Friday, December 31, 2010

The Legend of LP Jamlong

“My name is Long, Long with an L not an R, as Rong means always the second best, I am Jamlong and I will not be second to anyone.” That's what LP Jamlong used to say last time. He is a real adept monk from the old capital and this is certainly not a boast. LP's brief history goes like this - before he joined the Sangha he was a ‘Li-ke Guru’ (Li-ke is traditional Thai opera), and he also knew the ‘Chuchok Spell’ (Chuchok is a beggar king). Other Li-ke bands have to ask people for work, but for his band it was the other way round as they received so many invitations all the time. As long as he used the Chuchok Spell, all the money and necessities of life will keep coming to him without much effort.

Later he got tired of living in the superficial society, so he ordained and went to studied with LP Er of Wat Panomyong. LP Er is the one who taught Thailand’s statesman, Mr. Preedee Panomyong (he was also the one who advised Mr. Preedee to use the last name of Panomyong, after the name of the temple instead using his Chinese family name). After that LP went to practice with LP Pan of Wat Pad Ar. From there he learned to make the ‘Phakod’ (sacred knotted cloth) or ‘Bullet Proof – Gambling House Afraid – Magical Knotted Cloth’. His first try was done by using ‘Bungsukun’ cloth (a yellow robe placed on the coffin before lighting the pyre for performing a requiem by the monks). He tested the cloth by throwing it to the fire, and somehow it won’t burn. I know it sound ridiculous but if you don’t believe it, you can underline this paragraph and go to ask LP himself whether this is true or not.

At one time when LP Tim of Wat Phra Khao was still healthy, some villagers from Ang Thong Province came to worship Luang Por Chao Noi (the famous Buddha statue) of Wat Panomyong. They then paid a visit to LP Tim and asked him for some sacred objects with power for doing business. When LP Tim learned that they had already passed Wat Panomyong, he told them, “You have missed a real deal there; isn’t LP Jamlong there at Wat Panomyong? Why don’t you ask such things from him? He is quite an adept monk.” LP Than Chaokhun Sawat of Wat Salapoon also praised LP Jamlong as ‘one with very powerful mental force’. His Metta was really more intense than LP Sawat when he was younger. These testimonies guarantee that LP Jamlong is one of the most adept Wicha monks in Ayuttaya.

One day LP had a strong inspiration, so he took out some copper foils, rolled them up and bound them with twined rope. He then coated them with black lacquer before tying them around the neck of his dogs. The villagers and his disciples called it ‘Takrut Kor Mah Ayuttaya’ (Dog Neck Charms of Ayuttaya). Those dogs who wore the Maha Amnaj takruts were typical local Thai dogs. One of them dog had a fight with a foreign dog the size of a man. And the result? This Thai dog won without any scratches and the foreign dog had to run for its life. ‘Tam’ was another one of those dogs that wore his takruts. It took a nap at the Sala of the Sleeping Buddha which is situated at the temple’s frontage. Some villagers brought food to make a votive offering to the Sleeping Buddha and also wanted to light some firecrackers. To their surprise, the firecrackers won’t burn at all; they just keep extinguishing. Finally someone realized what's happening and bent down to see Tam lying under the table. They knew right then that it was Wat Panomyong’s dog and had to drive him off. This time those firecrackers burn normally and exploded loudly as they should. Another story was told that some naughty kids used a handmade muzzle-loading gun to shoot the dog but it also won’t fire. Miraculous, right?

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