Somdej Toh Biography

Somdej Toh Biography


Somdej Buddhajarn Toh (B.E. 2331~2415), also commonly known as Somdej Toh or Arjahn Toh. He was born on 17 April 2331 (A.D.1788) in the morning at 6.35 a.m. in Ayuthaya province. It is believed that he is the son of King Rama II of the Chakri Dynasty. He was ordained as a novice monk in B.E. 2343 (A.D.1788) at the age of 12 years old. At the age of 21 in the year B.E.2350 (A.D.1807), he was ordained as a monk under the Royal Partonage at Wat Prasrirattanasasadaram (Wat Prakeaw) in Bangkok. His clerical Buddhist name is Prommarungsee.

Somdej Toh studied the Buddhist scriptures of the Pali Canon with several Buddhist masters. After becoming a well-known monk, he became the preceptor for Prince Mongkut, who later became King Rama IV.

In B.E. 2407 (A.D.1864) at the age of 76 during Rama IV's reign, Somdej Toh was given the ceremonial name Phra Puttajahn Toh Phomarangsi. The Buddhist rank "Somdej Phra Puttajarn" is a prominet status of then Rattanakosin city (the predecessor of Bangkok)

Somdej Toh became an abbot of Wat RakangKositaram and was promoted to the title of Somdej Phra Puttajarn. Somdej Toh was highly intellectual and great in performing sermons. He is considered to be the most well known, respected, and beloved monk of the Thai people.

Somdej Toh left with us his lasting legacy and his blessings to the people of Thailand with the "Phra Somdej" that was blessed by him and the top Buddhist masters at that time. Somdej Toh would give a Phra Somdej to the Thai people every time when he went out to receive food from people in the morning. Before giving out one of his Somdej, Somdej Toh would give his blessings and tell the person to keep them well since there would be rare in the future and accepting the Phra Somdej that this amulet would bless them with happiness and prosperity.

Somdej Toh is also famous for the Chinabunchorn Spell. The Phra Chinabunchorn Spell is an ancient Buddhist spell, inherited from Langka city, and was found in an ancient book by Somdej Toh. The Katha was adopt by Somdej Toh of Wat Rakang.

The Phra Chinabunchorn Katha is very powerful spell and believed to be the supreme Buddhist spell because the words of this spell invite the magic power of Lord Buddha "Somdej Phra Sammasambuddhachao", other Lord Buddhas and Phra Arahuntras (supreme monks who are enlightened) to protect the worshipper from their heads to their toes from any dangers.

His tenure in the monastry began in the reign of King Rama I until the reign of King Rama V, a total of 65 years. Somdej Toh passed away on 22 June B.E. 2415 (A.D. 1872) at midnight at the age of 84 years, 2 months and 5 days. He was the 5th Somdej Phra Puttajarn in Rattanakosin era and believed to had passed away at the end of the on-going construction of the big standing Buddha statue, known as LP Toh, in Wat Intrawihan.

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