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Phra Sangkatjaai (พระสังกัจจายน์)

Thai. Name of  a Buddhist monk who was an arhat during the time of the Lord Buddha. The Buddha praised him for his excellence in explaining the dhamma in an easily and correctly understandable manner. He is represented as an obese figure often carrying small bags of money or seated in meditation with both hands on his belly. It is said that he used to be so handsome that both angels and men took him for the Buddha. Considering this inappropriate, he transformed himself into an unpleasantly fat monk. His figurine is said to bring good luck and fortune. He is often confused with Huan Xi Fo or Budai, the Chinese ‘smiling buddha’ (fig.), but is distinguished by the fact that he wears Theravada Buddhist robes covering only one shoulder, against Budai who wears Mahayana Buddhist robes in Chinese style, covering both shoulders but leaving his chest and often his belly uncovered (fig.). Besides this is Budai bald whereas Phra Sangkatjaai clearly has hair. Small amulets known as Phra pit tah and consisting of a buddha-like figure who covers his eyes with both hands are thought to be a depiction of Phra Sangkatjaai. Sometimes transcibed Phra Sangkadchai. Compare with Kuvera or Kubera, and Jambhala. See also Phra Maha Ut (fig.).