Venerable Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo is
one of the great arahant masters of dhamma
in contemporary times.
Venerable Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo, also known as Phra Banyapisantaera was the abbot of Wat Pa Ban Kho in Sub-district: Kua Nam, District: Ban Pue, Province: Udon Thani.
Venerable Acariya Thoon was born Monday, May 20, 1935 in the Chaiyawan district, in the Udon Thani province. He received ordination by Venerable Acariya Dhammachedi (Joom Pantulo) on July 27, 1961 at Wat Potisomporn in Udon Thani. Acariya Dhammachedi was the monk who was directed by Acariya Mun to ordained new monks. Thereafter, Acariya Thoon studied until he had a comprehensive understanding of Buddhism. He became a pupil of Venerable Acariya Khao Analayo at Wat Tam Klong Paen at the Nong Bua Lam province. After Venerable Acariya Khao passed away, Acariya Thoon founded Wat Pa Ban Koh on January 1, 1975, over which he has presided until the present. Acariya Thoon dedicated his entire life to teaching Buddhism and cultivated innumerable benefits for society as whole.
Venerable Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo is distinct for his teachings which emphasize the importance of panya. His accurate interpretation of Buddha’s teachings, founded in rationality and backed by a wealth of knowledge, are truly unique in contemporary times.
He has brought the bright light of dhamma to San Franciscans and many others in the world. Venerable Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo has always emphasized the importance of starting dhamma practice with sammaditthi, which itself develops from practicing panya, so that the accurate perception of the truth is known.
Venerable Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo has authored numerous books that are extremely beneficial and illuminating in dhamma practice. Venerable Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo received awards for great contributions and for his original literary works from the Princess Phratep Ratanarachasuda of Thailand in 1990.
The onset of Venerable Acariya Thoon’s illness was manifest in symptoms of loss of appetite, weariness, and fatigue in speech. In December 2007 the Sririraj Hospital discovered a tumor in his right lung. In April 2008 the tumor increased in size and spread to his bones. Thus, he received radiation to treat the resultant bone pain. In the middle of October 2008, he was admitted to Wattana Hospital in Udon Thani to be treated for pneumonia. Once his condition improved, Acariya Thoon returned to Wat Pa Ban Koh to be attended to by medical professionals.
On the tenth of November, Venerable Acariya Thoon fell into what would be his final slumber. He did not manifest any symptoms of pain as his blood pressure began to plummet. Acariya Thoon was administered an IV solution and medicine to adjust his blood pressure. Thereafter, his blood pressure became irregular and his heartbeat slowed until it ceased completely. Acariya Thoon departed peacefully. He was seventy-three years of age, forty-eight years of which were spent in dedicated monkhood.
The followers of Acariya Thoon had honored his memory with chanting every day until the cremation ceremony on January 30, 2009. The royal family ceremoniously cleansed Acariya Thoon’s body in a traditional funeral ritual for high-ranking, respected monks. Abhidhamma chanting had been held at 7pm every evening until the final ceremony. Two hundred thousands of his dedicated followers and Buddhists participated in the ceremonies at Wat Pa Ban Koh at the cremation ceremony.
As is distinctive of only the arahant, Acariya Thoon’s cremation ceremony produced beautiful relics for his followers to celebrate and worship. What is unique about Acariya Thoon is that his relics formed the day of the cremation, whereas some monks take up to seven days to become relics. May we all celebrate Acariya Thoon’s life by following in his footsteps and by doing all we can to sustain the true lineage of the Buddhist religion.