Luang Phor Ngern

Luang Phor Ngern

by Jun Wei

Luang Phor Ngern was born on 16th September BE 2433 in Don Yai Hom, Amphoe Meuang, Nakom Pathom province.

On 18th May BE 2453, at the age of 20 he was ordained as a monk. Luang Phor Ngern would say his prayers to Buddha every morning and study the Buddhist scriptures. Later on, Luang Phor Ngern started to learn meditation and would often travel to cemeteries and nearby vicinity to meditate in seclusion until Khao Pansa.

When Khao Pansa started, Luang Phor Ngern had this notion of going to Tudong to achieve seclusion. The purpose was to eradicate mental intoxication or desire in oneself. This was not an easy task, as Luang Phor Ngern would travel by means of foot with a meal as his companion. Luang Phor Ngern started his journey by heading to the north towards Lopburi Province. Then from Lopburi Province, he headed towards Nakhon Sawan Province. During his journey, Luang Phor Ngern will say his prayers to Buddha, meditate and extend compassion to all living creatures. He will gladly offer his body to any fierce predators in the forest as a form of religious offering. It is believed that Luang Phor Ngern's Baramee was so great that he was unharmed during his journey. And once he starts meditating, many animals including tigers and elephants will head to his location. From here, one could observe that Luang Phor Ngern was able to extend compassion to dangerous animals.

A farmer once came across Luang Phor Ngern meditating near a swamp, and begged Luang Phor Ngern to not meditate there due to various dangerous animals like crocodiles and snakes nearby. Luang Phor Ngern replied "if there is danger, I am not afraid as I am willing to dedicate my body to the animals to ease their hunger." The farmer was shocked and left Luang Phor Ngern alone there for the night. The next day, the farmer rushed back to the swamp and was amazed to find Luang Phor Ngern still alive. He immediately went back home to prepare food offerings to bring to Luang Phor Ngern.

Once Luang Phor Ngern went back to Wat Don Yai Hom, he was offered the position of abbot, but he declined as he mentioned he was still too young for the position of an abbot. Back then, Wat Don Yai Hom was in a rundown state and the abbot had been ill for years. After the abbot passed away in BE 2466, the villagers and temple committee came together to cast their votes for the appointment of the next abbot of Wat Don Yai Hom. The majority voted for Luang Phor Ngern and thus he was appointed as the abbot of Wat Don Yai Hom.

Luang Phor Ngern's first priority was to begin the restoration of Wat Don Yai Hom and the monk living quarters. The ubosot was stained and dirty, villages started to donate to lay the foundations for a new ubosot. Next, the villages restored the monk's Kuti to proper living standards. After season harvest, Luang Phor Ngern asked the villages to solicit donations to provide shovelling tools to help dig an oil ditch, to unearth bright, clean water.

Once the temple was restored, Luang Phor Ngern dedicated his time and attention to teach novice monks Tripitaka. He also invited monks to his temple to spread Dharma.

Luang Phor Ngern cared and concerned a lot for the villagers as he was concerned for their wellbeing and health. Back then, people bitten by the snake were not able to receive treatments and would pass away. In BE 2494, Luang Phor Ngern instructed his brother and the temple committee to purchase a piece of land to build a hospital. After the hospital was built, the villagers can seek treatment there, avoiding unnecessary death.

Luang Phor Ngern was very concerned about the education of youths in Tambon Don Yai Hom. In  BE 2496, he was able to raise funds (approximately 1.6 million baht) to build a 2-storied building school. Even though huge sums of money were involved, the virtue and goodness emanating from Luang Phor Ngern gave the village huge confidence and trust in Luang Phor Ngern to join in this merit making together.

In BE 2472, Luang Phor  Ngern appointed deputy to the head of the monk's order in Nakom Pathom.

In BE 2504, Luang Phor Ngern received Royal Fan from the present King Rama 9.

Luang Phor Ngern started to fall ill and passed away on BE 2520 at the age of 86, having served 66 years in Buddhism.

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