|The current Chief
Abbot of Wat Suthat is Phra
and is assisted by Phra
Over the years, many well respected Gurus Monks have emerged from Wat Suthat, some
of the more familiar names Monks such as Somdej
Phra Sangkharai Pae, Chao Khun Sri Son (Sondhi), Chao Khun Sri
Prayad, Soomdej Phra Waranrat or others that I might not be aware of. It
can be hard to explain why Wat Suthat produced amulets. The only logical reason could
be due geographical location of the country's administrative centre was too far for
reach for most Thai folks living outside the capital. Distributing the amulets during
those days was like offering a medium for the citizens who may be having the strong
belief to own a produce of this well known sacred site for personal worshiping. Further,
politically it was also a way for the ruler to bind the nation and people together
via a common belief in Buddhism. Some people said such wisdom is counter acted by
the superstition but for centuries, Thai Buddhism practice has it uniqueness due
to integration of a strong influence of local custom, cultures and history behind
this Buddhist Nation. As a whole, such practices can be hard to understand if evaluates
its purpose from a perspective of another school or a different religion.
Probably the most famous Buddhist votive amulet image form produced by Wat Suthat is a cast metal piece called Phra Kring - it is a small cast bronze images that have a sealed pellet within the enclosure which rattles when shaken. Phra Kring is like a Health Amulet. For those who carry the strong belief, this amulet form offers its magical power for health, healing, protection and business well being for the owner. Although I am not sure if Wat Suthat was the originator of this unique form.
Actually, other than the Krings, Wat Suthat also produced other image forms such as Chinaraj (Jinraraj) , Chaiwat, Sangajai and even the hugely popular Soomdej images which ranked top in the Benchabhakhi Set of top five Thai amulet forms. As one of the most important Buddhist temple in the Kingdom, sometimes Wat Suthat were often involved direct or indirectly in major Buddhist events in the country. One of the most memorable event was the commissioned task for the production of the famous Yee-Sip Har (25) Buddha Satawats Leela images. The event of amulet production was considered to be the biggest in recent history of one-time amulets producing which occurred in the year 2500 B.E where a total of 108 top Guru Monks in the country were being invited for ritual chanting during production and after completion. NOTE: - The 25 Buddha Satawat event was originated by the then Thai PM P. Phiboonsongkram for the purpose of fund raising for the construction of Buddha Mondhon. Most amulets producing events held by respectable Buddhist temples in Thailand did it on good cause.
Over the years, due to mastery craft in producing metal based Kring amulets, most of the others variants by Wat Suthat are also metal cast image forms. I guess the popularity of the Kring amulets had created a significant implication to challenge conventional method used in the production of Buddhist amulets in Thailand. Traditionally most Buddhist votive images were generally herbs or powder based. Some thought "special ingredient" may has been added to the formula during the process by the Guru monks and could turned defensive on Metal based amulets. Basically, it is like putting you to doubt whether the said work is "handmade" or "Machine Produced"? The popular Kring amulets have changed public perception towards metal cast votive images and indirectly creating a path for the small scale industries in the country.
I am not sure how cast metal amulets are produced but I do understand slight change in composite of metal properties can easily affect its nature. So, unless it was batched from single output, it can be incredibly difficult to maintain uniform colors as there can be so many variable factors to affect its eventual appearance. Further, due to the mold may not be able to withstand long production life with liquidfied molten metal where there could be multiple molds were being used in the same series. This could partly explained why Kring images can be so different at times in colors and slight variations in its appearance Personally, I am more interested to observe the evolution and changes in development of an image form. Older versions of the Phra Krings were not particularly visually looked appealing (the same goes for herb based amulets where the molds used for stamping can either be stone or wood based). Changes in production indirectly mirrored the progress of the skill level in the Thai metal casting industry as a whole. So, some of the images below have been marked with their respective year of produce in order to let you evaluate the path of changes of the Krings. Please take note that I am NOT an expert in Phra Kring nor good at other image forms produce by this famous Thai temple. But if you have a question, you may use the | MESSAGE BOARD | to ask if any other Buddies on the Web can assist you with an answer. Personally, the creation of this site has helped a great deal in beefing up my personal knowledge towards the Krings, that is all.
Other than the Soomdej images shown at the bottom section of this page, these few variations of Phra Pijit Pong Dam (far left) and Phra Yotnam (center) as well the two at far right are non-metalic wither power or herb based amulets from Wat Suthat.
Wondering why there are not Krings here ? Oh .. I have compiled them orderly at the next page.
previous | NEXT | 5/6
Index Page | Page One | Page Two | Page Three |
| Page Four- version history of amulets from Wat Suthat -part I | Page Five - version history of Phra Kring from Wat Suthat |
Back to Main Index Pages of
Thai Buddhist Amulets Section | Interesting Buddhist Landmarks in Asia
Message Board for Questions and Answers