Luang Phor Liew PanNakoh

Wat Rai Tang Tong, Tambon Toong Look Nok, Ampur Gampeng Saen, Changwat Nakhon Pathom

Luang Phor Liew Wat Rai Tang Tong

 

Luang Phor Liew’s dhamma name was Luang Phor Liew PanNaKoh

. He was famous for crafting tortoise-shaped Rian
. Named “Liew” by his parents, his family name was SehTang
. His father’s name was Teng SehTang, and his mother’s name was Noi SehTang. He was born on 3rd Dec B.E. 2451, in Moo Ban Nong Or
, Tambon Barn Sing
, Ampur PoTahRam
, Changwat Rachaburi
. The family had 9 children, including him, with him being the 3rd. His eldest brother was named Nai Rian SehTang
, and his elder sister was named Nang Ell TooNim
. His younger brother was named Nai Pliew JuLaBao
(4th), and his younger sisters, Nang Lan TiaNed
(5th), and Nang Parn MeunJinDa
(6th). His youngest siblings were named Nai Noo NamThaWon
(7th, brother), Nang Poo NamThaWon
(8th, brother) and Nang Poon NamJai
(9th, sister). He hailed from a family of farmers.

 

Youth

When Liew was young, he was quite different from other children, with a strong sense of responsibility that drove him to assist his parents with their backbreaking work in the field, rather than playing. He also assisted his father with carpentry, honing his skills in the process. He often had to travel long distances and work till he was completely exhausted, falling ill as a result. He developed a keen understanding of herbal remedies, to help bolster his health.

Journey to learn Saiyasart

In those days, Liew’s village was surrounded by jungle, and the brigands who terrorized the area would periodically tear through his village, pillaging and murdering. Witnessing these unspeakable acts of cruelty made Liew feel powerless, and he made up his mind to learn Arkhom (sorcery) to defend his village.

Accompanied by 2 of his cousins, he snuck away from home and travelled to the Karen tribes to learn Arkhom. The journey was fraught with all the dangers of the wilderness, and they were exposed to inclement weather, malaria, and attacks from wild beasts. One of his cousins even succumbed to these hazards during the journey. They were too far from home to carry his body back, so they decided to cremate him. The other cousin was very disheartened by his death and abandoned the journey. Liew continued the journey alone, eventually finding his way to the Karen tribes.

Liew learnt wicha from the tribal chief. He was taught many skills, including wicha for killing via sorcery, how to extract poison from herbs, hexes using yang mai yang nong

(Strophanthus caudatus plant), and garn sek nang kwai khao tong
(a hex, which when placed upon a victim, causes buffalo skin to spontaneously grow within their stomach, continuing to expand until they die from it). He also learnt to control spirits through wicha pee dtai hong
(a wicha that channels the spirits of people who died unnatural or violent deaths), wicha riak winyan seua saming (wicha of the spirit-tiger, which manifests as a large, fearsome tiger to others), and wicha riak winyan phaya tao reun
(a wicha to summon the Turtle King). After acquiring a significant amount of these skills, Liew returned home to seek revenge against the brigands who had brought so much pain and suffering against his home and family. His family was overjoyed to see him. Liew unleashed his sorcery upon the brigands, driving them from the village for good.
The Strophanthus Caudatus plant (Picture References: pisitpong2017/Shutterstock.com)

The Strophanthus Caudatus plant (Picture References: pisitpong2017/Shutterstock.com)

After successfully ridding his village of the scourge, Liew returned to Karen, this time to learn white sorcery. He learnt Thai traditional medicine, methods of determining the correct time for important ceremonies and events, and the skills required for the crafting of takrut kongkrapan from tiger skin and bamboo. After acquiring these skills, he returned to his village, and life of agriculture. He cultivated mushrooms and made charcoal to eke out a livelihood. He later married his wife, Nang Yod

, and they had a son together.

Journey as a Monk

After many years of marriage however, Liew felt secular life was meaningless. At the age of 27, he sought permission from his parents to ordain as a monk. He travelled to Patha Sima Phra Ubosot

, Wat Bot
, Tambon Barn Leuak
, Ampur Po TaRam
, Changwat Rachaburi
and was ordained on 1st June B.E. 2478 at 1pm. His Preceptor was Luang Phor PhoTapiRom, Wat Barn Leuak
, his 1st Announcing Teacher, Luang Phor Inn, Wat Bot
and his 2nd Announcing Teacher was Phra Ajarn Hor, Wat Ban Leuak
. He was christened “PanNaKoh” (or “A Perfect Person”). He stayed at Wat Nong Or after his ordination, learning Phra Pariyattitam
(understanding of the moral precepts required to perfect the Buddhist path), and Patibat Vipassana Gammatan
 (Vipassana meditation). During his first year of monkhood, he built 50 pieces weaving looms for the temple. He also helped his Preceptor build a Sala Garn Prian
.

Luang Phor Liew returned to Kayan to see his old friend and master the chief, who was overjoyed that Luang Phor had not forgotten him. The chief decided to impart all of his knowledge to Luang Phor, including the katha maha mon maha wej. Luang Phor Liew stayed there for many Pansa. Next, he travelled to Southern Thailand to visit Luang Phor Daeng, at Wat Khao Bandai It, Changwat Petchaburi

, and requested for his tutelage. Luang Phor Daeng schooled him in the practice of Samadhi
(meditation), the inscribing of Akara Lek Yant
(yant in Khmer letterings), and the production of LopPhong Ittijay
, Phong Pattamung (refer to our article on Phong Ittijay Pattamung
, Phong Trini Sing Hay
, for information on these, and many other powders used in the practice of wicha)
Weaving loom (Picture References: Anna Kepa/Shutterstock.com)

Weaving loom (Picture References: Anna Kepa/Shutterstock.com)

After leaving Kayan, Luang Phor Liew visited Phor Tan Klai at Wat Suan Khan, Changwat Nakhon Sri Thammarat

. He taught Luang Phor Liew a great deal about wicha. He also met Ajarn Aum Seua Saming
, who was famous in the South of Thailand for his encyclopedic knowledge of wicha and katha.

Ajarn Aum was an imposing, tattooed man, famous for his oil sakyant. Prior to his visit, Luang Phor Liew was fully aware of Ajarn’s prowess with wicha and katha. At their meeting, Ajarn challenged Luang Phor Liew to a test of skill. Luang Phor replied that there no need for such a challenge, as he was aware of the extent of Ajarn’s powers.

But Ajarn Aum was too headstrong, continuing to issue his challenge. In a bid to deter him, Luang Phor Liew recited katha, and blew onto him. Ajarn Aum’s face immediately took on a completely different demeanour. His eyes bulged, he growled constantly, and his hand clutched as if he had claws. He had been possessed by the Tiger Spirit.  Luang Phor held Ajarn’s head and said; “Suea Suea

(Tiger, tiger), do you yield?”. Upon hearing this commotion, many people in the vicinity came running to see what had happened. Ajarn Aum relented, and Luang Phor released him from the spell.

After that initial meeting, Ajarn Aum invited Luang Phor to his home, which played host to a plethora of ghosts and Guman Thong. He retrieved a selection of Kam Pee Khom Boran

(old grimoires made of palm leaves), and a long sakyant needle to present to Luang Phor as a gift, but Luang Phor refused. He did however, accept a Phra Kreung mould, modelled in the likeness of Phra Put PangMarnViChai Nang Bua
(Buddha on lotus seat with meditation pose). Luang Phor used this mould to make amulets for his devotees, calling them Pratoochai. These amulets were made of soil, and housed a single takrut.
Store of old Kam Pee Khom Boran

Store of old Kam Pee Khom Boran (Picture References: 1153196287/Shutterstock.com)

 

Phra Put PangMarnViChai Nang Bua

Phra Put PangMarnViChai Nang Bua (Picture References: Khritthithat Weerasirirut/Shutterstock.com)

 

Contributions to the Community

He made several contributions to the Buddhist community;

  • In B.E. 2482, he renovated Wat Tah Sao, Changwat Supanburi
    , and built 3 new kuti and 1 Phra Ubosot there,
  • In B.E. 2484, he stayed at Wat Sanam Yeh, Changwat Kanchanaburi
    , and renovated Kuti
    , Wiharn
    , Sala Garn Prian
    (the place which housed the bodies of recently-departed monks. also the same place where people carry out merit-making on bucha
    , an auspicious day for Buddhists) and Ubosot. He continued to support these construction efforts for 36 years.
Example of a Kuti

Example of a Kuti (Picture References: rweisswald/Shutterstock.com)

 

  • In B.E. 2520, he built Wat Saithong, at Tambon Jorakhepueak, Ampur Dan MakhamDtia, Changwat Kanchanaburi
    . Construction took 5 years.
  • In B.E.2525, he built Wat Rai Tang Tong, Tambon Toong Look Nok, Ampur Gampeng Saen, Changwat Nakon Pathom
    , and became Zhao Awat there on 7th June B.E.2535,
  • He returned to Wat Nong Or in B.E. 2540, in his hometown of Ampur Po Tah Ram, Changwat Petchaburi. At that time, the temple had only one monk. He undertook the project to build a new kuti, which took 5 months. In the middle of B.E. 2543, after the PuttaPisek of WathuMongkhon Roon Saoha
    , he fell sick. His family and students wanted to bring him to the hospital, but he insisted on obeying the laws of nature.  He believed that all beings eventually fall sick and die, and he felt no need for medical attention. On Monday, 4th Sep 2543, 8.35pm, Luang Phor Liew passed away at Wat Nong Or. He was 95 years old and had completed 74 Pansa.

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