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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Admiral Krom Luang Jumborn Khet Udomsakdi Shrine

Prince Abhakara Kiartiwongse, the 28th children of H.M. King Rama V, was born in December 1880 and passed away on 19 May 1923 at the young age of 44. His original name may not be familiar to many of us. But the mention any of his other names : Sadej Tia ("Royal Father") or Doctor Phon or Prince of Jumborn, will command deep respect from Thai people from navy officers to rural villagers.
     The life of Prince of Jumborn was multi-faceted. His early years were spent studying Naval Science in England. Upon the completion of his education abroad, he returned to Siam to serve in the Royal Siamese Navy and contributed significantly to the advancement and modernization of the navy. In honor of his contributions, the Prince was proclaimed "The Father of Royal Thai Navy".

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     In addition to his career in navy, Prince of Jumborn studied medicine. He was particularly interested in the use of herbal medicine in treating his patients. As "Doctor Phon", he provided medical treatment to people of all classes and races.
     The Prince was also well recognized in the field of supernatural arts. His reputation on magic was such that he has been regarded as one of the "108 deities in heavens". Many worshippers proclaim themselves to be his "children" or followers and pray to him for fulfillment of their wishes. Thus, in many people's perception, Prince of Jumborn did not expire from this world. Like other holy deities, he is still "around" listening to people's grievances and helping them achieve their desired goals.

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     Prince of Jumborn's mythical status is demonstrated by the existence of numerous published books with such titles as The Miracles of Prince Jumborn and Sadej Tia the Magician, as well as over 200 shrines and statues of the Prince around the country.
     Sran Tongpan of Muang Boran Journal, having spent one year researching, tells the story of how a Royal Prince became a mythical deity.

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