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Final Mai Tao Tongkat Release at Wat Balai

The sheer excitement is getting stronger after a long waiting grace period for the consecration of Wat Balai's finest Mai Tao pen/tongkat ever.  In conjunction with this big event at Kampong Balai (the last tongkat and first-time creation of Phra Pertha), the story unfolds here for those who didn't get the opportunity to witness this official holy items issuance event. A back breaking 15-hours travel journey to and fro to one of Kelantan's notable Buddhist temple in history.

Before we begin this event coverage, maybe it is crucial for us to highlight our point-of-view that this batch of holy items issued by Wat Balai is highly sacred.  Our rationale is of course not pluck from the air or based upon some assumptions. If we recall properly the opening day for Buddhist supporters who are interested to donate and reserve the Tongkat and Pertha bucha was during this year's auspicious Vesak Day B.E.2555 (A.D.2012, 4th May) which to many Thais called it "Sao Ha" year where the astrological energies are very powerful for making votive amulets.

After 3 months of heavy consecration and strong blessings by Than Plen, the release date was set on 3rd August B.E.2555 which is also another important yearly ceremony for the Buddhist Sangha - the beginning of "Vassa" or Rain Retreat or Buddhist Lent for 3 months.  In essence, money pouring in from donors for these holy items on this year's Sao Ha auspicious Vesak Day, and donors receiving their merits in return on the beginning of Vassa is truly meaningful.

Than Plen and all involved Kampong Balai's villagers had worked tirelessly by putting in a lot of efforts in consecrating this batch of holy items bearing the hallmark of Wat Balai's 400-years' old reputation and cultural tradition.

As a Buddhist and firm believer in amulet talismans, the joy in partaking this merits in the form of monetary support or to lend a helping hand for a Buddhist cause is tremendous and may this good merits of ours be a conditioning factor and aspiration toward Enlightenment.

We would also like to take this opportunity to relate a little historical fact about Vassa.  In Thai, the rain retreat is called พรรษา or "Phansa".  The rain retreat or Buddhist Lent is marked is marked by two religious events; one for the entering of the rainy season called "Khao Phansa", and for the exit of the rainy season called "Ok Phansa".

On the eve of Buddhist Lent (this year falls on 2nd of August, 2012) is called Asala Bucha Day by Thais. This day commemorates Buddha's first sermon to his first five desciples. Normally the temple will be crowded on the eve of Buddhist Lent with many devotees coming to listen to Dhamma sermons. Traditionally Buddhist will donate candles and monks' requisites a few days before Asala Bucha Day.

During the Vassa or Buddhist Lent period of 3 months, monks are not allowed to stay outside the temple. This is one of the rule laid down by our Lord Gautama Buddha for all Buddhist monks to avoid stepping on worms and destroy crops during the wet raining season.  This is in perfect compliance to the 1st precept of non-killings and compassion towards other living beings. Vassa tradition had being observed for many generations where Buddhist monks will be staying indoors and will utilise this period of time for spiritual studies and practicing meditation.  They are allowed to go out during daytime such as collecting alms but they must return to the same temple by night fall during the Vassa. In most cases, meditation monks and forest monks living in thick forested jungles will come out from their meditation sanctuaries to stay in a chosen temple in order to observe this rule.

As mentioned before in our previous blog article (see Wat Wanaram), during this 3 months Buddhist Lent period is the best time of the year to visit temples and to meet learned Buddhist masters.  Whether visiting temples in Kelantan or Thailand itself, you will never regret following our tried and tested philosophy.

As always it is a long and tiring journey to go over to Kelantan. But the overall purpose of doing a beneficial cause is worthwhile.  Driving long distances like this a hearty meal is essential to bring the body and mind into balance. We have decided to choose Kuala Kangsar-Gerik route for this trip. The last pit-stop to have a moderate meal and petrol refueling before continuing on the treacherous journey is at Gerik - a quiet sleepy town.  Finding food around this small town will not be a problem at all.

When a herd of elephants need to cross, they will cross without giving way to you. These wild elephants are the real king of the road. Many years ago a friend of us encountered a black panther but this animal is rare nowadays.

The stretch between Gerik and Jeli is an uphill mountainous challenge. After travelling this stretch frequently, our advice is to ensure there is enough fuel for your vehicle or else you will have trouble finding a petrol station that is non-existent. Take extra caution especially on occasion where wild elephants cross your path and the accident prone spots that are aplenty along the way. 

Notice the fallen tree near the red color signboard. This is due to losing steering control at the sharp bend thus causing many similar accidents like this along the way.   

Jeli to Tanah Merah is a much straighter trunk road to travel drive before reaching Kota Baharu - the capital city of Kelantan. 

Exclusive Preview Before Release

We had the privilege in meeting Than Plen personally and obtained his permission to take a glimpse and to photograph the sacred items that are due for release on 3rd August 2012 at 3pm.  But there is a condition that we do not step into the boundary of the consecration area inside the old Ubosot where the items are placed. Than Plen lead the way toward the old Ubosot that was secured with 3 padlocks for additional safety.

According to Than Plen he had cast a magic spell on the boundary area protecting the holy items from going "missing" (theft prevention). Well, this may seem to be a reasonable act to protect the interest of donors for those items that took so much time and effort to create.   

Old Ubosot

The aura energies can be felt instantly just by standing at the doorway. Than Plen was indeed very kind to fulfill our preview request and this gave us the opportunity to view the old Ubosot that was used by the previous chief abbot PhorThan Phut in the past.  This old Ubosot is located next to the now under construction new Ubosot.

As promised the Pertta Mahaniyom bucha will be an astonishingly beautiful 1st batch masterpiece designed and created by Than Plen himself. Solid posture with a sharp concentrated prayers in 2 palms clasped together. Than Plen graciously explained that the function of this Pertta is to open up all the inner channels within the worshiper so that the worshiper could possess the "eyes" that lead to success in doing business or work. Ideal to be placed at business office or work place. No problem if keep at home if you find it more convenient.  

At the bottom is a 10 Baht coin and a Yant cloth.  Extra secret ingredients are also added inside the bucha before being sealed with white plaster at the base.   

After all the good things being said about this Pertta Mahaniyom, there is one bad news. This bucha is not due for release yet this time around. If you have pre-ordered it, you will will need to wait for another 3 months or so. The timing could not be confirmed yet at this point of time by Than Plen.  The reason behind the delay was due to certain issues at hand as explained by Than Plen. Firstly, the production of the Pertta was delayed at the metal casting manufacturer in Bangkok. Hence, proper blessing and consecration have not reach the satisfactory standard yet. Secondly, Than Plen is a very meticulous monk and he cannot accept any flaws thus causing this delay. Nothing can be done in this case except to wait a while longer before you could bring this beautiful bucha home. 

Not to be saddened by this news, let's keep in mind that it's more worthy to have a fully completed consecration process that in turn make this Pertta Mahaniyom bucha powerful and functional. Keep an open heart as Than Plen also did not have any intention to purposely delay the release. All the buchas will have to sit inside the Ubosot to be chanted until it can be released to the donors.

Released later on 23rd Nov 2012
On the other hand, the good news is that all Mai Tao tongkats and Pens are ready to be distributed as per the release date. 3 months of solid blessing and insertion of yantra scripts into each and every piece was done accordingly to the stringent ritual requirement. The general name for this 2 sacred items is simply referred to as Tongkat or Pen. The actual name is "Tongkat Kru Parami" which follows Than Plen's Parami endowment. 

Yantra scroll inscribed personally by Than Plen that are embedded inside this talismans are the same for both Mai Tao tongkat and Pen. As per Than Plen there are 2 sides of each copper sheet that he used. The front side had been written with an ancient Mahaniyom scripture while the reverse side was written with another Self-Protection yantra.  After each copper sheet are painstakingly written and fully blessed before they are inserted into every Mai Tao tongkat and Pen before blessing.  Than Plen explained the Mai Tao in detail and pointed out among the many Yantra scripts specifically chosen by him to appear on the tongkat shaft, his Buddhist name 'Dhammanand' was also imprinted in the Thai language on every Mai Tao.

Conversing in Malay with Than Plen, when asked about the main function of the Mai Tao he replied "Niat saya buat tongkat ini ialah untuk memberi semangat kepada orang berkerja and berjaya".  In plain English Than Plen said "My intent for making this tongkat is to strengthen people's determination/confidence to work and gain success".  

Final tallying all pre-orders to avoid any mistakes and disappointment
The time was getting late for Than Plen to make preparation for Asala Bucha ceremony (eve of Phansa) as villagers will flock to the temple later in the evening. After so many years, Wat Balai finally sees some novice monks all hailed from Kampong Balai taking up residence in the temple. This is a sign that things will change for the better in Wat Balai's future of becoming a great Buddhist temple in Kelantan by reliving its past glory.            

The Final Release Day

Atmosphere at Wat Balai was filled with excitement in the morning with many supporters and villagers gradually coming together to offer dana or monk's requisites. It's more like a carnival with many happy faces from the young and old alike. It's a joy to see the sight of so many supporters throng their way to Wat Balai from far and near to mark the beginning of Vassa and of course, the much anticipated Final Batch Mai Tao tongkat and Pen.       

A hot afternoon with humid temperature did not dampen the people's spirit.  The photostory fashion here may be able give you an idea how it's like at Wat Balai on this special occasion.   

After the Puja service and making food offerings to the Sangha Order, only then the lay people started to have  lunch at Wat Balai's canteen. Food and drinks are prepared and served by village helpers for guests and visitors.

Pantai Irama - A Breezy Beach

Not many are aware a short distance around 10 minutes away from Wat Balai will bring you to a nice sandy beach facing the South China Sea.  A nice breezy beach is much cooler for taking a short break with a pack lunch box. As Bachok is geographically located along Kelantan's coastal beach, it is a beautiful sight and to be mesmerized by the windy sea breeze. 

Historically during World War 2, this is one of the few beaches that the Japanese Armada came from the South China Sea and conducted sea- front attacks on the then British Malaya. Kelantan was in total chaos and that's when some Buddhist temples became legendary in making Kongkrapan Chatri talismans to give to the locals for self-protection and escape unharmed on many occasions from those brutal Japanese troops.

Any visitors to Kelantan will not give a miss to the beach although resort hotel is not common here. During the monsoon season the current can be very strong. For this reason large boulders are placed all along the beach to prevent the strong currents from corroding the sands further inland. 

The remnants of Japanese occupation can be seen at the War Museum (Muzium Perang) that is located at the heart of Kota Baharu town centre. This war museum was the much feared former Kampetai headquarters.   

 Patience! The Waiting Is Gathering Momentum

The strong community support given to Wat Balai deserve had always impressed us. Local villagers are very respectful of their village temple especially those more older folks.  They always have the purity of heart with regards to the Dhamma and supporting the Sangha. As depicted here a picture of a local senior Thai lady clad in sarong carrying a basket containing cooked food dishes walking home after offering to monks. Now there are more monks staying in Wat Balai and the locals are determined to give their full support so that the temple will flourish once again.

After having their stomach filled people lazed around and chit chatted under the shades to avert the hot sun while eagerly waiting for the distribution release of the Mai Tao tongkats and Pens. Hot and humid with temperature still rising at around 1pm.

Last minute booking and to add more item order
A last minute dash before the release of sacred items today people still seen flocking to the booking counter to obtain the final batch of Than Plen's historic tongkats and the available Phra Pertta bucha.  Many people are mesmerized after seeing the beautiful solid bucha on display at the counter top. Initially when this 1st batch bucha opened for booking back in early May, nobody have a single clue how it will look like with just a graphic picture representation. Now it is very clear that people have a second opinion about owning a piece despite so many other buchas already at home.

Mai Tao tongkats

Pakka or Pen tongkat as some people calls it
All respectful donors for Than Plen's last Mai Tao tongkat and Pen are already gaining momentum by 2pm. With the heat outdoor and indoor, donors patiently waits for the receiving of both Mai Tao and Pen directly from the master maker.

Despite the huge turnout on the first day (Aug 3rd, Friday) to receive this blessed items, we believe there could be more on the way and coming the next day or the week after. Not forgetting there is still a bus load of Southern Thais from nearby Tak Bai.

Than Plen followed the ceremonial rituals in Wat Balai's tradition when releasing temple's items by chanting Buddhist Verses before handing over the sacred items to donors individually without exception.

Before the handing over ceremony ritual for this last batch sacred items begin, Than Plen made an annoucement to all attendees. Than Plen thanked all donors for supporting the cause for Wat Balai and also apologized for the shortcomings of the Pertta Mahaniyom.   

After receiving your Mai Tao or Pen, please be mindful again that Than Plen created these items whole heartedly for your generosity. Be mindful that the Mai Tao/Pen temple's stipulated pricing is RM99 or the most RM100 each.  Do not try to sell it above this amount or else it will not work.

The long waiting process is worth the effort where each individual donor presented their official Wat Balai's receipts in exchange for the Mai Tao tongkats and Pens.

Than Plen is especially fond of Kampong Balai's senior citizens who came to give support despite their financial shortcomings. These folks are not materially rich but they are very rich in their heart. Than Plen had made every effort to make this Mai Tao affordable at the price RM99 each despite the high cost of making. The kind consideration of him had enabled everyone from all walks of life to easily own this. For those who have never obtain a Mai Tao or tongkat from other temples in Kelantan before, a single piece can go as high as RM500 where not many common people can afford to pay as donation.

It is a happy moment to see people smiling away with joy after collecting the Mai Tao tongkats in their hands from Than Plen personally. Thinking back witnessing those old folks who came to "Tamboon" really make my eyes dripping with tears as I'm writing. My true sense of joy for making the decision to help Wat Balai have been rewarding to my inner spirit. Thank you to all especially SimplyBuy blog followers who helped made this event possible.

Both the receiver and giver exchanged gratitude for a cause well done. Happiness stemmed from the heart and mind is the ultimate result for everyone. Mai Tao tongkat talisman is an arcane knowledge or magical art that is being practiced by the Southern monks. As Kelantan was part of Thailand known as Saiburi in the past, it has become a norm for Kelantanese monks to master this art besides the famed Pidta Bangsek talisman.

Mai Tao B.E.2555 The Last Batch, Phra Kru Pathum Dhammanand, Wat Pathumviharn (or Wat Balai)

2 types of Yant imprinted on Mai Tao. "Na Mo Bu Da Ya" & "Na Ma Pa Ta". 
This highly sacred Mai Tao can be carried around with a neck chain or inserted into your shirt pocket. It is perfectly alright to put this Mai Tao in your hand bag or pouch. Not suitable to keep inside your trouser's pocket which is below the waistline. When you are facing problem or harm coming your way, hold this Mai Tao in your hands and have full confidence in its power. Think of the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha.  When seeking assistance from this Mai Tao just make sure that it is in contact with our body.

This Mai Tao tongkat and Pen is considered the 3rd batch and this would be the last Than Plen will ever make. The two earlier batches have many positive feedback such as bringing success to the owner and saving life from accidents and weapons. We put our trust that this last batch will just be as great as the first two batches. Please do not take for granted and blindly believe the feedback just from hearsay. "Do Not Believe From Hearsay. Investigate Yourself To Find Out If It's True". How? Use this Mai Tao tongkat with full sincerity and always have good conduct with accordance to the 5 Buddhist precepts.

Since Than Plen already stressed numerous times that this Mai Tao cannot be traded for monetary gains, it is a good thought to giveaway as presents to someone who you highly regarded e.g. family member, relative, a close friend or simply keep it for yourself to serve as remembrance. I've have chosen to present a piece of this great Mai Tao to a monk as gift of appreciation. In return to my surprise I was taught a great Katha specifically for Tongkat.  I thought it would be very beneficial to share this Katha verse with all of you staunch SimplyBuy blog followers.

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhasa x 3
Katay Si Katay Si
King Karana
Ahang Pit Thang
Chana Mit Chana Mit

Just to make the pronunciation more accurate on the wording "Ahang" in the above stanza. Ahang is pronounced as Ar Hung. The spelling "A" is pronounced as Ar. The spelling "hang" is pronounced as Hung, the past tense of hang. The smooth pronunciation will be .... Ar Hung Pit Thang

One may wonder if the above Katha is relevant to Than Plen's Mai Tao tongkat or thinking of the purpose for chanting this Katha. As said earlier, this Katha can be used for Tongkat or Mai Tao. According to this revered monk, the main function of this Katha verse is to be used together with a Tongkat in order to invoke the power to protect properties e.g. house, car, etc. against robbery, fire or even protection for own-self.  Again one may wonder who is the originator of this Katha? The answer is Tok Raja.

The katha provided above will work best with Tok Raja's Tongkat. Anyhow it's difficult to own a genuine piece of Tok's stuff nowadays. Have faith in this Katha and it shall work for any Tongkat for that matter if you chant it well. Don't thank me for sharing this information but thanks to this learned monk who willingly imparted this knowledge to us here.

Fundamental Knowledge of Tongkat (Maikru and Mai Tao)

The additional information provided here was extracted from Archan Chum Chaikiri Wat Khao Or's methodology in using the sacred Mai Tao Kaiyasit. Thanks to a kind hearted brother JJ who is now residing in Bangkok for his generosity in sharing this knowledge. 

The Tip of the Tongkat;
Brings all sorts of blessings and is used for 108 purposes. Including Metta (Compassion), Sukkha(Pleasure, peace) , Jerlern (Success), Kai Tord Torn (removed inauspicious) Longevity, Choklab (Luck). Remove all evil, curses, magic and all obstacles.

The Top of the Tongkat;
Gives Maha Amnaj (Authoritative Power), Iti Rit (Divine Power) and is used to curse, kill and chase enemies away. It is mentioned that the top is used against those that brings harm to you, the country and to Buddhism by recalling Phra Mae Thorani and intent that the person be “cheephai ” (basically any worse imaginable situation) be upon the person.

One must be respectful of the Mai Tao/Maikru because Deva and Archan is giving protection to you.

The Mai Tao/Mai kru Tongkat is “ti pearng korng jit” – your heart’s dependence.
Bring it along and have it in your hand wherever you go.
Put it above your head or under your pillow when you sleep, Deva and the Archan maker will warn you of any misfortune in the form of “nimitta” in your dreams.

The more you use the Tongkat the more “Saksit” it will become (Holy, Powerful and Sacred).

If you received the above described methods “Dhamla”, it is yours alone and do not show it nor tell it to anyone and most of all do not show-off your Tongkat around to anyone for fun. Keep it sacred.  

The valuable insights and advice given by Archan Chum Chaikiri of the legendary Wat Khao Or is very useful to anyone trying to learn how to make full use of a highly sanctified Tongkat.  Most people will carry the newly acquired Tongkat at the very beginning. Slowly and gradually it will be put aside and as time past the Tongkat will be totally forgotten. So, to take full benefit you may want to consider all the points here and try to connect to the energy radiance of your Mai Tao Tongkat.   

We have provided all the relevant information about this last batch Mai Tao as accurately as possible. If there's any mistake it will be us as the provider of information to be blamed. We sincerely hope that the information provided here will benefit all first-time Wat Balai's Mai Tao owners. Your generous support to Wat Balai and belief in Than Plen's superior Mai Tao is already a big step forward in ensuring one of Kelantan's legendary temple will not be lost in history.

As this article is coming to an end, we sincerely hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog article with regards to Wat Balai and happy to obtain a piece of Than Plen's sacred Mai Tao tongkat.  Until then please visit us again as you never know when we will bring another exciting story and travel adventures in the Buddhist talismans sphere. We will end this chapter with a big thank you to all for your tremendous support.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

The picture above captured all the Mai Tao tongkat collected from Wat Balai was graphically represented with 3 stalks of Lotuses is in recognition for your wholesome karma in giving Dana. Like all good deeds, an act of giving will bring us happiness in the future. This is in accordance with the karmic law of cause and effect as taught by Lord Buddha.

The delivery of Mai Tao to all donors has been accomplished. For those who have received these sacred Mai Tao, we hope you will gain inner peace and calm in overcoming life challenges despite the odds. Thank You.

Sabbe Sattha Sukhi Hontu

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