Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The Price of Faith?
Recently there is an article on Facebook talking about HK celebrity Cecilia Chung paying 300,000 HKD or around 1 million baht for a piece of Somdej Kaiser Krut Wat Pra Kaew (seen above), which is an obvious fake amulet. Almost anyone with some basic knowledge about old Thai amulets know that such a batch of Somdej Kaiser does not exist, but unfortunately Ceclilia does not. Fake Somdej amulets such as this can be easily found at the fake amulet market in Tha Pachan, Bangkok for 100 baht or less. It is a shame because for that kind of money Cecilia could get a real antique piece of Somdej Wat Rakang or Bangkhunprom, with change to spare for performing other forms of Sangkatan (donations to the Sangha).
But the sad fact is rich people like Cecilia are scammed by the unscrupulous all the time. They pay a hefty price for their misplaced faith in the commercial aspect of Thai Buddhism. It is another example of the danger of collecting amulets without any basic knowledge about Buddhism and Thai amulets. In the past when LP Sod created his first batch of Wat Paknam amulets, he gave only 1 single piece to each devotee who came to make a donation, no matter whether they were rich or poor. It did not matter whether they gave a lot or a little money; they still received 1 piece as a token of appreciation. There was great meaning in why LP Sod gave out amulets in this way. It is in great contrast to what is happening today, where even the rich donate a lot just to get a cheap piece of fake amulet. When rich donors like Cecilia one day realizes that she paid so much for a fake, she will inevitably lost faith in the Triple Gems. Those who sold her such fakes have committed a great sin, destroying people's faith in Buddhism. The profits of sin brings very short term enjoyment to the sinner, but long term suffering in the lower realms. As the Dhammapada says:
"It may be well with the evil-doer
as long as the evil ripens not.
But when it does ripen,
then the evil-doer sees (the painful results of) his evil deeds."