Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Revered Buddha Phra Serm at Wat Pathumwanaram Rajaworavihara

Wat Pathumwanaram Rajaworavihara (Wat Srapathum ) is situated on Rama I Road in Bangkok, between the Central World Shopping Mall and the Siam Paragon Shopping Center. The Wat was build during the same time as the Srapathum Palace. King Rama IV ordered the construction of the temple as a gift for Queen Thepsirin.

Wat Pathumwanaram houses important Buddha images - the revered Phra Serm and Phra Saen.

Legends say that the three daughters of Setthathirath (*), the King of Lane Xang, commissioned three personal Buddha images. Theses images were believed to reflect the faces of the three daughters of the king. All of them were given names relating to the names of the three princesses, Phra Serm, Phra Souk and Phra Sai.

The three revered Buddha images were originally housed in Vientiane, Laos sleepy capital on the opposite Mekong Riverside, around 20 km of Nong Khai. However, around 200 years ago, the images were brought to Thailand during the invasion of Laos through the troupes of Rama III, King of Siam.

In a stormy night, Phra Souk fell in to the Mekong River while in transit to Nong Khai. The two surviving and remaining Buddha images were placed in Nong Khai's Wat Pho Chai and Wat Ho Klong. King Rama IV ordered, that the image of Phra Serm should be taken to Bangkok.

While Phra Sai was left at Wat Pho Chai in Nong Khai, Phra Serm was placed at Wat Pathumwanaram Rajaworavihara in  Bangkok. A visit to this most revered Buddha is rewarding and interesting alike. Wat Pathumwanaram Rajaworavihara is on the Rama I Road, near Siam Square...

More info: The story of Phra Sai, a much revered Buddha image in Nong Khai

* Setthathirath (Lao: ເສດຖາທິຣາດ; 1534–1572) is one of the greatest leaders and kings in Lao history. He successfully defended the kingdom of Lan Xang against the Burmese conquerors.

Setthathirath erected many Buddhist monuments in Laos and Isaan, including the famous Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang and the Phra That Luang stupa in Vientiane.

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