Bua is one of the best known Thai Buddhist monks of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He was widely regarded as an Arahant — a living Buddhist saint. He was a disciple of the esteemed forest master Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta, and was himself considered a master in the Thai Forest Tradition. Following the death of Ajahn Thate in 1994, he was considered to be the Ajahn Yai, or the head of the Thai Forest Tradition lineage until his death in 2011. – Wikipedia
The first building we visited was a sort of shrine to Luang Ta Maha Bua, shown above and below.
This structure reminds me of the way many Thai houses are build on stilts to provide a shady space beneath for people to work and rest in the heat of the day.
Kitchens are often set up beneath houses. The one below is its own roofed but open space. The monks of Wat Pa Ban Tat live nearby.
The dwelling structures themselves – called kutis – are single units scattered throughout the dense forest. They stand fairly far apart and are separated from each other by strips of forest dense enough so that the inhabitants can’t see one another. The whole area is tranquil and quiet… A monk will stay alone at his kuti without interactions with others. He spends all his time concentrating on his own practice – exerting himself in the practice of sitting and walking meditation in the area of his own kuti as if he were the only person around. He doesn‘t stop to chat with others, but follows in full detail the methods and forest practices taught by the Lord Buddha. – Wikipedia
Walking from Bua’s shrine to his temple we encountered many of Thailand’s blonde squirrels. We saw these in many wooded areas in the north. We saw no other type of squirrel, although I believe there are many.
We also met this cool old tortoise.
Printed banners that line the fences of the temple complex tell of the donations that Bua collected from around the world to help the people of Thailand. His temple is very nice, but very simple and modest compared to many.
There are no Phaya Naga, Phra Mae Thorani, Garuda, or any other figure besides the Buddha, and pictures of Luang Ta Maha Bua.
The temple is a large roof over a cool tile floor, open on the sides.
Below is a model of a future addition to the temple complex.
Early in my visit to Thailand I was given a pendant with a likeness of Luang Ta Maha Bua. I wore it during most of my time there. Every Thai person I spoke with about him was in complete agreement that Bua was a very good monk.
Please enjoy the full gallery of 12 pictures below.