Saturday, 2 May 2009

Monk’s Living Quarters from Four Regions - Part 1

Central Region Monk’s Living Quarters

Somdej Phra Puttajarn (Toh Prommarangsri) Wat Rakhang Khositaram Worawiharn, Bangkok .

Most Thai people recognize him by the short name "Somdej Toh." Somdej Phra Puttajarn (Toh Prommarangsri) is a legend of the Rattanakosin Era. Even if he passed away more than 100 years ago, his name is still mentioned until now as his amulets are the most famous of all. Somdej Toh was born on 17 April 1788, during the reign of King Rama 1. Many kings favored Somdej Toh very much because he was good at teaching and preaching. He was very well versed in Dhamma, Buddhist principles, regulations, and precepts. He was a sagacious and intelligent monk and yet his conduct was rather eccentric. His mind was also full of generosity and mercy for poor people. He loved to live alone and lived his life peacefully and practiced Dhamma regularly. He passed away at the age of 85.

His Holy Highness the Supreme Patriarch Somdej Phra Ariyowongsakotayan (Yu Yanothai)

Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan

Somdej Phra Ariyowongsakotayan (Yu Yanothai) was born in Bangkokyai-Thonburi District, Bangkok, on 1 December 1874 during the reign of the King Rama V. Somdej Phra Ariyowongsakotayan received his first education from his own father and then started spending his life as a monk and studied "Pali" language at Wat Sa Ket. He received many Buddhism awards since he was 28. He was also the first monk to win "Pariean 9 Prayok", the highest level of studying Pali language, during the reign of King Rama V. He was a magnificent monk at the time and whenever there were any religious rites or someone invited him to preach or teach about Buddhism, he would be taken by royal limousine to the temple. This tradition has been developed from generation to generation until now we have to provide a bus or car to take monks from the temple to the place where a religious rite takes place.

Somdej Phra Ariyowongsakotayan was the "15th Sangkharaj" (His Holy Highness the Supreme Patriarch) in 1963 during the Rattanakosin Era. He passed away at the age of 91 in the year 1965. He was one of the model monks of the country who supported many religious education activities, developed and supported social activities, and supported the development and renovation of temples and monasteries, especially Wat Sa Ket, where he was the main drive for building the Golden Pagoda. It became one of the most significant examples of Buddhist architecture.

Source- Siam Cultural Park

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