Sawadee Pee Mai or Happy New Year! This year in 2008, I would like to start my blog by sharing with you all one of Thailand’s great Dhamma teachers. He is none other than Luang Poh Jarun of Wat Ambhavan in Singhburi Province. I will continuosly publish his articles on Dhamma especially on the Karma and on practice of meditations. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Suchitra Onkom of Bangkhae, Bangkok because without her great effort translating the original transcript to English, our learning is not possible. Thank you again.
BIOGRAPHY OF PHRA RAJSUDDHINANAMONGKOL
Venerable PhraRajsuddhinanmongkol (Jaran Thitadhammo) took on the position of acting Abbot of War Ambhavan in B.E. 2500 (1957), and has steadily conducted a program of develÂopments and improvements, both internally and externally, bringing the monastery to greater and greater prosperity. He was given the title Phra Rajsuddhinanmongkol in honor of the celebrations of Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday on August, 12, 1992. His life and works are objects of faith and inspiration for people everywhere.
Phra Rajsuddhinanmongkol was born in the reign of King Rama VII (the seventh reign of the Ratanakosin Dynasty) on August 15, 1928 at 5.10 PM (418 Year of the Naga) in Tambol Muangmoo, Amphur Mueng, Changwat (Province) Singhburi. }He was the fifth of ten children born to his mother, Jerm and father, Pae Janyaraks. The Venerable was ordained on 15 July 1948 at 2.00 PM at Wat Prumhuri, in Singhburi Province, with Chao Khun Promnagaracariya as preceptor and Phra Khru Thavornviriyakhun of Wat Buddharama as kammavacariya, chanter of the ceremony.
The Venerable was educated in both worldly and religious matters and was especially gifted in both areas. His education can be summarized as foIlows: He received secular education from various places:
- Wat Saddhabhirom public school
- Singhavidhayon School
- Singhburi Province School
- Sirisuddho School
- Suvitdaramas School
He finished fourth year of secondary school education in 1944.
STUDY OF THAI MUSIC
He studied Thai music, such as the Mon flute, brass and stringed instruments and lyric composition from his father and Khun Luang Dhara. Later on, his grandfather, Colonel Luang Dhara introduced him to General Phibulsongkram, Prime Minister of Thailand, in order to have him enter the Police Academy. The Venerable studied there for about a month, but left as that study did not suit him.
STUDY OF THE GUILDS OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR
The Venerable began to take an interest in the guiles of human behavior but when he had gained some understanding of arm he became fed up with it and did not use his knowledge for benefit of others. At that time, as he had reached the age of twenty, he forsook the household life and entered the shade of the saffron robe, where he has stayed ever since.
STUDY OF DHAMMA-VINAYA AND MEDITATION
- 1948: studied the Dhamma (Teachings) and Vinaya (DisciÂpline) at the Promburi Centre.
- 1949: passed the second grade of Dhamma Examinations at War Chaeng Promnakorn.
- 1950: studied meditation with Phra Khru Nivasdhammakhan (Lunar Pop Deem), Amphur None Pho, Nakornswan Province. 1951: studied meditation with Luang Poh Lee and Venerable Chao Khun Ariyagunadhara in Korn Kaen Province
- 1952: studied making power objects and holy water with Luang Pop Gong, Wat Nab Tang, Ayudhya Province and Phra Khru Vinitsutagun, Luang Pop Sauna, at Wat Saotongtorng, Ang-tong Province, and Luang Poh Jaht, Wat Bahn Sahng, Prajinburi Province.
- 1953: studied calm and insight meditation with Phra Bhavanakosol Thera (Sot, Candasaro), otherwise known as Luang Poh Wat Pahk Nam, at Wat Pahk Nam, Amphur Phasricharoen, Thonburi Province.
- 1954: studied and practiced insight meditation with Chao Khun Acariya Phra Rajsiddhimuni at Wat Mahadhatu, in Bangkok.
- 1955: studied Abhidhamma with Ajahn Tejin (a Burmese monk) at Wat Rakang, Thonburi Province and studied fortune telling with His Holiness the Sangharaja at Wat Srakes, in Bangkok.
He studied and exchanged ideas about psychology with Ajahn Colonel Chom Sugandharat. He went wandering (dhutanga) in search of seclusion and suitable places to develop mediÂtation practice among the forests and mountains of Northern Thailand.
POSITIONS AND TITLES
- Acting Abbot Wat Ambhava, Tambol Ban Paging, Amphur Promburi, Singhburi Province, in 1957
- Conferred the title Phra Khru Palat Jaran, Thitadhammo Thananugrom (assistant) of Chao Khun Sundaradhamma Praputh, Ecclesiastical Governor of Roy Et Province (while living in his own monastery of War Ambhavan) in July, 1958.
- Conferred the title of Phra Khru (sannabat) “Phra Khru Bhavanavisuddhi”, Abbot of Wat Ambhavan, on December 5 1968
- Appointed as Ecclesiastical Head of Amphur Promburi in 1975.
- Conferred the title of “Phra Khru Bhavanavisuddhiguna,” on December 5, 1988
- Conferred the title of Phra Rajsuddhinanmongkol on August 12, 1992
From the time the Venerable began to function as acting Abbot of Wat Ambhavan in 1957 until he received the title and official position of Abbot on December 5, 1968, a period of eleven years, Venerable Phra Rajsuddhinanmongkol did not use his time idly but tried in every possible way to bring prosperity to the monastery and to help other monasteries by providing them with the proper conveniences. Venerable Phra Rajsuddhinanmongkol is a gifted speaker, whose teachings inspire and rouse his listeners, a daring builder who goes ahead with a project even without the funds at hand, a philanthropist who gives what he has for meritorious causes and to help his monastery attendants. The Venerable Phra Rajsuddhinanmongkol is also a problem solver, meeting problems that arose in the course of building by inviting a foreign monks to give sermons at the monastery and using the offerings that resulted to pay the stoneworks and hardware stores. When this was not sufficient to solve the problem he has borrowed the money from his mother or relatives. Because the Venerable Phra Rajsuddhinanmongkol is such a developer, a gifted speaker and meditation teacher all in one, his achievements each year are many, and they have been recognized on many occasions, such as
- In 1973 he received an honorary award as the Social Developer of the Year (in the field of voluntary social welfare, religious activities).
- In 1975 he received an award from Her Highness Princess Sirindhom at Wat Mahadhatuyuvarachrangsit in Bangkok on Tuesday 28 May, 1975 for his great contribution to Buddhism in the field of encouraging sincere practice of the Dhamma.
- In 1976 he was awarded an Honorary Pin as an outstanding developer in the Paen Din Tham Paen Din Thorng project from His Excellency General Prem Tinasulanon, the Prime Minister, at Government House on May 6, 1976.
Thus it can be said that Venerable Phra Rajsuddhinanmongkol has dedicated his life to the development of society and he has Iong been a major refuge for Buddhists, both locally and at large.