Chonburi marks 100th birthday of Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch


Chonburi is celebrating the 100th birthday of Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch by organizing three days of events at all provincial temples to promote the Buddhist dharma.

Gov. Khomsan Ekachai ordered the implementation of a Culture Ministry-mandated “morality awareness project” to take place Sept. 29-Oct. 3. The events mark the centennial of Charoen Khotchawat, or Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara as he was ordained.

Gov. Khomsan Ekachai leads ceremonies to mark the 100th birthday of Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch.Gov. Khomsan Ekachai leads ceremonies to mark the 100th birthday of Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch.

The activities aim to spread dharma to increase unity and harmony based on Buddhist principals.

Events consisted of dharma practices for up to five days, Sarira worshipping, alms offerings to 101 monks per district, ordination ceremonies, recitation of the Tripitaka, dharma recitation, and prayers.

Somdej Phra Nyanasamvara was born Charoen Gajavatra in Kanchanaburi Oct. 3, 1913. He was ordained at Wat Devasangharam in 1933. He subsequently moved to Wat Bovoranives Vihara in Bangkok to further his studies. It was here that he was ordained in the Dhammayut movement with the then Supreme Patriarch Somdej Khrom Luang Vajiranyanavangsa as his preceptor. He passed the exam for level 9 in Buddhist theology in 1941 and in 1972 was bestowed the title “Somdej Phra Nyanasamvara” by HM the King.

He devoted himself to the service of religion. He preached at many locations and has authored many academic books and papers on Buddhism which are highly valued. In 1956 Khrom Luang Vajiranyanavangsa chose him to be HM the King’s mentor during his time in the monkhood at Wat Bovoranives Vihara. Somdej Phra Nyanasamvara has kept to the ways of the Buddhist religious precepts of behavior, wisdom and mindfulness. He is pure and holy.

As a result of all his good works he was finally bestowed the title of His Holiness Somdej Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of Thai Sangha on April 21, 1989, the 19th Supreme Patriarch of the Rattanakosin Era.