(Slave of the Buddha) went forth as a bhikkhu
(Buddhist monk) in 1926, at the age of
twenty. After a few years of study in Bangkok, he was inspired to live close
with nature in order to investigate the Buddha-Dhamma. Thus, he established Suan
Mokkhabalarama (The Grove of the Power of
Liberation) in 1932, near his hometown. At that time, it was the only
Forest dhamma Center and one of the few places dedicated to vipassana
(mental cultivation leading to "seeing
clearly" into reality) in Southern Thailand. Word of Buddhadasa
Bhikkhu, his work, and Suan Mokkh spread over the years so that now they are
easily described as "one of the most influential events of Buddhist history
in Siam." Here, we can only mention some of the more interesting services
he has rendered Buddhism.
Ajahn Buddhadasa has worked painstakingly to
establish and explain the correct and essential principles of original Buddhism.
That work is based in extensive research of the Pali texts (Canon and
commentary), especially of the Buddha's Discourses (sutta
pitaka), followed by
personal experiment and practice with these teachings. Then he has taught
whatever he can say truly quenches dukkha. His goal has been to produce a
complete set of references for present and future research and practice. His
approach has been always scientific, straight forward, and practical.
Although his formal education only went as far as
seventh grade and beginning Pali studies, he has been given five Honorary
doctorates by Thai universities. His books both written and transcribed from
talks, fill a room at the National Library and influence all serious Thai
Progressive elements in Thai society, especially
the young, have been inspired by his teaching and selfless example. Since the
1960's, activists and thinkers in areas such as education, social welfare, and
rural development have drawn upon his teaching and advice.
Since the founding of Suan Mokkh, he has studied
all schools of Buddhism, as well as the major religious traditions. This
interest is practical rather than scholarly. He seeks to unite all genuinely
religious people in order to work together to help free humanity by destroying
selfishness. This broadmindedness has won him friends and students from around
the world, including Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs.
he focuses his energies on his last project, establishing an International
Dhamma Hermitage. This addition to Suan Mokkh is intended to provide facilities
- courses which introduce friends, foreign and
Thai, to the natural truth explained in the Buddha's teachings and start them in
the Buddha's system of mental cultivation
- gatherings of representatives from the different
religious communities of Thailand (and later the world) in order to meet,
develop mutual good understanding, and cooperate for the sake of world peace
- meeting among Buddhists from around the world to
discuss and agree upon the "Heart of Buddhism"
Actual results must depend on Natural Law, as
Ajahn Buddhadasa and his helpers continue to explore the potential of mindfully
wise actions within Nature according to the Law of Nature. He welcomes visitors.