The photographs here will provide readers a glimpse of what is like at Wat Phothichareantham that is located in Butterworth over the mainland of Penang. This temple is unlike those early days when LP Win first arrived with only a few basic facilities. The most holy structures at Wat Phothichareantham is the two big white elephants and a makeshift roof shed under the old tree where LP Win used to sit in Vipassana meditation.
LP Win surprises many as he's a strong Vipassana meditation master. Armed with the ability to foresee the mind of a layperson coming to see him, he never failed to help by giving proper advice and there are other times when he hand out a packet of rice to the visitor saying that "Your house runs out of rice. You will need it". That's the miraculous ability of LP Win as he was regarded as a guardian angel by those who have met him.
|File Photo: LP Win with early temple supporters|
Although highly popular since LP Win helm the responsibility as the Chief Abbot of Wat Phothichareantham, he however decided to remain very low profile until the very last day of his life. With a highly developed heart of compassion, LP Win never refused to help anyone who is genuinely in need for his Takrut.
LP Win was a native from Kampong Titi Akar in Pendang, Kedah (see also Wat Titi Akar). Upon ordination LP Win further pursued his studies in Buddhism at Wat Mahathat, Nakhon Sitthammarat and meditation training under the tutelage of Somdej Asaphat. LP Win used to remind devotees to work hard in order to be successful. He is indirectly telling that owning his Takrut will not make anybody rich and successful. It is individual efforts and dedication that will make one successful.
As a Vipassana practitioner not dwelling with bodily and mental pains, LP Win finally passed away mindfully in B.E.2549 at the age of 96 years old. Before passing away, LP Win reminded his followers to diligently develop a strong mental faculty (Jhanna) in order to keep the mind at peace before leaving this world. A highly respected teacher and a true example of a forest tradition monk well gone. LP Win's body was laid to rest at Wat Thepsuwannaram in Kedah today instead of Wat Phothichareantham for unknown reason. We would assume that this was LP Win's wish to have his body kept at Wat Thepsuwannaram where he first ordained into the Sangha Order.
In the past LP Win always received visitors and had helped many people without asking for any favor in return. He always gave sound advice related to life as mortal being and he never failed to impress many who went to seek his help or advice. The temple's grand entrance greets every visitors with a sculpture depiction of Buddha's first sermon. A very welcoming sign for any visitors in the heart of this mostly housing estate in Sungai Puyu, Butterworth.
|Monks living quarters|
|A wax statue in sitting meditation posture helps remind visitors about LP Win's life as a meditation practitioner.|
LP Win's Talismans
First of all, let's be mindful when collecting LP Win's talismans. There are some controversies surrounding the talismans all due to the 3 poisons of mankind which is none other than greed, hatred and delusion. LP Win is a compassionate monk and will never refuse any requests to bless any amulets. After LP Win's demise, the controversies erupted in the amulet collector's circle as to which amulet talisman was really blessed by LP Win and which is not. These 3 poisons is man's greatest enemies.
Hence, exercise caution and do your research well before embarking on collecting LP Win's talismans. More importantly the mental attitude must be set right with the intention of acquiring a piece of LP Win's talisman out of respect for this great master. With this correct thinking mind, it is also every's collector's wish that a portion of our hard-earned money goes into sustaining the temple's development and to further spread Buddhism.
|A rolled-up 108 Waist Belt Takrut|
|An array of LP Win's talismans|
|108 Waist Takrut|
|Takrut of various sizes|
Wat Phothichareantham issued many batches of amulets during LP Win's tenure as the Chief Abbot. To make it interesting, some of the fine examples provided below are from generous private collectors whom gladly shared their LP Win's amulets for learning purpose.
|LP Thuad/LP Win, B.E.2548 Copper Rian|
|LP Thuad/LP Win, B.E.2548 Alpaka Rian|
Kedah temples are more inclined toward making Phra Luang Phor Thuad's talismans as would compared to Kelantan temples which are more inclined toward Phra Pidta. But both Kedah and Kelantan are experts in making one thing in superbly that is Takrut incantation scrolls. This is based on own observation all these years researching into Malaysia's talismans.
|LP Win small figurine Loop Lor|
In reality all the later Takrut generations individually handwritten by LP Win still has the capability in "Klaew Klaad" or harm-proof e.g. helping the wearer to avoid people with bad intention and for smooth career growth (only if you work hard). From stories told by others who had had good experience with LP Win's Takrut, it was pinpointed that when worn, an attacker who tries to hammer a person with a solid object using all his might will not bear any effect on that person wearing LP Win's Takrut. This is the harm-proof aspect of LP Win's Takrut although it may sound more like Kongkrapan. Nevertheless, other talismans such as Rian Medallions are equally in high demand and collectible.
Out of deep respect for LP Win, let's not speculate or pinpoint which particular Takrut or Rians are better. If you wish to acquire any of these talismans, do an in-depth research study just like any other amulets before deciding. Your choice in acquiring this great master's talismans should come from your own heart. The good news is LP Win's Takrut is still relatively affordable today for most die hard collectors if compared with another highly sought after Takrut by some other prominent masters. This is largely due to availability factor where one can still easily find LP Win's items in the market.
With this article finally released at last, we have achieved our goal in revealing one of Kedah's finest Takrut origin and amulets made by LP Win together with his guiding lights in contributing religious services to the Buddhist society. Apart from visiting Buddhist temples in Penang Island itself, Wat Phothichareantham is another distinctive choice for your next temple visit if you have not been there yet.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
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