The Most Venerable Khuva Boonchum, Nyanasamvaro is one of the best well-known Theravada forest meditation monks in the last 20th and the beginning 21st century. He is famous not only in Myanmar but also in several Buddhist countries such as Thailand, Lao, Cambodia, Taiwan, Singapore, Bhutan, Nepal, Sipsongbanna, China and some other Buddhist countries, etc.
He originated from Nong-wo Village, Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai Province in Northern Thailand. His parents, Loong Kham Lah and Mae Saeng Lah, were peasant, originally from Maung Yong in the eastern part of the Shan State; he is the eldest among the four children. Both of his parents have passed away.
The Venerable Khuva Boonchum as he was an extraordinary child; after leaving school two year later he was ordained as a samanera, “novice”. After becoming a Samanera, he began to practice meditation at his 9 old age. He also learnt the dhamma that based on the standardized Thai monastic curriculum of nak tham with an annual examination in the winter. But only after the first year, he stopped his study to begin learning directly from the well known forest meditation masters in Lanna, northern Thailand. Deeply inspired by their example, he has since adopted their way of life: observing a rains-retreat (vassana) up to four months in caves every year; building religious monuments such as pagodas; and preaching to the peasants in the villages.
He began observing a rains-retreat in a cave when he was just 12. Since then, he has been observing rains-retreats, often in remote areas which include not just northern parts of Thailand but also the Shan State in Myanmar, Nepal and the Kingdom of Bhutan. His last rains-retreat as a samanera took place in Nepal. His stay in caves is by no means confined to the rainy season; in fact, during the winter and summer, he often rests in various caves meditating and reading. The solitude of the caves enables him to devote his times to both the samatha and the vipassana meditation and reading Holy Scriptures related to meditation, for example, the Patisampidamagga and other contemporary works compiled by well known Buddhist masters such as Ajahn Man and Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.
It was during that early time in his life that he started preaching and led the renovation of pagodas. At the age of 12, he renovated a pagoda situated on the top of a hill, in a village, Ban Keao, near Maesai. He has since build or renovated many pagodas throughout the Mae Khong and Salween River regions. Among those he has recently built is a pagoda in Hsenwi, northern Shan State; this pagoda has a unique local architectural style. At present, he is building 38 pagodas over four hills near Ban Keao in Mae Sai. The newly building temple, which built in 2006 that led by him the Khuva Boonchum Buddagaya Tai Temple, Buddhagaya, bihar, India also was included.
One of those places he developed at his tender age is Mong Phong, Village in Tachilek that situated on the bank of Mae Khong River in the Golden Triangle areas where the boundaries of Thailand, Lao and Shan State, Myanmar coinciding areas. At the 13 years of age, he started meditating there that the forested area has now become a forest meditation centre well known throughout the regions. It can be reached by land as well as by boat. At the age of 21, he received his higher ordination in 9 May 1986 at Wat Suan Dok, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
As to his preaching, the topics cover the virtues of generosity, non-violence and meditation. He himself demonstrates a great example of generosity; all the offerings that the devotees made to him are in turn offered monks and laypeople who come to meet him. A generous lady devotee who offered the new pinnacle of the great Shwedagon Pagonda in Yanon remarks that she has never seen either a monk or a layperson as generous and detached as the Maing Phone Sayadaw.
His teaching on non-violence is delivered through the promotion of the value of the five ethical codes of conducts (sila), vegetarianism, non-discrimination and the cultivation of metta-bhavana. As a result, all the different dialect groups and nationalities in the Mae Khong and Salween River basins identify him as their spiritual master. A scholar from Australia writing in the Cambridge Journal of South-East Asia observes that the people of Lanna consider Khuva Boonhum as maintaining the tradition of the “Yuan holy men” founded by Khruva Srivihai. In the meantime, the government of Myanmar also offered him a title saddhammajotikadhaja for his work in the propagation of the dhamma. Amazingly he also speaks all the dialects of the Mae Khong and Salween River basins and understands the subtle differences in their cultures, making his teaching easily accessible and highly relevant to a great many of them. Besides the dialects of those regions, he also speaks central Thai, Bhutanese and some Chinese which extends the accessibility of his teaching even further.
Currently, The Most Vennereable Khuva Boonchum is in a cave in Thailand for 3 years solitary meditation practice since 2010.
Khuva boonchum Buddhagaya Tai temple
Budhagaya, Bihar, India