Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Short Autobiography of Venerable Acharn Pannavaddho Thera (1925- 2004)

The following are writen by Venerable Acharn Pannavaddho Thera (Peter J Morgan) about his background. I came across this from a poster in Wat Baan Taad:

My father, J W Morgan and my mother, V M Morgan both came from South Wales in the United Kingdom. My father was a mining engineer and went to work in South India in the Kolar Gold fields in Mysore state (now called Karnataka).

I was born in this gold mining area on the 19th of October 1925 (2468) and stayed there for about 7 years after which I went to the UK for education. My primary education was at a school in Malvern Wells in the English midlands. When I left this school the second world war started and I went to a secondary school in Tonbridge Kent in the South East corner of the UK. After about a year I moved from this school because of the war and went to Cheltenham in the midlands. When I left Cheltenham I went to an electrical training college in London, called Faraday House. The war ended at about the time I left Faraday House and got my degree.

After this I spent 2 years in India working as an Electrical Engineer on the mine and then returned to the UK and got a job as an "application engineer" in Stafford where I stayed for about five years. I then got another job working for the Canadian Standards Association in London. Then after eighteen months I was ordained as a Samanera in London.

My samanera ordination (pabbaja) took place in the London Buddhist Vihara which was set up by the government of Sri Lanka, and it took place on the 31st of October 1955 (2498). The uppajjhaya was Bhikkhu Kapilavaddho who had been ordained in Thailand.

On the 15th of December 1955, Bhikkhu Kapilavaddho, two other Samaneras and I flew to Bangkok and went to stay at at Paknam. On the 27th of January 1956 (2499), three of us were ordained as Bhikkhus with Mangalajamuni (Luang Poh Soth) as the Upajjhaya.

We did not stay long in Thailand and returned to London on the 16th of July 1956 to stay in a Vihara that was set up in London by a Buddhist organisation. In due course the others all returned to lay life and I was left to look after the Vihara.

I remained in England looking after the Vihara for five years, then another Bhikkhu came and took over. Then I came to Thailand again on the 22nd of November 1961 (2504) and went to stay at Wat Cholapratan under Acharn Pannananda. My purpose in returning to Thailand was to find and stay with a Teacher who was skilled in ways of practising the Teaching of the Buddha. Fortunately a Thai friend took me to meet the Venerable Acariya Maha Bua who had come to Bangkok on business.

After meeting Venerable Acariya Maha Bua two or three times, I asked if I may go and stay at Wat Pa Baan Taad. He accepted me and I went to stay in Wat Pa Baan Taad on the 16th of February 1963 (2506). I was reordained in the Dhammayuta Nikaya on the 22nd of April 1965 (2508). My upajjhaya was Somdet Phra Yanasamwara (then abbot of Wat Bovorniwet and the present Sangharaja). My kammavacariya was Phra Thepyanakavi and my anusasanacariya was Phra Acariya Maha Bua Yanasampano. I have remained in Wat Pa Baan Taad since I first came here.

Bhikkhu Pannavaddho
Wat Pa Baan Taad
May 1999 (2542).

Note: Venerable Acharn Pannavaddho Thera passed away at Wat Pa Baan Taad at 8.30am on August 18, 2004. He died of internal cancer. He was 78 years old and had been a Buddhist monk for 39 years.


Jasper said...

Peter J. Morgan was my uncle, my father's brother and while I only met him on one occasion, I loved him and was sad at his passing in 2004.
His brother, David Rees Morgan, grew up with him in India and also was educated at Cheltenham. He married my mother, Janet Morgan (nee Livingston) and had three children: my brother Daniel Morgan, my sister Judy and me, Peter Jasper Morgan.
I guess I was named after him.
We are currently residing in Vancouver, British Columbia, where I am a nightclub owner!

Thai Forest Tradition said...

Jasper, thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

I visited with Tan Pannya in 1999 and 2001. He answered my questions about the Dhamma in a wonderfully concise way; I'm sure he had years of practice fielding Bhuddism 101 questions from Western visitors. He was a wonderful Acharn.

JP said...