Tok Raja of Wat Uttamaram Pasir Mas Kelantan Tok Raja of Wat Uttamaram Pasir Mas Kelantan .
Khron Ratchanaren (known as Tok Raja) was born on Thursday December 1, BE2419 (1876). He was sent to Wat Uttamaram by his parents when he was 12 years old to learn Buddhism and Thai language. He stayed with Archan Lok who was the temple Chief Abbot at that time. Tok had showed great interest in Buddhism and became a “Dek Jom” under the supervision of Bhikkhu (monks) in the temple. Besides, he also learned crafting and construction. He once told the devotees that even from an early age, he cherished the ambition of joining the monk hood and stay in the temple to learn Buddhism unlike his other kampung (village) boys of the same age who more preferred to stay in their homes in the kampung.
Tok Raja joined monkhood (Bhikkhu) on Jun 15, 2438 (1895) when he was 21 years old. The ordination took place at Wat Uttamaram and was ordained by the following monks:
1) Phra Upatcha Palad Chai of Wat Mai Suwankhiri
2) Phra Khru Ophart Phuthakhun of Wat Chon Prachumthart and
3) Phra Athikarn Phut from Wat Bangtakwa Silaloi who became Kammavacanusavanacarn
Tok Raja was then given a Buddhist name known as Punnaksuwanno.
After becoming a monk, he stayed at Wat Uttamatam for two phansa after that he travelled to Southern Thailand to learn Pali language and at that time is known as the big book. Tok was resided at Wat huaphom Nai in Songkhla and learn Buddhism in greater depth. He also learned “Phrakhatha vertmon” which consist of “Khamphi Mulkachai” and “Khamphi Thammadboth” in Wat Huaporm Nai as well as Vipassana Kammatharn technique in Songkhla for 15 years. In the year 2449 BE, Tok Raja was appointed Chief Abbot of the Wat for 10 years.
Due to the fact that Tok Raja needs to be back to Malaya, he stepped down as Chief Abbot of Wat Huaporm Nai. Once back from Thailand, he became the Chief Abbot of Wat Mai Suwankhiri for 6 years before been transferred back to Wat Uttamaram and became the Chief Abbot of the Wat in year 2468 BE. He taught Vippassana meditation and ubasok ubasika Buddhaborisat to the kampung folks Buddhist fundamentals as well as Vertmon Katha to his pupils.
Positions hold by Tok Raja
- 2470 BE (1927) – appointed by Phra Khru Ophatbudthakhoon as Phra Palas Thananukrom
- 2476 BE (1933) – Tok Raja became Upatchaya
- 2484 BE (1941) – appointed as Phra Khru Vicarn
- 2488 BE (1945) – became the Chief Abbot of Kelantan State known as Phra Vicaranayanmuni
His role in the deployment of Dharma knowledge and spreading of Buddha’s teachings When Tok Raja came back from Songkhla Thailand, he stressed a lot on knowledge skill. He worked very hard in order to expand the knowledge skills to devotees in Kelantan but did not meet his expectation since the Society at that time did not realise the importance of education and as such, was unable to achieve his mission to the fullness.
In early year of BE2491 (1948), Thai Buddhism has spread out of the country especially to the neighbouring country like Malaya.Malaysia was formerly known as Malaya. In that year, the first Naktham school was established in the Kedah state of Malaya. Tok has waited for the opportunity to open up such school for long time and has establish the same Naktham school in the year BE2492 and the first school was established in Wat Uttamaram Bangsek itself.
It was a resounding success in establishing these schools and Tok Raja later handed over the management of the school to Phra Maha Chan Kesaro who possessed “Parian Tham 6 Prakyok” as a teacher master. Even though there was a shortage in teaching resources, there was a huge demand from monks all over Kelantan to study at Wat Uttamaram to seek knowledge and learn Naktham where the expenses incurred were manageable. It was not easy to go to Wat Uttamaram at that time where it took hours to reach by walking through the jungle. Such obstacles did not prevent these pupil monks from reaching the Wat and in the same year as it was established, the first Naktham examination was held at Wat Uttamaram in Kelantan.
The Miracles of Tok Raja (The Sacred Tongkat)
Tok Raja spent his non-meditation hours in research into ancient and forgotten manuscripts which revealed ceremonies and prayers for every occasion. He made searching enquiries into information gleaned from his readings. He never considered unlikely or as far-fetched the stories he had read or heard of how and where priceless documents had been hidden in times of peril. He explored caves which others fear to enter and seldom found his mission unfruitful. From these ancient writings he copied the prayers and chants which are the weapons he uses in his self-imposed war against Black Magic. He tried the effect of these prayers upon himself when sick, and at all times opportunity offered itself to test his Faith & Power. One day, a novice brought to him a very aged document which he knew was something precious as it has been zealously guarded heirloom. He found that the documents described how a sacred tongkat (wand) should be constructed and the ingredients that went into its making. The tongkat was too powerful for the novice who made no use of it. On his death-bed, the novice gifted the tongkat to Tok Raja. Since then, it has never been out of his sight for a fleeting moment. He carried it with him wherever he goes and when asleep, it rests beside him. He has put the tongkat to good use in effecting cures both physical and mental. No ordinary man can touch the tongkat without feeling its Power. He has attained so high a standard of perfection and he was no mere mortal. By a few seconds of association with someone, or at a glance, he can say if the person seeking his help is clean in heart, a genuine sufferer or a fake if he has come to him convinced that only prayer can save life.
Tok Raja had never refuse aid and preached Dharma to those fake instead. He won more and more followers to his philosophy of life. News spread widely from devotees and even strangers about the wonders he had performed for them. He certainly was a modern Miracle Worker who convinces you of the unbelievable stories from the recovery of a dying man to saving from been possessed of evil spirit and even non Buddhist experience similar wonders in resolving their problems.
Donations poured in to the temple from all corners of Malaya (including Singapore) and with adequate funds, Tok was able to built the Kelantan first Naktham school in Wat Uttamaram (2nd School in Malaya after Kedah) and constructed Ubosoth (Both) and Kutis surrounding the temple.
Tok Raja’s Last Days
Tok Raja enjoyed good health and always fresh and active even at the age of over eighty years old. His health only started to deteriote from July 2505BE (1962) onwards. Tok’s health was deteriorating significantly after his trip to Singapore. The bad news about his health was spread like wild fire and many people from all over Malaya (Malaysia) came to visit him, including the Royal Highness The Sultan of Kelantan. Due to old age, Tok Raja passed away on November 19, 2505BE (1962), 15 days before the conferment of “Chao Khoon” title bestowed to him by the King of Thailand, his Highness King Phumibol Adulyadeth where Tok Raja was invited to be present at the King Palace in Bangkok on December 5, 2505BE (1962)