After two decades in a shrine in front of the Golden Mile Complex, the statue of Phra Phrom – better known to Singaporeans as the four-faced Buddha statue – was moved on April 20. It is now at the Leong San See Temple in Race Course Road, where it can be viewed by the public.
The move involved more than a simple seven-minute drive from its old home to the new. To prepare for it, Thai Buddhist monks at Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddhist Temple were consulted. Phra Phrom is the god of good fortune and protection in Thailand.
Mr Chao Khun Rian, 56, the deputy chief abbot at the temple, said: “The boss of the Leong San See Temple came to meet me and asked for a consultation. They wanted to know what to do (when moving a four-faced Buddha statue).”
The move began with a ritual at Golden Mile Complex performed by monks and attended by more than 50 devotees.
The statue was then placed into a van and driven to Wat Ananda Metyarama, where it underwent some touch-ups. Its rough edges were sanded down and dents filled in before it was gilded in gold leaf. In the meantime, a new shrine to house the statue was shipped in from Thailand.
On May 11, the statue arrived in a van about 100 metres from Leong San See Temple before it was carried the rest of the way in a procession of monks, temple staff and devotees. Prayer sessions by both Chinese and Thai monks were held to welcome the statue of Buddha to its new home.
The day’s rituals, which drew about 50 devotees, began at 8.30am and lasted more than four hours.
“When you believe in something, you have to do it nicely,” said Mr Chao.
“This is a holy God. When you believe in a holy God, you will want to do things the proper way.”
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