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A Special Tribute to Phra Somdej Pae













Somdej votive tablets in recent times that are closely associated to Thailand's famous Jinabanchon Katha recitation used by Ajahn Toh during the 19th-century contemporary Thai Buddhism is none other than Luang Phor Pae. Of all the known temples linked to Somdej Puttajarn Toh Prommarungsi or Ajahn Toh in the past e.g. Wat Rakang, Wat Intharaviharn, Wat Mai Amataros, Wat Arun and Wat Keschaiyo, the only temple in Thailand that can emulate the making of effective and yet beautiful Phra Somdej is Wat Pikunthong in Singburi Province.


Every serious Somdej votive collector will know that all Luang Phor Pae's Somdej batches, both old and new had been infused with the powerful Jinabanchon Katha.  One clear reason why Luang Phor Pae used Jinabanchon was because of his deep respect for the old master Ajahn Toh. As a fond collector of Somdej amulets, it is my hope that this article will bring another insight into the importance of Somdej amulets in relation to Jinabanchon, and its significance in the world of Somdej.


The trademark of all LP Pae's votive tablets will bear 2 distinctive trademarks; the face of LP Pae at the back with Yant scriptures at the top corners, and "Rainbow" color scheme on some amulets surface. Hence, it is pretty easy to identify Somdej LP Pae at a glance. Thick solid block appearance with embedded tiny Takrut scrolls inside is another characteristic of LP Pae's Somdej amulets. The only exception of embedded Takrut is all the early 1st, 2nd and 3rd batches (Pae Pan, Song Pan, Sam Pan). 


As a tribute to the Venerable Luang Phor Pae's compassion and teaching in accordance with the Dharma to uplift our mortal life, this article will share his protective talismans particularly the powder typed Somdej tablets bearing Lord Buddha's image that will constantly remind us the Triple Gems.
   
Phra Somdej "Sairung" rainbow Taan Sin

















LP Pae's amulets particularly those made from powder are very good for Metta Mahaniyom, career success and giving an all round safety and protection to its wearer. It doesn't matter whether it's a new or old piece of LP Pae's amulet as long as it is genuine.  Dealers will always prefer old pieces because it can fetch higher price value. Old or new is still the same. The advise for collectors in this perspective is to have faith and belief in any of LP Pae's Somdej.


During the course of LP Pae's lifetime since creating amulets as early as B.E.2494, he had blessed and consecrated so many Somdej batches including remaking some popular models such as "Taan Sing" or "Katoh" literally meaning "Buddha's Sitting on Singha's Throne".  Officially LP Pae's last amulet blessing and consecration ended around B.E.2540 (1997) although he passed away two years later in B.E.2542 (1999). 

Somdej Okkrut LP Pae 
As colorful as it is with the Rainbow models, all LP Pae's Somdej amulet creations are meticulously beautiful. We may not notice that most of LP Pae's front Buddha image are Somdej Okkrut (big chest Garuda) following Achan Toh Wat Rakang style. The real significance of this Wakt Pikunthong's Somdej Okkrut is the appearance of LP Pae's portrait at the back of each amulet. Below are some beautiful examples of LP Pae's Somdej Okkrut votive tablets from a small personal collection. 





















This remade Pae Parn model (1st batch) has a very beautiful texture on the surface. The dried white Metta holy powders on the surface is clearly visible giving this piece its trademark look from its predecessor. This remade batch was consecrated by Luang Phor Pae himself in B.E.2539 and issued after his demise in B.E.2542. This is a very special batch with only 99 pieces being produced.




















We would also like to take this opportunity to include an old pink color Wat Pikunthong's amulet box during the early 70's.
 
B.E.2534 'Bailan' 4th Batch 

B.E.2534 'Bailan' 4th Batch 

B.E.2534 'Bailan' 4th Batch with 3 Holy Takrut

After a very long time since the 3rd batch was created in B.E.2512 and B.E.2516 respectively, finally this 4th batch was created again by Luang Phor Pae in a grand Puttaphisek ceremony by inviting many Keji and famous monks during that era in B.E.2534 (1991). This 4th batch have special markings at both sides with 3 holy takruts and Metta holy powder applied onto the surface. All Bailan in this batch were mechanical stamp thus the edges looked uneven.

Pae 4th and 5th was made in the same year B.E.2534. Pae 6th and 9th batch was made in B.E.2536. The above LP Pae's 4th batch black Bailan (made using burnt holy scripture) looks powdery white yellowish due to the holy powder. Strong metta, powerful protection, good for career and success in life.

Special Edition B.E.2539 with Semi-Precious Stones and Phra Taat

Special Edition B.E.2539

Special Edition B.E.2539

Special Edition B.E.2539





























































This special edition Somdej was consecrated in B.E.2539 (1996) with itemized numbering at the base of each amulet. At the top it has 1 piece gold Takrut inserted.  This phim was made from phoong (herbs) mixed with semi-precious stones and Ruby chips, Luang Phor Pae's hairs and one piece of "Phra Tart" at the center of the forehead. Phra Tart are holy relics of highly attained monks after cremation.  This is a very rare piece and good for collection. Limited to 2000 pieces only.

Shown below is a special batch of Somdej consecrated in B.E.2535 not released to the the public but only to close disciples and devotees of Luang Phor Pae.

B.E.2535 Mineral stones with 9 Holy Takrut

B.E.2535 Mineral stones with 9 Holy Takrut

This highly collectible batch comes in 2 versions. Phoong '108 type herbs' in white color while Bailan 'burnt holy scripts' in black color. The material is thick in size with 9 holy takruts inserted into each individual piece. 4 takruts at the top (as shown in picture) and 5 more takruts at the bottom. This phim has a gold foil pasted at the front of the Buddha image with mixed precious mineral chips. When looked closely under a magnifying loupe, the white Metta powders can be clearly seen on the surface which gave it a "chicken pox" texture. A true classic LP Pae Somdej strong for metta, powerful protection, career success and wealth.

B.E.2528 with Gold chip 

B.E.2528
The B.E.2515 phim "Taan Sing" was repeatedly made after the original phim due to its popularity among collectors. The above B.E.2528 is one example made from Bailan with visible Luang Phor's hairs on the front side and a gold flake. Remade batches of this phim can be distinguished by its coarse texture surface and the imprints are not very clear.
  
LP Pae 7th batch B.E.2539 
LP Pae 7th batch B.E.2539

















Pae 7th and 8th batch was consecrated in B.E.2539. Pae 9th was consecrated in B.E.2536.  A total of 9 Somdej batches in this series was produced since the 1st batch consecrated back in B.E.2510 by Luang Phor Pae. This is a remarkable feat considering that so many LP Pae's supporters over the years had been blessed by obtaining Wat Pikunthong's famed Somdej Okkrut.   


Somdej Pae Remade Batches
The very reason remade batches were consecrated by Luang Phor Pae is for supporters and donors to obtain genuine Wat Pikunthong's amulets due to the ever strong demand for his talismans. These remade are considered original and it's the best alternative for devotees who sought for remembering Luang Phor Pae and constantly reminding us about the Dharma.  


B.E.2539































Newer generation of "Sairung" rainbow Somdej Pae, is another colorful aspect of these highly collectible Wat Pikunthong's amulets. The above aesthetic example of a beautiful greenish rainbow texture was made in B.E.2539 with 3 pieces of takrut inserted. 1 at the top and 2 at the bottom with a red temple stamp at the back.

Another fine example here is a reddish rainbow Somdej Pae without the temple stamp at the back. Both examples of this rainbow Somdej Pae bears the numerical 2 at the back. These beautiful rainbow color Somdej Pae are solid with very clear imprints.


B.E.2539


Remade 3rd series

Shown above is another remade model of 3rd series Phoong or '108 types herbs' in white powder material. The material texture of this remade version is fragile and could easily chipped off. Many remade batches were blessed by Luang Phor Pae in the later years.  Nevertheless, all amulets issued by Wat Pikunthong are deemed holy with merits and blessings.  

B.E.2539  Rainbow "Sairung" Taan Sin

B.E.2539  Rainbow "Sairung" Taan Sin
From our research and understanding, B.E.2539 (1996) has the most amulets consisting of various phims designs being produced by Wat Pikunthong. Perhaps Luang Phor Pae already knew in advance through his psychic power of his last remaining time and out of compassion he had consecrated and blessed the most amulets that year and the following year in B.E.2540. 

Somdej Taan Sin series was remade many times over the years even before B.E.2530s due to its popularity among devotees and eye-catching rainbow colours. To sum up, many remade batches may not have been documented. Above is just one example of a basic phim with 1 piece copper takrut inserted at the front surface underneath the Buddha figure.          


The Final Somdej Pae   

Somdej 95
Phim Somdej 95 was made in Wat Pikunthong in B.E.2540 (1997).  This block was called Phim 95 with Thai numerical number '95' printed at the back.  This marble-like piece was made using 108 types of herbs mixed with Luang Phor Pae's hairs and gold chips. This grey tiger stripe version has one piece gold Takrut inserted at the top of the amulet. Apart from Phim 95, there are many other variations of amulets in that year.  

Somdej 95 with 1 piece gold Takrut
Among all the Somdej 95 batch, this tiger stripe phim (block) is very solid and can be considered rare. There are several versions with different color schemes with the most popular being white herbs material.  The final amulet blessing in year B.E.2540 may very well be the last time Luang Phor Pae had attended.  Luang Phor Pae passed away 2 years later in B.E.2542. The funeral and cremation was carried out under the patronage of His Majesty The King.

Somdej 95

















Luang Phor Pae's amulets are highly sought after by devotees and collectors mostly from Singburi and Bangkok areas. Wat Pikunthong's fame rises over the years in the sense that all its amulets were created for a good cause with blessings coming from devas and Ajahn Toh.  Luang Phor Pae is spiritually connected with Ajahn Toh and this could be a reason he had succeeded in using Jinabanchon to bless the amulets.

In the past before making any new batch of amulets, Luang Phor Pae would always seek Ajahn Toh's assistance in the form of meditation. People can almost immediately feel the power of the amulets that are consecrated by Luang Phor Pae personally. Most people who kept these amulets is to serve as remembrance and appreciation for the good causes which Luang Phor Pae had done for the community throughout his lifetime e.g. building hospitals, roads, schools, charity, etc.

LP Pae Commemorative Somdej B.E.2540
















This article had illustrated the classic Somdej Pae powder based votive tablets that is equivalently precious to Jinabanchon holy verses and Somdej Toh Prommarungsi.  A holy monk in Singburi province who dedicated his lifetime to the teachings of Lord Buddha for the benefit of mankind. Luang Phor Pae's great sacrifice and dedication will always be remembered by those who had spiritually benefited from him.

















Luang Phor Pae had blessed over a hundred amulet ceremonies during his lifetime. You can still easily find plenty of Luang Phor Pae's amulets in the amulet marketplace today where the price is still affordable. As mentioned earlier it doesn't matter if it's old or new batch as long as we have deep respect for this Buddhist master.

Based on a legendary story back in 1873 just one year after the passing away of Ajahn Toh, Bangkok was struck with a deadly cholera outbreak that had killed many people. There was no medicine to treat cholera those days. All of a sudden Ajhan Toh appeared in the form of dreams to tell people to drink the water after dipping in his Phra Somdej amulet in order to cure this deadly disease. That was how remarkable these Jinabachon infused amulets consecrated and blessed by great Buddhist masters with good intention. May we also accrue merits and be blessed with a peaceful heart by Luang Phor Pae and Jinabachon's golden protection.


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