The precise name for Wat Chang Hai should be Wat Ratburanaram, nevertheless villagers and devotees tended to called Wat Chang
Hai meaning " Elephant Present or Elephant Give “. The history of Wat
Chang Hai has been told millions of times from generation to
generation, but the main attentions are Somdet Luang Pu Thuat the most
famous monk in whole of Thailand and faraway land, where this great
master personal history centered in the old Siam. Somdet Luang Pu
Thuat is a very well-known and famous monk during the Kingdom of
Ayutthaya. His Buddhist preaching was well received from Southern
Thailand and right to the capital of Krung Sri Ayutthaya, where his knowledge of
Dhamma and Buddhist Tripitaka has captured the heart of royalties and
the commoner right through his lifetimes.
According to legend,
Phraya Kamdum the Lord of Sai Buri was exploring a site to build a new
town as a gifts for his younger sister, as he was indecisive which
location to choose and pick, he used his shrewdness by using two of his
owned elephants to lead the way in seeking the most suitable site
whereas the new town will be situated. After several days of travelling,
the elephant come to complete stopped at the present-day Wat Chang Hai
location, where the elephant walks the surrounding area for three
rounds and thereafter roared out loud. Lord Phraya Kamdum was very
contented on the location but his younger sister was not satisfied and
she requested Phraya Kamdum to looks for another location. To please
his sister, Lord Phraya Kamdum continue to search for new location,
finally they found a new place called Krue Se in today Pattani province
where he built a new town for his sister. Lord Phraya Kamdum of Sai
Buri still cannot stop thinking about the first location and decided to
build a monastery on the site and named it Wat Chang Hai “ Elephant
Presents “ and presented it to the revered Lanka “ Somdet Luang Pu
Thuat ” of Sai Buri and appointed him chief abbot of Wat Chang Hai,
villagers in and around started to addressed him Sir Chang Hai or
Master Lanka and some even called him Luang Phor Dam of Sai Buri.
In what manner the names of Somdet Luang Pu Thuat came about in
different regions and places no one knows the actual answers, because
this great revered monk hold many names and titles during the
Ayutthaya period, and yet every followers believed and agreed that
Somdet Luang Pu Thuat, Somdet Chao Phra Kho, Phrarajchamuni Sameeram
Khunupanachan, Luang Phor Dam or Sir Chang Hai is the only one and same
holy monk that every followers mentioned about, where his
distinguishable personality and knowledge of Tripitaka and mystical
powers have won the hearts of many followers.
Luang Pu Thuat was staying in Sai Buri, he passes his wishes to his
close followers, that should he departed this world, he would like his
body brought back to Wat Chang Hai for cremation and his ashes be kept
there, he even told his followers that should his body fluids drop along
the way to Wat Chang Hai, all they have to do is just light a
sandalwood incense stick and stick onto the ground, where it will
became a sacred place liked the final journey he made back from
Ayutthaya to Wat Phra Kho also known as Wat Ratchapraditsathan, Sathing
Phra district, Songhkla province.
When Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo was appointed chief abbot of Wat Chang Hai, He was wondering how the monastery came to exist for hundreds of years, he try to find as much information as possible, but villagers are unable to provide him a clear answer. Then one night, he had a strange dream where he saw four monks walking out from the reservoir toward the monastery, the first monk that emerge were Luang Phor Sri, follow by Luang Phor Thong and Luang Phor Chan while the last one he saw was an elderly monk walking slowly with a twisted walking cane. Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo was very peculiar on that elderly monk with a walking twisted cane by inquiring various issue concerning Wat Chang Hai, through which the elderly monk with a walking twisted cane begin to explains each and every details regarding Wat Chang Hai and leisurely walks through Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo by describing the monastery’s boundaries in all four directions. Before dawn, the elderly monk with a walking twisted cane told Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo “ Should you have any queries concerning Wat Chang Hai, all you need is let me know in your dream and I will assist you whatever I can “ with that words, the elderly monk with a walking twisted cane and the other monks just disappeared into the mist.
Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo began to recall those words that the elderly monk told him, upon which he becomes conscious that the elderly monk was none other than Revered Somdet Luang Pu Thuat. Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo took many events into consideration and brings to mind those words mentioned by Revered Somdet Luang Pu Thuat, and with that inspiration whatever matter or issue Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo carry out, it become visible that every issue went smoothly without much problem. Ultimately, Wat Chang Hai monastery was fully restored, but unfortunately Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo was succumbed to digestive tract cancer and passed away peacefully on 30th November 1969. Currently, the ashes of Revered Somdet Luang Pu Thuat and Venerable Phra Archan Thim Dhamma Tharo were enshrined and kept inside the sacred pagoda of Wat Chang Hai.
Wat Chang Hai Ratburanaram
sacred pagoda final gold leafs topping ceremony was performed by his
Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 13th April 1988.
the past few hundred years, Wat Chang Hai has encountered all kinds
of calamities from natures to man-made disasters and yet it has
withstood and endured the unanticipated environments till it present
day. In keeping with Buddha belief and practices, all the past and
present abbots of Wat Chang Hai have dutifully upholds their Buddhist
principles in addition to disseminating the teachings of Buddha to many
of its followers.