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Article Date : 30 January 2012
Article Author : Chris Jones
Legend of Luang Phor Thuad
Wat Changhai is situated at Naparu, Koppo District, Pattani, Thailand. It was built over three hundred years ago. It was also the place where Luang Phor Thuad gained Enlightenment.
The gathered crowd gave homage and made and an offering of flowers and rice cake to the serpent. The snake proceeded to un-entangle itself, spat out a translucent gem and slithered away into the distance. During this whole episode the child remained sound asleep.
The gem remained in the safe possession of Boo's parents until he was sufficiently old enough to take care of the item himself. Even today, the crystal gem is still installed at Wat Phra Kho in Songkla with many accounts of its miraculous properties.
When Boo was seven years old, he was sent to stay with Abbot Chuang, at Wat Kudi Luang where he studied Buddhism. As a talented young man, he was ordained a novice monk at the age of 15 whereupon he chose to continue his monastic studies with Phra Khru Saddhammarangsi at Wat Sri Ku-Yang (presently in Ranod, Songkla). Finally at the age of 20, he was ordained a monk.
Luang Phor Thaud had made great progress and in his desire for further knowledge made the the decision to study Buddhist scriptures in Ayudhya, whereupon he left by passenger ship for his destination.
Shortly after departure his vessel was suddenly struck by a violent storms and the ship drifted for several days in open seas. As a consequence all the rations including fresh water were consumed. Many of his fellow passengers, who were superstitious, blamed him for their mis-fortune and had wanted him thrown overboard.
Luang Phor Thuad sensing the tension and imminent danger tried to console his aggressors by offering to provide drinking water from the salt water. In front of all the passengers, Luang Phor Thuad dipped his foot into the sea and drew an imaginary circle. He instructed a sailor to draw water from the sea where he'd circled with his feet. The sailor performed the task and tasted the water, the water was found to be drinkable, satisfying all doubts. Many of those present knelt and begged forgiveness.
Sufficient fresh water was collected and stored for the remainder of the journey, which proceeded without further interruption.
On his safe arrival in Ayudhya, Luang Phor Thuad remained at Wat Lumbaliavas where he continued to study the Buddhist scriptures.
It was at this time that the King of Sri Lanka, eyeing the growing wealth and power of the kingdom of Thailand, sent seven monks to Ayudhya province to test the achievements of the monks in Thailand. They brought with them 12 bowls containing 84,000 words. These words were to be arranged into a certain sutra within seven days
If the task was accomplished, King of Sri Lanka would present Thailand with 7 boats made of gold. However, should the task be unsuccessful, Thailand would have to surrender its sovereignty to Sri Lanka.
The Thai King found it difficult to reject such a challenge and gathered all his country's learned monks to deal with the problem. Many tried but were unsuccessful.
As a last resort the young Luang Phor Thuad was summoned to help. Twelve bowls of words were poured on the table. He closed his eyes and arranged them with both hands. After about a quarter of an hour, he announced that 7 words were missing.
The sven missing words were Sarn (Dhamma-sangani), Vi (Vibhanga), Dha (Dhatukotha), Pu (PUggala-pannatti), Ka (Kathavatthu), Ya (Yamaka) and Pa (Patthana) which are the heart of the seven scriptures of Abhidhamma Pitako.
Seven monks, ambassadors of the Sri Lankan King, who witnessed the event and were forced to hand over the missing pieces and within a short period of time all 84,000 pieces had been assembled into the Buddhist scripture. The prize was duly claimed by the Thai king
Impressed by LP Thuad's wisdom, the Thai king bestowed upon him the rank and title of "Somdej Phra Rajamuni Samiramagunupamacarya". This was the highest rank ever given to a wandering monk.
Somdej Phra Rajamuni Samiramagunupamacarya or Luang Phor Thuad remained in Ayudhya until He finally returned home when his mother became seriously ill.
The King was pleased to respond to the request of Luang Phor Thuad. He gave his full support including a gracious donation of land to 250 families that dwelled in the immediate locale. This royal decree is still kept at the National Library in Bangkok.
Luang Phor Thuad was later requested to lead a project for the construction of a new temple, Wat Changhai in Pattani, where he was to become the Abbot.
During the last years of his life, Luang Phor Thuad dedicated his time to spreading Dharma for the benefit of the people. On his frequent pilgrimages to the forested areas of Ayudhya, he would often take his long handled umbrella, and this has now become a famous image of the great monk.
After his death, at the age of 120 years, he manifested himself in the dreams and visions of his disciples. Amulets were made of his image as they continue to be so today. Many Thais today can testify to the efficacy and protective powers of LP Thuad amulets. He died in Malaysia and his body was brought back to Wat Chang Hai where there is an annual festival in April to pay respects to his bones and ashes.
One of the best known amulets is the LP Thuad Pim Yai, more commonly known as the ''M16 Amulet'' due to a now famous and well documented account of an armed robbery.