Revered monks win Unesco recognition

Revered monks win Unesco recognition

From left: Somdet Phra Mahasamanachao; Phra Archan Man Phuriphatto.
From left: Somdet Phra Mahasamanachao; Phra Archan Man Phuriphatto.

Two highly revered Thai Buddhist monks have been recognised by Unesco (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) for their roles in promoting peace.

The 40th Session of the Unesco General Conference in Paris on Monday resolved to induct the late Phra Archan Man Phuriphatto, a pioneer of meditation-based dhamma practice in the forest tradition, and the late Somdet Phra Mahasamanachao Kromphraya Wachiryanawarorot, the 10th Supreme Patriarch, into Unesco's calendar of eminent personalities and important events for 2020-2021, said the source.

Born on Jan 20, 1870 in a village in Si Muang Mai district, Ubon Ratchathani, Phra Archan Man relinquished his lay name of Man Kaenkaeo when he ordained as a novice at the age of 15. After a couple of years learning dhamma at his village temple of Wat Ban Kham Bong, he reluctantly left the monkhood at his father's request to help the family earn its livelihood.

Later, he met a monk on pilgrimage and asked to become his disciple. Phra Archan Man followed him to a temple in Ubon Ratchathani's Muang district, where he took up his studies again.

He ordained again as a monk at age 23 and began a lifelong pursuit of dhamma practice. He died in 1949 at age 79, after which his meditation-based dhamma practice gained a large following.

Somdet Phra Mahasamanachao Kromphraya Wachiryanawarorot was a son of King Rama IV. He was born on April 12, 1860.

He began studying the Tripitaka (Pali Canon) at eight years old, in preparation for his ordination as a novice aged 13. He left the temple before rejoining the monkhood on Jun 27, 1879, aged 20. Thirty-three years later he became the supreme patriarch. He died at age 61 after serving in the role for 10 years and seven months.

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