. Somdej Toh was born during the reign of King Rama, morning of the 17th April, B.E.2331 (A.D.1788). Somdej Toh was named "Toh" before his monkhood and then "Phomarangsi" as his ordination-name. His mother, Gade, daughter of Chai, lived at Tambon Tarr-It, Amphur Tarr-Poh (now Amphur Muang) in Uttaradit Province. His father’s name was unknown to the public; they only knew that he came from other province.

When Somdej Toh was young, he studied at ChaoKhun Arunyik Institute, Wat Intarawiharn in Bangkok. At the age of 12 in B.E.2343, he was ordained novice by ChaoKhun Bowonwiriyataera. Later he had moved to Wat Rakang to study Pra-Pariyuttidham which means the study of the words of Buddha.

Somdej Toh studied the Buddhist scriptures of the Pali Canon with several Buddhist masters. After becoming a well-known monk, he became the preceptor for Prince Mongkut, later King Rama IV, when Mongkut became a monk. During Rama IV's reign Somdej Toh was given the ceremonial name Phra Buddhacharn Toh "Phomarangsi".

He was noted for the skill of his preaching and his use of Thai poetry to reflect the beauty of Buddhism, and for making amulets call "Somdej". The amulets were blessed by himself and other respected monks in Thailand.

Another contribution of Somdej Toh is the Chinabunchorn (Jinnabunchorn/JiNaPaJaRa) Katha. The Pra Katha Chinabunchorn was an ancient Buddhist katha, inherited from Langka city, and was found in an ancient book by Somdej Toh. The Katha was improved and rewrite by Somdej Toh of Wat RaKhang. The Pra Katha Chinabunchorn is very powerful katha and believed to be the supreme Buddhist spell because the words of this katha invite the magic power of Lord Buddha Somdej Pra Sammasambuddhachao, other Lord Buddhas and Pra Arahuntaras (supreme monks who're nearly enlightened ) to protect the worshipper from their heads to their toes in addition to dispelling all evil.

Somdej Toh was sick and died on Saturday the 22, June in B.E2415 B.E at the age of 85.

** Somdej Toh also appears in many versions of the story of Nang Nak.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Hello, please can you tell me more about my statue of a Somdey Toh. It has an tekst on the bottom witch I cannot read... maybe you can.
I send you a Foto if you send me an valid email adress.
Have a good day, Tom

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