Friday, March 24, 2006

The angel has taken flight from the city

On the wee hours of 21 Mar 2006, a Muslim man described to be mentally-deranged hammered the much-revered statue of Phra Phrom or Brahma Creator God at the Hyatt Erawan Hotel and reduced it into pieces before he was killed by bystanders.

My encounter with Phra Phrom was many many moons ago. When I was 19 years old, I was sent to Thailand to serve my National Service at the Kanchanaburi Singapore Armed Forces base camp. It was indeed a frightening experience for me; - all alone away from friends and family; not having nice people to start with; got sick on arrival; terribly home sick and not getting used to the weather and the food.

My old staff sergent brought me to Phra Phrom at Erawan Shrine during my first weekend off (yes, you get one weekend off once every 2 weeks). I remembered I prayed with sincere devotion for Phra Phrom to protect me and guide me through this 'difficult' period.

Whether it was my prayers answered or sheer determination or good luck, I was promoted 3 times whilst in Thailand and received my first medal of commendment. During my 1 year assignment in Thailand, I returned monthly to Erawan shrine to offer my prayers.

My Monthly prayers have now changed to Annual pilgrim (which I have posted earlier in Jan 06).

Some thinks that this destruction is a bad omen for Thailand's beleaguered Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who is fighting for his political future in elections on 2 April.

The national newspaper, The Nation, reported that during the Ayutthaya period, King Narai the Great (1656-1688) was believed to be the author of a poetic prophecy about Ayutthaya’s fall. The prophecy, reflected his concern for the Kingdom, recounted sixteen bad omens which would foreshadow the fall of the capital later in 1767.

One of his Prophecy was "The angel has taken flight from the city." Accordingly to the Thais, this is reflected in the destruction of the Phra Phrom statue. The last paragraph of the Prophecy reads:

There were wars and massacres:
People died like ants in the fire.
Waterways dried up as roads.
The city and palaces became a wilderness.
Only beasts of the worst kind
Inhabited the land.
But people and animals
Perished together.
The god of death destroyed the land.
No more war and struggle.
Ayutthaya Kingdom would be lost.

Samrit Klomkliang, who claims he has been a longtime personal astrologer for Thaksin's family, said the destruction of the statue was a sign that there would be bloodshed in Thailand if the prime minister doesn’t quit before March 29.

Blood has already been shed. Thanakorn Pakdeepol, the 27 years old man who destroyed the Phra Phrom statue, was killed near the Erawan Shrine after committing this most unnatural act. His blood spread on the whole pavement.

Lets pray that there will be no more bloodshed in Thailand this time.

There is no Bodhi tree,
no clear mirror of the mind
Nothing at all
so where does the dust fall?

*** Strange I have re-written this post 3 times and tried to post it 5 times.. Hope I can get it posted up.