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Luangphu Thuad, Wat ChangHai

Luangphu Thuad, Wat ChangHai

In this instant, we solely base the history of Somdej Chao Phra Koh "LuangPhu Thuad ". According to legend, Somdej Chao Phra Koh attained his rank from King Maha Thammaraja of Ayutthaya and he was bestowed the official title “Phrarajchamuni Sameeram Khunupanachan”. LuangPhu Thuad was born on Friday in the year of snake, March B.E. 2125 (A.D.1582) at Baan Suan Chan, Chom Phol sub-district of Sathing Phra District, Songkhla Province. His father named “Hu” and his mother was “Chan”. She named the baby “Pu”, Pu was the couple first child.

LP Thuad was ordained as a novice (samenera) at the age of 5 and was known a Sammanaen Pu. As his teachers found out that he was gifted in Buddhism, he was sent to other temples over the hills and across the jungle to further his teachings in Buddhism. At the age of 20, he was ordained as a full monk at Wat Saemamuang at Nakorn Si Thammarat and was name as Phra Samiramo. His preceptor was Phra Maha Thaerathasri. After approximately 3 years of intense studying the sciptures, he achieved a high level in his studies, he felt homesick and decided to return home.

When he reached home, his father passed away at the age of 72. After his father's funeral, Samiramo settled down the dwelling for his mother and then bid farewell to her and said: "What I know of the scripture is very limited. I need to go to the capital city of Ayutthaya to enter the Buddhist University to further advance and enhance my studies"

Ancient Ayutthaya

In the ancient times, there were no proper roads for those who need to travel to another district; they have to take a boat ride when they travelled. Samiramo has to travel by boat to Ayutthaya, after the boat has travelled for 4 days and 3 nights and about to reach the shore of Chumphon, it encountered a rough thunderstorm and the boat was rocking back and forth violently.

 Boat wrecked on the way to Ayutthaya LP Thuad was travelling when they met with the fierce storm.

After enduring the fierce storm for 4 days and 3 nights, it finally calmed down and the passengers were out of danger. However, by then the food and drinking water on the boat was finished. The boat owner was worried and was discussing with his attendants on what should be the next course. In the course of discussion, one of the attendants mentioned that there was a monk (LP Thuad) in the boat, most of them thought that previously the sailing had been smooth all along but this time they had a monk on board and encountered a fierce storm. They concluded that the monk had brought with him ill fortune on the boat.

The boat owner issued an order to expel the monk and arranged for another smaller boat for LP Thuad to leave. Hence LP Thuad had no alternative but to leave the boat, but before stepping out, he said: "The disaster is the will of heaven and it is not your own doing. All the drinking water in the boat has been consumed but do not worry as there is still a lot of clean water under the boat. It cannot be fully consumed".

When the passengers in the boat heard what LP Thuad had said, they were doubtful and suspicious, at the same time their anger arose and thought LP Thuad was mad and was lying to them. All the surrounding was sea water, where could they get clean water to drink? The boat owner was furious upon hearing and instructed his attendants to send LP Thuad away. When LP Thuad descended onto the smaller boat, he stood still for a  while before raising one foot and placed it into the sea. Simultaneously, a ring of white light emerged on the water just below his foot.                                                                                               

LP Thuad requested one of the boat attendants to scoop some water with his hand and taste it. After tasting it, he found the water to be clean and fresh and he requested rest of the others to taste the water as well. Even the boat owner personally tasted it, he even suspected that the boat has sailed into the clear water bay, he then went to the front of the boat and scooped a cup of the sea water from there.

"Wow! The water are so salty, terribly salty!!". The boat exclaimed as he spitted out all the sea water from his mouth. Everybody laughed at the sight. After which the attendants filled up all their containers with the water below  the foot of LP Thuad for later use.

After the miraculous incident, the people on the boat no longer regarded LP Thuad as an ill fortune monk but instead gave him a warm welcome aboard the boat again. When LP Thuad was well seated, the boat owner and the attendants knelt before LP Thuad to seek forgiveness and expressed their repentance. LP Thuad smiled and conferred his blessings one each one of them. Thereafter, the boat sailed smoothly and reached Ayutthaya.

LP Thuad is most famous for his legendary powers and for the miracle of turning the ocean's seawater into drinking water. This is infact his nickname "Liang Pu Thuad Yiab Nam Talay Cheud" LP Thuad stepping over the ocean's seawater and turning it to fresh drinking water!

Upon arrival at Ayutthaya, LP Thuad walked about 3 miles before he came to a majestic temple, he thought that he could spend a night at that temple. He approached the chief monk of that temple, when the chief monk some LP Thuad in tattered robes with patches all over it, he told him that the rooms in the temple were occupied and hence not able to offer LP Thuad the accommodation.

With not much choice, LP Thuad has to look for another temple to accommodate him, walking a mile up he came across an old temple. An elderly monk was inside cleaning the altar when LP Thuad requested him for accommodation, the elderly monk warmly invited him to the inner sanctum and offered him the accommodation. (This temple still exist today in Ayutthaya and is known as Wat Rachanuwat or Wat Kae in short, today the temple has a statue of LP Thuad located at the upper end of its main sanctum).

LP Thuad Sacred Bucha (Statue) at Wat Changhai, Pattani. (A Very Powerful and Efficacious Statue that Grants and Fulfilled Wishes to Devotees)

In the year 2516, Ayutthaya and Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka) had disputed over religious issues. The King of Ceylon had the motive of conquering Ayutthaya but he did not want to create a war where blood are spilled. He came up with an ingenious plan where he took out gold from his kingdom's reserves and instructed the goldsmiths to craft them into 84,000 square pieces of gold. He then gave them to the Brahmin missionaries to inscribe them with Pali scripture texts to develop and create the Tripitaka.

After the inscription work was completed, the King of Ceylon arranged for 7 ships of treasures and proceeded to Ayutthaya. When he reached the capital, the King of Ceylon despatched 7 Brahmin missionaries holding 7 trays of gold tablets to meet with the King of Ayutthaya (Phra Maha Thammaracha) and together delivered the Letter-of-Challenge.

The King of Ayutthaya accepted the challenge. The challenge required the King of Ayutthaya to reassemble the 84,000 pieces of gold tablets and arranged them into the original Tripitaka within 7 days. If the challenge is won by the King of Ayutthaya, the King of Ceylon will offer all the 7 boats of treasures to him, if failed, Ayutthaya will become a colony of Ceylon.

The King of Ayutthaya did not have much choice and reluctantly accepted the challenge. He ordered all his subjects to search and assemble all the learned scholars, monks and normal laymen with exceptional skills to recompile the Tripitaka.

However, the learned scholars failed after several attempts and they felt helpless. The King this time issued a special order to notify all the Buddhist monks in the country regarding the challenge. On the 4th night, the King dreamt of a white elephant roaring loudly arcross the sky. When awoke in the morning, he summoned his palace Brahmins and astrologers to interpret his dreams and he was told:

"It is a good omen, there must be a very wise person to come and help the King to resolve the national crises". Upon hearing that, the King became more confident.

King of Ayuttahaya dreamt of a "White Elephant" which was an indication of a "good omen", on the following morning when LP Thuad was on alms round, they offered food to him and from their intuition they knew LP  Thuad was the monk who could resolved the national crisis (from the challenged post by the king of Ceylon)

The dream was auspicious, however, reality is the crisis of the challenge is still there. On the morning of the 6th day, the King of Ayutthaya was still disturbed as the crisis could not be resolved. On that particular morning, LP Thuad was going on his alms near towards the family of the Royal Palace, it happened that they were discussing about the challenge from the King of Ceylon. When they saw a monk passing by on alms round, they quickly offered him food respectfully.

When approaching LP Thuad, the royal family could feel the aura emitted him and they sensed that he was just not an ordinary monk. Feeling that he was not an ordinary monk, they probed him further and during the course of the conversation with him, they learned that he came from the South and he was in Ayutthaya to further his studies in Buddhism  and Pali and to research on the Tripitaka. After learning that LP Thuad was in the postgraduate stage of Buddhist studies, they consulted him and said:

"Our country has always been well known for Buddhism, however, we are now confronted with the challenge posed by the Brahmin missionaries from Ceylon, and up till the 6th day of the challenge, no one in the country could recompile the Tripitaka. The country of Ayutthaya could not end just like that and become a colony of Ceylon, can the venerable monk assist us in this national crisis?"

LP Thuad replied: "I am just a simple and humble monk from the South and my knowledge is limited. Nevertheless, in order to save our country, I'm prepared to give it a try".

When the officials in Ayutthaya heard that, they were very happy and wanted to bring LP Thuad to meet with the King on the very day, however, LP Thuad was of opinion that the matter could not be rushed and suggested that he will meet with the King the next day. After saying that, he carried on with his alms round. The officials rushed to the palace and inform him of the good news, the King was equally elated and those at the palace had a sense of "hope".

The following morning, the King sent a horse carriage to the temple to pick up LP Thuad. When the carriage returned to the palace, upon Luang Phor alighting, the very moment LP Thuad entered the main hall of the palace, the bricks beneath his feet broke into pieces as he stepped on them.

The King and his ministers were shocked and astonished felt into silence at that sight. After LP Thuad entered the main hall, he sat down and meditated. The ministers then respectfully brought him

7 trays of gold tablets and placed it before him. LP Thuad meditated and prayed to the Lord Buddha, his teachers and the celestial beings for their blessings and to help Ayutthaya in deciphering the crisis to avoid its people of being colonize and ultimately becoming slaves to their new colonial master.

After the meditation, the 7 Brahmins came to the palace and were about to demand for the handling over of the controlling rights of Ayutthaya. LP Thuad applied his supernatural power and magical skills where he arranged the scriptures of the Tripitaka in its proper order. When he was at the final stage of arranging, he found that amongst the gold tablets, 7 indicated numbers were missing, the 7 missing indicators were respectively: sang, wi, ta, pu, ka, ya and pa.

The 7 Brahmin missionaries did not response and acted dumbed and kept silent. LP Thuad said out calmly: "Whoever, had kept the remaining 7 gold tablets must bring all out quickly, failing which, death will befall upon them and that will not be my concern!"

The 7 Brahmin missionaries learned of the earlier incident that the bricks on the floor broke to pieces as LP Thuad stepped into the palace and from that they knew that he was not an ordinary monk.

Being fearful of the predicament of their deaths, each of the Brahmins took out the rest of the golden tablets that was hidden in their hairs and they totaled up exactly in 7. The officials hurriedly handled the missing 7 golden tablets to LP Thuad, adding up to the total of 84,000 pieces of gold tablets and re-complied in the original manner of the Tripitaka, hence, a victory to the King of Ayutthaya and the defeat of the King of Ceylon.

The King of Ceylon conceded  and offered the Tripitaka and the 7 boats of treasures to the King of Ayutthaya, however, the King politely declined the gifts and returned all to the King of Ceylon. With the national crisis resolved, the King was relieved and arranged to reward LP Thuad and to conferred him with the title of "Phraramuni Samiram Kumpramachan", this title was the only one given to a monk in Thailand. Up to this date, no other monks in Thailand had received such an honour.

Celestial Golden Lotus (This Mystical Flower was given by the Mystic Old Man to LP Thuad)

In his old age between the age of 80 to 90 years old, LP Thuad went back to the South and stayed at Wat Phra Koh. One evening a novice monk (of around 12 years old) handed over a celestial lotus flower on behalf of a mystical elderly man. This mystic had earlier said: "This is a celestial flower and will never wither, it's for a holy monk". He wanted the novice monk to hand the lotus over to the holy monk, after saying that the mystical old man vanished.

The novice did not waste time and went around looking for the holy monk to have his mission accomplished. In evening, the novice monk arrived at Wat Phra Koh on a full moon night. The novice stood by the door of the main sanctumholding the lotus and saw a group of monks entering the sanctum for the evening chating but none of them greeted the novice monk. When he found out later that there was still another monk in the monk quarters, the novice requested to meet with him.

The monk inside the monk's quarters was none other than LP Thuad himself. When LP Thuad saw the lotus, he knew it was a celestial flower and enquired where it came about. When the novice monk heard that, he knew immediately that this must be the holy monk and respectfully handed the lotus to LP Thuad. After receiving the flower, LP Thuad went into meditation for a while, he then invited the novice monk into the monk's quarters and closed the door behind them. Thereafter, LP Thuad was never seen again. This mystery is still not decephered to this date.

From that day onwards, everyone believed Somdej Chao Phra Koh and the young novice has attained nirvana and has returned to the heavenly world, and the only things left behind by Somdej Chao Phra Kho " Somdej LuangPhu Thuad " were his Crystal Ball and Twisted Walking Cane that is still on displayed at Wat Pha Koh, Sathing Phra district, Songkhla province.

History of Wat ChangHai

The precise name for Wat Chang Hai should be Wat Ratburanaram, nevertheless villagers and devotees tended to called Wat Chang Hai meaning "Elephant Present or Elephant Give”. The history of Wat Chang Hai has been told millions of times from generation to generation, but the main attentions are Somdej Luang Phu Thuad the most famous monk in whole of Thailand and faraway land, where this great master personal history centered in the old Siam. Somdej LuangPhu Thuad is a very well-known and famous monk during the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. His Buddhist preaching was well received from Southern Thailand and right to the capital of Krung Sri Ayutthaya, where his knowledge of Dhamma and Buddhist Tripitaka has captured the heart of royalties and the commoner right through his lifetimes.

According to legend, Phraya Kamdum the Lord of Sai Buri was exploring a site to build a new town as a gifts for his younger sister, as he was indecisive which location to choose and pick, he used his shrewdness by using two of his owned elephants to lead the way in seeking the most suitable site whereas the new town will be situated. After several days of travelling, the elephant come to complete stopped at the present-day Wat Chang Hai location, where the elephant walks the surrounding area for three rounds and thereafter roared out loud. Lord Phraya Kamdum was very contented on the location but his younger sister was not satisfied and she requested Phraya Kamdum to looks for another location. To please his sister, Lord Phraya Kamdum continue to search for new location, finally they found a new place called Krue Se in today Pattani province where he built a new town for his sister. Lord Phraya Kamdum of Sai Buri still cannot stop thinking about the first location and decided to build a monastery on the site and named it Wat Chang Hai “Elephant Present” and presented it to the revered Lanka “Somdej Luang Phu Thuad” of Sai Buri and appointed him chief abbot of Wat Chang Hai, villagers in and around started to addressed him Sir Chang Hai or Master Lanka and some even called him LuangPhor Dam of Sai Buri.

In what manner the names of Somdej LuangPhu Thuad came about in different regions and places no one knows the actual answers, because this great revered monk hold many names and titles during the Ayutthaya period, and yet every followers believed and agreed that Somdej LuangPhu Thuad, Somdej Chao Phra Koh, Phrarajchamuni Sameeram Khunupanachan, Luang Phor Dam or Sir Chang Hai is the only one and same holy monk that every followers mentioned about, where his distinguishable personality and knowledge of Tirpitaka and mystical powers have won the hearts of many followers.

When Somdej LuangPhu Thuad was staying in Sai Buri, he passes his wishes to his close followers, that should he departed this world, he would like his body brought back to Wat Chang Hai for cremation and his ashes be kept there, he even told his followers that should his body fluids drop along the way to Wat Chang Hai, all they have to do is just light a sandalwood incense stick and stick onto the ground, where it will became a sacred place liked the final journey he made back from Ayutthaya to Wat Phra Kho also known as Wat Ratchapraditsathan, Sathing Phra district, Songhkla province.

When Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo was appointed chief abbot of Wat Chang Hai, He was wondering how the monastery came to exist for hundreds of years, he try to find as much information as possible, but villagers are unable to provide him a clear answer. Then one night, he had a strange dream where he saw four monks walking out from the reservoir toward the monastery, the first monk that emerge were LuangPhor Sri, follow by Luang Phor Thong and LuangPhor Chan while the last one he saw was an elderly monk walking slowly with a twisted walking cane. Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo was very peculiar on that elderly monk with a walking twisted cane by inquiring various issue concerning Wat Chang Hai, through which the elderly monk with a walking twisted cane begin to explains each and every details regarding Wat Chang Hai and leisurely walks through Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo by describing the monastery’s boundaries in all four directions. Before dawn, the elderly monk with a walking twisted cane told Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo” “Should you have any queries concerning Wat Chang Hai, all you need is let me know in your dream and I will assist you whatever I can “ with that words, the elderly monk with a walking twisted cane and the other monks just disappeared into the mist.

Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo began to recall those words that the elderly monk told him, upon which he becomes conscious that the elderly monk was none other than Revered Somdej LuangPhu Thuad. Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo took many events into consideration and brings to mind those words mentioned by Revered Somdej LuangPhu Thuad, and with that inspiration whatever matter or issue Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo carry out, it become visible that every issue went smoothly without much problem. Ultimately, Wat Chang Hai monastery was fully restored, but unfortunately Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo was succumbed to digestive tract cancer and passed away peacefully on 30th November 1969. Currently, the ashes of Revered Somdej LuangPhu Thuad and Venerable Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo were enshrined and kept inside the sacred pagoda of Wat Chang Hai.

Wat Chang Hai Ratburanaram sacred pagoda final gold leafs topping ceremony was performed by his Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 13th April 1988.

For the past few hundred years, Wat Chang Hai has encountered all kinds of calamities from natures to man-made disasters and yet it has withstood and endured the unanticipated environments till it present day. In keeping with Buddha belief and practices, all the past and present abbots of Wat Chang Hai have dutifully upholds their Buddhist principles in addition to disseminating the teachings of Buddha to many of its followers.

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