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Thailand was home to many highly revered monks during the 20th century, Buddhist monks whose renown spread throughout Thailand, as well as in neighboring countries such as Laos, Burma, and Cambodia. The most famous monk in Thailand during this period was Ajahn Mun, co-founder of the forest tradition of Thai Buddhism.

The Northeast of Thailand, especially the mountain province of Sakon Nakhon, played an integral role in the development of the forest tradition, with many well-known monks having been born and ordained in Sakon Nakhon, or who spent significant time at the province’s temples — including Ajahn Mun, who spent his final years at Wat Pa Phurithatta Thirawat.

As you visit the Thai temples of Isan (Northeast Thailand), you will see statues of these revered Thai monks, many of whom studied directly under Ajahn Mun or under one of his disciples. So, we have created a “Guide to the Famous Monks of Thailand” to help you identify the statues you see. The statues of some of these monks (such as Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Thate, and Ajahn Fan Acharo) also appear at temples in other regions of Thailand.

While browsing the names of these Thai monks, please note that the English spelling is just an approximation, with many of these monks never before having had their names spelled in English. There are no firm set of rules for spelling Thai names in English, and thus no such thing as consistency when choosing which letters to use.

For example, Ajahn Mun (with a “u”) is the most common way to spell his name in English. But you’ll also find articles and books that spell his name as Ajahn Man (with an “a”) — phonetically the “Mun” spelling is closer to being correct.

So, we had to take different things into consideration when choosing our English spellings, including how Thais will often spell a name in English that is confusing phonetically. For example, we just mentioned how an “uh” sound can be spelled with the letter a, as is sometimes the case with Ajahn Man. And when the letter “k” begins a name, as in Ajahn Sao Kantasilo, it is spoken as a hard “g” sound. There are many other examples.

So, if you want to be sure that you are pronouncing accurately the name of any of these Buddhist monks, you should paste their Thai name into Google Translate and use the voice playback function, or paste the name into the SayHi Translate app, which is our choice for the best Thai to English translation app.

Lastly, a word about the different titles that are attached to the names of these famous Thai monks. The title “Ajahn” or “Ajarn” (อาจารย์มั่น) is a title that could be used to refer to any Thai monk, but it is generally reserved for more senior monks and highlights their role as a revered teacher. That same title is used to refer to university professors in Thailand. The title “Phra” is one that is used for all monks, and also can be used before the title “Ajahn” (i.e. Pra Ajahn).

The most elder monks (or deceased monks) are referred to as “Luang Pu” (หลวงปู่), which means revered Grandfather.

The title “Phra Khru” is a rank in Thailand’s Ecclesiastical Peerage system. If a monk has received a peerage title it often means they have served an important administrative position in Thailand’s Order of Buddhist Monks. When a monk receives a peerage such a Phra Khru or Phra Raja, they are given a new royally sanctioned name, which is why some monks below have two names that they are known by.

 

Guide to Famous Thai Monk Statues

The statues of the Thai monks below appear in a cave at Wat Phu Tok in Bueng Kan province (Northeast Thailand).

 

พระ อาจารย์ มั่น ภูริทัตโต

Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta (พระอาจารย์มั่น ภูริทัตโต) was co-founder of the ascetic forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism in Thailand. He was born in Ubon Ratchathani in 1870. He wandered many of the forests of Northeast Thailand, as well as in the neighboring countries of Burma and Laos. First viewed as a renegade wandering monk, he would eventually become one of Buddhism’s most respected figures. Despite his strict, ascetic practices (which included waking up at 3am every day to meditate), he gathered an enormous following. There is a shrine to him at Wat Pa Sutthawat in Sakon Nakhon, where he passed away in 1949.

 

พระพุทธพจนวราภรณ์ (จันทร์ กุสโล) Thai Monk

Phra Phut Pojanawaraporn (พระพุทธพจนวราภรณ์), also known as Luang Pu Chan Gutalo (หลวงปู่จันทร์ กุสโล) was so beloved that he was referred to as “The North Star that Never Goes Out”. As a monk he took on the additional roles of rural developer, writer, poet, and missionary, working tirelessly for the well-being of the people. He established a Foundation for Mercy Studies, and all of his work was driven by a philosophy of kindness. His life was a living testament to the belief that being a Thai monk is much more than meditation and personal liberation from suffering: it involves the constant effort to improve the lives of those around you, while alleviating their physical, spiritual, and mental pain. He was born in the upper Northern province of Lamphun in 1917, and eventually became the Ecclesiastical Regional Governor of Chiang Mai, as well as the abbot of Wat Pa Darapirom and Wat Chedi Luang. He passed away in 2008.

 

พระครูวิเวกพุทธกิจ (เสาร์ กนฺตสีโล) Thai Monk

Ajahn Sao Kantasilo (พระอาจารย์เสาร์ กนฺตสีโล), also known as Phra Khru Wiwek Phutthakit, was a teacher of Ajahn Mun, and the two together would wander through many of the forests of Isaan. It was from Ajahn Sao that Ajahn Mun learned the importance of being diligent, systematic, and consistent in his daily practices of meditation and virtuous living, for only then do such Dharma practices become a habit and internalized. Known as the “Grandmaster of Menditation” (พระปรมาจารย์กรรมฐาน), he passed away at a monastery in Southwestern Laos in 1942.

 

พระราชนิโรธรังสีคัมภีรปัญญาวิศิษฏ์ (เทสก์ เทสรสี)

Ajahn Thate Desaransi (พระอาจารย์เทสก์ เทสรสี), also known by his Royal monastic title Phra Rajanirodharangsi Gambhirapanyavisiddhi (พระราชนิโรธรังสีคัมภีรปัญญาวิศิษฏ์) was a Thai Buddhist meditation master. He gained an acute understanding of the workings of the mind, after his many years of meditation in the forests of Isan. After the death of Ajahn Mun in 1949, he was considered the head (Ajahn Yai) of the Thai Forest Tradition until his death in 1994. His cremation ceremony was led by King Bhumibol the Great. A memorial to Ajahn Thate is located at the mountain temple Wat Tham Kham in Sakon Nakhon.

 

Famous Thai Monks - มหาบัว

Phra Thammawisuddhimongkol (พระธรรมวิสุทธิมงคล) is popularly known by the name Ajahn Maha Bua (อาจารย์มหาบัว). He served Ajahn Mun in his later years and was the first Thai monk to record the history of Ajahn Mun in a detailed biography. He also wrote many other books on Buddhism and Thai patriotism, such as “Buddhism Preserving the Thai Nation” and “The King is the Heart of the Thai Nation”. He was a meditation master who had a firm, decisive, and serious mindset that many monks compared to that of his mentor. He often visited hospitals with donations, and always showed great concern for the health, safety, and prosperity of the Thai people. He built the temple Wat Pa Ban Tad in his mother’s village in Udon Thani, where he grew up.

Note that the Thai monastic title Maha means “Great” and is given to a Thai monk who passed the third level of the Pali exams, the Pali language being the one in which the body of scriptures central to the Theravada school of Buddhism were written.

 

หลวงปู่ฝั้น อาจาโร

Ajahn Fun Acharo (พระอาจารย์ ฝั้นอาจาโร) is perhaps Sakon Nakhon’s most famous monk. A beautiful museum pagoda honoring his life is located at Wat Pha Udom Somporn in the Phanna Nikhom district. It is also the temple where he died in 1977. Immediately following his death, his body was visited by the King and Queen of Thailand, who offered holy bathing water to prepare the body for cremation. Ajahn Fan came from a family with noble lineage, and he worked in the government before becoming a monk. During the 1920s he traveled and meditated with Ajahn Mun. He once famously said, “Everyone will one day enter a great war, that is, to fight the Death King. At that time, each person must fight for himself and must fight alone. The only weapon we have is our consciousness.”

 

พระอาจารย์ แหวน สุจิณโณ Thai Monk

Ajahn Waen Suchinno (พระอาจารย์ แหวน สุจิณโณ) was an early disciple of Ajahn Mun who attracted the Royal Patronage of King Bhumibol the Great. He was born in Loei and eventually moved to Chiang Mai. He spent the final decades of his life at Wat Doi Mae Pang, where he lived quietly practicing the Dharma. A pilot of the Royal Thai Air Force is said to have seen Luang Pu Waen miraculously meditating in the sky. News of the flying Thai monk spread throughout the country. Years later a wax statue of the miraculous monk was made by Madame Toussads of London.

 

หลวงปู่ทวด พระราชมุนีสามีรามคุณูปมาจารย์

Luang Pu Thuat (หลวงปู่ทวด พระราชมุนีสามีรามคุณูปมาจารย์) was a monk from the South of Thailand who lived during the 1600s and was said to possess miraculous powers. Thais and other people in Southeast Asia believe that amulets etched with his likeness will keep you safe in any situation. There is a large stone sculpture of him at the famous Wat Tham Pha Daen temple in Sakon Nakhon.

 

พระสุทธิธรรมรังสีคัมภีรเมธาจารย์ (ลี ธมมธโร)

Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo (พระอาจารย์ลี ธมมธโร), also known as Phra Suddhidhammaransi Gambhiramedhacarya (พระสุทธิธรรมรังสีคัมภีรเมธาจารย์), is regarded as one of Ajahn Mun’s greatest disciples. He was a master of meditation who wrote detailed instructions that had never before been written down in such a comprehensive manner. His students said that his mastery of meditation caused him to have psychic powers that his humility never allowed him to discuss but could be witnessed by those who were close to him. He was born in Ubon Ratchathani Province and traveled to Cambodia, Burma, and India during his life as a monk. He built Wat Asokaram in Samut Prakan province (Central Thailand) in 1962, and the temple’s famous Phra Thutangkha Chedi.

 

พระอาจารย์ จวน กุลเชฏโฐ Thai Monk

Ajahn Juan Kulchetto (พระอาจารย์ จวน กุลเชฏโฐ) was born in Ubon Ratchathani province but became well-known for building the most famous temple in Bueng Kan province and one of the most amazing temples in Thailand: Wat Phu Tok, which covers 7 levels of staircases and walkways built into the side of an isolated sandstone mountain. He studied under Ajahn Mun, spent many years meditating in the Isan forests, and experienced many visions and wild dreams. He tragically died in a plane crash in 1980.

 

พระอุดม สังวรวิสุทธิเถร (วัน อุตตโม Thai Monk

Phra Udom Sangvara Wisutthera (พระอุดม สังวรวิสุทธิเถร), also known as Ajahn Wan Uttamo (พระอาจารย์วัน อุตตโม), was ordained as a novice at the age of 15 at Wat Si Bunrueang in the Sawang Daen Din district of Sakon Nakhon. He gained fame as “the monk who can walk through bullets” when one night in 1970 he miraculously walked through a hail of gunfire in the forest, as soldiers mistakenly had thought he was a communist terrorist insurgent. He tragically died in a plane crash in 1980. Following his death his was honored by a merit making ceremony lead by the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand and General Prem Tinsulanonda. There is a museum named Phiphitthaphan Phra Ajahn Wan Uttamo which houses relics that are located in the Song Sao district of Sakon Nakhon.

 

พระญาณวิศิษฏ์สมิทธิวีราจารย์ (สิงห์ ขนฺตยาคโม)

Phra Yanwisit Smithi Weerachan (พระญาณวิศิษฏ์สมิทธิวีราจารย์) is also known as Luang Pu Sing Khantayakamo (หลวงปู่สิงห์ ขนฺตยาคโม). He is considered an important disciple of Ajahn Mun’s, who he went to study with at the Wat Burapharam temple in Ubon Ratchathani. He hiked through many of the forests of Sakon Nakhon, Mukdahan, and Nakhon Phanom during the 1920s, staying at times with Luang Pu Sao Kantasilo. He restored the temple Wat Pak Kraphok in Prachin Buri province (Central Thailand) and built Wat Pa Suwan Phairot in Chaiyaphum province (Northeast Thailand).

 

พระอาจารย์สุพัฒน์ สุขกาโม Thai Monk

Ajahn Suphat Sukkamo (พระอาจารย์สุพัฒน์ สุขกาโม) was an Isan forest monk who mastered Vipassana meditation, one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation, which allows its practitioners to “see things as they really are”. He was noted for living a highly disciplined life, and stayed at various temples in the Northeast, including the provinces of Mukdahan, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, and his home province of Sakon Nakhon.

 

พระราชสังวรญาณ (พุธ ฐานิโย) Thai Monk

Phra Raja Sangwon Yan (พระราชสังวรญาณ), also known as Ajahn Puth Thaniyo (อาจารย์พุธ ฐานิโย), was born in the central Thai province of Saraburi but moved in early childhood to Sakon Nakhon. He is noted for the hands-on work he did to support his community: building a Royal school, establishing a school foundation, donating money to hospitals for new medical equipment, and delivering compelling lectures on the Dharma. He was the Ecclesiastical Regional Governor of Sisaket province, and the former abbot of Wat Pa Saen Samran in Ubon Ratchathani and Wat Pa Salawan in Korat.

 

พระอาจารย์ชอบ ฐานสโม Thai Monk

Ajahn Chob Thansamo (พระอาจารย์ชอบ ฐานสโม) was a Loei monk and mystic who allegedly could see mysterious things that ordinary people couldn’t see, such as angels, angels, Indra, Brahma, Yaksha giants, Naga serpents, ghosts, and many demons, even the thoughts and feelings in the hearts of people. He lead the building of temples in Loei, Chiang Mai, and Laos. He passed away at Wat Pa Khok Mon in Loei in 1995 at the age of 93.

 

พระครูฐิติธรรมญาณ Thai Monk

Phra Khru Thithammayan (พระครูฐิติธรรมญาณ) is also known as Luang Pu Lee Thitammo. He was the former abbot of Wat Heo Luek, also called Wat Thiti Thammaram (วัดฐิติธรรมาราม), and the former abbot of Wat Si Chomphu in the Sawang Daen Din district of Sakon Nakhon.

 

พระอาจารย์ สิงห์ทอง ธมฺมวโร Thai Monk

Phra Ajahn Singthong Thammavaro (พระอาจารย์ สิงห์ทอง ธมฺมวโร) was the first disciple of Ajahn Maha Bua (ลวงตามหาบัว ญาณสัมปันโน), who was considered one of the greatest disciples of Ajahn Mun and a carrier of the forest tradition torch when his mentor passed away. Phra Ajahn Singthong was from the Northeastern Thai province of Amnat Charoen, and the former abbot of Wat Pa Kaew Chumphon (วัดป่าแก้วชุมพล) in Sakon Nakhon.

 

พระราชวุฒาจารย์ (ดูลย์ อตุโล) Thai Monk

Phra Raja Wutthajan (พระราชวุฒาจารย์), also known as Luang Pu Doon Atulo (หลวงปู่ดูลย์ อตุโล), was a disciple of Ajahn Mun and the former Ecclesiastical Regional Governor of Surin province. His teachings emphasized that you should pay no concern about whether there is a future life, or a heaven and hell, but that you should focus on being virtuous, kind, and wise now. If you do that, you won’t have anything to worry about after you die. Thailand’s Royal Family attended his cremation ceremony 1983, the revered monk passing away at the age of 96.

 

พระครูภาวนากิจโกศล (สอ พันธุโล) Thai Monk

Phra Khru Phawanakijkoso (พระครูภาวนากิจโกศล), also known as Luang Pu So Phanthulo (หลวงปู่สอ พันธุโล), is an Isaan monk from Ubon Ratchathani Province, which borders both Laos and Cambodia. As a layperson he was noted as being a fun-loving, cheerful person who could get along with everyone in a group. And he brought that happy disposition with him into the monkhood, while also becoming well-known for his patience, diligence, and perseverance. There is a statue of him at Wat Pa Ban Nong Saeng in Yasathon province, where he once lived.

 

พระครูวิมลญาณวิจิตร (บุญชินวโส)

Phra Khru Wimonyanwijit (พระครูวิมลญาณวิจิตร), also known as Luang Pu Boon Chinwaso (หลวงปู่บุญชินวโส), was a Sakon Nakhon monk who was a follower of Ajahn Mun. His ashes are held at Wat Pa Si Sawang in Sakon Nakhon. There are coins with his image on one side and the temple on the other which are collected as sacred objects.

 

พระครูปัญญาวิสุทธิ์ (บัวพา ปัญญาภาโส)

Phra Khru Panyawisut (พระครูปัญญาวิสุทธิ์), also known as Luang Pu Buapha Panyapaso (หลวงปู่บัวพา ปัญญาภาโส), was a senior disciple and attendant to Ajahn Sao Kantasilo (พระอาจารย์เสาร์ กันตสีโล), whose students included Ajahn Mun. He stayed the final years of his life at Wat Pa Phra Sathit in Nong Khai province, where he was born.

 

พระอุบาลีคุณปรมาจารย์ (จันทร์ สิริจนฺโท)

Phra Upali Kunupamajarn (พระอุบาลีคุณปรมาจารย์), also known as Luang Pu Chan Sirichantho (หลวงปู่จันทร์ สิริจนฺโท), was an Ubon Ratchathani monk and former abbot of Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan in Chiang Mai and Wat Boromniwat Ratchaworawihan in Bangkok. He is noted for the important leadership roles he played in advancing modern education in both monastic and secular areas during the early 1900s under the reigns of King Chulalongkorn and King Vajiravudh.

 

พระโพธิธรรมาจารย์ Thai Monk

Phra Bodhi Thammachan (พระโพธิธรรมาจารย์) was a revered Isaan monk from the province of Surin, which is located in the lower part of Northeastern Thailand. For 4 years during the 1940s, he was the attendant to Ajahn Fun Acharo, the senior disciple of Ajahn Mun. He was the former abbot of Wat Sala Loi (วัดศาลาลอย) in Surin.

 

พระเทพสิทธาจารย์ (จันทร์ เขมิโย)

Phra Thepsidthachan (พระเทพสิทธาจารย์), also known as Luang Pu Chan Kemiyo (หลวงปู่จันทร์ เขมิโย), was a Nakhon Phanom monk who during his early days after ordination was known for his handsomeness and having to move often to escape the unwanted advances of women. In his later years, he was known for his eloquent sermons on mindfulness and the Dharma. On passing away in 1973 at the age of 92, his cremation ceremony was overseen by the King and Queen of Thailand, and the Supreme Patriarch.

 

พระอาจารย์ บุญเพ็ง เขมาภิรโต Thai Monk

Ajahn Boonpheng Khemapirato (พระอาจารย์บุญเพ็ง เขมาภิรโต) was the former abbot of Wat Tham Klong Phen, which is located at the foot of the Phu Phan mountains. It is the most famous temple in Nong Bua Lam Phu province, which is located in the upper Western corner of Northeastern Thailand. He was born in Yasathon and lived and studied with Ajahn Mun during the final 4 years of his mentor’s life. He was noted for being very adept at teaching villagers to be someone who thinks good, does good, speaks good, and does not harm others.

 

พระอริยเวที (เขียน ฐิตสีโล) Thai Monk

Phra Ariyawethi (พระอริยเวที), also known as Maha Khian Thitsilo (มหาเขียน ฐิตสีโล), was a monk from Kalasin province and the former abbot of Wat Sutthachinda in Korat and Wat Rangsi Paliwan in Kalasin, as well the Ecclesiastical Regional Governor of Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) Province.

 

พระอาจารย์ สาม อกิญจโน Thai Monk

Ajahn Sahm Akinchano (พระอาจารย์ สาม อกิญจโน) is a revered Northeastern monk from Surin province who studied under Ajahn Mun and Luang Pu Tesk Tesrangsi (another famous Buddhist teacher in the Isan region). He watched over Ajahn Mun during the final months of his mentor’s life and oversaw his cremation. He traveled widely throughout Thailand during his monkhood, including time spent with the Karen tribes in the North and at Phuket temples in the South.

 

พระอาจารย์ มหาบุญมี สิริธโร

Ajahn Maha Boonmee Siritharo (พระอาจารย์ มหาบุญมี สิริธโร) was a monk from Maha Sarakham, which is centrally located in the Isan region. ALthough he had left school at the 2nd grade to help with his family’s farm, he was noted for being a quick learner when he joined the monkhood, acheiving advanced degress in his studies. He did residencies at several temples in the Northeast before coming back to Maha Sarakham and spending his final years at Wat Pa Wang Loeng.

 

พระเทพวิสุทธิมงคล (ศรี มหาวีโร)

Phra Thep Wisutthi Mongkon (พระเทพวิสุทธิมงคล), also known as Luang Pu Sri Maha Wiro (หลวงปู่ศรี มหาวีโร), was a former abbot of Wat Prachakhom Wanaram in Roi Et province, which is located in central Isan. His name “Maha Wiro” means the very brave one. That is, the one who has the courage to dive deep within themselves and destroy their passions. One of the many constructions projects he led was the building of a beautiful stone pagoda at Wat Pa Kung in Roi Et. He was the last direct disciple of Ajahn Mun, before passing away in 2011.

 

พระครูพิพิธธรรมสุนทร (พระอาจารย์ คำพอง เขมจาโร)

Phra Khru Pipitthammasunthorn (พระครูพิพิธธรรมสุนทร), also known as Ajahn Khamfong Khemjaro (พระอาจารย์ คำพอง เขมจาโร). He was born in Sakon Nakhon and served as a monk and Buddhist administrator in the province. He was highly revered by villagers, conducting many charitable works. He spent his final years at Wat Si Samran in the Nawon Niwat district of Sakon Nakhon.

 

พระอาจารย์ พรหม จิรปุญโญ Thai Monk

Ajahn Phrom Jirapoonyo (พระอาจารย์ พรหม จิรปุญโญ) was born in the Sawang Daen Din district of Sakon Nakhon. He traveled to the forests of Chiang Mai, sought the mentorship of Ajahn Mun, and returned back to Sakon Nakhon to reside at Wat Prasittham (วัดประสิทธิธรรม) for the remainder of his life.

 

พระครูบริบาลสังฆกิจ (หลวงปู่อุ่น อุตฺตโม)

Phra Khru Boriban Sangkhakit (พระครูบริบาลสังฆกิจ), also known as Luang Pu Un Uttamo (หลวงปู่อุ่น อุตฺตโม), was a Sakon Nakhon monk who specialized in Vipassana meditation and was noted for his remarkable will power. His relics and ashes are housed in a museum at Wat Udon Rattanaram in Sakon Nakhon. His image has been etched on sacred amulets.

 

พระญาณสิทธาจารย์ (พระอาจารย์ทองพูล สิริกาโม)

Ajahn Thong Poon Sirikamo (พระอาจารย์ทองพูล สิริกาโม) was also called Phra Yannasitthachan (พระญาณสิทธาจารย์). He was born in Sakon Nakhon and studied under leading forest tradition monks of the 1950s. He became noted for his high discipline, being able to regularly fast for long periods of time. He established the temple Wat Samakkhi Upatham in Bueng Kan province.

 

พระครูศาสนูปกรณ์ (บุญจันทร์ กมโล)

Phra Khru Sasanupakorn (พระครูศาสนูปกรณ์), also known as Luang Pu Boonchan Kamlo (หลวงปู่บุญจันทร์ กมโล), was an Udon Thani forest monk renowned for his moral teaching. He made pilgrimages in the 1930s to learn under the leading Buddhist teachers of Northeast Thailand. He led the building of a new forest temple Wat Pa Santikawat in the Chai Wan District of Udon Thani.

 

พระอาจารย์ แตงอ่อน กลฺยาณธมฺโม Thai Monk

Ajahn Taeng-On Kalayayanadhammo (พระอาจารย์แตงอ่อน กลฺยาณธมฺโม) was from the Phanna Nikhom district of Sakon Nakhon. He studied under Ajahn Mun for 2 years, and visited with him shortly before his death. He emphasized the virtues of kindness, discretion, calmness, solitude, modesty, humility, and living the simple life. He passed away at Wat Galayanathammo in the Wanon Niwat district of Sakon Nakhon at the age of 92.

 

พระอาจารย์ อ่อน ญาณสิริ Thai Monk

Ajahn On Yannasiri (พระอาจารย์ อ่อน ญาณสิริ) was the former abbot of Wat Pa Nikhotharam in Udon Thani province. He established a large (and now famous) meditation garden at this temple, which is located in his hometown of Ban Nong Bua Ban. Before his death in 1981, many Buddhist monks had been ordained at the temple, under his guidance, and became highly notable monks in their own right.

 

พระอาจารย์ กงมา จิรปุญโญ Thai Monk

Ajahn Kongma Jirapunyo (พระอาจารย์ กงมา จิรปุญโญ) is an Isaan monk who founded Wat Doi Dhammachedi, one of the most impressive temples in Sakon Nakhon. He stayed with Ajahn Mun during the Buddhist Lent period of 1926, and spent much of the 1930s on pilgrimages in Isan. During his life he had many notable disciples, such as Phra Bhawana Wisutthiyan Thera (Ben Thanakro), the current abbot of Wat Doi Dhammachedi, which attracted monks from throughout the Kingdom when Ajahn Kongma was alive and teaching the Dharma there.

 

พระอาจารย์ เพ็ง เตชะพโส Thai Monk

Ajahn Peng Techapaso (พระอาจารย์ เพ็ง เตชพโล) was a devout Isaan monk from Bueng Kan province. He spent much of his time in the Phu Langka National Forest.

 

พระสุธรรมคณาจารย์ (พระอาจารย์เหรียญ วรลาโภ)

Phra Suthammakanajarn (พระสุธรรมคณาจารย์), also known as Ajahn Rian Woralapho (พระอาจารย์เหรียญ วรลาโภ), was born in Chiang Mai, but moved to Nong Khai province during his childhood and was ordained in Isaan. In 1938 he went on a pilgrimage to the South of Thailand for 8 years with Luang Pu Tesk Tesrangsi. For the last 45 years of his life, he stayed at Wat Aranyabanpot in Nong Khai.

 

พระครูญาณทีสสี (คำดี ปภาโส) Thai Monk

Phra Khru Yantassi (พระครูญาณทีสสี), also called Luang Pu Khamdee Paphaso (หลวงปู่คำดี ปภาโส), was a disciple of Ajahn Mun and Luang Pu Sao Kantasilo. He taught that one had to be rugged both internally and externally. He was said to have been afflicted with extreme lust and passions in his youth, and that he had attempted suicide several times. He overcame these destructive forces through meditation, following diligently the noble precepts, and gaining advice from Ajahm Maha Bua while at Wat Tham Pha Pu in Loei province, a temple which he later helped to develop.

 

พระครูปราโมทย์ธรรมธาดา (หลอด ปโมทิโต)

Phra Khru Pramote Thammathada (พระครูปราโมทย์ธรรมธาดา), otherwise known as Luang Pu Lod Pamothito (หลวงปู่หลอด ปโมทิโต), was an Isaan monk who spentd his early years as a monk at the well-known temple Wat Phothisomphon in Udon Thani, which was a sign of good fortune because many highly revered elder monks taugh there at that time (1936-1939). He once lived in caves at the foot of the Phu Phan mountains in Sakon Nakhon. While there, he persuaded the villagers of Ban Kuan Bun to convert from worshipping ghosts to Lord Buddha. He was appointed by His Majesty King Bhumbibol and Queen Sirikit to be the abbot of Wat Siri Kamala Vas in Bangkok in 1974.

 

พระอาจารย์ บุญหนา ธมมทินโน Thai Monk

Ajahn Boonna Thamthinno (พระอาจารย์ บุญหนา ธมมทินโน) was a Sakon Nakhon monk who worshiped with Ajahn Mun at Wat Pa Phurithattiwat in the Phanna Nikhom district. He later became the abbot of Wat Pa Sotthiphon in the same district. His teachings emphasized that one must be mindful of body, speech, and thoughts in conjunction with each other to achieve virtue and behave appropriately.

 

พระครูสุวัณโณปมคุณ (คำพอง ติสโส)

Phra Khru Suwannopanakhun (พระครูสุวัณโณปมคุณ), otherwise known as Luang Pu Kham Phong Tisso (หลวงปู่คำพอง ติสโส), was a well known meditation master in Northeast Thailand and a former abbot of Wat Rat Yothi in Phang Nga province in Southern Thailand, as well as chief monk at Wat Tham Kok Du in Udon Thani. He was born in Ubon Ratchathani, and studied under Ajahn Mun from 1946 until the his death in 1949. Afterwards he went to the South of Thailand before returning to the Northeast. He was known for being straightforward, outspoken, serious, and sincere, but also unattached and patient.

 

พระอาจารย์ จันทร์ เขมปัตโต Thai Monk

Ajahn Chan Khempatto (พระอาจารย์จันทร์ เขมปัตโต) was born in Ubon Ratchathani Province and studied under Ajahn Mun in Sakon Nakhon and Ubon. He assisted in the building of many temples, including Wat Pa Sai Ngam and Wat Wat Saranat Thammaram in Chanthaburi, and Wat Saranat Thammaram in Rayong, and he helped restore Wat Arun Rangsri and Wat Chantraram in Nong Khai, Wat Pa Ban Fang in Khon Kaen, and Wat Pa Salawan in Nakhon Ratchasima.

 

พระอาจารย์ บุญมา คัมภีรธัมโม Thai Monk

Ajahn Boonma Kam Phirathamo (พระอาจารย์ บุญมา คัมภีรธัมโม) was a Sakon Nakhon monk noted for his high discipline of body and mind. Before joining the monkhood he had married and had a child. But then after death struck his sister, mother, and wife within about a year, he joined the monkhood to quiet his mind and internal suffering. He spent his final years at Wat Pa Si Phanom (Wat Kham Moo) in Sakon Nakhon.

 

พระอาจารย์ หล้า เขมปตฺโต Thai Monk

Ajahn La Khempatto (พระอาจารย์ หล้า เขมปตฺโต) was an Udon Thani monk who was very charismatic and beloved for the mercy of his teachings. He studied under Ajahn Mun at Wat Pho Chai in Udon Thani when the elder monk returned from his pilrgimage to Chiang Mai. He was responsbile for such duties as washing and dying his mentors robes. His final years were spent at the beautiful mountain temple Wat Banpot Kiri (Phu Chor Kor) in the Northeast province of Mukdahan.

 

พระอาจารย์ ผ่าน ปัญญาปทีโป Thai Monk

Ajahn Pan Panyapatipo (พระอาจารย์ ผ่าน ปัญญาปทีโป) was a well-known Sakon Nakhon monk who was a follower of Ajahn Mun. He attended the cremation ceremony of the master in 1949. He traveled throughout Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, and Nakhon Phanom during his early years as a monk, before taking up final residence at Wat Pa Prathip Bunyaram in the Akat Amnuai District of Sakon Nakhon, which now has a museum that houses his relics.

 

พระอุดมญาณโมลี (จันทร์ศรี จนททีโป)

Phra Udom Yannamoli (พระอุดมญาณโมลี), also called Ajahn Chansri Chatathipo (อาจารย์จันทร์ศรี จนททีโป), was a Khon Kaen monk who served many different administrative positions Thailand’s Office of Buddhism, including the acting Ecclesiastical Regional Governor of Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, and Nong Khai. He also was the abbot of Wat Phothisomphon in Udon Thani.

 

พระครูสุทธิธรรมรังษี (เจี๊ยะ จุนโท) Thai Monk

Phra Khru Suthithamrangsi (พระครูสุทธิธรรมรังษี), also known as Luang Pu Jio Junto (หลวงปู่เจี๊ยะ จุนโท), was known for his relaxed demeanor that covered him like a veil of wisdom. He was born in Chanthaburi province in Southeast Thailand but became a disciple of Ajahn Mun after traveling to Chiang Mai to see the elder monk. He became the abbot of Wat Pa Phurithatta Patipatharam (วัดป่าภูริทัตตปฏิปทาราม) in Pathum Thani province (Central Thailand), eventually building the Phurithatta Chedi to hold the dental relics of Ajahn Mun, which he had received when they fell out during his stay with the master in Chiang Mai.

 

พระญาณสิทธาจารย์ (สิม พุทธาจาโร)

Phra Yannasitthachan (พระญาณสิทธาจารย์), also known as Ajahn Sim Buddhajaro (อาจารย์สิม พุทธาจาโร), was born in Sakon Nakhon and eventually became the abbot of the mountain and cave temple Wat Tham Pha Plong in Chiang Mai. He was noted for being determined, strong, patient, and humble. He was the abbot of Wat Pa Sutthawat in Sakon Nakhon and Wat Santitham in Chiang Mai.

 

พระจันโทปมาจารย์ (คำพันธ์ จันทูปโม)

Phra Chantopamajarn (พระจันโทปมาจารย์), also known as Luang Pu Khamphan Chandupamo (หลวงปู่คำพันธ์ จันทูปโม), was a Nakhon Phanom monk who was said to have a mind as bright as the full moon. He was originally from Laos, before his parents crossed the Mekong River and settled in Nakhon Phanom. He spent most of years as a monk at Wat Si Wichai in Nakhon Phanom. He eventually became the abbot of the temple, guided its development, and trained many monks who became his disciples and notable monks themselves.

 

พระอาจารย์ บุญมา ฐิตเปโม Thai Monk

Ajahn Boonma Thitapemo (พระอาจารย์ บุญมา ฐิตเปโม) was a revered Isaan monk from Nong Khai province. He was the former abbot of Wat Siri Salawan in Udon Thani.

 

พระครู อุดมศีลวัฒน์ (ญาณรโต) Thai Monk

Phra Khru Udom Silawat (พระครู อุดมศีลวัฒน์), also known as Luang Pu Udom Yannarato (หลวงปู่อุดม ญาณรโต), was born in Nakhon Phanom. He moved in childhood to Bueng Kan province, which was then part of Nong Khai province and where later in life he became the abbot of Wat Pa Sathit Thammaram. His name “Yannarato” means “the one who has knowledge”. He got to know many revered monks in Sakon Nakhon when he traveled to the province on Ajahn Mun’s death. Prior to arriving Bueng Kan, he built the temple Wat Suwannaram in Nakhon Phanom. As of this writing (2023), Luang Pu Udom is still alive at the age of 97.

One curious thing to note when it comes to the ages of monks in Thailand is that they are given two ages: their age from birth and their age from when they were ordained. So, in Luang Pu Udom’s case, you may see that he is both 97 and 74 (his age from when he was officially ordained as a Buddhist monk).

 

พระครูปัญญาวรากร (สมภาร ปัญญาวโร) Thai Monk

Phra Khru Panyawarakorn (พระครูปัญญาวรากร), also known as Luang Pu Somparn Panyawaro (หลวงปู่สมภาร ปัญญาวโร), was a highly respected Isan monk and former abbot of Wat Pa Wiwek Phatthanaram in Bueng Kan. He passed away in 2021 at the age of 96. He studied Vipassana Kammatthana meditation directly under Ajahn Mun. In his youth, he was a very energetic monk who had joined Luang Pu Tesk’s “Dharma Army” pilgirmage to the South of Thailand to spread Buddhism.