Buddhist monks from the kingdon of Ayutthaya, Siam, were responsible for the care of a very rare and vauable 10′ tall statue of Buddha. The statue is generally believed to have been cast in India during the 13th or 14th century. The monks cared for and protected the statue during the period from about 1404 to 1767. In 1767 the monks became worried that their kingdom would be over-run and destroyed. They also knew if that were to happen, the statue would be plundered by the Burmese invaders. So it was decided to cover the statue with a thick 8″ layer of stucco. To beautify it somewhat, small bits of colored glass were imbedded. Their aim was to make the statue look unimpressive and ordinary. They believed their precious statue would be preserved if it were hidden in plain sight. They were right. Although the Bermese slaughtered all of the monks, the statue remained among the ruins of Ayutthaya without attracting much attention for 34 years.
In 1801, the King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, (Rama I) established Bangkok as the capital city of the kingdom now known as Thailand. He commissioned the construction of many temples in the new capital city and put out an order that various old Buddha images be brought to Bangkok from the ruined temples around the country, so the stucco Buddha was brought to Bangkok.
Sometime between 1824 and 1851 during the rule of King Rama III, the statue was installed as the principal Buddha image in the main temple building of
Wat Chotanaram in Bangkok. Eventually Wat Chotanaram fell into disrepair and in 1935 the statue was taken a short distance to Wat Traimit. Since the temple didn’t have a building big enough to house the statue, it was kept under a simple tin roof for 20 years.
In 1955, it was decided to move the stucco Buddha one more time to a new building at the temple. As rain came pouring down, the statue weighing over 5 tons was being lifted off its pedestal. Suddenly, the ropes bearing the weight of the statue broke and the statue fell with tremendous force to the ground causing a crack to appear. The head monk being very concerned covered the statue with a tarp. Later that evening he went to check on the Buddha to make sure it remained dry. When he shined his flashlight under the tarp, he noticed a little gleam shining through the crack. As he took a closer look at this gleam of light, he wondered if there might be something hidden beneath the stucco. He went to the monastary to get a chisel and hammer and began to chip away at the stucco. As he knocked of chards of stucco, the little gleam grew brighter and bigger.
Later, all of the stucco was carefully removed revealing the solid gold Buddha. The Ayutthayain monks had succeeded in hiding the statue in plain sight for almost 200 years! The estimated value at today’s gold prices is over $303,000,000.00. In 2010, a large and beautifully ornate building was inaugurated at the Wat Traimit Temple to house the Golden Buddha. See picture below.
Jack Canfield says this about the Golden Buddha: “We are like the clay Buddha covered with a shell of hardness created out of fear, and yet underneath each of us is a ‘golden Buddha.’ a ‘golden Christ,’ or a ‘golden essence,’ which is our real self. Somewhere along the way, between the ages of two and nine, we begin to cover up our ‘golden essence,’ our natural self. Much like the monk with the hammer and chisel, our task now is to discover our true essence again.”
For now, Earlynn’s just sayin’: “Have you begun your discovery of your true essence, your ‘golden essence” within?”