Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Mae Naak Shrine

The Mae Naak shrine, which is supposedly her burial place, attracts visitors from far and near, and the close by monastery as well as the neighborhood peddlers all benefit from her great popularity.
Sweet incense and flower garlands perfume the air in the front part of the shrine when one enters her "home". With a donation of twenty baht, an offering package including stick incense, a piece of paper with a stamp-size gold leaf, and a yellow candle is available; a bundle of orchids and bottles of fragrance can be added by paying a little more. Pious worshipers, of course, would prepare their own floral wreaths, fresh fruit, and khanom as extra oblation. Colorful dresses, cosmetic products, together with various accessories presented by her believers fill every inch of the chamber. Toys, diapers, and milk bottles are heaped up as gifts for her child.
People are paying their respect to Mae Naak in picture 1 and in picture 2 is Mae Naak's image. Third picture is stuff for her child and television for her that's on all the time.
The devotees kneel and pray to her statue, which sits at the rear of the room and faces a television that is kept on all the time. After paying their respect or registering their requests, some would go to the back of the house and apply squares of thin gold leaf to her statue. The Nang Naak figure is reputed to be made from soil gathered from seven different cemeteries under local auspicious belief. The shrine attendants, moreover, regularly lather the statue with ointment to make her "skin" softer and more real.

Apart from general blessings and protection, Mae Naak is benevolent at giving out winning lottery numbers.
Since Nang Naak's grief and misfortune was caused by military conscription, she is believed to detest the call-ups and naturally becomes the patron deity for those who want to get out of it. Notwithstanding, bestowing fertility and pregnancy are not her specialty. Expectant mothers are often advised to avoid visiting her for obvious reason.

HOW TO GET THERE: Take the skytrain to the On Nut station. On the east side of Sukhumwit Road, you will find Soi 77. Mahabute temple is about 900 metres down this road on the left. Look out for Soi 7. The temple is alongside a canal at the end of Soi 7.

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