This section will discuss about Phra Soom Kor and its other associated Benjapakee sets in order to give value to all readers. The other associated sets are Phra Nang Phaya, Phra Rod, and Phra Phong Supan. The primary Benjapakee “Somdej” is published in a separate page of this website.
We are very fortunate to have a the opportunity to include a genuine master piece of Phra Soom Kor to be featured in this page. This opportunity will be impossible if we don’t get contribution from community members. We shall begin by the history on the origin of Phra Soom Kor from Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand.
The great discovery of the Buddha amulets from Kamphaeng Phet otherwise known as The Millionnaire Field (Thung Setthi) was discovered when the reverend Somdej Phra Puttajarn Toh Prommarangsi from Wat Wakang went to visit his relatives in Kamphaeng Phet in B.E. 2392 (A.D. 1849). He read the stone inscription on the 3rd pillar and instantly knew that in Kamphaeng Phet there was an ancient city and a big pagoda up north of Nakhon Chum City. These were the first discovery at Wat Barommathat (the temple of a big pagoda) and the 3 Chedis, and also the Buddha amulets of Kamphaeng Phet family with beautiful Buddhistic art forms with the uniqueness of its own.
During the reign of Phra Maha Thammaracha Litchai of Sukhothai dynasty, Buddhist architecture was well glorified. He eventually established Wat Phra Srirattana Maha That and planted a Bodhi tree on a Friday in the 5th day of the waxing moon, 8th lunar month in B.E. 1900 (A.D.1357) in Nakhon Chum City.
At later time, the people then reconstructed the Chedi of Phra Srirattana Maha That and found old text books on the long lost making techniques of Soom Kor Buddha amulets in the past. The old Sankrit inscriptions in the texts describes the ancient city filled with abundance of Buddha amulets. Nakhon Phra Chum was then named as a city of Buddha amulet collection. According to record where the Chedi of Wat Barommathat in which the inscription was found, during demolition for reconstruction a huge number of old Phra Soom Kor amulets was discovered. This is the location source of ancient amulets findings that is popularly known today as the “Millionaires Field”.
Phra Kamphaeng of the Millionaire’s Field has a famous quote according to the old text scripts “If you have me, you will never be poor”. This is such superb amulets qualities from Kamphaeng Phet that had attracted strong admirations from all amulet collectors’ circle. This Millionaire’s Field amulets includes the other family of Phra Kamphaeng Soom Kor, Phra Kamphaeng Met Khanun (jack fruit seeds) otherwise known as Lila Thung Setthi the walking Buddha posture.
In general there are basically 2 types of Phra Soom Kor
Kanok decorated types: there are 3 sizes; big, medium and small
Non-Kanok types: mostly in black or brown colour
In addition to the marvelously beautiful art, the earth texture of Phra Kamphaeng is second to none when comparing with amulets from other cities. The texture contains flower petals and they are specially soft. There are 5 prints altogether namely big print with decorative design, big print without decorative design (Sum Kor black), medium print, small print and “pia” cake print and of course Phra Kamphaeng Met Khanun which look similar to a jack fruit seed.
The important Kru or pits of the “Millionaire’s Field” where Phra Soom Kor were found are listed here; Kru Wat Barommathat, Kru Chedi Klang Thung, Kru Wat Phi Kun, Kru Wat Sum Kaw, Kru Ban Setthi, Kru Ruesi, Kru Wat Noy or known as Kru Black Soom Kor probably this pit is where the non-decorative black colour amulets are mostly found here. Apart from that, the kru listing continues with Kru Na Ta Kham, Kru Ta Phum, Kru Wat Nong Langka, Kru Hua Yang, Kru Khlong Phrai, and Kru Non Muang.
Shown here in the picture is the most popular type among collectors of Kanok decorated type Phra Soom Kor. Most of the considerations of markings for verifications is found inside the Yellow colour book. In studying the verification markings as per written expert advice from the Yellow color book can be very interesting only if you care to take interest.
Inside page on verification of a Phra Soom Kor. See the descriptions in English translation on important markings.
The Phra Soom Kor information is available inside this yellow cover book on “Benjapakee” Grand 5 Set.
Phra Nang Phaya, Phitsanulok
Next on our list is Phra Nang Phaya Buddha amulets which are most popular and accepted as one in the Grand Five set or known as “Benjapakee” in Thai language. People have been seeking these amulets for a long time because of its high miraculous qualities.
Wat Nang Phaya is situated next to Wat Ratchaburana in Phitsanulok. Wat Ratchaburana was built by King Maha Thammaracha of Sri Ayuthaya capital curing his rule of Phitsanulok. Wat Nang Phaya was built by Phra Wisut Kasattri, whom happened to be the queen of King Maha Thammaracha around B.E. 2095-2100 (1552-1557 A.D.). Both Wats or temples were originally on the same location. At later times, the road running to the both Wats had separated the Wats from each another.
Phra Nang Phaya amulets were made during the end of Sukhothai dynasty around 550 years ago. The Kru (pits) was opened up from Wat Nang Phaya Phitsanulok around B.E.2442-2444 (1889-1891 A.D.) for the first time. The amulets compounds are mainly earth materials mixed with flower petals, gravels and sands. These amulet textures are rather coarse but there are also textures with little gravels and sands. There are in total 4 colours namely; yellow, red, green and black.
The prints can be classified into 6 major forms namely Bending Knee Print, Straight Knee Print, Big Swollen Chest Print, Shoulder Cloth Print, God Print, and Small Swollen Chest Print. In addition to being the Nang Phaya amulet family grouping, it is famous for Buddhistic powers on charming and being safe from all dangers. The other excellent quality of Phra Nang Phaya amulets is not being killed by any weapons.
Unfortunately we do not have any vintage Nang Phaya. Shown here is a newly consecrated Phra Nang Phaya amulet from Wat Khao Laem by a highly revered monk, Luang Pu Kalong. The year made for this batch of amulet is B.E.2551.
Another excellent piece of Phra Nang Phaya from Wat Bangkhumprom made by using old materials and mass chanted in B.E.2547.
Phra Rod – Wat Maha Wan, Lamphun
Amulet collectors from all over the world would know this important votive tablet originated from Lam Phun or the ancient Haripunchai era. There are many amulet categories during those ancient days but one of the categories had been recognized for its importance and was included into the Five Grand set “Benjapakee” – Phra Rod.
Ancient Phra Rod from Kru “buried under the Chedi” from Wat Maha Wan in Lam Phun Province Thailand are highly sought after by amulet collectors. Its ingredients consisted of earth materials and tuberous plants. They are delicate little ones made by the craftmen of Haripunchai in the art style of early Lop Buri period. Particularly unique is its beauty and collectors have accepted that they have superb Buddhistic qualities especially in giving protection and being safe from all dangers and disasters.
Phra Rod is one of the Five Grand set with Phra Somdej Wat Rakang as the leading amulet. In Thailand, it is named “Phra Rod Yard Nirantaray” literally translated as an amulet for being safe from all dangers. In addition they have Buddhistic quality in bringing good fortune and charming apart from being safe from all dangers and disasters.
Phra Rod Wat Maha Wan comes in 5 Phims in all namely Big Print, Medium Print, Small Print, Tow Print and Tuen Print. Here are 2 examples of exceptionally beautiful Phra Rod from Wat Mahathat for readers’ reference.
To find out more about this Yellow cover book “Benjapakee” please do not hesitate to contact [email protected]