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02 December 2007

Show Jatukam-Ramtep

Jatukam Ramathep BundanChok 2546

Jatukam Ramathep Perdfa Perdsawan Terdtiongrachun

18 November 2007

San Phra Phrom or Erawan Shrine

San Phra Phrom or Erawan Shrine was created as a spirit house connected to the Erawan Hotel, which has now made way for the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. The forces of the typical Thai spirit house didn't seem effective enough during the building of the hotel, so spiritual persons advised that it should be replaced with the four-headed image of Brahma or Phra Phrom in Thai. There have been no further hitches since then, and the shrine has became famous for bringing good fortune. The name Erawan comes from Brahma's thirty-three headed elephant.

People offer colourful flower garlands, lotus, incense and candles. Often, if a wish has been granted, people thank the spirits by donating teak elephants or commissioning the classical Thai dancers and live orchestra.

The Brahma History: According to the bible of the Brahma religion there are three gods each possessing differing moral principles, greatness, and miracles. The three gods are directly responsible for human welfare; they are collectively called "Tree Murati" and consists of Vishnu,Siva, and Brahma. Brahma is believed to be the Creator of all things of the world. He is the "Sayampoo" meaning one who originates himself. He is cool-tempered and possess the highest moral principles. He is full of kindness, mercy, sympathy, and impartiality. These four precepts comprise the "Conscientious Behaviour" corresponding to Buddhist teaching which instructs Buddhist of the four Dharma. Besides creating the world, Brahma also creates heaven and human beings.

The origin of Brahma is a rather complicated story because each legend has its own version. Some say that Brahma originated inside a golden egg; some say that He originated inside a lotus sprouting up from Vishnu's navel while the latter was sleeping on the back of the Naga King at Kasean Ocean; some say that Brahma is the split-up person of Vishnu at the time he was to create the world. Brahma has a red torso; is four-headed or four-faced. However, according to one Hindu book initially Brahma has five faces but He once enraged Siva by making an insulting speech. Siva, using miracle, opened his third eye (Siva has three eyes; Whenever his third eye opens, an event of great magnitude is bound to happen) and started at the first head of Brahma and thus flamed it to tiny particles. That is why Brahma has only four faces. Brahma has four hands (some say eight); one hand carries a walking stick, one carries two spoons, another carries a pot, and the last one carries a bible. A bead string hangs from His neck. He is armed with a bow called Paraweeta and has a hansa (a while horse in the version of the Lama sect story) as the beast of burden. The abode of Brahma is called Brohmbharuenatha situated that the Brahma abode is higher than heaven and Brahma is divided into many types viz Material Brahma and Non-material Brahma. The Material Brahma has 16 levels. The 16 levels Brahma has only men and no women. The Brahma himself sits forever still.

The Non-material Brahma is even higher. It has no matter but has only mind. There are all together 4 levels. Those who are to be born to be Brahma must have practised basic meditation from Primary Chaan till Panjama Chaan. Who is to live in which Brahma level depends on his/her Chaan practised in each activity.

The Brahma wife is Sarasawadee who has created by Brahma himself. Brahma has good disposition: cool-tempered and gives blessing to whoever asks for it. He is full of the four Dharma viz kindness, mercy, sympathy, and impartiality and extends his benevolence to all animals. At the time the Lord Buddha rose to heaven to preach his mother who lived in the second level heaven, it was Indra and Brahma wife is held by brahmins as the goddess of the intellect and technical matters. She is the mother of Phravet and invented the Thevanakree alphabets. Sarasawadeeis a beautiful woman with soft-white torso. She has four hands: on her right she carries a bouquet for worshipping Brahma in one hand and a palm-leaved bible in another, on her left is a pearl necklace called Sivamala in one hand and a harp in another. She is usually enthroned on a lotus dais or a peacock back and sometimes uses the hansa as her beast of burden.

Brahma together with Sarasawadee helped create everything on this earth and Sarasawadee was the creator of the Thevanakree alphabets and Sanskrit language. She also loves and supports the Arts and Sciences.

14 November 2007

Jatukham - Ramathep and Tourism Industry of Nakhon Si Thammarat

he trend of "Jatukham-Ramathep" is the new occurrence of Thai society. Though the definition and meaning of Jatukham-Ramathep are still puzzled and lure to find out the answer. Many chronicles and theories have been trying to sort out the solution but still there is no conclusion for the case. Some said thatJatukham-Ramathep are the protecting Theva of Nakhon Si Thammarat, some said Jatukham-Ramathep are the gods of war in Hindu and are the sons of Siva that Tamil people have been respecting for thousand years. Some also said thatJatukham-Ramathep are King Jantharapanu who declared independence of Nakhon Si Thammarat from both Lawo and Srivichaya realms.

However, Nakhon Si Thammarat that is known as the source of Jatukham-Ramathep is promptly flourishing. All roads are heading to Nakhon Si Thammarat unceasingly. It is also believed that the genuine Jatukham-Ramathep medals must get through the virtue functions of Buddhist and Deva at Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihara and the City Shrine. Such trend makes tourists and believers from all four peninsulas everyday until Nakhon Si Thammarat becomes surprisingly agile and colorful. Flights to Nakhon Si Thammarat are increased in response to the unceasing number of tourists. According to the trend, hotels, restaurants, souvenirs shops, photo shops, publishers, frame shops, as well as herbal grounding shops are taking advantages of it. It can be said that the trend ofJatukham-Ramathep has been over turning tourist situation of Nakhon Si Thammarat to be unexpectedly thrived. The stories and believes about Jatukham-Ramathep are varied as same as variety models of Jatukham-Ramathep that have been made. Only sharing the same practice of worshiping the Jatukham-Ramathep , must behave itself to be in complete Five Precepts, Moral Fears, and working with full effort for the success. In response to thetrand, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) produced the Aor Sor Thor magazine, May 2007 issue, introduced the civilization of Nakhon Si Thammarat and tour programs introducing connecting routes in between responsible areas of TAT Southern Office Region 2 with the intentions to provide earnings to locals and extend length of tourist stays.

06 November 2007

จตุคาม รามเทพ รุ่นแรก ปี 30 เนื้อขาว ปัดเงิน - 2530 (1987) Jatukam first model (white, silver gliding)

1987 Jatukam first model (white, silver gliding) จตุคาม รามเทพ รุ่นแรก ปี 2530 เนื้อขาว ปัดเงิน

Photo from: Mr. Somkid Tantrakul คุณสมคิด ตันตระกูล

02 November 2007

A revered monk who had the ear of the people

The death on Wednesday of 96-year-old Phra Panyanandha Bhikkhu, one of Thailand's most revered monks, reminded me of a recent incident.

About two weeks ago I had a brief conversation with the coffee shop manager near my office. She told me she had just received a Jatukham Ramathep amulet. But she was not very excited about it.

"How did you get it?" I asked curiously.

"Well, I went to place an order for one at a booth over there. The guy told me, 'Just bring me a cup of ice tea and you may take this Jatukham in exchange'," she said.

What a big fall from grace for the Jatukham amulet after all the craze and rumours over the past two years about its miracle ability to create instant supernatural power. Some of them used to sell for several hundred thousand baht, others tens of thousands of baht. Now, apparently, one is worth the price of a cup of tea.

Throughout his long and active life in the monk-hood, Phra Panyanandha witnessed, and fought against, all kinds of claims about supernatural powers, sacred amulets, auspicious stars, spirit houses and fortune-telling. Although he could not remove all the ignorance and the superstitious beliefs from Thai society, he helped revive wisdom among millions of Thais through his basic Dhamma teaching.

Unlike his mentor the late Phra Buddhadhas Bhikkhu, who focused on Dhamma teaching at the metaphysical level, Phra Panyanandha sought to educate common Thais about Buddhism at a community level through his oral teaching. He used easy language and his exceptional wit to both edify and enliven his audience.

Phra Buddhadhas, who passed away in 1993, was a reformist who interpreted Buddhism in its strictest and purest form. He studied thoroughly the Pali text of the Buddhist canon, the Tripitaka, and based his Buddhist teaching on its real essence. He advised Phra Panyanandha to follow suit by studying Pali and approaching the Buddhist canon in its original text.

While Phra Buddhadhas taught Buddhism at the highest level, Phra Panyanandha elected to focus on Buddhism as a community service. One needs to rely on the highest wisdom to understand Phra Buddhadhas's metaphysical teaching. But Phra Panyanandha's teaching was always straight to the point, easy to understand and never ambiguous.

He was the first monk to break the tradition of preaching on an elevated chair. He preferred to stand on a bench to preach before his audience and get closer to them.

Traditionally, a sermon is conducted with rich rituals. A monk will climb up to sit on a huge, beautifully crafted chair, which looks like a throne. He will hold a leaf, on which Buddhist texts are written, with both hands. A Thai orchestra will perform an overture. Before the real sermon takes place, a leader from the audience will say a prayer in Pali. Then the monk will start his sermon, beginning with several phrases or sentences in Pali. The monk will not hesitate to use a lot of difficult Pali words during the sermon.

Phra Panyanandha did away with all of this ritual. During the early period of his monkhood in Nakhon Si Thammarat, he organised a sermon behind the railway station there. He stood on a bench, dispensed with special rituals and spoke out loud to his audience in the ordinary language that they immediately understood. He continued this style of preaching and he quickly gained fame.

Phra Buddhadhas and Phra Panyanandha were not interested in rituals or traditional practices associated with Buddhism. They went right to the heart of Buddhism, interpreted the original text in its pure form and practised the Buddha's teaching with the highest discipline.

Phra Panyanandha had a unique style of preaching that at times offended some of his audience. When he preached to a village where there were a lot of owners of fighting bulls, he said: "They look after the bulls much better than they take care of their parents. They take the bulls for a bath and give them everything. But to their parents they never give anything at all."

Some of his audience was offended. They felt that Phra Panyanandha had lambasted them and did not spare their face. Yet Phra Panyanandha preached in line with Buddhism, which teaches people to look after their parents.

Phra Panyanandha's aim was not to lead Thais to redemption or nirvana. That would be too ambitious as well as impractical. While Phra Buddhadhas spoke to the learned, Phra Panyanandha spoke to the common people. Throughout his life he concentrated on restoring peace to society through the Buddha's teaching and correcting misunderstanding about Buddhism. Most important of all, he wanted to eradicate ignorance and superstition among Thais.

For this reason, Phra Panyanandha was a popular monk, who aimed for community service. His death has left a big vacuum in Buddhism in Thai society as Thais appear to be moving away from the essence of Buddhism to embrace superstitious beliefs and icons they believe will provide them with a quick fix to their present problems.

Thanong Khanthong

The Nation