|Luang Poo Toh (หลวงปู่โต)
Name of a revered Buddhist monk, who is formally known as
Phutthajaan Toh Phrommaramsih/Bhramarangsi (โต พฺรหฺมรํสี - fig.). He was born on 17 April 1788, in the reign of King
Rama I, and died in
Bangkok on 22 June 1872, aged 84. It is unclear where exactly he was born and who his parents were, with
sundry sources giving different accounts of his origin and early life, though it is widely agreed upon that his mother was from the northern part of present-day Thailand. With regards to his father, the confusion is even greater, with one source suggesting that he might have been a son of Phra Phutta Yotfa Chulalok (fig.), who was born out of wedlock.
Luang Poo Toh was widely respected among
Buddhists in the early
had a clear understanding and good
which he was able to preach to the general public in a
comprehensible way. He resided for a while at
and initiated the
Phra Somdet Wat Rakhang
He was also instrumental in the completion of many Buddhist projects, his last
building project being the 32-meter high standing
Luang Pho Toh (หลวงพ่อโต
in the 19th century
was plagued by a cholera
epidemic that caused so many deaths
unable to keep up with
cremating or burying the dead bodies in time and forced them to leave many
corpses in the open, attracting
hordes of vultures that came to devour the dead bodies and changed the area
a sky burial
went there to observe the sight in order to meditate
on the impermanent nature of existence.
This monk from the past is still revered posthumously by many Thai people today and shrines dedicated to
Toh can be found across the nation. Since the name Toh translates as
‘Large’, ‘Big’, or ‘Tall’, statues of this monk are often made very large too (fig.), such as the 41.9 meter tall statue of Luang Poo Toh on Phetkasem Road near Cha-am, in
Phetburi Province, which is said to be the largest statue of a Buddhist
monk in the world.
also POSTAGE STAMP.