DESCRIPTION:Phra Upakut is an important figure in Burma, Northern Thailand and Laos. He is a benevolent deity who protects against all evils and physical harm and is an auspicious attractor of wealth.
Thai Buddhists believe that Upakut is still alive to this day, residing in the middle of the Great Ocean, with a lotus leaf on his head. On the ninth full moon of the year, he roams the streets of Chiang Mai as a monk seeking alms. The first devotee to make an offering will be blessed with good fortune.
PERIOD: Eraly 20th century
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Thailand
RARITY AND CONDITION: Extremely rare, good condition, some possible cleaning
expected day to day wear (see photos)
HEIGHT IN INCHES:15"
WIDTH / LENGTH: 17"
PROVENANCE: Acquired from a Thai collector
EVALUATION APPRAISAL: A valuable addition to any serious collection.The arahant ‘Phra Upakut’ is highly regarded in Northern Thailand, where he is known as Phra Bua Khem. The legend said that Phra Upakut, with his great magical power, practiced meditation under the sea. After the Lord Buddha entered Nirvana, King Ashoka carried on the construction of many stupas for conserving Buddha’s relics. The construction took several years and was disturbed by Mara, a devil king. Most of the monks and deities were so afraid of Mara that they did not dare to guard the construction work. Two monks were then sent into the sea to ask for Phra Upakut’s help. He accepted the request and eventually successfully conquered Mara and converted Mara to Buddhism. Thai Buddhists in the Northern Thailand believe that Phra Upakut is still alive to this day, and resides in the middle of the great ocean.