Luang Por Sothorn

 One of Thai’s famous Buddhas Luang Por Sothorn or mostly

known as Buddha Sothorn is well known in Thai. People from all

walks of lives over the country even the neighbourhood countries

and amulets collectors are familiar with this Buddha image.

Luang Por Sothorn is regarded as one of the most revered Buddha

images in Thailand. It is said that if you pray sincerely to Buddha Sothorn,

your career amd wealth would have smooth progress and it will protect

your health & safety.

The temple Wat Sothorn Wararam Wora Wiham is located in

Chachoengsao province, northern Thai.

 

佛牌-所通佛

 

History of Wat Sothorn

Buddha Sothorn is generally known as Luang Por Sothorn.

Its initial historical facts were already unknown. What we know now

is only the legendary story passing down from the ancient with brief

description and according to the records compiled by

Thai Art Department.

The Wat Sothorn or Wat Hong, was built in later Ayutthaya period.

There was a huge wooden stick in front of the temple, and above

it there is a copper made golden phoenix. This is probably how

the Wat Hong got its name. However the phoenix was blown off

due to strong wind and left only empty wood stick. Thereafter its

name was changed to Wat Sao Thong. “Sao” in Thai means the

wooden stick, while “thong” means the flagpole. Later the flagpole

was broken again, then its name was changed as

Wat Sao Thong Thong (วัดเสาทอน).

It was said that there were 3 Buddha images floating from the

northern river, and one of it was the Luang Por Sothorn which is

worshiped in the temple now, hence the temple was later

named as Wat Sothorn.

 

 

When was Buddha Sothorn enshrined in Wat Sothorn?

       According to the legendary, during the kingdom of Ayutthaya,

Myanmar invaded Thailand to loot the local temples especially

Buddha statues made from gold as it could be melted into gold.

During its second invasion, the devotees of a temple had smeared

mud on the whole body of the golden Buddha statues and put them

into raft to drift away with river flow. Three of the Buddha statues

floated down Pakong river passing through Prachin Buri. Later the

statues were seen in Chachoengsao by the local people and

they tried to tie the 3 statues with hemp rope and pull it to shore.

However their effort was in vain. They couldn’t pull the statues

no matter how hard they tried.

Then the bigger statue (Luang Por Baan Laem) floating down till

Baan Laem in Samut Songkhram province. The local people

there pull it ashore and enshrined it in Wat Baan Laem. The smallest

one (Luang Por Tor) floated till Samut Prakan province and enshrined

by local people in Wat Bang Li. The another statue which was the

Luang Por Sothorn floated till Chachoengsao province and

discovered by local people. They tried to tie it with the hemp rope

and pulled it ashore but they failed no matter how hard they tried.

Then a monk set up an altar chanting prayer and tied a blessed

cord on the hand of the Buddha image. Amazingly the Buddha

image was easily pulled ashore and then enshrined

in Wat Sothorn till now.

There was no exact record of when Luang Por Sothorn enshrined

in Wat Sothorn. Hoever, as the three Buddha images floated at

the same period and the year people discovered Luang Por Baan Laem

was in B4 2313, therefore it was inferred that Luang Por Sothorn

was enshrined in Wat Sothorn around BE2313 too.

It was said that King Rama V had been inspected to that area.

Although there was no exact date of literature about the the origin

name of Wat Sothorn, the prime minister in King Rama V period

had said that the person who named it must be someone

knowledgeable as it is not only nice but also contains deep meaning.

 

 

The origin of Luang Por Sothorn

       There are few different versions of stories about origin of

Luang Por Sothorn. There were 3 Buddhas brothers statues floated

along northern river to Bang Pakong river area in reversed drift.

Local people saw them and tied ropes on the hands of statues.

About 500 of them were helping to pull the statues ashore but their

effort was in vain. The rope was cut off and the three statues

dropped under the water and disappeared. The 3 Buddha

statues floated along Bang Pakong river until south of Wat Sothorn

but weren’t pulled ashore and kept floating in reversed drift.

The elder Buddha floated till Samut Songkhram’s Baan Laem.

People worshiped and enshrined it till now. And it was named as

Luang Por Baan Laem. Another statue floated to Bang Phli in

Samut Prakan province, and was known as Luang Por Tor while

Luang Por Sothorn was flowed to Wat Sothorn and enshrined

over there. The original Buddha Sothorn was bery beautiful and

made from alloy, with over 50 cm of knee distance. The

image was in samadhi meditation posture, legs crossed and palms

facing top. The monks in Wat Sothorn were afraid that people would

be very selfish, had pursue of desire & endless greedy. One

would keep the Luang Por Sothorn secretly if he/ she has no

religious belief. To avoid these problems in the future, they

covered the original statue with cement and made it into

meditation posture with knees distance of 165cm.

Another folklore said that there were 5 brothers who turned

out to posses supernatural power. To help all living creatures

they transformed as five Buddha statues and floated along

river to place where people hoped to see miracles. One of it

was the Buddha Sothorn. Another four were Luang Por Wat Raikhing

in Wat Rai Khing, Nakhon Chai Si; Luang Por To Wat Bang Phli

in Bang Phli Nai; Luang Por Wat Baan Laem in Mae Klong river’s

Baan Laem village, Samut Songkhram; and Khao Takhrao in

Wat Khao Takhrao, Petcha Buri.

 

 

Buddha Sothorn in meditation posture

      From the outlook of the Buddha Sothorn, it belongs to the type

of appearance in Larn Chang area, which is popular in Laos & northern

east of Thai, also known as Phra Lao (Lao Buddha). The original image

under the gilded body was still inconclusive. Some people guessed

it was carved wood as wood could float in the water while some

said it was carved stone. However in the ancient record it was made

by alloy. And this is even more evident of the Buddha’s miracle.   
 

Efficacious Luang Por Sothorn

 There were plenty legends about the efficacy and miracle

happenings of Buddha Sothorn. Many Thais knew that if you

wish to gain wealth and enhance your career you should worship

Buddha Sothorn. This is because it would bestow prayers wishes

to gain extra cash. Therefore, many businessmen would worship

Buddha Sothorn.  Praying to Buddha Sothorn sincerely could

make you obtain wealth & easy money.

In early stage, surrounding area of Wat Sothorn was very remote

and there were only few people living there. The traffic was

inconvenient too. After enshrining the Luang Por Sothorn, people

living on the water believed that praying wishes to Luang Por Sothorn

could make their business become smooth. Some believed that the

river water in front of Wat Sothorn was holy water. They would drink

the water and used it to wash their body and face when they

rowed boats to Wat Sothorn. When someone fell sick, they

also prayed to Luang Por Sothorn to get protection.

Luang Por Sothorn had granted all the wishes for them and to be success.

Prayers would always have votive celebration to Luang Por Sothorn. 

It was said that there was a period of time where famine

occurred in the village of Wat Sothorn. Drought occurred and had

not rain for long period. Seedlings withered and smallpox disease

infected. Many people and children died. Many of the them gave up

their home property and ran away. Those who couldn’t run away could

only stay there and faced death. That time an old man was infected

by smallpox disease and he had no one to look after him. He asked

for protection from Luang Por Sothorn. He received an incense ash,

a dried worship flower and scripture water from there and cooked

all the 3 things together to drink and wash his whole body. His sickness

was healed later. He conducted a votive activity delightly. His story

was spreaded and people had come to pray and

worship Luang Por Sothorn.

Now we can see there are many street vendors selling lottery

around Wat Sothorn and many devotees are queuing up to make

appointments for votive dance to Luang Por Sothorn. It is said

that there are many devotees who came to worship Luang Por Sothorn

who impromptuly bought one or two lotteries outside the temple would

come here again driving luxury cars to arrange the votive dance.

They would also donate money to Wat Sothorn to express gratitude.

A Thai tea dealer said that his agent would come to donate fifty

thousands bahts to the temple every month. He would feel uncomfortable

if he didn’t go. He believed that his business is getting better and

stable through Luang Por Sothorn’s gift. Therefore he is willing

to join and sponsor in every activity.   

 

 

Worshiping activities

People from near and far come to worship Luang Por Sothorn

due to its efficacy. The celebration events are conducted twice a year.

1. Thai lunar calendar- May (March – April), known as mid May activity.

Total in 3 days starts from Thai lunar calendar May 14th .
2. Thai lunar calendar- December (around November), known as mid Dec activity.

Total in 5 days starting from Thai lunar calendar 12th .
 

Luang Por Sothorn amulets

Wat Sothorn  BE2460  first batch Luang Por Sothorn amulet

 

Wat Sothorn  BE2500 Luang Por Sothorn statue

 

Wat Lahanrai  BE2518 Luang Pu Tim’s Buddha Sothorn

 

 

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