Luang Phor Pern: Wat Bang Phra
Luang Phor Pern of Wat Bang Phra was one of the most famous monks to have ever lived in Thailand and was renowned for his advanced knowledge of incantations, amulets and Sak Yant (Sacred tattoos) which mostly featured images of tigers. LP Pern built up a massive following during his lifetime with many followers heading to Wat Bang Phra each day to receive his blessing.
Wat Bang Phra is situated in the Nakhon Pathom province which is surrounded by nature and right next to the Nakhon Chai Si/Tha Chin River. The temple was originally founded in the 18th century with a small ordination chapel which has since been expanded with various buildings. The garden features images and statues of Ruesi (Thai Hermit), yantra gurus and an array of wild animals and mythical beasts.
The most famous tiger amulets come from Wat Bang Phra and were originally created to protect local villagers from being eaten by roaming tigers in the area. Luang Phor Pern also gave Sak Yant (Sacred tattoos) to protect the locals and quickly became very famous with people travelling far and wide to obtain them granting health, protection, power, wealth and luck to those who received them.
Luang Phor Pern was ordained at the age of 25 studying under a very famous Sak Yant master named Luang Pu Him Inthasoto, learning his craft from him and passing on his knowledge. Luang Phor Pern however was never tattooed himself and continued the tradition of Sak Yant of his master following his death 4 years later, creating powerful amulets and honouring his teacher.
According to legend, there was an occurrence one day as Luang Phor Pern was navigating through the hills on a spiritual journey when the honourable monk came face to face with a fierce tiger. Luang Phor Pern's followers fled but Luang Phor Pern simply remained calm and sat down and begin to meditate resulting in the tiger simply just leaving the area quietly. The news of this phenomenon soon travelled fast and shortly many people from areas where tiger attacks were still prevalent flocked to the temple to receive Sak Yant and protective amulets. From then on, no one else that received a Sak Yant or amulet was killed by a tiger.
Luang Phor Pern passed at the age of 79 in the year 2002 after 54 years of being ordained in the monkhood. His mummified body can be visited in the Wat Bang Phra temple visible through a glass case in the shrine room and a huge statue of Luang Phor Pern is also situated outside the temple overlooking the grounds.
Tattoos are still available at the Wat Bang Phra temple and given by the monks who reside there. Rather than choosing the tattoo oneself the monk normally will ask the receiver some details about their life and the monk will decide on what tattoo will best aid their life. There have been instances where people have been turned away as their intentions have been deemed unethical or inappropriate.
The legend of Luang Phor Pern still lives on in the Wat Bang Phra Temple as one of the most famous and respected monks to have ever lived in Thailand. Luang Phor Pern amulets continue to be famous and sought after and stickers of the revered monk can be seen on many car windows across Thailand as a testament to how he is still worshipped.
Take a look at some amulets by Luang Phor Pern here.