Monday, 24 March 2008

Achan Nong

Wat Sai Khao is located in Changwat Pattani Province, Thailand and is a Maha Nikai Buddhist Temple.

Wat Sai Khao was built in B.E. 2300 and the temple's old church was built in B.E.2478. There are two Nikai or sects of Buddhism in Thailand namely Maha Nikai and Hinayan Nikai, most of the temples in Thailand are Hinayan Nikai temples.

According to the history of Wat Sai Khao, Mr.Peng or Than Pakdichumpol, who moved from Sraiburi (now part of Malaysia), donated the land and money to build the temple before inviting monks to take up residence.Wat Sai Khao was established as a juristic person in B.E.2432, and passed the Pook Pattasima ceremony in B.E.2435. (The ceremony was aimed to define the temple area.) Because of the vast area of the temple, part was used to locate a primary school which has now been in existence since B.E.2460.

Since the construction of Wat Sai Khao, six abbots have taken up residence, the first one was Long Phor Man, and the latest one is Long Phor Peng Pamuto B.E 2543, and a direct descendant of Archan Nong Dharma Bhuto. Wat Sai Khao has been continuously developed with many of the buildings renovated such as Pra Vihara, library, belfry, monks' residences etc. Today it is considered one of the most beautiful temples in the kingdom.

Archan Nong Dharma Bhuto, or Prakru Dharma Kitkosol, was one of two famous monks who were responsible for creating the now famous Long Phor Thuad, Wat Chang Hai amulets in B.E.2478. His co-worker at that time was Phra Ajahn Tim Dharma Taro.

Archan Nong Dharma Bhuto, formerly named Mr.Nong Northong, was born the son of Mr. Rueng and Mrs. Thonpeng, on December 15, B.E.2462, at Tumbol Bankluay, Ma-krood District, Pattani Province. More recently the district's name has changed to Kokbhoti District.

His parents had three children namely; Mrs.Thongchan, Archan Nong Dharma Bhuto and Mr.Nuam. His parents divorced and remarried, and subsequently had a further three daughters, Mrs.Woon (his stepmothers daughter), Mrs. Nuem Kaewthongprakum and Mrs Nium Siriphorn (his stepfathers daughter).

Archan Nong Dharma Bhuto, was ordained as a novice at the age of 19 and as a monk aged 21 on June 27th, B.E. 2482, at Wat Napradoo. Phra Ajahn Tim Dharma Taro, his co-worker, was also ordained on the same day. His preceptor was Prakru Wibul Samanawatra of Wat Mujjarintawapiwihara, who gave him his new Pali-language name as Dharma Bhuto.

B.E.2488 Archan Nong Dharma Bhuto passed the examination for Nak Dharma Chan Aek, or first class Dharma expert.
B.E.2508 Appointed Vice Abbot of Wat Chang Hai.
B.E.2511 Appointed Abbot of Wat Sai Khao, and the monk group leader of Tumbol Kokbhoti,Or Kokbhoti sub-district
B.E.2514 Appointed by the supreme patriarch as Prakru Dharma Kitkosol, as 3rd class Dharma Teacher.
B.E.2524 Appointed by the supreme patriarch as Prakru Dharma Kitkosol, as 2nd class Dharma Teacher.
B.E.2537 Appointed by the supreme patriarch as Prakru Dharma Kitkosol, as 1st class Dharma Teacher.

As previously mentioned he and Pra Ajahn Tim, were ordained on the same day, and naturally were good friends often helping each other on various missions, including an occasion in B.E.2497 when they both co-created the Long Phor Thuad Pranuewan amulets. these amulets are now very rare and expensive, well beyond the budget of the average collector. Fortunately there are however many amulets that do fall within the range of the enthusiast and in the next article on Archan Nong we will be looking at the various amulets he created.

Archan Phor Nong Dharma Bhuto was known as a merciful priest. He often helped the poor, both ordinaries and monks, to be educated. Furthermore, he also helped renovate many buildings, including temples' and public buildings.

He also devoted his entire life to all of Buddhist affairs, regardless of troubles or hardship. Due to his dedication to Buddhism and hard work, Archan Nong Dharma Bhuto was plagued with many diseases, including high blood pressure and lung disease. Although he was treated at hospital his conditioned continually worsened.

Eventually, Archan Nong Dharma Bhuto passed away at 03.27 a.m., on September 11th, B.E.2542, at Kokbhoti hospital. He was aged 80 years of which 60 were devoted to Buddhism. His cremation took place at 03.59 p.m., on the 20th May May B.E.2545, at Wat Sai Khao. Though, his body was burnt, his name will be respected eternally not only by the locals of Patani but by all of Thailand and many international devotees.

His virtues, along with Phra Acharn Tim's, will be always admired, due to their great devotion to Buddhism and the general public. Not only were they some of Thailand's greatest guru monks but the creators of the legendry Long Phor Thuad amulet.