The Biography of Luang Phor Tuad
The Biography of Luang Phor Tuad
The legend of a high priest, Luang Phor Tuad (LP Tuad) originated from Kingdom of Ayutthaya period. It was Thailand capital that existed from 1350 to 1767, and have lived during the reign of King Maha Dhammaraja. In the mid-sixteenth century. His exact date of birth is not known. There is no documentary evidence available to prove, just recounted from ancestors in his holiness. This information was composed to be LP Tuad biography.
More than three hundred years ago, there lives a very famous priest by name LP Tuad. According to folk tales, LP Tuad was born in the 4th lunar month on the year of the dragon, which may have incurred in 1582 (B.E. 2125) “Buddhist Era” and some said he was born in the year of the Ox in 1588 (B.E. 2131). However, his period of birth can be assumed to be during the reign of King Maha Dhammaraja, which may be B.E. 2125 (1582) or B.E. 2131 (1588). His parent gave birth to him at the ages of the ’40s, at Sathing Phra District, Songkhla Province, Southern Thailand. LP Tuad was named “Phu” when he is born. Many centuries ago, his ancestors came from China and settled down in Singora, Thailand.
LP Tuad parents, Nai Hu and his wife Mae Chan, a poor couple, but they maintained a good and virtuous moral. They often went to the temple on a holy day doing merit and attended the preaching regularly. They were faithful to the Buddha. They stayed in a hut near an old temple, called Wat Khokosan Temple. They were employed by a wealthy family named Phan as farmers to make a living. Phan had a large number of workers and slaves.
There is a day which was in the harvest time; Phan urged all his workers, slaves, to reap his rice in the paddy-field. Among these was Mae Chan, who just gave birth, was also asked to reap the rice without excuses. Eventually, Mae Chan also agreed to do so. She brought her newborn baby along with her, while she was to work in the field; she put her baby sleeping in the cradle by hanging a cloth between two big shady trees near the paddy field. When its time to breast-feed to the baby. She walked towards and saw a giant snake curled around the child. She asked for help. In distress, she cried out to her husband, who rushed over to assist the infant along with all other labourers’.
To everyone's surprise, the child remained unharmed, but his mother was fearful of the outcome and instinctively recalled an old traditional belief that this snake might be the god created vision. Finally, she realised and prayed to the snake by offering flowers and rice cake for the safety of their son, with her sincere praying the snake to spit out a snake pearl on the baby's and left away. It's something like a bright crystal ball "Snake Pearl".
All the peoples are very curious and gathered round to have a view. When Phan saw the clear snake pearl, he became greedy and appealed that snake pearl from Mae Chan by offering reasonable price in return. Initially, Mae Chan disagreed because the snake pearl belonged to her son, but Phan was appealing her continually. Moreover, Phan increases his offered with Mae Chan for the exchange of the snake pearl.
Eventually, Mae Chan agreed respectfully with Phan and presented the snake pearl to him. Phan was pleased with the snake pearl back home. Unfortunately, after three days, all members of his family suddenly fell ill, while he used to dream about bad omen each time when he slept. Phan than consulted a medium and was told that he had owned something that does not belong to him. Phan was scared and returned the snake pearl to Mae Chan. After then, the snake pearl remained in the safe possession of LP Tuad parents until LP Tuad was sufficiency to take care by himself. On this day, the snake pearl is continued and displayed for viewing at Wat Phra Kho.
Wat Ratchapraditsathan or better known as Wat Phra Kho is an ancient temple in Sathing Phra District, Songkhla, Thailand. It was built when Ayuthaya was the capital city of Thailand; Wat Phra Kho was built in 1514, situated approximately 83 kilometres from Hatyai. This temple also supports education for needy students in the surrounding areas.
Wat Phra Kho is where LP Tuad a venerated holy man once resided. This temple is important to the countryman as it tells the story of LP Tuad craved on several pieces of marble hanged on the walls at the praying hall, who according to legend he changed the seawater into drinking water.
In the temple, you can see the replica image of LP Tuad, and his Walking Stick, Foot Print and Crystal Snake Pearl being enshrined there. His representation was made to status and amulets as they continue to be so today. Many peoples today can testify to the efficacy and protective powers of LP Tuad amulets.
LP Tuad began to study Buddhism at the age of seven; he was sent to stay with his uncle (his mother brother) who was an abbot of Wat Kudi Luang temple at that time (also known as Wat Dee Luang), so he could attend the temple school there. LP Tuad was a bright and clever boy who can master in either karma rapidly.
A talented young boy, he has ordained a novice monk at the age of 15. At that time, his father gave him the snake pearl back to him as his belonging, after which he chooses to continue his religious studies with Somdej Prachinsen, who is an expert master at Wat Sri Ku-Yang, skilful and famous preceptor from Ayutthaya.
Finally, at the age of 20, LP Tuad was appointed officially as an ordained monk. His father passed away when he was 30 years old. LP Tuad had made significant progress in his knowledge and realised that studying in Ayutthaya will further and improved more of his studies on Buddhist scriptures. After that, he left his mother and went by passenger ship to his destination.
From Sathing Phra District, LP Tuad took a ship sailing toward the north to Ayutthaya province. After setting off, while the ship was sailing nearby Chumphon city, suddenly there was a huge sea wave, and a violent storm struck the ship and unable to arrive its destination after been anchored there for several days in the open seas. The ship has run out of provisions shortage including drinking water. The shipowner and the sailors were superstitious and suspecting that the disaster event happened due to the participation of the monk. Therefore, they agreed to disembark him onboard.
While LP Tuad was to get off from the ship, the crew provided him with a rowboat to enable him to head for shore. As he sat in the boat, he chanted in deep meditation while dipped his left leg into the sea and drew a circle. Suddenly, there was a miraculous thing happened when the seawater changed to drinking water in a small area-wide where he’d circled with his feet. Then LP Tuad showed his miracle and asked the sailor to test the water in the area.
The seawater became freshwater, the sailor shouted and asked everybody’s on the ship to collect the water for drinking. When the shipowner saw the miracle superpower of LP Tuad, he feared that disaster might have happened to him caused of disembarked the monk. The shipowner invited the LP Tuad back to his ship and apologized for the mistake earlier. Everybody’s on the ship reach their destination safely.
On his safe arrival in Ayutthaya province, LP Tuad remained in a temple outside the city where he continued to study the Buddhist scriptures. (This temple is the present Wat Rachanuwat or Wat Kae in short)
There was a time that the King Watta Khamince of Sri Lanka was jealous over the growing wealth of the Kingdom of Thailand. The King Watta Khamince of Sri Lanka was interested in takeover Ayutthaya to be his colony (country). An instant of making wars to take over the country, the King of Sri Lanka challenged the Thai King by massed Buddhist alphabets sutra to be arranged in the correct order within seven days.
The King of Sri Lanka sent seven Brahmins and his ambassador's to Ayutthaya to meet the King of Thailand to test the achievements of the monk's in their country. They brought with them 84,000 pieces of small golden alphabet words of Buddhist sutras in 12 alms bowls. These combination alphabet words were to be arranged into a particular sutra within seven days, if the task were accomplished, the King of Sri Lanka would present King of Thailand with seven boats made of gold. However, should the mission be unsuccessful, Thailand would have to surrender its sovereignty (independence) to Sri Lanka. The King of Thailand was doubtful with the opponent and accepted the challenge, and gathered all his country's learned monks to deal with the problem. Many have tried but were not successful.
Invitation notice was made by the King to look for high educated monk or priests who is capable of arranging the sutra within the limited time. On the fourth night, the King dreamed of a white elephant whistling shrill sound in the dazzling light. The next morning the King consulted a fortune-teller and was told that it was a good sign as a sage was likely to appear to solve the problem. The King was uncertain. On the sixth day, there is still nobody could arrange the sutra alphabets successfully. It made concern to the King of Thailand.
On that same day, while LP Tuad were out to receive alms in the city, he met a group of peoples talking about that topic. He was brought to know about the consequences that their country is facing the problem of the Buddhism sutra puzzles arrangement. It seems that nobody can solve the problem, however, for the sake of the country. At this moment, LP Tuad would like to try and solve the sutra arrangement in the Palace. By his virtues, power to save the land from being a colony. Next morning LP Tuad visited the Palace and composed all 84,000 Buddhism sutra alphabets arrangements completely. Thus LP Tuad is well known throughout the country. He was looked upon as a saintly Buddhist monk in Thai history.
Being favourite to the King Maha Dhammaraja with his knowledge and wisdom. LP Tuad had been bestowed upon the Sangha title of `Phra Rajamuni Samikhunuparamajam' that is the highest rank ever given to any other monk before in the country. After that LP Tuad was asked to remain in Ayutthaya by the King to serves as his adviser for years, After many years LP Tuad asked for permission from the King to go back to his home town. The King permitted with him and also promised to give all the supports requested by LP Tuad in turns of his virtuous deeds if he needed.
When LP Tuad was back to Wat Phra Kho, he found that the temple and the surrounding temple's and a pagoda call Rattanamahat were also damaged. From there, he sent a message to the King requesting his support to rebuild the monastery's in their area. King Maha Dhammaraja was pleased to respond to LP Tuad needs, and gave full supports to the said monasteries and graciously issued the Royal Degree on Dedication of Land and People of about 250 families nearby Wat Phra Kho as generosity to rebuild and restore the temples in the surrounding area. At present, the document was kept in the National Library in Bangkok.
At that time LP Tuad placed his snake pearl at the peak of the Rattanamahat pagoda. After some times, the pagoda that had been damaged by a thunderclap and caused the snake pearl from falling. Therefore, the present abbot preserved and remains the snake pearl at Wat Phra Kho where LP Tuad was gaining enlightenment for until then.
LP Tuad had spent his life spreading Dharma for the benefit of the people without impartiality. On his frequent pilgrimages to the forested area, he would often take his long-handled umbrella, and this has now become a famous image of the great priest. Lastly, he leaves Wat Phra Kho along with some young novice to preach Dharma and helped people at various places in the South down to Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka, teachings and with practical advice, and helped people at multiple locations. His second permanent residence was at Wat Changhai, Pattani.
As time passed, a Buddhist devotee of a state Governor that came from the South is a Buddhist belief that has been practically advised by LP Tuad sometimes ago. He wanted to make merit by contributing a temple for the Buddhism countryman as an appreciation to LP Tuad advice and helped, and also as goodwill. He came to Sathing Phra, Songkhla to look for the holy monk LP Tuad to lead the project.
Royal Degree on Dedication of Land
One evening when he was wandering at the seaside he saw a monk strolled along the beach, he stepped forward to pay respect to the monk, and fortunately, it was LP Tuad that he has been looking. They discussed building the temple to the final decisions after that LP Tuad accepted his suggestion and went with him to Pattani. When the temple constructed entirely, it was named Wat Changhai temple, and LP Tuad was appointed as an abbot of the temple. Wat Changhai is situated at Naparu, Koppo District, Pattani province.
From that time being, LP Tuad still went back regularly to Wat Phra Kho which was his previous resided place and stayed in pure gratitude. However, there is no vehicle at that time; therefore, LP Tuad has to travel between these two temples by his walking stick. In between these two temples journey where LP Tuad passes regularly, the country folks built temples along the roadside for LP Tuad to stop-by as he may need for shelter.
Before the death of LP Tuad, he has informed his disciples that if he passed away one day, he wanted his body to be sent back to Wat Changhai in Pattani province for his funeral rites. It said that LP Tuad passed away in Malaysia, his ashes have remained at Wat Changhai, his second resided temple. The date of his death is unknown. Peoples believe that LP Tuad is a part of a living deity that God gave him the miracle superpowers when he needed. He saved peoples by changing seawater into drinking water, city infected with a contagious disease and also kept the city from being a colony.
At that time being, people worshipped and prayed to LP Tuad not only as a protective deity, as he also works for the benefit of all living beings, asks for his blessings, mercy, protection and any others that we might name. LP Tuad is so popular that peoples from many places come to pray for help. The festival ceremony of LP Tuad is held annually at Wat Changhai and Wat Phra Kho in April to pay homage to him. Wat Changhai, situated approximately some 120 kilometres from Hatyai. All visitors can pay their respects from 8 am to 5 pm daily on both temples.
LP Tuad is probably one of the most revered and well respected former guru monk that has ever lived. His life and works are legendary. Many believe that amulets created in his image hold great protective powers granting safety in times of distress, especially saving the lives of believers from seemingly fatal automobile accidents. For over three hundred years, LP Tuad has been exercising his power to help people in danger and accidents. Till today his stories are still very popular in Thailand.