Sunday, August 17, 2008

Little Great Grandfather

Bangkok has some of the largest Buddhist statues in Asia, including the 46 meter long reclining Buddha at Wat Po, but today I saw one of the smallest Buddhist statues I've seen in a long time. In a taxi there was a tiny brass figurine of Luang Poo Tuat หลวงปู่ทวด, one of the most revered Buddhist monks in Thailand. "Poo Tuat" means great grandfather, and considering that he lived over four hundred and fifty years ago, we should call him great great great great grandfather. Luang Poo Tuat is known for the miraculous act of turning seawater into freshwater, and today Thais believe he protects against accidents, fire, and other disasters. It's amazing to think that this miniature monk charm has so much magical power.