Chapter 01: Reporting Remarks
For the Opening Ceremony of the Boonthin Atthakorn Building A guest house for Buddhist monks – Phra Rajsuddhinanamongkol March 27, 1988
Your Holiness The Supreme Patriach Somdej Phra Nanasangvorn
Wat Ambhawan is in Tambon Promburi, Amphur Promburi, Changwat Singburi, but the monks are in the Ecclesiastical Tambon of Ban-Paeng. The reason is that there are not enough temples in Tambon Promburi to qualify it as an ecclesiastical tambon. Therefore, the Sangha has included temples in Tambon Prombuir and Tambon Ban-Paeng in the Ecclesiastical Tambon Ban-Paeng, Amphur Promburi, Changwat Singburi. There are four Ecclesiastical Tambons in Ecclesiastical Amphur Promburi, but seven stage tambons in Amphur Promburi.
Many years ago, Amphur Promburi covered a large area and had a large population. So the Director General of the Interior Affairs Department, Dr. Chumnarn Yuwaboon, divided it into 2 Amphurs: Amphur Promburi and a new Amphur, Amphur Ta-Chang.
I came here as the acting abbot in 1956, and became the abbot in 1957. I have been here for more than thirty years. And have been the Ecclesiastical District Officer of Amphur Promburi for fifteen years.
Wat Ambhavan is an old temple established during the Ayudhya period. The Pali Canon cabinets offer proof, confirming Wat Ambhavan is an ancient temple. One cabinet was given to Wat Ambhavan in 1657 and the other in 1767. Both still show beautiful ancient styles of the “rodnam” design and the “Ramayana” design. There is also other proof of the temple’s age, such as documents and materials found in the temple. When the ole temple was in ruin and had collapsed, we found engraved stones and other things proving the age of this temple.
We learned from the engraved stone that during the Ayudhya period, ships could sail to the front of Wat Ambhavan, which was situated on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. At that time Chinese tradesmen and their Dutch business friends sailed here to trade with King Narai the Great of Lawo, Lopburi. They also visited Wat Ambhavan. Even though the Dutch were Christians, they all had firm faith in Phra Khru Nanasangvorn, the abbot of Wat Ambhavan, who was 99 years of age at the time and was very developed in vipassana insight . They built a temple for him. The style of the temple was a mixture of Chinese and Thai. They asked the King’s permission to bring two stone Buddha statues, “Phra Nark Prok Hin” to Wat Ambhavan. One statue was made of green stone and was called “Nark Prok Hu Yarn”. The other was called “Nark Prok Khang Khon Hu Toom”. They had also recorded the details of the statues. I have moved the two statues and the Chinese record from the old temple and now keep them in the building where I stay.
Other proof we also found are ancient blue-patterned chinaware, a Chinese jade bracelet, nine horse sculptures, a lot of jewelry and seven buckets of ancient Chinese coins with Chinese letters ”Gim-Liang, Gim-Jaeu” engraved on them. I have sealed this valuable proof in the new temple, which you have just visited and where you have paid respect to the Buddha Image.
As for the renovation of the temple, Colonel Pin Mutugun, the ex-directorgeneral of the Department of Religious Affairs instructed us to build a new temple as economically as possible, over the old one by using the old temple pillars as the inner pillars of the new temple and expanding the temple walls. He also paid close attention to the process of obtaining Royal permission for the temple renovation. It took three months to obtain the permit. The precincts were then determined. The celebration ceremony establishing precinct boundaries took six nights. Police Major General Samart Waiyawanon, the governor of Changwat Lopburi and Police Colonel Prachan Bhramphan, the chief of police of Lopburi were remain supporters. The new temple was built in one year and sixteen days with little capital and at no burden, financial and otherwise, to the villagers.
I would like to inform you that there is no fence around the temple areas, trees are used as the only fence. The precinct markers of the temple was buries inside the temple wall. The inside is clean and roomy enough for worshipping the Buddha. It can also used to demonstrate Sarigha monastic routine for students
Wat Ambhavan was in a small forest among lots of palmyra trees. The front of the old temple faced the Chao Phraya River. Now it has become the back because a new highway passes near the opposite side of the river and it is convenient to use that road entrance. The villagers near Wat Ambhavan were very poor, but now they have a better standard of education and work. We began this development by vipassana meditation, which is the refinement of the mind. We continued to improve. It is very important to follow the Buddhist principle. For example, the kitchen, dining hall and toilets must be convenient and clean. Therefore, I had the auditorium built for use as a center for religious education and the refinement of the mind. People can be successful if their minds are refined. Our friends near Wat Ambhavan and the Singburi people have followed Buddhist advice, so they are doing well, have good lives, with kindness and unity. This is reflected in social development. It is very important to have morality and refined mind so people can live peacefully in society. I have developed Wat Ambhavan by following Buddhist teachings. I provided all the necessary requisites, such as housing for monks, layman disciples, laywoman disciples, and suitable food, in accordance with the Buddhist precepts. The temple personnel are kind and polite to everybody.
We also pay close attention to vipassana meditation. Monks and novices must be leaders and good examples. These activities provide Dhamma to Buddhists. It agrees to the rules which stipulate that monks’ activities must be of benefit to people.
Any monk or novice who is ordained at this temple, no matter how long they are ordained, must refine their minds and act righteously according to the BuddhaDhamma. We also provide necessary requisites, such as housing for trainees. We have trained 200,000 lay people, monks and novices during these past four years. Somdej Phra Sangkhraja riyavongsakatanana of Wat Raj Bopitsathitmahasimaram has come here five times on the occasion of Sangha activities, such as the development of all temples in the kingdom, and training for the Sangha in the central region and in the rural area. Therefore, I have had to provide all necessary requisites for them by constructing more housing for lecturers. We have separate buildings for monks, nuns, layman disciples and laywoman disciples. We also have separate areas for meetings, merit making, meditation and for the management of the temple. In the meditation area, we do not allow guests. The routine in this area is to eat little, sleep little, speak little but practice hard.
The building that we are now in is the quest monks and lecturers to stay. It is convenient and proper for welcoming all the senior guest monks. Chao Khun Dhammachedi of Wat Dheptidaram, the head of the third Sangha District has seen to the best selection of this area.
The sponsors for this building were Mr. Boonthin Atthakorn, M.R. Khun Ying Panrueng Atthakorn, Dr. Ginggaew Atthakorn, and their relatives. This building is named after Mr. Boonthin “The Boonthin Atthakorn Building for Monks”. The purpose of this building is to especially provide convenience to guest monks and lecturers so that they can perform their duties efficiently. Trainees, monks, students and everyone can feel at ease, as they are provided with convenience comfort, safety and mental support, so that they can develop self-esteem and bring this mental support back with them after their training.
Mr. Boontin Atthakorn, M.R. Khun Ying Panrueng Atthakorn and Dr. Ginggaew have extened the merit of their sponsorship to M.C. Charatsom Kasemsan, as she had been very good to them and to the Kasemsan family.
This building is a seven-meter square, three-story building with lots of toilets. There is a hall on the ground floor. It is airy and comfortable.
Mr. Thanasak Yuwaboon, the governor of Singburi, is the organizer of the people who helped to raise the funds and maintain the building. There were other helping hands, such as the sheriff of Amphur Promburi and the district education superintendents.
The head of the Sangha district and the head of the subdivision Sangha district also helped, especially Chao Khun Phra Dhammananmuni of Wat Kawitsararam.
The head monk of Lopburi Sangha district has also been very kind in supporting this temple. He is also our guest lecturer for every training course, even though he is 84 years old. In the name of Wat Ambhavan, we express our gratitude to all of them.
I have devoted my life to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. I would like to give my oath that I will perform Sangha activities that contribute to the benefit and happiness of people. They should be able to rely on the Dhamma, which can be compared to celestial food.
Today is a very good day as we will make merit and offer it to M.C. Charatsom Kasemsan. I am very appreciative that you are presiding over the opening ceremony of the Boonthin Atthakorn Building for Monks. All of us here, including the sponsors, the governor, the president of the education board and the villagers, are very happy on this occasion. Now, it is the auspicious moment, please kindly officially open the building and give us a speech.
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