Pra Kru Wat Bang Pha In

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pra kru wat bang pha in

Pra Kru Wat Bang Pha In

The Legacy of Wat Pho Bang Pa-In Amulets: A Testament to Devotion

The history of the Wat Pho Bang Pa-In amulets is a tale that illustrates the pure intentions of a layman whose unwavering dedication and profound faith aimed to perpetuate Buddhism. This individual’s noble aspiration to create 84,000 amulets, in accordance with Buddhist scriptures, left a lasting impact on his community and the broader realm of amulet collectors.

Ta Nom: The Devoted Creator

Ta Nom, a man of Chinese descent, lived on a boat near the mouth of Ban Pho Canal. He made a living by rowing and selling betel leaves and nuts. Driven by a strong devotion to Buddhism, Ta Nom spent his free time crafting various types of amulets, including Phra Pidta, Phra Somdej, and representations of the Buddha seated on a porcupine (similar to Phra Luang Phor Pan). After molding and firing these amulets, he placed them in a small, dilapidated stupa at Wat Pho in Bang Pa-In.

This stupa, situated next to the ordination hall, was in a state of disrepair, with an opening at the top. Ta Nom began his amulet-making endeavor around 1907 and continued for many years, as recounted by the local elders.

An Undeterred Mission

For over a century, Ta Nom persisted in his mission. As he created more amulets, he would place them in the small stupa, undeterred by the local villagers’ perception of him as eccentric. Despite this, the community recognized Ta Nom as a man deeply committed to his moral and spiritual principles. His single-minded dedication to creating amulets, which some deemed obsessive, was the cause of his perceived abnormality.

In his later years, Ta Nom passed away quietly, without much notice or concern from others. The stupa beside the ordination hall became known as the repository for his amulets. Over time, these amulets surfaced when children discovered them spilling out from the stupa’s cracks, using them in their games. Some adults who found the amulets returned them to their original place.

The Unveiling and Misrepresentation

In 1966, the temple sought funds to construct a new ordination hall. Opportunistic individuals excavated the stupa, selling the amulets and creating a fictional backstory linking them to Somdej Phra Phutthachan (To) to increase their value. This narrative drew significant attention, including from local dignitaries and even royalty, leading to a grand ceremony that captivated the nation. A statue of Somdej Phra Phutthachan was erected at the temple as a result.

The True Value and Legacy

Despite the fabricated stories, the genuine legacy of Ta Nom’s amulets should not be overlooked. The amulets, crafted with sincere devotion and meticulous effort, reflect Ta Nom’s dedication to Buddhism. Each amulet, particularly the Phra Pidta, exhibits unique artistic elements and craftsmanship, using a special type of clay that required significant effort to mold and fire.

Significance of Wat Pho Bang Pa-In Amulets

The amulets from Wat Pho Bang Pa-In, now over a hundred years old, are noteworthy for several reasons:

  1. Historical Value: These amulets are over a century old and reasonably priced, making them accessible to new collectors.
  2. Pure Intentions: Created with genuine dedication and effort, these amulets embody the pure intentions of their maker.
  3. Proven Efficacy: The amulets have a reputation for their spiritual benefits, making them highly sought after despite many counterfeits.
  4. Cultural Impact: They have significantly contributed to the development of Wat Pho and the local community, aligning with Ta Nom’s goal of supporting Buddhism.
  5. Enduring Legacy: The continued existence and veneration of these amulets demonstrate their effectiveness in perpetuating the Buddhist faith.

Despite modern developments at Wat Pho Bang Pa-In, a crucial element remains missing—a memorial to Ta Nom. His contributions have upheld and enriched Buddhism, warranting recognition for his unwavering faith and dedication.

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