Buddhadasa Bhikku


Buddhadasa BhikkuBuddhadasa Bhikku is the monk who founded Wat Suan Mokkh, and ultimately the International Hermitage.


After ordination as a monk in 1926 and studying in Bangkok, he became dissatisfied with the conduct of the Sangkha, or community of monks, around him.

He left Bangkok and moved into an abandoned forest temple in Chaiya to return to the simple life.


At this time he was already a renowned  scholar of the Buddha's teachings and sought to return Thai Buddhism to its roots.


He was a outspoken critic of the common practice of Thai Buddhism, considering it a corruption of the Buddha's teachings.


He eschewed the use of Buddha images, considering them to be for the 'fools and untrained'.


He had little time for unnecessary airs and graces, treating all visitors to Suan Mokkh the same whether they were military dignitary or peasant farmers. This does not follow the traditional Thai way of showing respect to those in high positions.


Such was his status in Buddhism, he was chosen as the Thai representative to the Buddhist Council in 1957.


His written works from the 1950s fill over 50 volumes.


With his disregard of power and tradition, he was viewed by many as a dangerous man, especially by the political powers in the 1970s who considered him to be a communist.


His last major project was the foundation of the International Hermitage in 1988.


He continued to work, writing and teaching up until the moment of his death from a heart attack in 1993.


He was recognised by UNESCO as one of the World's Great Personalities in 2005.


A video biography will be shown after afternoon tea at the end of registration day.


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