Phramongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro)
Dhammakaya is provable. It can be seen and known only by the determined person.
the Ven. Phramonkolthepmuni /Luang Pu Sod Chandasaro or Luang Pu Wat Paknam came as a result of his meditation on the full moon day of the tenth lunar month of 1916 when, he strove to re-discover the way to attain dhammakaya, the body of enlightenment or the Buddha Nature. His determination in this quest was so great, he was prepared to lay down his life. Based on his knowledge and insight of meditation, he declared that the technique of meditation he had rediscovered was the original mainstream of Buddhist Practice that had disappeared five-hundred years after the Buddha attained Nirvana (passed away). For most Buddhists in Thailand Luang Pu Wat Paknam is best known by his miracles, prophecies and super-natural healing powers. Hundreds of thousands of Thai Buddhists pray to him daily asking for help and guidance in their lives. Stories frequently come to light of those who have witnessed his miracles, especially the aversion of disasters, even in the present day. Behind the veil of superstitious awe surrounding Luang Pu Wat Paknam however, runs a true living tradition of meditation passed down from master to disciple, by word of mouth, since his time. It is this system of meditation and the knowledge it brings that makes Luang Pu Wat Paknam stand out amongst hundreds of thousands of contemporary Thai monks. During the lifetime of Luang Pu Wat Paknam his way of teaching, Dhammakaya meditation, was already known to be systematic, and quick in giving results and providing the missing link between scriptural theory and meditation practice. In present time we recognize that Dhammakaya meditation is way ahead of its time and its discoverer in re-aligning Buddhism with the other religions of the world. The important feature of the meditation is that it goes beyond the texts in the same way that we can learn more about the moon from walking on it than we can by seeing its reflection on the water. Advanced meditators can discover new things within their meditation in the same way that a scientist through experimentation can discover new facts about nature. During the Great Abbot’s life time he managed to train many meditators to the advanced level and ran a meditation ‘workshop’ for over thirty years where meditators of sufficient calibre could work as a team to conduct spiritual research. The spreading popularity of the Dhammakaya meditation in Luang Pu Wat Paknam’s time was directly related to the miracles and healing surrounding the personality of the Great Abbot and his disciples. Some are surprised to find out that most of the outstanding disciples in his time were female, not monks. The foremost meditation expert being the nun; Khun Yay Upasika Chandra Khonnok-yoong, founder of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. At present, the development of the technique by simplifying meditation for beginners has done much to place an emphasis upon the technique itself. Thus, Wat Phra Dhammakaya has opened the meditation for study by the masses instead of focussing on monastic circles as in the time of Luang Pu Wat Paknam. Somehow though, the determined personality of the Great Abbot, Luang Pu Wat Paknam is always in the heart of those who practice Dhammakaya meditation. He continue to be a legend for meditators of the modern day to live up to, but at the same time a forward looking example leading us in spiritually happy practice in to the next Millenium.