Somdej Toh

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Somdet Phra Buddhacarya
(To Brahmaramsi)
Marble statue of Somdej Toh, Wat Intharawihan, Bangkok.jpg
Religion Buddhism
School Theravada, Maha Nikaya
Other names Somdet To (สมเด็จโต)
Khrua To (ขรัวโต)
Dharma names Brahmaramsi (พฺรหฺมรํสี)
Personal
Nationality Siamese
Born (1788-04-17)April 17, 1788
Tha Ruea, Ayutthaya, Siam
Died June 22, 1872(1872-06-22) (aged 84)
Bang Khun Phrom, Bangkok, Siam

Somdet To (1788-1872; B.E. 2331-2415), known formally as Somdet Phra Buddhacarya (To Brahmaramsi) (Thai: สมเด็จพระพุฒาจารย์ (โต พฺรหฺมรํสี); rtgsSomdet Phra Phutthachan (To Phrommarangsi)), was one of the most famous Buddhist monks during Thailand's Rattanakosin Period and continues to be the most widely known monk in Thailand.[1] He is widely revered in Thailand as a monk who is said that he possessed magical powers and his amulets are widely sought after.[2] His images and statues are some of the most widespread religious icons in Bangkok.[3]

Biography[edit]

Somdet To was born in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province, the illegitimate son of King Rama II.[4] He studied the Buddhist scriptures of the Pāli 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 Somdet To was given the ceremonial name Somdet Phra Buddhacarya (To Brahmaramsi) by the King and used to be one of his trusted advisers, having left a lot of teaching stories around him and the King.[5]

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. He also appears in many versions of the story of the ghost Mae Nak Phra Khanong, and he is said to be the one to finally subdue her. Somdet To also wrote the Jinapanjara, a protective magical incantation which is widely chanted and used by Thais.[6]

Sources[edit]

  1. Legends of Somdet Toh, Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu,

References[edit]

  1. ^ McDaniel, Justin Thomas. The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand.
  2. ^ McDaniel, Justin Thomas. The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand.
  3. ^ McDaniel, Justin Thomas. The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand.
  4. ^ Legends of Somdet Toh
  5. ^ Legends of Somdet Toh
  6. ^ McDaniel, Justin Thomas. The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand.