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Luang Pho Ngun (หลวงพ่อเงิน)

Thai. Name of a revered Buddhist monk from the Rattanakosin Period, who was the abbot of Wat Bang Khlan, a Buddhist temple in Phichit. He is fully known as Luang Pho Ngun Phuttachot (พุทธโชติ) and was born on 16 September 1810, in the reign of King Rama II, and passed away on 20 September 1921, in the reign of Rama VI, having lived through five different reigns, to the blessed age of 111. His name Ngun, sometimes transliterated Ngurn or Ngeun, translates as ‘Silver’ orMoney’. Hence, he is often depicted in between two other revered monks, namely Luang Pho Chob (ชอบ) and Luang Pho Sot (สด). Together, their names read Chob Ngun Sot (ชอบเงินสด), which literally means ‘[to] Like Cash Money’. Frames with images of these three monks, in this particular order, as well as small statuettes thereof are sold at religious shops and temples, as they are assumed by devotees to be charms for good fortune. At the age of three, his uncle took Ngun to Bangkok to study at Wat Chana Songkhram (วัดชนะสงคราม). Nine years later, at the age of 12, he was ordained as a samanaen (novice) at this temple, where he studied the Vinay, i.e. the canonical organ or ecclesiastical doctrine for rules on monastic discipline, as well as the Dhamma, i.e. the Buddhist Law or the teachings of the Buddha, as described in the Tripitaka. At the age of 20, he ordained as a monk and was given the Buddhist cognomen Phuttachot. He stayed in Wat Chana Songkhram for three more years before moving to Wat Khongkharam (วัดคงคาราม), i.e. Wat Bang Khlan Tai (วัดบางคลานใต้). Later, he moved to Wang Tako (วังตะโก) Village, where he planted a cutting of the sacred bodhi tree (fig.) which he had brought along. He decided to see what would happen. If a tree would grow from the cutting, he would take it as a sign to stay here and establish a temple, if the cutting would die, he would take it as a sign to move on. The cutting ended growing into a big tree and hence Ngun founded Wat Bang Khlan, the temple of which he became the livelong abbot. See also POSTAGE STAMP.