Luang Phor Rod

Luang Phor Rod

by Jun Wei

Wat Ko Non is a well-known temple that possesses the lineage of Wicha of two great guru monks. They are Luang Phor Rod Wat Ko Non and Luang Phor Iam Suwannasaro the former abbot of Wat Nang in Bang Khun Tien. The relationship between these two guru monks are teacher and student as Luang Phor Rod is the teacher and Luang Phor Iam is the student. 

There are not much information regarding Luang Phor Rod’s life before his ordination as back in the old days people would not register or keep records of things as much as people in the modern days. However it is believed that Luang Phor Rod was born and grew up as a local of Klong Bang Khwang District, in Tambon Kung Than Municipality, in Amphoe Bang Khun Tian Metropolitan District of Nonthaburi. 

Before Luang Phor Rod was at Wat Ko Non, he was actually the abbot of Wat Nang Non during the reign of King Rama 4 and was an practitioner of Vipassana Kammathana who was given the title of “Phra Pawanagosol Thera”. There was an incident that happened while Luang Phor Rod was still the abbot of Wat Nang Non, King Rama 4 traveled to the temple for the Kathina Robe Giving Ceremony. However, Luang Phor Rod was believed to have offended King Rama 4 as he did not use the royal terminology with having the conservation with the king hence his royal decree title was removed. Luang Phor Rod also had his Royal Pat Yos fan confiscated and was stripped off the royal status and had to move to Wat Ko Non. 

It is believed that the refusal was due to Luang Phor Rod refusing to use the official terminology of respect towards King Rama 4 as he was angry about the splitting of the Sangha into Dhammayut and Maha Nikaya sects which he considered the King to have caused a separation in the Sangha.

However Luang Phor Rod was unworried by the whole matter and had moved away from Wat Nang Nong to stay at Wat Ko Non which was located at the region of his birthplace where he would also remain at Wat Ko Non until he had passed on. At Wat Ko Non, Luang Phor Rod became the well-known guru monk for consecrating Phra Pidta amulets. And his first disciple Luang Phor Iam also followed him and was later known as the abbot of Wat Nang and would also continue his famous consecrating method for Phra Pidta amulets.  

The Phra Pidta amulets consecrated by Luang Phor Rod is considered as one of the top ten Phra Pidta amulets in history. As Luang Phor Rod is considered one of the top guru monks during his era as there are many stories of devotees experiencing miracles with his amulets in circulation that his name became well-known throughout the whole country. 

One thing to be sure of is the ability of Luang Phor Rod removing black magic. As he is well-known for it. On top of that, it is known that he is a guru monk who would spend long periods on Tudong in the forest even in the depths of the jungle whereby there are plenty of dangerous animals but he was adept with protective Wicha and could survive from all these dangers. 

There is a story regarding Luang Phor Rod taking a novice monk with him on his Tudong practice in the forest. It is believed that they had traveled as far as Huay Grabork in Kanjanaburi, where they encountered obstacles. There were only two ways for them to continue their journey through the forest. The first being to climb over high mountains, which were very steep with rocky cliff faces and was very inaccessible. The other option for them was to lay a very wide lake covered on lotuses. 

Luang Phor Rod turned around to the novice that was following him and said “Shall we cross the marsh together ?” The novice replied “ If Luang Phor crosses successfully, I shall follow.”  So Luang Phor  Rod sat there for a while in meditation and invoked the Jhanic state of Apo Kasina (Water Elemental) and then slowly crossed the water marsh stepping on the lotus leaves until he reached the other side.

The novice soon followed him by stepping on exactly the same leaves Luang Phor Rod had stepped on until he was nearly across whereupon he changed direction and stepped on a leaf which Luang Phor Rod had not stepped on and sank immediately underwater and had to struggle to the bank of the water marsh. Luang Phor Rod then taught the novice the importance of concentration when following and when practicing because one single moment of distraction is enough to send everything off the path and is as good as carelessness.

There are still many stories in circulation of the miraculous or magical events related to Luang Phor Rod regarding his deeds and his amulets especially the Phra Pidta amulets. During his time at Wat Ko Non, both Luang Phor Rod and Luang Phor Iam consecrated Phra Pidta amulets in the same way by using hand carved wooden images made from sacred tree woods and would then distribute out to devotees. The amulets had bought positive feedback from devotees as the Phra Pidta used the Mat Gae wood to carved out. 

Most Phra Pidta amulets would have a tiny hole made in the base with a miniature parchment scroll inserted with spells inscribed invoking Phra Sangkajjayana, Phra Sivali, and Phra Pakawambodee Arahants. The base would then be filled with Channarong stingless bee paste which is considered a wealth bringing magical substance within the Dhamra Saiyawaet Grimoires.

Most of his amulets would then be coated with laquer or herbal resins and sometimes also gold foil  to protect and seal the amulets to keep them in a good condition for years. 

Although Luang Phor Rod taught Luang Phor Iam to consecrate Phra Pidta amulets in the same way, Luang Phor Iam did not consecrate as many hand carved amulets as his teacher Luang Phor Rod and had slightly more preference to consecrate Phra Pidta amulets from both wood and metals material in order to ensure there are enough amulets to distribute out to devotees.

The wooden material Phra Pidta amulets consecrated by Luang Phor Rod were hence made more than Luang Phor Iam. However, it is rare to encounter their amulets as they are rare amulets collected by serious amulet collectors.

And due to the time consumption involved with hand carving wooden miniature Buddha images, Luang Phor Rod himself also did not consecrated many amulets as he would bless each amulet as they were carved individually making his Phra Pidta amulets a true ‘essential rarity’ and one of the most highly revered Phra Pidta amulets of all time alongside with some of the other guru monks that are famous for consecrating Phra Pidta amulets such as Luang Phor Iam, Luang Phor Klin and Luang Phor Thongsuk all from the lineage of Wat Sapansoong. 

However, Luang Phor Rod passed away in BE 2441 leaving his disciple Luang Phor Iam Wat Nang to continue the lineage of consecrating hand carved Phra Pidta Mai Gae and many other amulets.

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