This article story is based on our previous article - The Origin of Kelantan Pidta Genres. First and foremost we are no Kelantanese ourselves but we've written quite extensively about Kelantan's sacred amulets. This story will delight every Kelantan's amulet enthusiast particularly Bangsek's Pidta with a new breath of information about Tok Raja's Dharma legacy and his lineage of disciples in Theravada Buddhism practice at a predominantly Malay Muslim's region.
Collecting Bangsek style Pidta talisman can be very addictive once you become a serious collector. The key reason for writing this article is because over the years we've came across various Pidta Bangsek while doing research study for our articles. It's impossible to have a complete collection of all these wonderful Pidta Bangsek and we thought it's more beneficial to reveal it here for the interest of knowledge sharing.
The picture illustration of this article story is depicting the temple for Dharma study inside a bottle which can be reached by wooden sampan through the Golok River that separated Thailand from Kelantan. Tok Raja's teachings had flourished to other Southern parts of Thailand from his lineage of disciples practicing the Dharma discipline depicted by the Lotus petal. The surrounding Pidtas are the legacy of Bangsek's sacred arcane magic.
Narathiwat is the center stage of this article story because outside of Kelantan, this legendary Bangsek's Pidta are mostly found in this southern Thai region. Special thanks to Tak They and friends from Kelantan for making this article possible with credible info pertaining to Tok's lineage disciples.
|CK Khron Rachanaren, Tok Raja|
Before we go any further, let's quickly recap back the meaning of "Bangsek". The terminology Bangsek actually came from a temple called Wat Bangsek that was started by Chao Koon Khron or more popularly known as Tok Raja. This old temple name was replaced later with the name Wat Uttamaram as we know today. Because of the miracles of these sacred talismans particularly the Pidta that was created by Tok Raja himself during the 2nd World War to protect people from harm, the reputation of Pidta Bangsek's formidable power soon gained famed not just in Kelantan but all over the Thai Kingdom.
|Photo edited by SimplyBuy for the benefit of many.|
The tradition of making Pidta Bangsek style is still very much alive today even after more than 50 years since the passing away of the grandmaster maker Tok Raja. The evidence is clear from the many production of Bangsek's direct and indirect lineage disciples from within Kelantan and across the Thai border.
Crossing over to the Kelantan-Thai border, the famous Golok River is the gateway to Southern Thailand of Narathiwat. This is where we will start our story beginning with the senior most disciple of Tok Raja known in history, Phor Than Daeng from Wat Thong Dee Pachalam, Sungai Golok.
Phor Than Daeng was born on 3rd August B.E.2449 (C.E.1906) in Takbai, Narathiwat. During his teenage days there's no boundary demarcation in this Southern part of Thailand. As a young lad, he traveled around the southernmost area to visit some Buddhist temples. One of the temple he visited was Wat Bangsek. He quickly became one of Tok Raja's disciple.
|Phor Than Daeng, Wat Thong Dee, Sg. Golok|
Phor Than Daeng is good in Metta Mahaniyom, KlaewKlad (escape from harm), KongKrapan (self-defense against sharp objects) and Maha Utt (impenetrable by gunshot). He is a very close friend of Phor Than Daeng of Wat Pikulthong (Tumpat, Kelantan).
Phor Than Daeng passed away on 13th December B.E.2532, Wednesday 6.40am in sitting meditation posture. Visitors can visit Wat Thong Dee Pachalam to pay homage to Phor Than Daeng. With deepest respect to Phor Than Daeng for achieving Parinibbana by his early Dharma learning under the guidance of Tok Raja.
|Phor Than Daeng, Kg. Terbok, Tumpat|
There is another senior monk from Tok Raja's lineage also by the name of Phor Than Daeng from Wat Kok Sai in Southern Thailand. Wat Uttamaram Bangsek had produced many top Buddhist monks in Kelantan as a result of Tok's vision to have a Dharma school at his hometown in Kampung Repek, Pasir Mas.
|Donation drive dated Nov 2015|
From recorded life story about Phor Than Daeng, once there was a dying woman in a village. Everybody says she has no hope of survival due to some mysterious illness. But when Phor Than Daeng visited the house of this woman, he said she can live. Phor Than Daeng administered some herbs into the mouth of the woman and let her swallow it. The woman vomited out some kind of dark residues and was later cured and lived.
Another story account was about an attempted killing of Phor Than Daeng by some unknown assailants. The gunmen went to the kuti (resident hut) of Phor Than Daeng presumably to test the power of this monk by shooting with live bullets. Miraculously for no apparent reason the guns got jammed and couldn't fire. There're other many other stories and accounts of this great monk.
In Narathiwat there's another close lineage at Wat Pairok Pacaram whom is the nephew of Tok Raja by the name of Than Muerk. LP Muerk was born in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, Malaysia. His mother is a sister of Tok Raja.
After his ordination into the Sangha Order in BE2467, he resides at Wat Bangsek (Wat Uttamaram, Pasir Mas Kelantan) before returning to Narathiwat. Here he continued his studies and learning magical knowledge from Tok Raja until a point he became invincible to human eyes during meditation. During his stays at Wat Bangsek he also helps Tok Raja to make early batches of Pidta Nur Phong Kluk Rak which is very desirable in the amulet collecting circle and very expensive to acquire nowadays.
|Than Muerk Pidta Bangsek circa B.E.2520|
Than Muerk learned arcane sciences from Tok Raja even before entering monkhood. He only started making his very own Pidta amulets in B.E.2520 - B.E.2521. This is about the same time as Phor Than Daeng of Wat Thong Dee started making amulets at later stage in life before passing away.
|Than Muerk Pidta Bangsek circa B.E.2520|
All the Pidta Bangsek made at Wat Pairok are individually handmade by Than Muerk and their sizes can vary in terms of different sizes and slight irregularity in appearance.
As mentioned earlier, there's another Tok Raja's senior disciple also by the name Phor Than Daeng from Wat Kok Sai. Because of the similarity of name, there's been a lot of confusion between Than Daeng Wat Thong Dee and Wat Kok Sai.
|Phor Than Daeng, Wat Kok Sai|
From historical record, Phor Than Daeng first consecrated his 1st batch of Pidta in B.E.2540 mainly made from herbs with other powerful sacred materials. Along the way in later Pidta batches we could also find other component materials such as Lead (Takua), etc.
Next we would touch on another southern master famous for his Bangsek Pidta. Chao Koon Onn (CK Onn) from Wat Phrachumchomtara at Sungai Padi, Narathiwat. This temple is located not too far a distance after crossing the Ranjau Panjang's immigration checkpoint if you're entering from Kelantan.
|CK Onn, Wat Phrachumchontara Sg. Padi|
CK Onn did not learn the making of Pidta Bangsek from Tok Raja. His teacher is Than Chan Keramat. Than Chan Keramat is another very famous master in making amulet talismans during the same era as Tok Raja.
CK Onn is highly respected for his Pidta Bangsek and wooden Tongkat Maikru. That's how we first got to know CK Onn through his earlier Pidta dating back to B.E.2538.
As seasoned hobbyist collector, we must always try to acquire meaningful amulets in terms of the purpose of issuance, if the money generated from donation of the amulet goes back to its intended purpose. Very importantly we must be vary if there're any middlemen or greedy amulet traders trying to interfere in the price manipulation of a particular amulet. So to speak not every batch of amulets that comes out from temples consecration will carry the true spirit of Buddhist's cause.
When we are mindful on the tricks played by some of these greedy traders, we can avoid being duped into their usual marketing propaganda for a certain amulet by a monk or temple. Another very common mistake is to fall into the trap of acquiring fake/replicas. This is all part-and-puzzle of the amulet hobbyist world.
Moving along is another Southern Thai monk known for making Pidta Bangsek at Takbai, Narathiwat. Luang Phor Dam entered the Sangha Order in B.E.2504 at Wat Mai Naparam. He then traveled to Wat Bangsek because he wanted to gain knowledge from Tok Raja. But due to Tok's old age and ailing health, he was recommended to study from another senior monk from Wat Bangsek.
|LP Dam Wat Mai Naparam|
Luang Phor Dam or Than Dam mostly studied under Phor Than Dee of Wat Sanghasitharam at Narathiwat. Phor Than Dee is a disciple of Tok Raja. Phor Than Dee studied arcane knowledge concerning Phra Pidta and Mai Kru from Tok Raja. Luang Phor Dam later learned these crucial arcane sciences from Phor Than Dee.
Pidta B.E.2537 & Bullet Takrut
The making of Than Dam's efficacious talismans is based on what raw material is at hand. In the early days every visitors to Wat Mai Naparam will receive different Pidta version and of different materials from Than Dam himself. Concerning Than Dam's Pidta Bangsek, we can find a lot of variation apart from those more popular known batches seen on the Internet and forums.
|Than Jerk Wat Nikhom Waeng|
According to one local Kelantanese amulet collector, Than Jerk is a very close friend of Chao Koon Chan the previous abbot of Wat Uttamaram.
Wat Nikhom Waeng is nested in the deep south of Narathiwat close to the Malaysia's border. We have provided a Google map location to give you an idea of the temple whereabout. Seemed close enough to Kelantan but yet not easy to get here largely due to the danger of insurgents and security matter.
The close association between both temples (Wat Nikom and Wat Uttamaram) had resulted in several batches of Pidta that was co-blessed and jointly consecrated at Wat Uttamaram sometime in B.E. 2534 and B.E.2536. The friendship between both temples had preserved till today in helping one another in preserving the Dharma.
Wat Nikhom Waeng also produces Pidta Bangsek and other Tok Raja's commemorative talismans over the past 2 decades. We hope this continuation would carry the legacy of Tok Raja to the next generation of Theravada Buddhists and amulet hobbyist collectors for Southern Thailand's Bangsek Pidta.
This article had highlighted the Southern lineage of Tok Raja's disciples and their respective Pidta Bangsek. We hope you've enjoyed reading this wonderful story about a great lineage in its own right that started with a humble beginning at a small village in Kelantan.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
Adjacent to Yala and Pattani, Narathiwat Province has been in turmoil for quite some time already due to the escalation of religious violence and unrest. You're advised to take every possible precautions when travelling to this deepest south part. We can only be hopeful toward a peaceful life for the society at large here to flourish once again.
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