Phra Bhudhacharn (Toh) Promrangsi
Somdej Toh (1788-1872; B.E. 2331-2415), known formally as Phra Buddhacharn Toh Phomarangsi, was one of the most famous Buddhist monks during Thailand's Rattanakosin Period.
Somdej Toh was born in Kamphaeng Phet Province, possibly the son of King Rama I. He studied the Buddhist scriptures of the Pāli Canon with several Buddhist masters. After becoming a well-known monk, he became the preceptor for Prince Mongkut, later King Rama IV, when Mongkut became a monk. During Rama IV's reign Somdej Toh was given the ceremonial name Phra Buddhacharn Toh Phomarangsi.
He was noted for the skill of his preaching and his use of Thai poetry to reflect the beauty of Buddhism, and for making amulets call Somdej. The amulets were blessed by himself and other respected monks in Thailand. He also appears in many versions of the story of Nang Nak.
LP Toh Promarungsri is a venerable person in Buddhism. From the age of seven years old, he became novice and stayed with LP Dang . At the age of ten, he went to Bangkok for studying knowledge of Dhamma. He was as a monk at wat Ta Krai in Pissanulok province. During the era of King Rama V, he was an abbot of wat Rakhang. LP Toh performed many miracles and dedicated his life for spreading Buddhism. He is one of top 10 guru monks of Thailand. He was the first monk who created style of Phra Somdej in Thailand and popular for his knowledge in both holy Dharma and Visha (magic). LP Toh has passed away at the age of 84 year old in 1872.
In the year 1830, LP Toh went also called “Tudong” in the deep jungle alone to border of Thailand Lao and Cambodian by 25 years old. Tudong is monk’s journey togain knowledge to build up good karma and to know the teaching of Buddha.
History of Wat RaKhang:
Wat Rakhangkhositraram Woramahavihara (Wat Rakhang) is situated on the Thonburi side, opposite Tha Chang Wang Luang Pier. Wat Rakhangkhositraram was originally called Wat Bang Wa Yai and was an ancient temple built during the Ayutthaya Period. King Taksin raised its status to that of a royal temple and had it used as the side of a Buddhist council to recompile the tripikata. In the First Reign , an ancient bell was discovered on the temple grounds and since that time the temple has been know as Wat Rakhang, or the Temple of the Bell. King Rama I has the bell, which has good tone, removed to the Wat Phrasrirattana Sassadaram.
The important buildings include the Golden Palace, where King Taksin and the Supreme Patriarch ( Sri ) resided, and the phra ubosot and tripitaka tower built in the First Reign and decorated with murals.
A building in Wat Rakhangkhositaram that is considered a beautiful example of Thai architecture is the tripitaka tower. Originally this tower was in the middle of a pond that was dug behind the phra ubosot. The tower consists of three identical structures built from timber removed from a palace in which King Rama I had resided before ascending the throne. The outside walls are painted with red ocher while the inside walls are covered with murals depicting the daily life of that time painted by Acharn Nak. The door panels are decorated with lai rod nam designs and beautiful carvings. There are also the large tripitaka bookcases dating from the Ayutthaya Period in the north and south rooms.