(Tan Chao Khun Mahā Samai Sukhasamiddho)
Tan Chao Khun Samai was born in Laos in 1943. After migration to Bangkok, he was ordained as novice in 1957. His full ordination took place in June 1963. During his time as young novice and young monk he completed his Dhamma studies at the advanced level and Pali Language at level 5. Before being admitted to study at the University level, he took another three years to do the secular studies. He was graduated from Mahamakut University in 1972. After taking one year course of training for Buddhist Missionary overseas, he was sent together with the most senior meditation teacher Luang Pu Boonyarith to Sydney to look after the newly established Buddhist center in 1974.
As a reward for his long and good service to the Buddhist Community in Australia, Tan Chao Khun Samai has been given the new titles four times in the last 42 years. His current title is Phra Thepsilaporn.
Each time the new title has been conferred upon him by the King of Thailand on his birthday, the 5th of December. Moreover, Mahamakut University has conferred upon him PhD Honorary Degree in May 2003 in acknowledging his long service in spreading Buddhism.
Tan Chao Khun Samai assumed the position as the leader of the Dhammayutta Sangha in Australia and New Zealand in 1998. He currently serves as a spiritual advisor to the Dhammayutta Sangha Council, and is the Abbot of Wat Pa Buddharangsee in Leumeah, NSW.
Tan Ajahn Aggaradet (Dtun) Thiracitto
Venerable Ajahn Dtun (Thiracitto) was born in the province of Ayutthaya, Thailand, in 1955. In June 1978, he travelled to the north eastern province of Ubon Ratchathani to ordain with the Venerable Ajahn Chah at Wat Nong Pah Pong.
In 1981, he returned to central Thailand to spend the Rains Retreat at Wat Fah Krahm (near Bangkok) together with Venerable Ajahn Piak and Venerable Ajahn Anan.
After spending five years assisting Venerable Ajahn Anan in the establishing of Wat Marp Jan, he decided it was time to seek out a period of solitude so as to intensify his practice, knowing this to be necessary if he were to finally bring the practice of Dhamma to its completion. He was invited to practice on an eighty-acre piece of dense forest in the province of Chonburi and remained in comparative isolation for two years until 1992 when he eventually decided to accept the offering of land for the establishing of a monastery – Wat Boonyawad. Presently, the monastery spreads over 160 acres of land, all kindly given by the faith and generosity of Mr and Mrs. Boon and Seeam Jenjirawatana and family.
Since allowing monks to come and live with him in 1993, the Venerable Ajahn has developed a growing reputation as a prominent teacher within the Thai Forest Tradition, attracting between forty to fifty monks to come and live, and practice, under his guidance.
Ajahn Hāsapañño was born in Canada in 1972. He first came across the Buddha’s teachings while in university and eventually ordained in 1999 at Bodhinyanarama Buddhist Monastery in New Zealand, with Ajahn Pasanno as his preceptor.
He spent two of his early years as a monk in Kallista with Ajahn Ian before spending two years at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in California. After his fifth year as a bhikkhu he had the opportunity to go to Thailand and, apart from two separate years back at Vimokkharam with Ajahn Khemānando, he spent eleven years practising under a number of different teachers in the north and north-east of Thailand. He had a particular enjoyment for wandering on tudong and searching out well-practised but little-known Ajahns.
He returned to Australia in 2016 and took up residence in Vimokkharam Forest Hermitage on October 29th, 2016.
Ajahn Surin (Bom) Subbato
Ajahn Surin (Bom) Subbato was born in 1979 at the Ubon Ratchathani Provincial Hospital — the middle child of 3 boys in a family of rice farmers in Hua Dtapahn District, Amnat Charoen Province, Thailand. He completed his primary school education in the school of his home village, and his high-school education at Hua Dtapahn Secondary School. He then completed a bachelor’s degree at Ubon Ratchathani University.
While still a layman studying at uni, one of his professors took him and some of his fellow students to hear the Dhamma and practise meditation at Wat Pah Nanachat in Ubon. This was the initial and formative experience that led him to start thinking of ordaining as a monk, but due to the fact that he had to repay his student loans, he was as yet unable to do so.
After finishing his studies and working various jobs for a few different companies, he was able to fully pay off his loans, gave the remaining savings to his family, and began searching for a monastery at which to ordain. On April 6th, 2010, he arrived at Wat Boonyawad and, upon learning that there was only a single kuti left available for the upcoming rains’ retreat, he decided to ordain there. He trained as an anagarika and then as a novice until he took full bhikkhu ordination on June 22, 2010 and spent his first rains’ there at Wat Boonyawad.
After that, he spent the following years at Wat Boonyawad itself or occasionally at its branch monasteries in Rayong and Mae Hong Son Provinces. Ajahn Surin arrived at Vimokkharam in April 2019 along with a group of monks travelling with Tan Ajahn Dtun and has continued to stay here until the present.