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Saturday, 2 February 2002  
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Government - Gazette

Sunday Observer

Budusarana On-line Edition

Upasika Khun Yai the founder of Dhammakaya

by Nemsiri Mutukumara

The Dhammakaya Foundation Meditation Centre in Pathum Thani Province in Thailand has made arrangements to accommodate over one hundred and thirty thousand bhikkhus from all over the world including one bhikkhu each representing monasteries in the Kingdom of Thailand and one hundred thousand lay people at the cremation ceremony of the Dhammakaya Founder Khu Ya Maha Ratana Upasika Jankhon on Sunday, February 3 at the Dhammakaya Cetiya grounds.

Besides them, the presence of most eminent high ranking Buddhist prelates from Thailand, the Sangharaja Maha Theras of Combodia, Laos, the Supreme Sangha Council Chairman of Myanmar, the Mahanayaka thera of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Syamopali Maha Nikaya of Sri Lanka (both held in same recognition as Sangharaja) will be a monumental event, says the President of the Dhammakaya Foundation, Phra Rajabhavanavisuddh.

Upasika who is also called the Great Teacher of Dhammakaya mediation Khun Yai Maharatana Upasika not only founded the centre but also provided much wherewithal to make the centre a gigantic success as seen today.

Born in 1909 to a family of farmers in the village of Nakhonchaisri, Nakhonpathom Province, Thailand as the fifth child in a family of nine brothers and sisters.

At the age of 25, Khun Yai entered the order as a Nun at Wat Paknan Temple in Bangkok as a devotee of Luang Phan Wat Paknam, the late meditation master. Luang Phaw is well-known as the Meditation Master who re-discovered the Vijja Dhammakaya or the Dhammakaya Meditation Tradition.

As a Nun, Upasika Khun Yai teamed up with advanced meditators who meditated in shifts continuously twenty hour a day and seven days a week.

Two teams operated in four shifts of four six-hours duration. They would take alternate turns sitting for twelve-hour meditation each day.

After a very short time meditation master Luang Phaw elected Upasika Khun Yai as head of the night shift.

Upasika Khun Yai became a capable meditation student, completing Master Luang Phaw's assignments to the very letter.

Nothing that Master Luang Phaw asked her to do was beyond her ability.

If Khun Yai was asked to look for the after life destination of the deceased, she could do so. If she was asked to look into the future or into the past, she could do that too.

Master Luang Phaw's emphasis was just not an ordinary by-product of meditation practice and visualization, however his aim was always to use Vijja Dhammakaya to bring about an end of all defilements, to bring an end to the cycle of rebirth and to bring all beings to the sanctuary of Nirvana.

Upasika Khun Yai became the most adept meditation student at this tradition. She was praised publicly among other disciples by Master Luang Phaw as being second to none.

The wonderful performance of Upasika Khun Yai would be difficult for any one person to narrate. It would still be difficult for a single writer to chronicle all the stories woven round her life and times.

Suffice to say, Upasika Khuna Yai, through her commitment to uphold the sasana, her devotion to the sublime teaching of the Buddha and her disciplined lifestyle, she devoted her life to the work of bringing happiness and peace to the world. She worked relentlessly to eradicate the source of all suffering using Vijja Dhammakaya - the Dhammakaya tradition of meditation.

She never sought any publicity and never did she utter a word about her work or being tired of work.

Upasika Khun Yai was the prototype of a great teacher and leader of meditation. She spent every second of her life-time delivering her prototype by example and training instead of admonishing anyone for making mistakes.

Upasika Khun Yai never applied nor based her teachings on any academic field in the world. Instead her teachings and personal training of her mind were all based on the discourses of Sakyamuni Buddha.

The crystal clear symbols of Upasika Khun Yai were cleanliness and punctuality which are the legacy of all her disciples who really loved and respected her. She believed cleanliness of the environment would always help bring peace to those seeking inner peace.

Upasika Khun Yai after said, "Our home and our temple must be clean. Once people see it, they will follow suite. Those seeking the Dhamma cannot live untidy lives."

For Upasika Khun Yai, whether a person was rich or poor, uneducated or academic had no criterion. She always greeted them before they greeted her with her hands pressed together. This way of greeting is considered the most polite manner of greeting for Thai people. And all Buddhist too.

Upasika Khun Yai inherited the continuation of the Dhammakaya meditation tradition from her meditation.

Master Luang Phaw after his demise. Master Luang Phaw instructed her to spread the tradition as his successor. Upasika Khun Yai taught meditation at her own small kuti at Wat Paknam until the number of students exceeded the available space.

Upasika Khun Yai and her group moved to the present site of Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Pathumthari in 1970.

At this premises, Upasika Khun Yai started the challenging task of reclaiming barren paddy fields and re-establishing the woodland that today makes Wat Phra Dhammakaya it is today - a world renowned site for meditation practice and training.

Upasika Khun Yai was a great teacher who desired nothing more than to help her disciples attain success as true happiness.

She was a Meditation teacher who endured all things, who loved Buddha Dhamma more than her life itself.

Everyone could see it in her eyes and sense her strong determination.

Two of her outstanding disciples became the Head Prelate and the Deputy head prelate of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Temple today. They are the Venerable Phra Rajabhavana Visuddhi and the Venerable Phra Bhavanaviriyakon.

The success story of the Dhammakaya Foundation and Wat Phra Dhammakaya Temple and the sprawling Dhammakaya Cetiya originated from Upasika Khun Yai.

Khun Yai Maharatana Upasika Jan Khon-Nok Yoong passed away on September 10, 2000 at the ripe age of 92 years.

Her cremation ceremony of the Great Father of Vijja Dhammakaya takes place today (February 2) after a passage of seventeen months, at the Dhammakaya Temple premises in Pathumthari Province in Thailand.

Stone 'N' String

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