PHRA BUDDHA LERTLA
King Rama II (1809-1824)
King Phra Buddha Lertla
Napalai, the 2nd King of the Chakri Dynasty, ascended the throne in 1809,
had an extremely gentle temperament and never resorted to violence if it
were not for the good of the people as a whole.. Throughout his reign, he
did only meritorious deeds, thus peace and harmony were the order of the
day during that era. King Rama II died on July 21, 1824 at the age of 58.
During his rule, the country was relative at peace with
neighboring countries. It was, therefore, an ideal time to build up the
country. King Phra Buddha Lertla Napalai improved the administrative
system, promoted religious, culture and introduced land reforms which
stipulated that it was compulsory for anyone owning land, regardless of
social status, to cultivate it otherwise it would be expropriated.
The populace rightly called him "White Elephant King" which came
from his possession of three white elephant. This is why all Siamese
seagoing middle. Later on, this flag became the national flag. King Rama
II was a devout Buddhist and, consequently, ordered his subjects including
members of the royal family and officials to shun all vices. King Rama II
also revived the celebrations of Visakha Bucha - the day that Lord Buddha
was born, enlightened and died. He revised the Buddhist Tripitaka by
translating the chanting of prayers in Pali into Thai so that people would
understand what they were reciting.
During his 16 years of rule,
the kingdom enjoyed harmony, peace and prosperity. The populace led lives
in conformity with Buddhism and the wishes of their beloved monarch, which
centered around kindness and peace.
His many contributions to the
country still remain as a living remainder of his kindness. It is the duty
of all Thais to preserve such heritage and to vow that they will be loyal
to the Chakri Dynasty with their hearts and souls.