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The Gold Buddha

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The following story is true. Or, er, rather, I heard it whilst backpacking around Bangkok.

The Gold Buddha

Gold Buddha

Between being a body guard for an oil-broker, sunning on tropical islands while being buzzed by fighter aircraft, planting rice in a Northern Thai subsistence farm, and chilling with the Monks, I did some actual tourist stuff with Miss Anne Brossard (now, Mrs. Ian Van Praagh) and here's the story...

In 1957, a monastery in Thailand was being relocated and a group of monks was put in charge of moving a giant clay Buddha. In the midst of the move one of the monks noticed a crack in the Buddha.

Concerned about damaging the idol, the monks decided to wait for a day before continuing with their task. When night came, one of the monks came to check on the giant statue.

He shined his flashlight over the entire Buddha. When he reached the crack he saw something reflected back at him. The monk, his curiosity aroused, got a hammer and a chisel and began chipping away at the clay Buddha.

As he knocked off piece after piece of clay, the Buddha got brighter and brighter. After hours of work, the monk looked up in amazement to see standing before him a huge solid-gold Buddha. 

Many historians believe the Buddha had been covered with clay by Thai monks several hundred years earlier before an attack by the Burmese army. They covered the Buddha to keep it from being stolen.

In the attack all the monks were killed, so it wasn't until 1957, when the monks were moving the giant statue, that the great treasure was discovered.

Jul 03, 2002 07:40 AM