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Nang Kwak

Wondering who that gold statue is on street level next to the kitchen in our Collingwood restaurant? This is our very own Nang Kwak, the Thai patron saint of advantages.

The Legend of Nang Kwak, revered as the Patron Saint of Advantages, is one of the best known legends in Thailand and dates back to the time of the Siddhatha Gotama – the ‘Buddha’ in Northern India over 2550 years ago.

The historical Nang Kwak was a young woman by the name of Supavadee, the daughter of a humble and none too successful merchant. As a dutiful daughter Supavadee often accompanied her father on his business trips throughout the region and it was on one of these trips that Supavadee had the great good fortune to have met the Lord Buddha and listened to one of his supurb teachings.

Supavadee soon became a devout follower of Buddhism and a generous supporter of the monks and disciples of the fledgling Buddhist sect. Because of her great devotion, the Lord Buddha’s chief disciple the Venerable Kasapa bestowed blessings of good fortune on her. He also told her that if she followed all the teachings of the Dhamma (the teachings of the Lord Buddha), she would receive a special enduring blessing.

Supavadee sought out and was blessed by another well known disciple – Venerable Sivalee, who is venerated to this day for his good fortune and revered in Thailand for the good luck he is purported to bestow on devotees.

Endowed with such good will and blessings, Supavadee became famous in her lifetime for both her spiritual and material successes. With her great generosity and kindness developed by following the teachings of the Buddha she became famous and much loved by all who knew her and her good reputation grew.

Supavadee led a full and prosperous life and when she died many people had found that by paying respects to the saintly Supavadee, their own businesses were more successful and advantagous than they had been before.

Images were made of Supavadee and offerings and benedictions have over the centuries been made to the young girl who achieved such well rounded success.

The legend of Supavadee spread to Thailand with early Indian images of her shown in the form of a young girl sitting on a cart.

Early Siamese people quickly adopted Supavadee for their own, changing her form in line with Thai cultural mores whereby she is represented sitting in a polite posture with her right hand raised and beckoning people seeking advantages to come to her.

In Thai “Nang” means ‘Woman’ and “Kwak” means ‘To beckon’. Today in Thailand, all businesses will have a statue of Nang Kwak and offerings of incense sticks, flowers, soft drinks, water, sweets and even cosmetics will be made to her. Also, the word ‘Yim Yam’ in Thai means ‘Smile’.

And so, at Yim Yam we have enshrined our Supavadee ‘Nang Kwak’ in pride of place. It is our hope that she will also impart great ‘Advantages’ and lots and lots of ‘Smiles’ to our friends and patrons visiting us here in Collingwood.

Those who wish are welcome to pay due reverence to Nang Kwak by repeating the following mantra:

Ohm Sriwichai Gangwian
Phu Jao Khao Khiow mee luuk khon Diow cheu Nang Kwak
Chai hen Chai rak Ying hen Ying rak
Tuk tuan naa Puak Paanichaa paa goo pai kaa terng Meuang Maen
Goo ja pai kaa hua waen gor dai wan la saen tanaan
Goo ja kaa saarapatgaan gor dai doey klong
Goo ja kaa tong gor dai dtem haap piang wanee pen roi
Saam hap ma reuan saam deuan pen settee saam pee pen por kaa sampao
Phra Reusee poo pen Jao prasitti hai gae luuk khon diow swaaha

©2011 Thai Guide to Thailand.