Luang Phor Sanga

Luang Phor Sanga

by Jun Wei

Luang Phor Sanga was born on 11th March BE 2459 at Ban Maw, Klona-ta-Kod Sub District, Photaram District, Rajburi. His father is known as Mr Kiam and his mother is known as Mrs Maw Wes-Suwan. He was given the name “Sanga Wes-Suwan” by his parents. During his childhood, he started receiving his education at the school of Wat Ban Maw. At that period of time, the temple can be served as an educational institution with monks teaching the children. There were even times whereby children would stay overnight at the temple together with the monks. Despite at a young age, Luang Phor Sanga was already closely-attached to Buddhism and temple. As a young boy, he was outspoken, bold in his thinking and very attentive towards his studies. But after graduating from primary 4 where he obtained his literacy, he started helping out with his parents at the rice field.

As time went by, Luang Phor Sanga reached the age of a young teenager that enjoyed his life just like other men.  After his work at the rice field, he would enjoy the freedom to visit other villages. The visiting trips would continue until the rice-planting season. There were times that when he visited other villages, he would seek to learn magic. However, there was one time when there was not a happy event to be remembered as a man in his village was badly injured as a result of another man wanting to show his might over a girl's issue.  After Luang Phor Sanga witnessed the incident, he thought : “If only I had a magical spell, I could have saved that injured fellow.”

Since then he kept seeking for a teacher whereby he could learn magic. Finally, he went to visit one monk at Wat Sai Arak and asked if he could learn magic from him. But the question that has been asked back was: “Where are you from?”   “I am from Wat Ban Maw as he answered. The monk at Wat Sai Arak then gave him a puzzling remark: “It is quite a distance for the grass you are seeking to eat, do not disregard the grass close to you or overlook how beautiful it is”.

After leaving Wat Sat Arak, Luang Phor Sanga kept thinking about the remark. And it was not until over a week later that he solved the puzzle.  As the grass close to him was referring to the abbot of Wat Ban Maw. He decided to go to the abbot of Wat Ban Maw and asked to learn from him. After years had passed by, he eventually obtained from the abbot, the knowledge of magical, the sacred script, and magical drawings.

In BE 2481, at the age of 22 he decided to be ordained as a monk to devote himself for a monastic life. Luang Phor Sanga was ordained at Wat Ban Maw.  Performing his ordination were Phra Ajarn Klin Wat Kong Ka being his Phra Upacha, Phra Arjan Keng and Phra Arjan Pae as his Phra Anusasawanajarn.

After his ordination, he was given the name Anupubbho. Luang Phor Sangya stayed at Wat Ban Maw.  He started studying about Dharma so diligently that he passed the Nagtham I and Nagtham II (state monastical examination). At the same time, he learnt the sacred script, and magical drawing in both Thai and Khom Language from Arjan Pae and Arjan Pia who are experts on this type of knowledge. At the same time his interest also diversified into traditional medicine. It was this knowledge that he learned during the three-lenten period that he stayed in Wat Ban Maw that he used to cure himself and others in time of aliments.

Something changed Luang Phor Sanga’s life in BE 2487, when Wat Nong Muang (located at Bang Pae District, Rajburi Province) needed a leading monk.  Built in the Sri-Ayutthaya era, Wat Nong Muang was a very old and dilapidated temple. There were only the remains of a ruined chapel, working hall and a few Kutis (living units for monks). The temple was left so long unattended that it was no different from a jungle.  Because of his ability, he was asked by monks in Wat Nong Muang to come to help with the administration and the restoration of the temple.

Things were difficult at first. As walking is the only way to access the temple. This was aggravated by diseases and thieves. Given all these difficulties, Luang Phor Sanga had used much of his effort and ability such as having streets built into the surrounding villages, resulting in the gradual development of the temple.

At the same time, the nearby villagers were low income rice farmers whose once a year harvest brought to them only a small return. It was not until recent years that the villagers had higher earnings after they changed to raise cows. Their better financial condition helped the development of Wat Nong Muang. It took Luang Phor Sanga many years to develop the temple. In the past, the development of a temple depended entirely on the faith that the villagers had in a monk to help the building of a temple as there were no construction men like the modern days.  Therefore, monks needed to find ways (using their knowledge and ability) to make villagers have faith in them. In fact, the Buddha's footprint in Wat Nong Muang drew people to come to the temple as it reflected Luang Phor Sanga's effort to develop the temple, which resulted in the temple's tranquil environment.

In his youth, Luang Phor Sangya studied veda text, magical drawing and Sak Yant.  His interest in the knowledge continued even when he was newly ordained.  According to Luang Phor Sanga: “Even this was not relevant to Sangkha activities, it was a popular belief of people those days and this could be a way by which faith could be created.”  Luang Phor Sanga was a Sak Yant master for quite a few years so as to bring people closer to temple and Dharma.  Some of those who were Sak Yant became better people, others remained gangsters.  Finally, Luang Phor Sanga decided to give up Sak Yant for people as it was not an important or relevant feature of religion.  As far as learning goes, he said: “In the past, teachers focused on practice. Knowledge and theories are easily obtained because they are in books, but practice brings the methods into use.  That's why the teachers in the past emphasized on practice.”

When he had free time, Luang Phor Sangya would seek more knowledge from other guru monks whose expertise lay in different knowledge. For example, Luang Phor Dee Wat Ban Yang, Ban Pong District, Rajburi Province was skilled in Phra Pidta. Luang Phor Plian Wat Tai, Kanchanaburi Province, a disciple of Luang Phor Yim who has the knowledge of sacred writing (Lop Pong ltije Patamang Trinisinghe) and Puthukun Yant 108 Na 108 (magical drawing). Luang Phor Cheam, Wat TaKong, Nakhon Pathom Province whose knowledge derived from Luang Phor Ta, Wat Paniang Tag. Luang Phor Ngern, Wat Don Yai Hom, Nakhon Pathom Province, who taught Luang Phor Sanga to perform Krob Kru Na Metta ritual, meditation practice and the popularly known words of wisdom: “Satisfying in what one has brings about happiness.”  The accuracy and ability of Luang Phor Sanga's memory is astounding enabling him to apply all the knowledge he acquired to the best use in every situation.

Luang Phor Sangya is a monk that is full of loving-kindness. Not only does he apply this toward the development of the temple but also toward people.The principle of a happy life he gives to people is to be patient and independent.  He teaches people to carry a simple life. His words that are often heard are: “A person who is not rich should at least not be poor, if only he knows how to earn and spend, he will never be poor.”  People from all walks of life and from different places come to pay respect and ask for holy items from him. Many of his disciples living in Bangkok ask him to preside over charity affairs and house-opening ceremonies.  Luang Phor Sangya never boasts about how famous some of the people who pay visit to him are. He welcomes everyone equally. As he would simply say it is common for people to vary in financial and social status, depending on their competency.

During his stay at Wat Nong Muang, some civil servants pay a visit to him asking him to sprinkle them holy water, others asking him to perform rituals to ward off misfortune for them. Miraculously, their ill fortune would turn to blessing. Those who were unlucky with their business and went to pay respect to Luang Phor Sanga experienced improvement in their business after getting blessed by him. Luang Phor Sanga was also experienced in figuring for auspicious time.

There is also a story about Luang Phor Sanga. Many years ago, a young man from a well known boxing training camp was stabbed with a knife by some gangsters at a temple fair near his camp. The manager of the camp and his friends rushed to see him and saw only minor wounds despite the attack.  The young man told his folks that he was safe because of the protective power that Luang Phor Sangya had blessed into him. And at the time of the assault, he had with him a Takrut he obtained from Luang Phor Sanga. People that were living in this boxing camp went to pay respect to Luang Phor Sangya and asked for his holy item.  As for the  young man, after that incident, he would ask Luang Phor Sanga to bless the protective power onto his head every time before he got onto the ring. He won most of the time, and there were only a few times that he scored less than his opponents.  Later on, the manager of the camp asked Luang Phor Sanga to charge his mind power onto the Mongkon. This ritual required his ability in figuring for an opportune time so as to make an auspicious start for boxers. This camp also asked Luang Phor Sanga to perform a camp-opening ritual for them.

Two of the well-known holy items that Luang Phor Sangya had consecrated are his Hoon Pa Yong and Phra Kring.  Luang Phor Sanga was also known as “The inheritor of knowledge of spells from the guru monks of Klang Rivers”.  Luang Phor Sangya consecrated his last batch of amulets in July BE 2546. During the consecration of these batches of amulets, it seems that Luang Phor Sanga already knew that he would be leaving his devotees soon as he specifically mentioned that it was his final batch of amulets consecrated by him.

Luang Phor Sanga passed away on 29th March BE 2547 having spent a total of 6 years serving Buddhism. And less than a year after his last batch of amulets were released.

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