Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wat Wangprongke in Lopburi

Wat Wangprongke is the temple of LP Lah in Lopburi province. Above we see a statue of Phra Buddha Sothon.
A statue of the respected LP Lah.
The current abbot of the temple Ajarn Thon. He is a disciple of LP Lah and recently consecrated a batch of Leklai amulets.
The Ubosot.
Phra Ruang and Phra Leela images at the side of the Ubosot.
9-tier Leklai Phra Somdejs chanted by Ajarn Thon.
Python Skin Takruts made by Ajarn Thon.
Inside the Ubosot.

Group members having their photo taken with Ajarn Thon on my 2nd visit.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wat Kren Kathin & Wat Tha Klong

Wat Kren Kathin and Wat Tha Klong in Lopburi province are headed by LP Pian, a well-known guru monk for consecrating Mit Mor (magic knifes). Above we see the main chedi building at Wat Kren Kathin. However there are no relics enshrined inside it yet.
The Ubosot.
LP Pian and Buddha shrine.
Inside the Vihara is a small glass chedi contaning the Buddha's relics.
A display cabinet showing the popular batches of amulets and buchas made by the temple.
Taking a photo with LP Pian after receiving a blessing from him.
Outside at the temple park, most of the buildings are still not completed yet.
One of the completed Sala.
The large Pang Tawai Net (Sunday) statue still under works.
9" Mit Mor obtained from Wat Kren Kathin.
The amulet counter at Wat Tha Klong.
The altar inside the hall.
The long Leknami sword (24"). It was very beautiful and attractive, but I did not chow for fear of not being able to bring it back to Singapore.
The 10" Leknampi Phra Kan I chowed at Wat Tha Klong instead.
Everyone posing with the Mit Mors at Wat Tha Klong on my 2nd visit there.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Tiger Woods and his Women

The Dhammapada says:

"For a person forced on by his thoughts,
Fierce in his passion and focused on beauty,
Craving grows all the more.
He's the one who tightens the bond (of suffering)."
All the beings in this world are driven by their own lust and craving towards suffering, for they are ignorant of the consequences of unrestrained desire. This is the Prison of Lust, and even people with very good karma cannot escape from it. The latest celebrity to fall into this self-created prison is Tiger Woods, our world famous golf player. Obviously Woods is one who has it all - wealth, fame, respect and a beautiful wife. But like most men, he can't resist other beautiful women, who would gladly sleep with him for who he is. So eventually his wife found out and gave him hell, causing Woods to crash his car trying to escape from her. Now, Woods have to cough out millions of dollars to pacify his wife and beg her not to divorce him; millions more to prevent his other lovers from doing a "kiss and tell" to the media. Shame, injury, loss of wealth, stress and frustration - these are the karmic fruits of his Kamesu Miccacara (sexual misconduct).
Seeing the suffering that such deeds lead to, the wise applies mindfulness to lust arising in the mind, and does not let it go out of control. I hope that Woods will learn his lesson from this shameful episode.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wat Salapoon in Ayuttaya

Wat Salapoon in Ayuttaya is the temple of LP Sawat, a respected master in the town district. He recently consecrated a batch of Phra Sangkachai, Sivali and Phaya Krut amulets.
The Phra Sangkachai shrine, with LP Tuad, Sivali and Somdej Toh at the side.
Outside the Ubosot.
Inside golden Buddha statues inside the Ubosot.
A closer look at the Buddhas.
The golden Chedi behind the Ubosot.
The amulet counter. At the right side we can see the new Phra Sivali buchas.
LP Sawat's kuti. He was not around at that time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hell Park at Wat Muang in Ang Thong

Wat Muang is a famous temple in Ang Thong province with a large Buddhist theme park. Above we see the Chinese Shrine to Bohisattva Guanyin.
The Thousand Arm Guanyin statue inside the shrine.
The temple has 2 Ubosots, Gold and Silver. This is the gold one.
Another angle of the Ubosot. It has Chinese Dragon guardians and many lotus sculptures outside.
The silver Ubosot is where the monks perform their daily chantings. There are many Lersi statues outside.
Inside the silver Ubosot. It is filled with mirrors creating an effect of infinite space.
The undecaying body of Ajarn Kasem, the previous abbot. It is venerated inside the silver ubosot.
Arjan Kasem's bucha and photo portrait. He passed away relatively young.
The large golden Buddha statue of Wat Muang - Phra Buddha Maha Nawamin.

Phra Buddha Maha Nawamin towers over the Hell Park and the entire temple. I took a video of the statue and its surroundings.
Now we come to the Hell Park. This is Phra Malai preaching to the hell-beings on Uposatha days.
The barbed tree where sinners who commit sexual misconduct are forced to climb up and down by the torturers and their hell-hounds.
A woman sinner who like to cheat others being hanged by her limbs and mercilessly slashed by her torturer.
Sinners who are addicted to alcohol and other intoxicants are force to drink boiling metal liquid by the torturers.
Sinners who constantly lied, abused or slandered others have their tongues hooked in hell, or are forced through the meat grinder.
Those who killed, murdered or slaughtered other beings are themselves slaughtered alive by the torturers in hell. They die and keep coming back to life to go through the same torments again and again due to the force of their own evil karma.
And there are the thieves and robbers, who are impaled and sawed up in hell.
Tall statues of male and female hungry ghosts, who have to suffer constant hunger and thirst.
The ungrateful sinners who repay kindness with evil are thrown into the wok of boiling oil to be fried alive.
The Hall of hell where King Yama and his judges decide on the appropriate punishments for the sinners, in accordance to the unwholesome deeds that they have committed. Every good or evil karma done shows up in the judges' record books without fail.
A statue of Phra Sivali, the symbol of great merit. Indeed merit is the thing that sustains all beings; for without merit beings are doomed to suffer endlessly in the wheel of Samsara. The Hell Park serves to reminds us to avoid evil and make as much merit as we can when we are alive. Once we die and fall into the lower realms, it will be too late to repent.