The Dark Side of Ajahn Mun’s Biography

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Ajahn Mun

Venerable Ācariya Mun Būridatta Thera is one of the most revered forest masters of the 20th century. He is the root guru of both the Dhammayut and Ajahn Chah monasteries. He popularized the monastic practice of living under an umbrella in the forest and his relentless energy is fascinating and inspiring.  Although I criticize this book and state that this book is far away from attainments and right view, I still find the “way of life” inspiring.  It is also not proven 100% that these are really the words of Ajahn Mun.

One day I tried to read the biographical book on this great forest master which some regard as the Thai Forest Bible, written by Venerable Ācariya Mahã Boowa Ñãṇasampanno, the heir and leader of the Dhammayut sect who passed away not so long ago. He was a direct disciple of Ajahn Mun and publicly claimed to be fully enlightened. Below is a quote from Ajahn Mun which prevented me from finishing the book. If you know anything about Buddhism, brace yourself:

On the nights subsequent to Ãcariya Mun’s attainment of vimutti, a
number of Buddhas, accompanied by their Arahant disciples, came to
congratulate him on his vimuttidhamma. One night, a certain Buddha,
accompanied by tens of thousands of Arahant disciples, came to visit;
the next night, he was visited by another Buddha who was accompanied
by hundreds of thousands of Arahant disciples. Each night a different
Buddha came to express his appreciation, accompanied by a different
number of Arahant disciples. Ãcariya Mun stated that the number of
accompanying Arahant disciples varied according to each Buddha’s
relative accumulation of merit – a factor that differed from one Buddha
to the next.

This quote is complete fantasy and it is impossible according to real Theravāda Buddhism. Ask anyone outside the Thai Forest Tradition. I have explained this already in the article here:   “Does The Buddha Live In Nibbāna?” https://subhuti.withmetta.net/2017/09/10/buddha-live-nibbana/ .  It should be noted Buddhas that still live in Nirvana is a popular Mahayana and Vadjrayana (Tibetan) belief.  It is also very popular in New Age Religions.

In either case.  While one should know that this section of the book is complete rubbish.  The other parts of the book leading up to this quote are very inspiring.  The monastic way of life in some of the monasteries which continue with this legacy are inspiring too.  So there is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Links Below:
1. Does the Buddha Live in Nibbāna? https://subhuti.withmetta.net/2017/09/10/buddha-live-nibbana/
2. OBE4U.com article on biblical dreams of prophets http://obe4u.com/god-christianity-bible/
3. Ajahn Martin says, “Yes, you can talk to Buddhas” http://www.forestdhammatalks.org/en/ajahn_martin/questions_and_answers.php
4. General discussions about the “citta.” https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/mind-in-the-thai-forest-tradition/4464
5. Link to quoted text p.172 Venerable Ãcariya Mun Bhýridatta Thera: A Spiritual Biography by Ãcariya Mahã Boowa Ñãõasampanno.  http://www.forestdhamma.org/ebooks/english/pdf/Acariya_Mun__A_Spiritual_Biography.pdf

6 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Ajahn Mun’s Biography

  1. Bhante, What were the Ajahn Chah’s, Liem’s, Dtun’s opinion on that?
    Which ajahn in the Thai tradition have traditional Theravada view on that matter?

  2. can it be Buddha from another universe? (not Buddha Gautama or Buddha from the past). I think i’ve read that many Buddha is still live in many universes (not sure if it’s from therevada or mahayana sources)

  3. It does not seem that the quote is referencing any Buddha who has already passed; it may be suggesting the existence of Buddhas in other worlds.

    1. It is said in the commentary that only one Buddha can exist in any world system at any one time. That would also include the time the dhamma is alive after he dies too. I can provide the Pali if you wish. You are mentioning Mahayana view.

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