Buddha nirvana


Luang Phor Kasem Kemagoh

Posted in Buddhist monk by buddhanirvana on April 17, 2010

Luang Phor Kasem Kemagoh ( Nov 28, 2455 – Jan 15, 2539 )
Luang Phor (= reverend father, venerable monk) Kasem was born as Kemagoh Pikku in a family of descendants of the Lampang King from the Lanna Period.
He became a novice monk in BE2468 after the death of his uncle, the abbot of Wat Bunyeun. In BE2470, he went to Bangkok, Wat Setuwan to study Pali language and after some time he returned back to the North to continue studies in Wat Seelom and Wat Bunyawaht.
After passing his exams in Pali in BE2476, he was ordained as a monk at Wat Bunyeun at the age of 21. His preceptor was Tahn Jow Koon Tammajindah.
He met Luang Phor Krubah Gaen, a very famous monk in North Thailand, a forest monk who had rich experience in meditation. Luang Phor Kasem became his disciple and started practising with him in forests and cemeteries.
When the abbot of Wat Bunyeun – Pra Dtomkum left his post and the temple (because of boredom), the villagers approached young Luang Phor Kasem (still deep in practicing meditation) to return to Lampang and fill the post of a new abbot.
Luang Phor Kasem continued his learning dhamma and practicing meditation even when he was the abbot. The more he trained, the more he realised how uncertain the life is. However his duties as an abbot kept him busy the way that was far away from his spiritual intentions more than he thought. Therefore, in BE2492 he left the Wat and settled at Susahn Sahlahwangthan, a cemetery surrounded by the jungle at Lampang suburbs (see the map). The area was looking very different to the well developed site we as can see it nowadays. Many people were scared to even go there since it was said to be haunted. LP Kasem was determined to keep practicing the highest meditation right there. He would sit in front of the crematory and watch the burning corpses. Whether in hot sun or raining, Luang Phor would just sit quietly and watched dead corpses being burned to ashes.
Luang Phor Kasem would sit deep in meditation for as long as 3 months, without any shelter under the hot sun or heavy rain. Even though his robes were wet of rain, or during the cold season when the cold wind blew, Luang Phor Kasem would just sit quietly without any complain or request. Also, he would stay without food for as long as 49 days. Since BE2514, he only had bathed once a year, but there was no strange or foul odour around him, despite the sweat was pouring down his body under the roasting sun. And more surprisingly, without a shelter or mosquito net, he never suffered from mosquito bites at the cemetery.
In his meditations he was often in touch with his friend Luang Phoo Doo from Wat Sakae, Ayuthaya.
Luang Phor Kasem would always point out that as a forest monk he does not require any property. The only things he owned were an alms bowl, his robe he was wearing and a piece of human bone to practice meditations. He did not even own any shoes or even pillow to sleep. To him, a pillow was a luxury. He used to sleep on the ground at the same spot where he was meditating. Whatever people gave to him, he would give away to the other monks. He was just completely determined to find the truth of life. He asked for nothing in life – although, as a descendant of the royal blood in Lampang, he could enjoy all the luxury.
Luang Phor Kasem passed away on Jan 15, 2539 (7:42 pm) at the Lampang hospital. He was 84. A memorial and mausoleum were built at the area by the cemetery and his dead body was placed in a glass coffin for reasons that make yet many local people upset. However he had reputedly never wished to be burned. Or … had he?

There is many amulets and objects LP Kasem designed and consecrated to protect people from all sorts of danger. I’ve bee told by the local people from Lampang that LP Kasem originally wasn’t completely keen on making any Buddha images or religious pendants – he was a devoted forest monk who was determined to to practice meditation at quiet, remote places. Nevertheless people started approaching him with polite demands for help and protection. At first, soldiers from around Lampang who were going to be send to the Cambodian or Burmese border were often visiting his site where they received bamboo leaves with protective spell written on them. Since it saved many of their lives, LP slowly become famous on the field of making protective pendants. Also his ‘rakang’ from BE2516 become famous over night during a big student riot in Bangkok – when police opened fire at them, those who wore the pendant simply weren’t injured by flying bullets.
Reputedly at about this time (~ BE 2520) LP Kasem’s infamous nephew comes into play with quite a terrible idea – to make fortune on his uncle’s popularity. He basically started pushing on poor LP to release more and more pendants while he was running all the business around it. This man started making serious money but also started gambling at casinos around Cambodian and Burmese border. People whisper the things got even worse … but i’m a bit shy to carry on writing about what i’ve heard. In the end LP Kasem’s body wasn’t even burned – on the contrary – it was placed into a glass coffin to … make money. Most of Lampang people were strongly against the idea but a few powerful individuals (led by his nephew) decided the other way. So it was the other way. It is quite interesting fact that the body has never begun decomposing – it simply dried out .
Shortly – serious collectors are interested just in LP Kasem amulets that were released before BE2520.
Here are a few examples of amulets i have:
• BE2516 MEDAL, so called "RAKANG" (it refers to the amulets shape – a bell). Probably the most popular of his medals.
This batch of rians was the last batch of Luang Por Kasem’s Banjahbahramee(prosperity) batch of amulets. They were created to raise fund for the building of a Sala at Susahn Dtailak and also for donations to charity in Lampang province. click to get a large picture
Story behind this amulet:
Besides, the reason of raising fund, Luang Por Kasem wanted very much to create this batch of rians because of a woman called Susahdah. Long time ago, there was a farm girl by the name of Susahdah who lived near Wat Pra Keow. She loved making merits at the temple and so every day without a rest, she would bring fruit from her plantation to the temple for the monks. However, one woman in the village was very jealous of her. She noticed that Susahdah would go to the temple and so she spread the loathly rumours that Susahdah had an affair with the monks inside. The villagers became furious when they heard the rumours and wanted to kill her. Susahdah pleaded her innocence, but no one in the village believed her. Before she was executed, she made a vow that her chastity was clean and she put a curse on the woman who spread the rumours. The curse which had lasted for generations and generations had it that the woman and her family would live in poverty, without any joy. Luang Por Kasem got known about the sad story and wanted to make merit for her to break the curse.

Design:
Before the medals were created, Luang Por Kasem’s disciples asked him what shape they should be like. Luang Por requested the medals to look like a bell. Since a bell makes loud sound (dang), he wanted these medals to be ‘Dang’ (which means popular in Thai). The person who wears it would become Dang (loud), meaning become popular and prospering.
Quantity and price:
A total of 84,000 pieces of Neua Torng Daeng Rum Dtum (Copper) and 200 pieces of Neua Ngern(Silver) were created and chanted in BE2516. They are very ‘Dang’ in Thailand, and although the large quantity had been created, they are always in demand because of the good reasons they were chanted for and many good experiences that were experienced by the people wearing them. There is also many fakes on amulet-markets. The price varies around 2000-3000B in Thailand. My my piece was for 500B. The original pieces in perfect condition have black paint and are being rented for about 5000B.
• BE2517 MEDAL (another very popular piece, this one is in great condition … the black lacquer on the surface)

Fake

 

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