Luang Phor Ban

Luang Phor Ban

by Jun Wei

At the age of 15, Luang Phor Ban Wat Mae Ya was ordained as a novice in BE 2450 at Wat Sandonrom. At that time, his Upachaya Ordaining Officer was Luang Phor Ma. Shortly after that, Luang Phor Ban went to Wat Pradtuli (known as Wat Sangkaram now). 

However, Luang Phor Ban’s relatives started to ask him to disrobe to come to help them out with their farming work yet Luang Phor Ban refused to do so and went to Wat Chai Mongkol. 

Meanwhile at the same time, Kruba Srivichai also was at Wat Chai Mongkol to preside over the building of Vihara Shrine and a Chedi relic Stupa. Luang Phor Ban had the opportunity to assist Kruba Srivichai in these tasks and by the time all these tasks were completed Luang Phor Ban was already 22 years old whereby he then was ordained as a monk. In fact, Luang Phor Ban came from an impoverished household and that was the reason why he was unable to ordain as a monk when he reached the appropriate age and remains to be a novice up till the age of 22. Jao Rachapatigawongs felt sorry for him and offered to be his guarantor and pay for his robes and the costs of the ordination ceremony as a fully fledged Bhikkhu.

Kruba Gandta Wat Pratat Haripunchai in Lampun was his Upachaya together with Kruba Gandawongs and Kruba Dtan as his ‘Koo Suad’ (two monks are appointed to prompt a Bhikkhu who is being ordained in the long ceremony of chanting which is not allowed to be read from a book, rather it must be chanted from the memory of one).

After his ordination, Luang Phor Ban stayed Wat Chai Mongkol for several years before he travelled outwards to Tak Province and continued his Tudong through Lampun Province and into Lampang Province seeking experience in solitude. During his Tudong wandering, Luang Phor Ban met Luang Phor Fa Yuean who was on his way to pay reverence to the Relic Stupa in Tagong in Burma.

Luang Phor Ban then asked Luang Phor Fa Yuean whether he could accompany him by travelling back through Tak and Mae Sod Province and entering Burma through the forests. Once they had reached the Relic Stupa at Tagong and paid reverence. Luang Phor Ban returned back to Tak Province before the beginning of the rainy season to find a temple to stay in during the Khao Pansa rainy retreat (monks are not allowed to wander during the rainy retreats).

Luang Phor Ban then decided to stay at Wat Praw during the retreat and started to gather more experience and developed his practices there, until after the retreat was over. After that, he moved on to Wat Dong Yang in Ban Tak where he stayed there for an year. Afterwards, Luang Phor Ban moved to gather more experience and develop Wicha and his practices of Austerities at Wat Pha Yang Ging, in Sam Ngao Tak Province. During the period when Luang Phor Ban was staying there, the abbot of Wat Pha Yang Ging passed away and the devotees and local Sangha asked Luang Phor Ban to be the abbot of Wat Pha Yang Ging for a while until they could find his successor. Hence, Luang Phor Ban agreed to do the duties until a new abbot was appointed and after the new abbot was appointed. Luang Phu Ban was asked to go to Wat Hua Ban (a temple that is now deserted in the present day).

Luang Phor Ban stayed at Wat Hua Ban for 2 years but he was hit with Malaria and became very ill. Kruba Inta Wat Pha Yang came to look for him and took Luang Phor Ban to Wat Mae Ya and be taken care of until he was recovered. 

Once Luang Phor Ban had recovered from Malaria, he remained at Wat Mae Ya for many years as one of the temple monks. Until one day, the abbot of Wat Mae Ya passed away and Luang Phor Ban was appointed as the new abbot and he stayed at Wat Mae Ya until he passed on at the age of 102 after spending 80 Pansa as a buddhist monk.

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