According to traditional Thai Buddhist belief, the enlightened monk Phra Upakut resides in a brazen palace at the bottom of the ocean. There he sits on a majestic lotus throne, holding an alms bowl in his left hand. Owing to the monk’s perfection of merit and virtues, the begging bowl is filled to the brim with a myriad of treasured possessions. With his right hand he reaches out to the sacred bowl in order to bestow infinite blessings upon all sentient beings. Moreover, as a fully awakened boon-giver, Phra Upakut continuously shares the bounties of the Dharma without any self-interest.
Generally, the bucha statue can be used to beseech Phra Upakut to protect the worshipper from misfortune and other unfavorable circumstances. Thus, when proper worship (Sanskrit: pūjā; Thai: bucha) is performed to revere the holy monk’s realization of complete liberation from suffering, one will acquire immeasurable merit leading to good karma. Next, by dedicating the fruits of wholesome deeds such as these (i.e., paying homage to Phra Upakut, an enlightened being who is worthy of reverence), one thereby generates the right conditions for future happiness. Indeed, Phra Upakut is regarded as the bestower of prosperity.
Ghātā for Phra Upakut Bucha Statue
Mahā upagupto ca mahāthero
nānā pāramī saṃpanno
prasiti me (3x)