King of all Thai Amulets – Pra Somdej Wat Rakang by Somdej Pra Puttajarn (Dto) Prohmrangsri.
The Pra Somdej Wat Rakang amulet is the Keystone and Master amulet (Ongk Kroo) for all other Pra Somdej amulets. It is an image in the likeness of the Buddha sitting on a Dais, which was essentially created by Somdej Pra Puttajarn (Dto) Prohmrangsri, of Wat Rakang Kositaram.
Its general appearance is that of an oblong about 2.5 cm wide and 4 cm high, made from white sacred powders mixed together.
The main Ingredients of the amulets (Muan Sarn samkan) were made from a base of sea shells, dried rice left from alms round, the five sacred magic powders of Somdej Dto, and ‘Nam Man Dtang Iw’ (special oil for mixing). Nam Man Dtang Iw, or Tung Oil in English, is a preferred oil for mixing and curing amulets with, for it is superior to any other oil as far as water resistance is concerned (one reason why Pra Somdej amulets can be soaked in water without going soft). The oil is much more resistant to mold than its derivatives, such as linseed oil.
The Dtamra must be made by creating exactly 84,000 amulets, equal to the number of Suttas of the Tripitaka.
There are different Pim Song (shapes and sizes) of Pra Somdej Wat Rakang, but those which are officially recognized and listed by the ‘wongarn Pra Krueang’ as far as Somdej Wat Rakang amulets are concerned, basically consist of five officially recognized Pim of Pra Somdej amulets; Pim Pra Pratan, Pim Chedi, Pim Brok Po, Pim Gaes Bua Dtum and Pim Thaan Saem.
Pra Somdej Wat Rakang – The Five Pim Niyom
Pra Somdej Pim Pra Pratan
The Pra Somdej Pim Pra Pratan is the most popular of all the five Pim. The five accepted and preferred Pim are called ‘Pim Niyom’.
The Pra Somdej Pim Pra Pratan is a Pim that has varied surface textures, ranging from rough to silky smooth, rich in tung oil, (called ‘Gae Nam Man’) or ‘Gae Sangkhaya’, or ‘Gae Poon’. The image is an abstract embodiment of Lord Buddha, with the outer arch representing an upturned bell (the temple of Wat Rakang means ‘Temple of the Bell’). The Buddha images leans slightly to the right, and the tip of the crown leans slightly to the left (of the Budhha, our right if we are looking at the amulet). Some editions see the tip of the crown of Lord Buddha pierce the rim of the arch. The left ear is slightly faded in comparison to the right ear. The left shoulder is slightly higher than the right one, and in many examples, the armpit is more deeply carved. The bottom step of the dais is very square edged.
Pra Somdej Wat Rakang Gaes Bua Dtum
Gaes Bua Dtum is the Pim of Pra Somdej Wat Rakang that is the rarest of all the five Pim to find. This Pim is of a Buddha sitting inside an upturned bell, with a very rounded face. The hair is wound to look like a ‘Bua Dtum’ (a closed lotus flower – this is where the amulet gets its name too). In contrast with all of the other four Pim Song, the Pra Somdej Gaes Bua Dtum does not have a crown which pierces the arch, rather is much lower. You can see the lines of the monks vest (Sangkati) very clearly. This amulet has more Nam Man Dtang Iw (Tung Oil) than the other Pim Song, and is thus a little more yellow in tone like the Gaes Chaiyo amulets, than that of the other 4 Pim Song from Wat Rakang.
Pra Somdej Wat Rakang Pim Song Chedi
This Pim is of a sitting Buddha in an upturned bell, that is perfectly straight and symmetrical. It has a tapered shape like a Chedi Stupa. The body of the Buddha on the Pim Chedi amulet is fatter than those of any other Pim Song.
Pra Somdej Wat Rakang Pim Thaan Saem
Pim Thaan Saem is in the likeness of a sitting Buddha in an upturned bell, with ‘Hoo Bai Sri’ (pointy triangular ears). There is a small ledge placed between the seat of the Buddha and the top step of the dais it is sitting on, and one thin ledge below the top step and the one below it on the dais..
Pra Somdej Wat Rakang Pim Brok Po
Pra Somdej Pim Brok Po is in the likeness of a sitting Buddha in an upturned bell, and looks similar to the Thaan Saem Pim, exept that it has falling Bodhi leaves over the head of the Buddha