Thai Buddhists mourn passing of Supreme Patriarch at age 100

Via the Associated Press: “Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, who headed Thailand’s order of Buddhist monks for more than two decades and was known as the Supreme Patriarch, died Oct. 24 at a hospital in Bangkok. He was 100.”

Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara became a fully ordained monk in 1933, fulfilling a promise his parents made that he would do so if he recovered from a serious childhood illness.

The Supreme Patriarch is appointed by Thailand’s king. He “promotes Buddhism and leads the Sangha Supreme Council, which oversees the country’s Buddhist monks and novices of all sects. The council’s job is to make sure monks follow Buddha’s teachings and do not violate the rules set by the council.”

“The Supreme Patriarch was a friend of the Dalai Lama of Tibet,” the AP story further notes, “who called the Thai monk ‘my elder brother.’”

Thailand’s government has declared a 15-day mourning period.

Read the full story here, and see further the remembrance in the Bangkok Post, with many details and photos from Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara’s remarkable life.

Photo courtesy of Supreme Patriarch’s Secretariat.