Luang Phor Arkom

Luang Phor Arkom

by Jun Wei

One of the great guru monks located in Northern Thailand would be Luang Phor Arkom. Luang Phor Arkom used to be the chief abbot of Wat Dau Nimit, Ampher Bung Sam Phan Nai District, Phetchabun province. In fact, Luang Phor Arkom was also the Chief of District (Chow Khanak Ampher) of Bung Sam Phan Nai District, in charge of the district temples and monks affairs, local community affairs and the development of temples and schools in the district.

Luang Phor Arkom is known for his miracle, supernatural knowledge and magical power that can transform into another form and reach a place within minutes. There were several incidents that had been reported. One such incident happen, When Luang Phor Arkom was invited to Malaysia for a consecration ceremony in Kedah and Kuala Lumpur, and during that period of time when Luang Phor Arkom was away, a local villager that visited Wat Dau Nimit regularly, saw Luang Phor Arkom walking around the temple doing the daily chores.    

The following week, the villager went to Wat Dau Nimit again (not knowing that Luang Phor Arkom just returned from Malaysia) and saw Luang Phor Arkom talking to a group of local villagers, he then went to pay respect to Luang Phor and joined in. Luang Phor Arkom was telling them about his trip in Malaysia, when that villager heard about it, he was confused and approached Luang Phor and told him that, “I saw you walking around the temple last week, how  is it possible that Luang Phor you are in Malaysia.”  However, Luang Phor Arkom showed them the photo he had taken in Malaysia, the person was shocked and paused for a moment thinking about how that could possibly be and thought that he needed to check his eyesight.

In another similar incident, while Luang Phor Arkom went to Malaysia as well , someone went to Wat Dau Nimit to look for him. Upon arriving at the temple’s door step, the person called on Luang Phor Arkom, not knowing he was away and he was told by the (spirit of Luang Phor Arkom), “come back to see me next week”. The person went home and came the following week to see Luang Phor Arkom and told Luang Phor that he came to see him last week, but you told me to come this week. Then Luang Phor Arkom replied, “Yes. I told you so because I was in Malaysia last week. ”, the person was shocked and surprised to hear the answer.

Luang Phor Arkom received his 2nd Buddhist Fan Title from His Holiness Somdej Phra Sangkharaj (Yarn Sarn Won) in BE 2544 for his knowledge and achievement in advanced meditation.

If one looks at the ‘Bosth’ of Wat Dau Nimit closely, it looks like a temple in the sky. As the word ‘Dau Nimit’ means ‘Shining Stars’ in Thai Language. Once there was a soldier who was traveling to another province, stopped by Wat Dau Nimit for a short visit. He was impressed by the beauty of the ‘Bosth’ and took some pictures. When the photo came out, he was surprised to see the rays emitting at the upper section of the ‘Bosth’. The following day, the soldier returned to Wat Dau Nimit to consult Luang Phor Arkom about the photos of the ‘Bosth’. Apparently, the upper section of the ‘Bosth’ was the secret hiding place, where Luang Phor Arkom placed sacred items to protect the ‘Bosth’. It is believed that Luang Phor Arkom has reached the highest knowledge of advanced meditation which covers the ability to perform miracles. It is also believed that when Luang Phor Arkom is away from Wat Dau Nimit, his spirit remains there to look after the temple. His ability to perform amazing miracles are due to strict practice of Buddhist studies, Dharma and mediation.    

One night, while Luang Phor Arkom was in deep meditation inside the ‘Bosth’ during the ‘Lent’ month, the power went off. This made Luang Phor Arkom open his eyes to check on the condition, he saw an aura above his head releasing bright rays that disperse the darkness inside the ‘Bosth’. It was an incredible attainment for him. Some believed that he was already at the early stage of Arahant-hood and would attain Arahant-ship when he passed on. It is true that Luang Phor Arkom could detect and read a person’s mind. Once, Luang Phor was asking a guy about his personal matter, and before the guy answered, he already spoke out the answer which was on the guy's mind. The guy just kept quiet and listened to him. Luang Phor Arkom is also known for his scared mouth, that whatever statement he made will always come through.

Luang Phor  Arkom was born on 11th April BE 2466 at a village in Thailand called ‘Ban Noon Deng’, Maha Sarakham Province. He was given the name “Pak Tuam Thong” as his family surname was “Thong”. He was the only child in the family. His father, who people know him as Mr Nai Kean, was a paddy farmer and while his mother, Mrs Mae Teng was a housewife. One day, his father was accused by the landlord for stealing his cow which he had no idea about. His father had no choice but to run far away to escape from being captured.

While Luang Phor Arkom was 4 years old, his mother moved in to stay with his grandmother and uncle. Until one day, his uncle sold the land and house. Due to this, his mother had no option but to stay at Wat Noon Deng as a caretaker of the temple. Due to poverty, his mother could not afford to send him to ordinary school. So his mother took the opportunity to bring him into a Buddhist school. As back in those days, Buddhist schools located in Thailand rural areas also taught education).    

At the age of 10, he studied at Wat Noon Deng Buddhist school. At the age of 14, he was ordained as a novice monk at Wat Noon Deng. His preceptor was Phra Kru Palat Phoor Wat Ban Aeit from Maha Sarakham Province, who taught him the difficult ‘Kong Kra Phan Chatri’ (impenetrability and invulnerability) Katha. His teacher was very fierce and strict. As Phra Kru Palat Phoor was an expert in catching ‘Pee’ ghost spirits and placed them in bamboo section. When Phra Kru Palat Phoor went round the village at night hunting for the ghost spirit that disturbed the local villager, he brought Luang Phor Arkom along.

At the age of 18, he studied one year at Wat Si Boon Liang at Kalasin province and two years at Wat Maha Chai at Maha Sarakham province. At the age of 19, he moved to a higher level to study Buddhism text in Pali Language for ten years.

When Luang Phor Arkom reached the age of 21, he was ordained as a monk at Wat Noon Deng on 9th April BE 2487. His Preceptors were Phra Kru Kuchet Narai Pheetak and Phra Kru Sornkat Narcham. He was given the name of ‘Phra Arkom Indrasaro’.    

When he was ‘Phra’, he pursued study in Pali Language and Dharma from various teachers and later went to Tudong' and  stayed in the forest to practice deep meditation. In BE 2492, he traveled to Wat Thai Soon Sak Thalam at Lom Sak district, Phetchabun province to study at Petchabhun’s Wat Mahathat (Buddhist University).

While pursuing his study, he spent 30 years traveling from one place to the other. He travelled to places such as Phetchabhun, Phitsanulok, Chiang Mai, Tak, Nakhon Sawan, Chainat, Sing Buri, Lopburi, Saraburi, Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom and down to the south of Phuket, and back to Si Saket, Ubon Ratchathani, Maha Sarakham and Phetchabun, cutting through forest, jungles, villages. When it is time to enter ‘Parn Sar’, he will stay at the temple for 3 months 'Lent period before continuing his journey.

Luang Phor Akrom also was a fast learner and always seeking for higher knowledge from many guru monks through his journey. One day while he was meditating in the jungle, there came two ‘Devas’ named ‘Luang Phor Thong Dam’ and ‘Luang Phor Thong Inn’. The ‘Devas’ taught him the way to practice Dharma and magical knowledge. They provide Katha and books for Luang Phor Akrom to practice and occasionally observe him during meditation and protect him from danger when he is in deep meditation in the forest. We believed that the ‘Devas’ followed Luang Phor Akrom wherever he went. Luang Phor can sense and tell whether there are any ‘Devas’ that dwell in a particular place when he visits.

While Luang Phor was seeking higher knowledge on Dharma, he would travel far to seek knowledge from guru monks. One of Luang Phor’s teachers was Luang Phor Chaem Wat Chalong. He acquired the great knowledge of consecrating Takrud ‘Ku Cheewit’.

Luang Phor Chaem is one of the guru monks in the Southern Part of Thailand. He was highly respected as a great monk who gained fame as a lay physician and dispersed the two rivals group to stop the civil war in Phuket.

At the age of 40, Luang Phor Arkom traveled to Phuket to sit for his examination. There were many monks to be interviewed by the senior monks but none of them can read and explain to Luang Phor Chaem ‘Ku Cheewit’ Jant and Katha except Luang Phor Arkom. Luang PhorArkom also paid homage to Luang Phor Chaem as his spiritual guru and asked his permission to acquire and practice the ‘Ku Cheewit’ knowledge and books left over by Luang Phor Chaem.    

Those who have Luang Phor Arkom ‘Takrud Ku Cheewit’ are advised to keep the holy item safely. As it is rare and hard to obtain nowadays since Luang Phor Arkom has stopped making it in BE 2546. It takes 6 continuous hours to make one. All his sacred amulets and ‘Takrud’ are consecrated by Luang Phor Arkom as he would invite the Buddhas, Arahants and Devas to charge their sacred power before he goes to sleep at Wat Dau Nimit. Some even charged for years before distributing out. Whenever Luang Phor goes to bed, he will tie the string to his hand to bless the  amulets again and again while meditating in the sleeping position. His amulets are known for protecting one’s life from danger, invulnerability, impenetrability, ‘Maha Li Om’ to the wearer.    

While Luang Phor Akrom was in Bangkok, he met Mor Taksai (the disciple of Luang Phor Ubhatali Wat Bowen Niwat) and learned ‘Maha Li Om’, the Katha he often used for blessing on devotee’s heads. At that time, Mor Taksai was already 80 years old, while Luang Phor Arkom was only 25 years old. Luang Phor  Akrom traveled to Lopburi to pay respect to Luang Phor Prink Wat Bosth KongDhanoo and seek for his knowledge on ‘Kong Kra Phan’ and Katha ‘Nak’. During world war II, Luang Phor Akrom returned to the Northern region again. He taught at Wat Phra Singh at Chiang Mai, Wat Si Saket at Ubon Ratchathani and Wat Mahathat at Phetchabun Province. When he was in Petchabun, he meet the disciples of Luang Phor Derm, Luang Phor Noi (Phrakru Nipand DhammaKut) Wat Nong Pho and Luang Phor Kant (Phrakru Nisit KunaKorn) Wat Kao Kaew at Nakhon Sawan.

Luang Phor Prink and Luang Phor Noi were both very close-friend and would exchange their knowledge with each other. Luang Phor Arkom then learned how to consecrate ‘Mit Mor’ from Luang Phor Kant. Luang Phor Kant is known to be one of the disciples of Luang Phor Derm Wat Nong Pho.

There is also another story of Luang Phor Akrom but this time is about his Mit Mor. There was this incident, one day there was a fire that broke out at a row of link houses in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The owner quickly rushed home once he heard the news. The fire was spreading so fast, just another unit away to his house. While he was busy carrying all the important things out from the house, he suddenly remembered that he had Luang Phor Arkom ‘Mit Mor’ so he took it out and pointed to the direction of fire and requested help to save his house from being burned. Suddenly, the wind changed direction and blew to the opposite direction and started to rain. He was relieved and thanked Luang Phor Arkom for saving his house.

When Luang Phor Arkom was in Nakhon Sawan, he heard about the great guru monk Luang Phor Suk Wat Pla Kong Makamtao at Chainat. Luang Phor Arkom went to pay respect and seek Luang Phor Suk to accept him as his disciple. Luang Phor Arkom then learned ‘Kong Kar Parn’ and Dharma from Luang Phor Suk before he went to Mae Sot district at Tak Province to learn from Kruba Khan Chai Wat Matha RhuSorn. Luang Phor Arkom studied Dharma knowledge of ‘ Kong Kar Parn’, ‘Maha Li Om’ and ‘Yang Kua Kham’ under Kurba Khan Chai.

Then again, Luang Phor Arkom traveled to Wat Si Saket to teach. While he was there, he studied Dharma and Wicha under the guidance of Luang Phor Pheang Wat Singh Harn, Trakan Phutphan district, Ubon Ratchathani province. Luang Phor Phaeng was a guru monk that was a well- respected monk in Ubon Ratchathani province at that time. Luang Phor Phaeng was also the sole disciple of the Great Guru ‘Sam Liat Luen’ from Laos. According to Luang Phor Akrom, ‘Sam Liat Luen’ is a Arahant, who possesses supernatural power and has achieved the highest advanced Dharma knowledge.

‘Sam Liat Luen’ is known for his amazing abilities. As he has mastered the highest miracle knowledge and ‘Katha’, and have the ability to walk across rivers on surface, jump up to the trees, transformed into other forms and became invisible to human eyes and other miracles where it is not possible for any human except for Arahant, Bodhisattva or Devas. Luang Phor Akrom then learned Dharma and Wicha from Luang Phor Pheang. At that time, Luang Phor Pheang was already 88 years old while Luang Phor Akrom was in his 50’s.    

When Luang Phor was getting old to travel from one place to another, it was time to settle down for him. He finally found a suitable place on a hill site at ‘Bung Sam Phan Nai’ district at Phetchabun Province to reside there permanently in BE 2525. Luang Phor Arkom then built his ‘Sala’ (monk resident) and planned to build a ‘Bosth’ and Dharma hall on the piece of land given by the Thai government.

When the local villagers heard about this, they were curious about Luang Phor Arkom’s ability. As the local master performed black magic on Luang Phor Akrom, but nothing seems to work on him. Until one day, the ‘Mor’ and a few locals provided meals to Luang Phor Arkom. As usual, monks must pray first before they can eat. After praying, Luang Phor told them, “you knew that monks cannot take food that is still raw and uncooked and why do you give me food that is still alive”. (apparently, the bowl was filled with living worms at the bottom and covered with rice and vegetables on top), at the moment hearing that, the ‘Mor’ and his friends kneeled down on their knees and begged Luang Phor for forgiveness. Since that day, news spread, the local folks rushed to Wat Dau Nimit to pay respect to Luang Phor and helped him to raise funds for building the Bosth and Dharma hall. The locals were grateful to have a guru monk in their district. The locals seek blessings and advice from Luang Phor Arkom whenever they have issues.

Wat Dau Nimit - Dharma Hall     

There was once a local rich man in the district heard about the news and knew that the land is a good ‘Feng Shui’. He offered to buy the land from Luang Phor Arkom several times but was rejected. The rich man was very angry and decided to hire someone to hurt Luang Phor.

One day, a random person went to Wat Dau Nimit, he called Luang Phor Arkom at the main entrance of Luang Phor residence. When Luang Phor heard someone calling him, he replied, “I am taking a bath now, please wait, when I come out then you can aim and shoot me”. When the person heard what Luang Phor replied, he had a shock of his life and was afraid, and left without a word.

When Luang Phor Arkom was appointed as the ‘Chow Khanak Ampher’ Chief Abbot of the district at Bung Sam Phan Nai, he had to assist other temples to raise funds for building temples, schools, halls and maintenance. As the head monk in the district, he had to attend to other temples needs and affairs. Raising money to build Wat Dau Nimit was a very challenging task. The locals do not have much to donate. Luang Phor has to seek funds from other provinces' temples. He had to travel to Bangkok and Malaysia to raise funds. In Thailand, the culture to raise funds for building temples usually carry out in a form of consecrating amulets by the guru monk himself or together with other invited guru monks to participate in the consecration rituals and ceremony for the amulets. The amulets will then be given out to the people in exchange for their donation of money, building materials and helpers to raise funds for building the temple.    

Luang Phor Akrom also had to attend to other temples' invitations for consecration rituals to raise funds. Whenever Luang Phor Pae Wat Pikulthong at Singburi province had a consecration ceremony for the creation of amulets, he invited Luang Phor Arkom. In fact, Luang Phor Pae is a close friend of Luang Phor Akrom. And Luang Phor Akrom also has high respect for Luang Phor Pae. As he would always praise Luang Phor Pae for his knowledge in Dharma, Buddhist studies, Pali and Katha. Before Luang Phor Arkom resided in Phetchabun, Luang Phor Pae were also other guru monks in Phetchabun. Another guru monk in Phetchabun Province would be Luang Phor Thop Wat Chon Daen at Chon Daen district, Phetchabun province. Luang Phor Arkom also acquired Luang Phor Thop for Maha Li Om‚ and Kong Kar Parn‚ Katha through his disciple (an old lady who is the caretaker for Wat Chon Daen and Luang Phor Thop).

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