Luang Phor Koon (LP Koon) was born on 4th day of October in 1923 (B.E.2466) in a small village called Ban Rai, Dan Khun Thod District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province (It is also commonly known as Korat). LP Koon was the eldest son and had two younger sisters. His mother died when he was at the age of 11. LP Koon was then taken care by his aunties. Not so long after his mother death, his father remarried and LP Koon was sent to Wat Ban Rai to study Buddhism. During the day, he helped his father to plough the field, fed and bathed the buffalo, At night, he went to the temple to study and help to clean up the temple during his spare time.
When LP Koon was at the age of 20, his auntie and relatives gave's some money and sent him to Wat Thanon HatYai. LP Koon was ordained as a monk at the age of 21 at Wat Thanon HatYai on May in 1944 ( B.E.2487). Phra Kru Wijahn Dtigit was the preceptor and Phra Kru Atigahn Torng Suk was his dhamma teacher. His monk's name is called Paritsuttoh. During the year, at the summer observation vacation, he went to Wat Nongpho to learn meditation under the master Luang Phor Daeng (LP Daeng), and further his studies on Buddhist knowledge.
After several years, through his exceptional intelligence, he had studied almost everything from LP Daeng, such as Dhamma, Samadhi and Wichah (magic). Then LP Daeng told him. You have now acquired a firm foundation against basic meditation and the Sanskrit language, and it is time for you to seek for other renowned master to further your knowledge.
He introduced a high ranking monk to LP Koon known as Luang Phor Khang (LP Khang). When LP Khang met LP Koon he could immediately tell that LP Koon was a very unusual monk and will have a bright future ahead and accepted him as his disciple.
LP Koon learnt to cultivate Buddhist practice as well as all forms of spiritual powers from LP Khang. In the course of his studies, he had to climb over mountains and enter the forest to practice the spiritual powers on remote mountain peaks. Three years went by, when LP Koon had learnt up everything, he left his master LP Khang and decided to go on his own to fulfill the Buddhism faith and help the needy. Wherever he goes he was well respected monk by the villagers.
LP Kong was a Phra Thudong monk (a forest monk) while he went Thudong (forest dwelling) he will brought LP Koon along. Besides Dhamma and Samadhi, LP Kong also taught LP Koon Wichah (magic) on inserting takrut. After learning from LP Kong for some time, LP Koon went Thudong alone. He went as far as Laos and Cambodia. He stayed in the deep forests of Laos and Cambodia for many years.
One day when LP Koon went Thudong and reached a mountain border between Thailand and Laos, the mountain area was very strange and surrounded with unusual weird looking trees. On that evening, several woodcutters were seen rushing down the mountain. LP Koon enquired about it and come to know that the mountain was previously a Kingdom. Due to the fact that many had died there, a lot of grievance spirits roam out at night to cause harm and disturbances to the villagers. All the villagers were in fear and nobody dare to enter or stay on the mountain in the night.
The woodcutters advised LP Koon to leave the mountain as many monks had encountered misfortunes. LP Koon replied, Since there are many grievance spirits in the mountain, as a monk I have an obligation to help them and hope to take them out from their realms of suffering. The woodcutters remain silent and thought that they would have to return the next day to collect his dead body.
LP Koon than found a suitable area and used his umbrella to set up a tent. After a process of purification, he started to meditate and chant prayers inside his tent. In the middle of the night, a strange wind occurred and in the course of it, he then heard a voice crying in the wilderness and the sound is getting nearer and nearer to him. Later he heard a voice speaking to him, LP Koon listened and heard the grievance spirit said, Hey! Here you come again, the guy in yellow robe. You are so daring. You do not know how many of these guys with yellow robe had died here. You will experience death in a little while. Ha-ha-ha-ha.
The crying sound became louder as the wind blows stronger. At that time, LP Koon keep on chanting mantras and suddenly a bright yellow light come down and enshrined his tent. The surrounding trees were swaying heavily from side to side and it seen to wind up the tent of LP Koon. Even the trees that were about to fall on his tent are expelled by the yellow light. LP Koon keep on concentrate with meditation inside the tent.
The evil windstorm stop eventually, many trees was felled but LP Koon remained unhurt. The evil spirit was dissatisfied with LP Koon and wondered why this yellow robe guy could not be so hurt. LP Koon then used his spiritual power and talk to the spirits, I’m here for you and I wanted to help you relieve from suffering in human world.
Suddenly there were a large number of ghost rising up and stand in front of LP Koon. Among them is the King of ghosts in the mountain. When the ghost King saw LP Koon he knelt down before him. Than the King was asked by LP Koon, why he had not taken a reincarnation and the ghost King replied that the mountain was once a Royal Kingdom and he was the King. The people of the Kingdom lived a peaceful and a happy life. It happened one day, the whole Kingdom was infected with contagious disease, all the villagers are killed by the infectious disease causing the death of hundreds of thousands that spread to them. Due to the fact that were a treasured been passed down by the ancestors, the spirits were there to kept guard over the treasured by prohibited any outsiders from taking away. Anybody who come to the mountain will be die or punished eventually.
After LP Koon heard the conclusion of the whole matter, he advised on the Buddhist philosophy to convince the ghost and said, Since everybody had died and the body in the physical form had perished, all the treasures were of no use anymore as they cannot be worn. What is the use of possessing them? Moreover, you all have killed so many people especially those in yellow robe who were observing the precepts, how long will the revenge end? Put off the evil thoughts and embrace Buddha! All of you must know that birth, aging, sickness and death are the cosmic law of Samsara and everybody has to face such a law and no one can avoid, not even the Buddha himself. All of you will have to suffer from the effect of Samsara and the retribution for all the evil deeds caused and can never take reincarnation if evil acts are continued. Is it worthwhile?
Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho Born and Death (1923 - 2015)
The ghost King kept silence and asked LP Koon, Do we have the chance to repent? LP Koon answer, Of course, previously you have done so much evil deeds harmed and killed many innocent people, although you repent now, all of you should also face the retribution for your past misdeeds as everyone is equal under the concept of karma. The good deeds will be rewarded and the wrongdoings will be punished. All of you will suffer the retribution of Samsara and will be born in the animal realm in the next life.
The ghost King was so touched and impressed with LP Koon words. He offered three bows to LP Koon in appreciation and said with sincerity: We hope that LP Koon will help us from the ghosts realm to attain the fruit of Buddhahood. We are not afraid to be rebirth in the animal realm. LP Koon put his palms together and chanted prayers on deliverance. The chanted prayers were able to clear all the cycle of Samsara. From then on, the mountain returned to its quite and peaceful state. The villagers began to enter the mountain for cutting wood and plough lands.
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho
During the rainy season, LP Koon will stayed in any of the temple near town to Khow Pansah (rainy season for a monk to stay indoors), if he was still in the forest, he would stay in the forest and continue his Thudong. As time goes by, LP Koon returned back to Thailand after several decades of Thudong. LP Koon returned to his village to visit his grandmother, his grandmother said to him, You are always out to dedicate the Buddhist faith, why don’t you consider developing a temple in our own village? The temple in the village is in bad condition and so run-down and the monk’s here do not have a decent place to chant their prayers. With the advice given by his grandmother, LP Koon decided to stay back and determine to develop and rebuild the temple in his village.
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho' Museum at Wat Baan Rai in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand
LP Koon, then asked the villagers and his lay disciples to source for fund for the construction of the temple. At that time, when peoples know that LP Koon is constructing the temple, many devotees around every corner come forward to help. When the temple was almost completed, LP Koon cast a lot of amulets and offered as a gifts to all devotees who had helped. LP Koon is one of the most famous and top guru monks in Thailand. For almost two decades, LP Koon chanted mystical incantation and inserted Takrut for devotees. LP Koon is very good in the Visha (magic) of inserting Takrut. He would personally insert the Takrut into the arm of the devotees, these Takrut are very well proven to protect a person from accidents, Metta (kindess) and as well as Kong Grapan (immunity from weapons).
LP Koon had stopped inserting takrut to devotees for many years due to his old age, at the present time, one of his closest disciples have replaced him.
One of the most popular monks with an ability to create sacred amulets is Luang Phor Koon of Wat Ban Rai, who became a headline in the media recently following that he passed away at the age of 91.
Luang Phor Koon (Great Father) is a very highly regarded, and respected monk who is as famous for smoking cigarettes in the squatting position, as he is for being holy. In the recent years, Luang Phor has quit smoking per his doctor's advice.
Let me share with you a charming true story of the wisdom of Luang Phor Koon.
A fellow was driving, and he got into a bad accident. He survived, and once out of the hospital, he was able to procure a meeting with Luang Phor Koon.
The fellow had the amulet, 'image' or symbol of Luangpor Koon in his car for good luck, as many Thai's do with Luang Phor, and other monks.
The fellow said to Luang Phor, "How come I had your figure in the car, and I still got into an accident?" Luangpor asked the fellow,
"How fast were you going?" The man said, "About 100 miles an hour..."
To which Luang Phor replied, "100 Miles an hour? When you hit 80mph, I was already out of the car!!!"
After the seven-day religious rite hosted by a joint committee comprising monks, Khon Kaen University staff, Wat Ban Rai disciples and related agencies in Khon Kaen and Nakhon Ratchasima, the body will be kept for one year before being used for dissection studies by medical students for two to three years.
His body will then be cremated and the ashes scattered in the Mekong River in accordance with his will.
People queue to pay their respects to Laung Phor Koon at Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital on Saturday (May 16, 2015).
Luang Phor Koon (The abbot of Wat Ban Rai in Nakhon Ratchasima's Dan Khun Thot district) passed away at the age of 91 on Saturday ( May 16, 2015) at Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital, where he was earlier treated for heart problems.
His Majesty the King graciously provided him with a mortuary urn, tiered umbrellas and water for the funeral bathing ceremony.
Meanwhile, Wat Ban Rai hosted a 100-day Abhidhamma prayer for the monk so people who cannot travel to the university will be able to pay their respects, Dan Khun Thot district chief Saksit Sakullikharesima said
LUANG PHOR KOON PARISUTTHO, one of the country's most revered monks, passed away yesterday (May 16, 2015) after a long history of illness.
A committee yesterday nominated Phra Khru Pavana Prachanart (Luang Phor Nuch) from Wat Nong Bua Thung in Nakhon Ratchasima to be the acting abbot of Wat Ban Rai.
Nakhon Ratchasima Cultural Council chairman Bancha Yindee said the ritual at the university was in accordance with the monk's will. He urged people who cannot travel to Khon Kaen to make merit for the late monk at temples.
It has been reported that an amulet market in Nakhon Ratchasima is booming as worshippers look for Luang Phor Koon amulets.
Several old models could fetch five-to-seven-digit prices, while the amulet case and frame-making service is also booming because many people want their Luang Phor Koon amulets well protected.
Luang Phor Koon amulet
Regarded as the most renowned guru monk with "magical powers", Luang Phor Koon has been asked to bless countless amulets over the past six decades, even though his deteriorating health has prevented him from doing so for years.
Luang Phor Koon has been praised for his great compassion. He once said he knew full well that amulet-making was against Buddha's teachings, but as his intention was purely for the good of the people, he found it worth doing. He only hopes that those who get the benefits from his amulets would feel grateful to the religion and finally turn to practice dharma.
Luang Phor means "venerable father" and is used as a title for respected senior Buddhist monastics. Luang is a Thai word meaning "royal" or "venerable".
Song for Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho
The paradoxical life and death of a revered monk
Luang Phor Koon Parisuttho embodied both the spiritual and the materialistic sides of Thai Buddhism
Luang Phor Koon Parisuttho dies on Saturday (May 16, 2015) but will remain a spiritual presence among Thais for years to come.
The much-revered monk played a prominent role in the lives of millions, thanks mainly to his reputation for blessing amulets and his ability to convey the dharma in simple terms that everyone could understand.
As part of his relaxed style of teaching, he preferred sitting in a crouch to the more traditional cross-legged pose on the floor, and referred to himself using the informal "koo" and to others with the familiar "mueng" ("I" and "you"). His unaffected manner earned him universal appeal. People from all walks of life flocked to his temple, Wat Baan Rai in Nakhon Ratchasima.
As a young man he entered a forest monastery tradition and spent 10 years meditating and studying on the borders of Laos and Cambodia. During those years he also absorbed the local lore that he later put to use blessing amulets for his followers. On completing his forest pilgrimage, he turned his focus to raising funds to rebuild Wat Baan Rai, of which he ultimately became abbot.
The statue of Luang Phor Koon at Wat Baan Rai, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand
The latter half of his life was dominated by service to the community that took on a commercial aspect. Everyone from poor farmers to politicians and millionaires visited the temple seeking the monk's blessing. Most of them came for one simple reason - to receive the "spiritual benediction" they believed came with a promise of material wealth.
Luang Phor Koon's popularity grew in parallel with the economic boom times of the late 1980s and early '90s. Devotees with land to sell would ask him to bless the title deeds. Though firmly grounded in the dharma, the monk acceded to the wishes of his more materialistically inclined followers. He diverted the resources gleaned from his rising popularity into the construction of schools, temples and hospitals in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Reluctant to discuss his reputed supernatural powers, Luang Phor Koon preferred to use easy-to-grasp language to instil basic Buddhist values in his followers. Ironically, while "helping" them to get rich, he was also teaching them about detachment. And the paradoxes don't end there: he was credited with sticking to "core" teachings, yet at the same time earned a reputation for blessing more amulets than any other monk in living memory.
Still, he lived a simple life at the temple. His was neither the path of a Dhammakaya monk nor that of a philosopher like Buddhadasa.
His last wish was that his followers recognise the truth of life's impermanence and follow his example of non-attachment. In his will, he asked that his death not be marked by a royal-sponsored funeral or any such fanfare. Instead, he directed that his body should be used for medical research, thus avoiding the possibility that his remains would be exploited by misguided or unscrupulous devotees.
"My body could be a burden for others," he wrote. "It could create a lot of trouble, because there are both good and bad people among my followers. Some are greedy and might exploit my death, fearless of karma. Some might claim that they are related to me, but if they were my real relatives, they wouldn't make trouble."
Luang Phor Koon chose a death that would best serve Buddhism by reminding us all about the truth of impermanence and suffering and the "antidote" of detachment. However, his directions have proved unable to control other factors surrounding his reputation. His death has also sent prices for his amulets skyrocketing. The paradoxes that surrounded this revered monk in life continue even after his death.
Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho Born and Death (1923 - 2015)
Mosaic of mindfulness
It's taken three years and a virtual army of artists and Buddhist faithful but at last Asia's largest ceramic mosaic shrine is finally complete. Towering over the Nakhon Ratchasima countryside, the 42-metre-high, four-storey Thep Wittayakom Vihara is designed to educate people about Buddhist teachings through the universal language of arts - architecture, paintings, and sculptures.
Initiated by revered monk Phra Thep Wittayakom or Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho as he is often called, this extravagant and beautiful shrine was started in 2011 at Wat Baan Rai. a 30-rai dharma park in the province's Dan Khun Tod district.
Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho Born and Death (1923 - 2015)
What makes the mosaic shrine all the more remarkable is that it has been hand-made by more than 200 artists and faithful villagers who carefully and mindfully affixed more than 20 million pieces of ceramic, weighing a total of 180 tons. It was a slow process: One person could attach no more than one-square-metre of ceramic per day.
"The key to this building is the absence of discrimination. We gave everyone the opportunity to help put together the ceramic mosaics. Their collective faith has brought about the completion of this interdisciplinary Buddhist art project in honour of Lord Buddha," says artist Samphan Sararak, who served as the project's designer and architecture consultant.
Surrounded by water, the shrine relates the Tripitaka, Buddhism's sacred texts, in an artistic way that's easy to understand.
"Of course, I had to read the Tripitaka first in order to understand the meaning and to create art pieces that would correctly illustrate those stories. This project was a good opportunity for me to work on the things I like and also to understand the teachings more thoroughly," Samphan adds.
"Ceramic has its own unique charm. The beauty lies in how the small, glossy pieces are laid next to one another in such a way that the resulting sculptures look special and gentle under the sun," says ceramist Thitipong Tubtim, one of the five ceramic supervisors attached to the project.
"What's more, it came out even more beautifully than we expected. This will be a great place for people to learn more about the teaching of Lord Buddha and even if visitors take home no more than one lesson, that will suffice."
The exterior of the Thep Wittayakom shrine starts with the Naga bridge, which serves as the bridge of faith. This is where visitors cross from the human world to the world of dharma.
Two naga sculptures decorated with mosaic form the rails. Each has 19 heads, representing the 38 steps towards enlightened living. The naga coil around the shrine and the tails of both naga meet and coil three times to cover the ever-glowing wishing crystal, which symbolises the "three practices" - sila (virtue), samadhi (concentration) and panya (discernment).
Passing through the wishing crystal, visitors come to the Maha Baramee arch. The four lintels or pillars are dedicated to the keepers of the world. The Indra arch represents the powerful god; the Phra Yom arch is named for the god of justice who decides who one can go to heaven. The Phra Piroon arch honours the god of water, abundance and tranquillity and the Phra Kuvane arch (Tao Vessuwan), represents the god of fortune who protects Buddhism and the earth.
Pillars around the building support the Erawan roof and are each illustrated with one of 523 previous lives of Lord Buddha. The mural on the exterior wall of the building presents 10 Jataka tales and was painted on ceramic before being fired at high temperatures. Samphan, Paramat Luang-On, and Jintana Piemsiri are among the artists behind each of these wonderful pictures.
"Thep Wittayakom Vihara was built without an architectural plan. We only had the structural plans to work with," says structural supervisor Somyos Phaephueng.
"Some sections were moulded at a factory in Bangkok and then adjusted to precise size and design on site. They mostly required a series of adjustments before perfection was achieved. No air conditioning is provided on the first level as the breeze provides the cooling. All that remains to be done is the development of the surrounding elements, which include rest areas and an artist's village."
Stepping into the first floor of shrine, visitors learn about the life of Lord Buddha from his birth to his Parinirvana (death). Six murals have been meticulously painted by six artists, with the lotus symbolising Lord Buddha. In the hall, the Wishing Bodhi tree represents the meaning of Buddha - the enlightened, awakened and brightened one - and people are invited to make a wish.
The second floor presents the Vinaya Pitaka (discipline) and the evolution of Buddhism after the Parinirvana of Lord Buddha and includes the 227 precepts and the history of different sects.
The third floor features Dharma Pitaka where the dharma of Lord Buddha is divided into 84,000 categories based on the listeners' behaviour. The display takes turns exhibiting these categories.
The roof enshrines the seven-metre-tall Buddha image in walking posture and the five-metre tall metal statue of Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho, which symbolises the Lord Buddha teaching dharma to the monk so that he can in turn teach Buddhists. The basement is home to the souvenir and amulet zone.
DISTRICT OF DHARMA
Thep Wittayakom Vihara is located at Wat Baan Rai Dharma Park, Dan Khun Tod district of Nakhon Ratchasima province.