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Mae Nang Phim by Luang Pu Up, Wat Thong Sai temple

Mae Nang Phim by Luang Pu Up, Wat Thong Sai temple

Mae Nang Phim

by Luang Pu Up
, of Wat Thong Sai
temple is considered by many to be the amulet that sealed the master craftsman’s reputation, for the ages to come.
Luang Pu Up

The man himself, like many other spiritual adepts, came from humble beginnings. Luang Pu Up Khemajaro

, sometimes also referred to as Phra Atikarn Kasem Khemajaro
, was born on 12th, August B.E. 2464, in Ban Lam Bau
, Nakhon Chai Si
district, Nakhon Pathom
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province, Thailand. Being the eldest child, the burden of toiling for a livelihood in his parent’s fields, fell squarely upon his scrawny shoulders.

Tired of the menial life, the master sought higher purpose. When he was 20 years old, he decided to ordain as a Buddhist monk, in the well-preserved ancient traditions of Wat Thung Noi

. Luang Phor Ma
, a Geji
and renowned practitioner of the esoteric arts, was his preceptor.

Following his initial training, he decamped for Wat Thong Sai, spending 9 years there. He went on a pilgrimage to Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar and acquired a treasure trove of sacred knowledge from the spiritual practitioners of those countries, before finally arriving at Wat Wang Cha Do

temple, where he remained for 2 years until B.E. 2508. Finally, he returned to Wat Thong Sai temple, where he lived until he passed on at the age of 90.


The Origins of Mae Nang Phim

Mae Nang Phim is also known by several other aliases, such as Nang Phim Pha

, Nang Phim
, or Nang Due
. Due to misunderstandings arising from similarities between myth and legend, many commonfolk assumed the name to have been borrowed from Phim Pha, the mother of the Buddha.

The earliest source, however, may have stemmed from Hinduism, like Cambodia, or the Khmer empire, as it was known in ancient times, was heavily influenced by Hinduism during the 13th century. At the heady confluence of Hindu and Buddhist lore, the story may well have been an amalgamation of the two belief systems that have persisted into modern-day.

In Hinduism, the Yoni, or the female’s sexual organ, is revered for its connection to the womb, the source of all life. In a divine parallel, Hindus belief in Mother Kamakhya, who they regard as the divine Goddess, from whose womb sprang forth the cosmos themselves. She is the source of life itself, bestowing consciousness and life-force to all creatures great and small.

In ancient temples found in India, there are bas reliefs depicting her visage, dating back to as early as the 11th or 12 century CE.

Pic: Temple bas relief found at Pungampadi Shiva temple, Tamil Nadu.

Mae Nang Phim is often depicted as a pregnant person wearing a chada

, with her hands clasped in prayer. Her distinctive feature, is the presence of an “I-due
” or a child with a leg emerging from her womb; sometimes also depicted as the entire body of a child emerging from the womb.
The character of Mae Nang Phim

Perhaps the Hindu aspect of the legend explains why the spell of Mae Nang Phim to create the effigies by Luang Pu Up was able to grant protection, and fulfil the wishes of devotees, as she is the divine source, who bestows life and gave birth to many auspicious things in the cosmos.


The Story of Luang Pu Up’s Mae Nang Phim

Mae Nang Phim’s association with Luang Pu Up began around B.E. 2535-2538. At that time Luang Pu Up was on a pilgrimage to Cambodia, where he sought the tutelage Khmer spiritual masters to learn Yant Mae Nang Phim. There, he was introduced to this peculiar Wicha, which Luang Pu later brought back with him to Wat Thong Sai temple, christening it “E-dua

” or “Naughty Woman”.

Around B.E.2537-2539, he began to tattoo the Yant Mae Nang Phim

on his disciples, starting with a close disciple who happened to live near the temples. He tattooed the yant on the disciple’s right thigh.

This Yant depicts an almost-nude pregnant woman wearing a Chada, with her hands clasped in prayer, and the legs of a child emerging from her womb, surrounded by a circle of Akara

. To date, this Yant is still wildly popular with devotees.
The original tattoo style
(picture credit: Wat Thong Sai)

There exists an account from the first group of disciples Luang Pu had ever tattooed the yant on, about the incredible protection they received. Some members of the group had gotten into an altercation with a much larger group of about 20 men. In the ensuing scuffle, though outnumbered about 4-to-1, the disciples beat back the larger group, and emerged completely unscathed as they fled. Subsequent attempts to arrest the group, ended in a similar fate for the poor enforcement officers tasked with corralling them. Local authorities requested that Luang Pu cease tattooing the Yant on people, as it could contribute to public disorder. Luang Pu agreed.

In B.E. 2540, his disciples who liked this Yant, created Takrut and brought to Luang Pu Up to PlukSek

, for distribution to devotees. This would enable them to circumvent the regulation regarding tattoos of the Yant.

To support this effort, Luang Pu Up rechristened the wicha “Mae Phim Pha

”.  He went on to craft a variety of other amulets using the same sorcery, including Phayant
, Takrut, Rian
, Wean
, Roop Loi Ong
, and Roop Muean
. These were made out of a stunning variety of sacred materials,  such as Nur Din, Nur Wan
, Nga Kae
(carved ivory), Kala Kae
(carved coconut shell), or Nur Takua
, etc.

The example of Mae Nang Phim amulet

An oversized statue of Mae Phim Pha stands at Wat Thong Sai temple, to receive offerings from worshippers and devotees.

The statue of Mae Phim Pha at Wat Thong Sai temple,
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Wishes made to this statue are often known to come true. Thus, Mae Nang Phim is considered a sacred deity in Wat Thong Sai, and she is constantly plied with offerings and supplication. When wishes are fulfilled, a common practice is to show gratitude with offerings of rice whiskey.

The Mae Nang Phim amulet is not only highly revered among Thais in Nakhon Pathom, but by many devotees from around the world as well, including China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Her presence exudes Metta Mahasaneh

, Metta Mahaniyom
, Kongkrapan Chatree
and Choke Larp
. It can help guard against danger and support all aspects of life. It can be placed together with other amulets such as Guman Thong or Nang Kwak
, to amplify their benefits.


Katha to Pay Respects to Mae Nang Phim

namo tutsa phakhawato arahato samma samphutthatsa (3 times)

u, ka, pa, sa, ha, na, phut (9 times)

Make a silent prayer to Luang Pu Up, and offer rice whiskey to Mae Nang Phim by tapping it on the amulet. For example, if you have a statue of her, touch the rice whiskey to her lips, or simply tap it on the Takrut, if you have that instead. Daily worship has a cumulative effect, amplifying her power.

Khmer sorcery is especially revered among Thais, and masters of the art are considered to be practitioners of elevated skill and renown. Thus, belief in the efficacy of Mae Nang Phim is especially strong, given her provenance. These beliefs have been reinforced by numerous accounts of supernatural feats attributed to the Luang Pu Up’s amulets.

As a result of their popularity, many counterfeits exist. It is imperative that prospective owners familiarize themselves with the provenance of their amulet, and be careful to only obtain them from trusted sources. An amulet, however, merely amplifies the effect of an owner’s good deeds, and care must be taken to do good, to continue to receive good in return.

Picture credit: DODOMO/
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