Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera’s character and personality

Normally, due to the fact that Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera is a small-figured person, he is quick, nimble, agile, clever, resolute, and sought for solitude and peace. Therefore almost all throughout his life, Phra Ajaan Mun would search and travel throughout the mountains and forest for meditation training in hopes of achieving nirvana (Nibbãna) or no rebirth. He would go on a pilgrimage alone, without another Bhikkhu to attend to him, moving from places to places without a fixed resting place. Thus, also note that wherever Phra Ajaan Mun goes, he has not emphasize about building permanent building i.e. cubicle, neither any relegious objects. This is because Phra Ajaan Mun wishes to highlight the importance of growing and building man’s heart, focusing on Bhavana (cultivation of the heart and mind) and banishing Kilesa (mental defilement). If a lay person finds and becomes attached to a place Phra Ajaan Mun had been staying in for a while, he will avoid the place and travel elsewhere to save their face.

An exception is during the time where he faced the end of his life, which is the time where he was invited by Chao Khun Dhammachedi (Phra Ajaan Choom Bhandhulo) to rest at his monastery in the Isaan region, to share his Dhamma teachings to the lay people in the area. As before, Phra Ajaan Mun had only stayed within the northern region altogether for 11, almost 12 years. So he accepted the request and travelled downwards to the Isaan region.

At first, Phra Ajaan Mun would stay near Wat Pa Non Niwes in Udon Thani province for around 2 years, later staying in the temple during the Buddhist Lent season at Ban Kok Na Mon Forest Dwelling, Khok Sri Suphan District, Sakon Nakhon Province for 3 years. Afterwards, he moved to Wat Pa Ban Nong Phue Na Nai (which is a small and temporality temple with small cubicle, peace and naturally environment  that Phra Ajaan Lui Chandhasaro and the villagers of Ban Nong Phue built to serve him). Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatto stayed here the longest throughout his monkhood compared to other places (since 1945-1949 or the last 5 years of his life). The sacred place is said to be one of the most important places in the Dhutanga-Kammatthana manner in Thailand. Reason being that during the time period, Phra Ajaan Mun spread his wisdom to children, lay people, Buddhist novices and monks who wanted to learn the proper meditation methods under him and become a disciple and accepted the most amount of students. (Usually, Phra Ajaan Mun will accept no more than 7-8 disciples but some year he flexible accepts as many as 20.)

Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera started to become gravely ill during the drought season of 1949 and throughout the year, his condition did not get any better but rather worsened. He would always say to his disciples that “This time of sickness shall be my last time of sickness ever” (paraphrased). After the Buddhist lent season of that year, his disciples asked for him to be taken to Muang district in Sakon Nakhon province for treatment, in which he reluctantly accepted. And so, his group of disciples slowly brought him through the mountains and valleys using a cart from Wat Pa Nong Phue Na Nai, stopping to rest at Wat Pa Klang Nhon Phu for around 10 days. At the time, Phra Ajaan Mun’s condition rapidly worsened, so he was quickly rushed to Wat Pa Suthawas as soon as possible. During the journey from Wat Pa Klang Nhon Phu to Wat Pa Sutthawas, a medical team was waiting along with a car to quickly bring him to the temple. They arrived just after dusk, and the medical team treated him with an injection to relieve his condition as well as help him rest. At that moment Phra Ajaan Mun was very feeble, until finally after a long battle, he passed away later that night at 2:23 am on the 11th November 1949, at the age of 80.

Hence, we can say that the time period where Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatto taught and disciplined the most pupils (including from Buddhist monks to lay people, etc.) was when he rested at Wat Pa Ban Nong Phue Na Nai in Phanna Nikhom District, Sakon Nakhon province where monks will stay with him during Lent season. Phra Ajaan Mun will consider by himself as to who he will be choosing to study under him. Roughly, he accepts 10-15 monks and no more. Otherwise, the Buddhist monks who need Dhamma teaching and guidance from Phra Ajaan Mun can come to resolve and ask him for help, then go back to their own self-meditations and solve the mental problems or studies by themselves. Then, if they need help or becomes stuck with something, they will go back and ask once again, and the process repeats. Therefore, it can be said that disciples who believe and follow in Dhutanga-Kammatthana taught by Phra Ajaan Mun will come from this period of time of staying under his guidance at Wat Pa Nong Phue Na Nai Era and becoming a common rule of practice until today. Here we have collected these modes of practices, adhered by Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera, father of Dhutanga-Kammatthana manner.

Daily mode of practices by Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera

1.Phra Ajaan Mun will wake up around 3 a.m. to get up and wash his face, brush his teeth, and take care of any personal issues. Then, he starts his morning chanting session in his cubicle. His chanting is always done quietly, and the session lasts for at least 2 hours.

2.After the daily morning chanting, Phra Ajaan Mun will walk back and forth until it is time for going on alms round in the village. While walking, an assistant disciple has the role of receiving alms. Others who have different tasks to take care of will go off and do their own thing without interfering with each other with quietly and quickly. Such as, some members pour out the excrement pots, some clean the rooms, etc. If a monk is ill and unable to fulfil his duties or not coming out to eat (for need prolong meditation training), they will tell their fellow monk friends in the case that someone asks where he went or is doing.

3.Other monks who have the tasks to prepare the main pavilion or clean and sweep the floors, prepare the seats, water kettle, etc. will do so quietly without speaking to each other in between unless needed. As while they are doing their duties, the monks will meditate and focus on calming their minds at the same time (this attend must to do all gesture i.e. standing, walking, sitting and sleeping, for focus every minute due to control the mind for attend in the body. This method is calling “Bhavana or insight development”. Back in the time, the excrement pots were made out of the hollowed bamboo shaft, and the only pot made out of metal was Phra Ajaan Mun’s, made from brass.

ภาพกุฏิของพระในวัดป่าหนองผือนาใน จ.สกลนคร

4. When it is finally time to go on alms round in the morning, Phra Ajaan Mun will always wear an outer robe on top of their inner robe (2 robes), if it is a rainy or cloudy day will use one robe, in which he will button up the top part and bottom part of the robes. So that he can swap the upper and lower robes and wear alternately, to preserve the fabric to last longer. His disciple who helped him dress will have to memorise which robe to wear on each day, then correctly swap them on the next day. This method can also training the Bhavana and improve the consciousness and meditation.

5. As for alms round, the monks and disciples will walk in a row into the village, ordered by the senior in the front and junior monks in the back. Phra Ajaan Mun finds extreme importance in going on alms round every day. When he was still healthy, he would walk into the village with his fellow monks. When he got weaker, he would go out only on the houses on the edge of the village. As his illness progressed, he would only go on alms round in front of the temple, then near the dining pavilion. Then when he was at his weakest, he would place his alms bowl in front of his cubicle and wait to eat with his disciple

6. While on alms round, they will not chatter with each other, and they should focus on their body and mind while meditating. As speaking could disrupt another fellow monk’s concentration. If a layperson stops to give alms round, then the monks will stop and wait for the food respectively.

7. Back in those days, the Ban Nong Phue villagers will lay out a white cloth following the length of the street while monks are on alms round, and sit in a neat row. Once they have finished almsgiving, they will all sit neatly to wait for the monks to bless them. The Buddhist monks that go out for almsgiving will be divided into 3 groups to spread throughout the village. After they are done, each group will walk back to the temple calmly in the formation of a row, with no speaking to each other. As for Phra Ajaan Mun, he will be the last one to walk back into the temple along with an accompanying disciple.

8. Inside the temple area, there will be laymen waiting to receive the alms bowl from the senior monks, usually 4-5 peoples a day, no less.

9.Junior monks who are Buddhist novices or monks who have only recently started out has to quickly walk back to the temple before the senior monks. So that they are able to serve their seniors and teachers such as washing their feet, drying, before they enter the pavilion, as well as taking their inner and outer robes, or preparing the food into the alms bowls.

10.In the Lent season, once a Buddhist novice enters the temple area, they will no longer be able to accept more food from laypeople.

11.While preparing food for Phra Ajaan Mun’s alms bowl, observe and note his actions, what kind of food he eats, what kind of vegetables, whether he eats little or not that day, observe his physical body (similar to elements, it can affect mentality and cravings) whether it is appropriate for the food that laypeople have given them. Some disciples will prepare food in small separate bowls on the side of his alms bowl so that Phra Ajaan Mun can choose for himself.

12.After each monk has finished preparing their own food, they help distribute food into other monk’s alms bowls, distributing them evenly and graciously. If a monk does not want any more (throughout the Lent season), they will close the lid of their alms bowl and place a piece of cloth on top to symbolize for others to know that they are only eating the food that was given by the laypeople inside of their own alms bowl, so that the others will not distribute more food to them.

13.While eating, Phra Ajaan Mun will eat both savoury and sweet dishes together inside the same bowl without using a spoon, calm and collected. After the meal, the follow disciple will prepare Ovaltine poured into a small glass, filled in around halfway with the lid closed. After he finishes his meal, he will have a few sips of the Ovaltine along with the meal, usually 3-4 swallows.

14.Before eating, the monks will bless each other as a ceremony altogether. The blessings will not be done without to pay obeisance. The junior monk would be eat after the senior monk due to pay respect the seniority.

15.Before eating, the monks will take a moment to look at their food. For their food will remind the nature of component that came from the 4 materials of earth i.e. soil, water, fire, wind and think twice for it is the not delicious and compound with the dirty components for not addicted in the taste. If a follow monk still has not finished preparing their food, the rest of the monks will wait until they are done. The senior monks will start eating first, then followed by the junior monks and novices. While eating, there should be no speaking to each other, but if needing, they will swallow the food in their mouth first before speaking.

16.Whilst eating inside the temple, the monks will help each other distribute food into each other’s alms bowls, and beware of not eating too much, no snacking, or not eating too loudly.

17.Once Phra Ajaan Mun has finished eating and he wants to go to the loo, his disciples will prepare a glass of water for him first, and handing it to him by using two hands. After Phra Ajaan Mun has finished his activites he will enter his personal cubicle to meditate, and the other monks will help each other clean and tidy up the space inside the pavilion as well as wash and dry the alms bowl. The monks will enter their own cubicles and walk back and forth while meditating, which is an important part and duty of a Dhutanga-Kammatthana Bhuddist monk.

18.Around 13 o’clock, Phra Ajaan Mun will come outside from his cubicle to change up his environment.

19.Around 4 in the afternoon, the monks will sweep the floor outside the temple together, excluding monks who are sick or have a not comfortable condition. After they have finished sweeping up, they will help each other carry the water needed for bathing and drinking, inside a large vessel or vase to fulfil the needs of every monk. Usually, they need around 40 buckets unless they have guests that day or if it was for washing/dyeing fabric, they will need more water.

20.Once they have finished tidying and sweeping the insides of the temple, the Buddhist novices will help Phra Ajaan Mun bathe. This practice is done by junior monks for venerable senior monks who are of old age by handing and helping him hold the water pail as well as changing in and out of clothes. These are a part of the Dhutanga-Kammatthana culture for serving the senior monks

21.After they have finished with helping Phra Ajaan Mun bathe, each monk will go back to take a bath near their own cubicles, not at the water well.

22.As for their duties to serve Phra Ajaan Mun, each monk will not swap duties with each other. If a monk helped with something the day before, the next day they shall complete the same duties as yesterday. They will also not interfere with each other’s duties. However, other kinds of daily duties are exceptions and are done by everyone equally. E.g. cleaning up the pavilion.

23.Sometimes they will assemble together at Phra Ajaan Mun’s cubicle as per his request, usually without any rules set. Once a group of monks have arrived together, he will start sermonising right away, usually about the matter of Bhavana (praying and meditating for spiritual development).

24.An activity that every monk will complete, as usual, is to walk back and forth while meditating, up to 7 p.m. in the night where they will gradually start to walk to Phra Ajaan Mun’s cubicle for the daily assembly. The assembly will go on up to around 10 p. When they enter into the cubicle, they will respectfully kneel onto the floor and to pay obeisance to Phra Ajaan Mun, then sit up and tug their legs to the side politely, without chatting to each other.

25.As for the sermon, Phra Ajaan Mun will do it freely depending on the situation, including speaking about things like alms, Dhamma, and Bhavana etc. Phra Ajaan Mun will teach of opposing things, alternated again and again. For example, while teaching about meditation and concentration, if his disciples are stuck in concentration, he will teach them to comment or critique. If by critiquing something they become distracted, he will teach them to meditate once again. Twisting over and over, in this direction once, that direction once. Similar to a boxer, he keeps going in and out. Afterwards, his disciples help treated him with Thai traditional massaging to relax his muscles, then leave separately to go back to their own cubicles and meditate some more.

26.As for recepting guests, Phra Ajaan Mun does not have a confirmed schedule and activities. For example, after leaving his cubicle, he will allow around 5 minutes for disciples or guests to deal with him or ask about Dhamma teachings, then he will quickly rush to his morning walk back and forth and meditation. Or after breakfast and his bathroom break, he will allow no longer than 10 minutes. He will also allow 20 minutes to recept guests at 3 pm and no longer than that, as Phra Ajaan Mun mainly focuses on developing their minds and spiritual (Bhavana), and that his personality is a very seclusive one and he prefers not to mingle with people.

The 14 united activities daily monastic routines of Buddhist monks at Wat Pa Nong Phue Na Nai Era

  1. For their sermons, Phra Ajaan Mun will be the person to appoint when they are meeting. For the first couple of years (around 1945 AD.) he would appoint meetings once every 2-3 days. Later years he would appoint the meetings every 5-7 days. In the latter years of his life where Phra Ajaan Mun became elderly, Phra Ajaan Maha Buawa Nanasampanno (the most senior monk at that time) says that he would appoint meetings further apart. Around once every 10 days or 15 days or so.
  2. To study under Phra Ajaan Mun, if any Buddhist monks want to become his disciple, Phra Ajaan Mun will consider who to accept by himself. If the monk does not deem himself to be acceptable, then he will not be accepted even if there is a cubicle left for him. Even if a monk was accepted, but had shown inappropriate behaviour, he may be kicked out of the temple at that day.
  3. For important days in the Buddhist religion such as Visakha Puja day (the day that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Lord Buddha.), Makha Puja day (celebrates the gathering that was held between the Lord Buddha and 1,250 Arahants of his first group of disciples), or Buddhist holy day (a day for merit-making ceremonies), Phra Ajaan Mun will lead Buddhist laypeople in those societies to follow as the tradition.
  4. Morning and evening meditation sessions will be done in each monk’s own cubicle separately. They shall not chant too loudly that it disturb another monk’s meditation but how much or how little they meditate is up to themselves. However, Phra Ajaan Mun will encourage his disciples to walk back and forth while meditating, known as “Jongkrom” in Thai. For Visakha Puja day and Makha Puja day, he will arrange a chanting session with laypeople in the village, and for the first and last day of the Buddhist Lent season, the monks in the temple will all chant together.
  5. In regards to building a pavilion (during Ban Nong Phue era), Phra Ajaan Mun does not want a luxurious build, but they were rather built with the bare minimum to live in. Smaller cubicles are made from split bamboo strips. As for the pavilion hall, it was built to be 6 meters wide by 8 meters long. Not many cubicles in the temple are even made from wood, only Phra Ajaan Mun, Phra Ajaan Maha Buawa, and Phra Ajaan Wan’s cubicle. The rest are made from split bamboo strips and large dry trees leaves (similar to the leaf of a Teak tree) which, once dried, they can be woven into rows and layers to use as a roof.
  6. A routine duty that every monk and novice had to do was in February of every year, where they will help each other fix the pavilionand cubicles, find dry grass for covering and patching the buildings, or find wood for fuel to stock. Etc.
  7. It is very important to keep the forest dwellings, cubicles, pavilion, eating and cooking halls and every place inside the temple very clean. Especially with bathrooms and toilets, Phra Ajaan Mun holds a great emphasis on keeping them clean and tidy.
  8. Phra Ajaan Mun also emphasises the importance of being quiet and calm inside the temple. Once inside the area, no one should make loud noises that can make people become startled, or speak about anything that is in regards to earthly desires. If he happens to hear a monk speak about anything inherently sexual or wanting to leave the monkhood they will be banished from the temple
  9. While the monks are living together, they should be cooperative and undivided among themselves. If an argument happens to come up, they must immediately resolve the issue by talking to each other so that the issue does not affect Phra Ajaan Mun.
  10. Fellow monks should help each other work together to complete their duties, or the 14 precepts that Buddhist monks must follow such as reception the guest, cleaning the bathroom, the pavilion, the toilets, These precepts are reinforced by Phra Ajaan Mun himself, which he encourages that monks and novices must do so quietly and in harmony.

The “Dhutanga-Kammatthana”, mode of  practices of Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera

These Dhutanga-Kammatthana, mode of practices are known as the most austere and highly reinforced practices that a Buddhist monk must follow. They were created by The Lord Buddha himself, following after the already existing 227 rules (Patimokka, to better refine a monk’s kilesa (mental defilements created by greed, hate, and delusion)). The practices allow the monks to strive for a modest and solitary life, content with what they have and do not chase after wealth and fame. However, Phra Ajaan Mun does not force his disciples to follow these ascetic practices.

Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera is known as the ‘Father’ of the Dhutanga-Kammatthana manner that is remarkably strict on himself in regards to following the Patimokka, which is a widely known fact within the Dhutanga-Kammatthana community. Phra Ajaan Mun is admired by many to be able to follow these practices as well as lead others to do so as well. It is well known that Phra Ajaan Mun followed 5-6 practices all throughout his life which are discussed below:

  1. Dwelling within a forest, living under tree roots, mountain, caves, precipices etc. as a routine
    This practice is one of the most evident ones that Phra Ajaan Mun does, as seen by the way that he does not stay at one single place for a long time, but travels through nature ever since he became a Buddhist monk, up to the time where he nears the end of his life. Furthermore, Phra Ajaan Mun also sought pilgrimage to neighbouring countries like the Mekong River area, Laos, Myanmar, Moreover, he will only travel to places where there are no temples built or any religious structures. But sometimes he and his disciples will help rebuild or fix any old or broken religious sites to become new and worthy of being worshipped for many generations to come. Such as the renovation of Che Di Phra That Phanom in That Phanom district, Nakhon Phanom province.
  2. Always going on an alms round as a routine
    This is also one of the practices that he is most strict about. Even while he is sick or ill, he will still try to go out on an alms round. Therefore it is no surprise that even when he became elderly, Phra Ajaan Mun would still try to go out on alms round, walking lesser distance the more years go by. From going on alms round in the village, up to the edge of the village, to the front of the temple area, front of the pavilion, until the point where he could not walk anymore, and he would place his alms bowl in front of his cubicle so that the villagers can place the food in his alms bowl.
  3. Eating only from his alms bowl as a routine
    Phra Ajaan Mun will pour both the sweet and savoury food that was given into his bowl and will eat them together, known as the highest form of eating from the alms bowl. He will think of the food as a foreign body, will not mind the taste of food, and for milk or Ovaltine he will only drink 2-3 swallows of it.
  4. Eat only one meal per day as a routine
    This practice is the minimum requirement that every forest monk must be able to do. Because of many several reasons, such as for the body and acts as a mind tolerance test for starvation, to not admire and yearn for the good taste of food, and the prolonged starvation (3-5 days up to 14 days) can make the mind become better at concentration and gain better attention. Sometimes, for the forest monk who has a very hard time dealing with their kilesa with the sexuality condition, this rule is the best way to serve, to decrease, or to get rid of this condition. Without food or water, they will have to persevere and keep meditating. This good for meditation due to the hightened ability to concentrate that could occure in a starving condition. This trick is one which the clever forest monk must choose to do for the better results of his meditation in soul and mind.Even when they are out walking in the mountains or forests, without food to eat, they will have to persevere. When there is food, Phra Ajaan Mun will eat just enough to be full, not to become gluttonous. To become even more strict to himself, he will only eat for one sitting. Meaning that once he had started to eat, if something happens to come up that he has to get up, even if he was not full yet he will not come back to eat again afterwards.
  5. Wear yellow robes made from discarded fabric
    For this rule, Phra Ajaan Mun will use the fabric that was used to wrap dead bodies, wash and clean them, then dye it yellow using the juice of the core of a jackfruit. He usually does not accept new robes that are given by laypeople, but if accepted he will use them until they are worn out. If there are any tears he will patch, mend, and sew them himself.
  6. After entering the temple area, there shall be no more accepting of food given by lay people
    This practice is in the case that a monk is already satisfied with the amount of food he has been given, whether he had a lot or a little they can be complacent with the amount given, which helps get rid of their kilesa and greed until finally,they have purified their heart or do not have the kilesa anymore.

As for the other practices, Phra Ajaan Mun allows free will for his disciples to choose whichever rules they want to follow. Each monk will choose to follow practices that they can benefit from, depending on their personality and habits, to become a person with lesser kilesa.

Other Mode of practices of Phra Ajaan Mun follows

  1. Criteria For Disciple Acceptation

The monks that are chosen to become Phra Ajaan Mun’s disciples must be someone who is serious to learn about the Dhutanga-Kammatthana manner under him. He must be skilled both in his worldly duties (such as duties and tasks) and spiritual routines (such as Bhavana). If Phra Ajaan Mun asks something about Bhavana and they cannot answer well, he will further push and ask about their personality. If they are impossible to teach then he will banish him out of the temple.

  1. Rules For Female Meditation Retreat

In the temple, he will not accept Buddhist nuns (also known as Bhikkhunī) or Maechi (laywomen who live an ascetic life) as a disciple. If anyone had questions about there practices then they were free to ask him about it after appointing him.

  1. Ordination In His Dwelling

Phra Ajaan Mun will not ordain anyone by himself, neither people looking to ordain to fulfil their vows or people who have temporary work leave to become an ordained monk.

  1. Preparation To Become A Monk

If they are an ordinand or a layman who are currently following the eight precepts, Phra Ajaan Mun will ask him to stay at the abode for at least 3-6 months, while following the eight precepts, and watching his character. If they are passable Phra Ajaan Mun will allow them to study under him (however he will not ordain him, and will tell them to get ordained first elsewhere, then come back to study under him).

  1. Short Staying Of Laypeople In His Temple

At the temple, Phra Ajaan Mun will not allow laymen and laywomen (those who follow the five or eight precepts) or any other guests to stay inside the temple, unless they have travelled far that day or if it was late at night and would be unsafe for them to travel. If so, he will reluctantly allow them to stay the night, then ask them to leave early the next morning.

  1. Not Receive Of Kathina

In regards to the receiving of Kathina (a ceremony where laypeople present the monks some new robes or offerings presented to Buddhist monk at the end of Lent season), during the period where he stayed at Ban Nong Phue Na Nai, there were no accepting of the Kathina. But if a layperson insists with great spirit and faith, he will accept them respectfully. However, there shall be no ceremony whatsoever, along with a practice called ‘Kathina Khandhaka’ (where laypeople will stretch out monk’s robes and cut them to size), or donations (of money), ‘telling’ the winning lottery number, ‘change’ a person’s bad fortune, fortune telling, etc. These are definitely opposing to Phra Ajaan Mun’s mode of practices and belief.

  1. Religious Ceremony, Donation Box And Occultism

There is to be absolutely no asking for donations from villagers or laypeople to make money for the temple (or even having a donation box inside the temple), whether directly or indirectly, Phra Ajaan Mun does not accept it. Ceremonies, where they ordain the Buddha image, is also forbidden, and seen as a terrible sin. “Why should we ordain him since the Lord Buddha had already been ordained years before we were.”

  1. Agricultural Products In His Dwelling

Fruits and vegetables that are grown naturally in the temple e.g. bananas and papayas, Phra Ajaan Mun has no desire to harvest and sell them both directly and indirectly. If a villager wants some fruits than they are free to ask so, but he will not allow it if they asked for some fruits to go sell it later.

  1. Faced With The Sickness And Cremation Management

In regards to the illness or death of the monks in the temple, he will consider himself of the conditions and state of each monk with tolerance, it is not wrong to be calling it forced, or healed with the meditation and no medicine (for testing of his tolerance or endurability of his mind, too.). As far as it goes on the subject of cremation of the monks in the temple, Phra Ajaan Mun will not leave the corpse out for more than one day (before cremation). An example of a monk who passed away at night, after breakfast the next day Phra Ajaan Mun will request for him to be cremated right that day, saying that there was really no need to preserve him for a long time as even the Lord Budhha was only preserved for 7 days before being cremated.

  1. Honour Respectful In The Dhamma Of The Lord Buddha

Any photographs or paper with a picture of the Lord Buddha, Phra Ajaan Mun will be extremely cautious and respectful of. He will place them on high shelves and will take extra care to not step on any. If he see them on the floor then he will immediately pick them up and store them in the right places.

  1. Concerning In Scarp Of Paper

Any form of paper (e.g. newspaper or books), if he happens to see it on the floor he will always pick them up. This is because Phra Ajaan Mun considers that paper can inscribe any form, language, or religious teachings, and should not be thrown away or stored recklessly.

  1. Placed Of The Monk and Woman’s Pictures

He will not allow pictures with women to be placed up high, and especially hung up or placed on the same level as another photograph of a monk.

  1. Rules In The Dhamma Printing

If there is a need to print or publish a book about Dhamma teachings, Phra Ajaan Mun will stress that there should not be pictures of women inside the Dhamma book, as it will be harder to properly store the books because these Dhamma books have to be stored in a higher place.

  1. Placed Of The Dhamma Books

He also highly respects every single Dhamma book, they cannot be placed thoughtlessly and has to be stored up high.

  1. Highly Pay Respect Of The Buddha Image
    Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera holds great respect towards any Buddha images. This can be seen from the way that he does not leave any Buddha images inside his cubicle, his reasons that our behaviours such as standing, walking, undressing, and changing of clothes is an inappropriate act to do in front of the Buddha Image.

Furthermore, it is also known that whichever space is used as a place to dine in, has to be separated from the Buddha image. Monks should not eat or dress in front of the Buddha image as it is seen as disrespect towards the Lord Buddha.

  1. Management With The Occultism

Another important mode of practice that is highly reinforced by Phra Ajaan Mun is that there will be no acknowledgement of black magic and auspices (e.g. auspicious times to complete a ritual). He is a firm believer of instant karma. Whenever you create good karma, then you will gain good karma in that instant. On the other hand, if you create bad karma by doing evil and hateful things, you will gain those bad karmas instantly as well. There will be no ceremonies to ‘change one’s bad fortune’, amulets, talismans, lucky charms, no buying or selling holy objects (whether directly or indirectly). One thing that Phra Ajaan Mun reluctantly accepts is holy water, but before giving laypeople the holy water, he will sermon them first. Saying to the laypeople that
“My Children, if your spirit and heart (Chitta) do not understand or not reach of the Lord Buddha’s Path, his dhamma teaching or the Buddhist monk’s way, you cannot simply sprinkle holy water on the outside and expect your insides to suddenly be filled with wisdom. That is impossible. This water is only but a media to invite you to recognise the teachings of Dhamma. Do not believe it to be magical all-knowing water, but rather, it all depends on your actions.”, he would say.

  1. Dealing With The Make Merit Peoples

When Phra Ajaan Mun’s folks come visit the temple, they are quiet and do not chatter as we do, they do not intend to come to request only for food from the temple. They come and ask for leftovers from the Buddhist monks, and take them to eat at his small hut rather than at the pavilion where monks eat. The most important rule is to be as quiet as possible, as they love the peacefulness. The guests come from different places, and when they reach the temple they stay over to make merits, they sleep wherever, and they don’t interfere with the monk. They wake up and then give alms to monks, with whatever food or robes they have with them.

  1. Once Time For The Abbot In His Monk Life

While Phra Ajaan Mun finds more importance in Bhavana praying (learning meditation), than ruling or leading (the burden of studying the scriptures), he has once became the abbot of Wat Chedi Luang (in 1932) for one year, which is the first and last he was abbot. Afterwards, he resigned from his position and returned to the forests to Bhavana (meditation and vipassana).

  1. Aim Of His Meditational Practices Is “Nirvana” (Purified Heart And No Rebirth)

Throughout his life, Phra Ajaan Mun focuses on solitude and his singularity, concentrating on meditation to get rid of his kilesa from his mind. To be free from all mental defilements and intoxications, he is a leader in the practical aspects of Buddhism. He ordained to completely wash away his kilesa deep inside his mind without care for fame, money, and praises and is seen as a teacher, professor, mother and father figure all at once. In the Dhutanga-Kammatthana community, he is known as the “Father-Mother-Teacher-Professor Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera”. And once he had completed his own spiritual journey within his mind, he became a revered teacher for students and disciples. Especially for Buddhist monks and novices, many who practiced after taking his advice whilst staying under his guidance became Buddhist Dhutanga-Kammatthana monks or forest Buddhist monks that have become the pride and joy of Siam. Although almost 7 decades have passed, his name and contributions to society still have a positive impact on the hearts of Thais and Buddhists till this day, and will continue to do so for many generations to come. Nowadays, the meditation and ascetic practice (Dhutanga-Kammathana) is well known in the world especially in the West and wide spread around the world due to "Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Mahathera's Paths" who is the dominately pioneer of this practice, so it worthy to call him " The Father Of Dhutanga-Kammatthana Practices". When we follow his way, the peacefulness must occure in our heart and spreads to our community and our world. The human society, although confusing, may not occure. The weapons are not necessary to spare, and the war or cold war are not happening. We can say proudly that his Dhamma teachings can lead the world towards peace and sustainability.

 

References

  1. From the biography of Phra Ajaan Lhar Kemapatto from Wat Pu Chor Kor, Mukdaharn Province
  2. Taken from sermon offerings by Phra Ajaan Lhar Kemapatto (disciple of Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta), including the following sermons named:

- “Mode of practices that do not falter” (8 June 1981)
- “Educating of the monastic routines” (13 May 1982)
- “Phra Ajaan Mun’s practices” (1 December 1981 and 9 November 1983)
- “Phra Ajaan Mun’s practices” (21 July 1985)
- “Admirable practices in the days of Ban Nong Phue” (18 January 1987)
- “Tales about times with Phra Ajaan Mun” (22 December 1989)
- “Tales about times with Phra Ajaan Mun” (25 November 1993)