To teach is a privilege, to teach well is admirable, to teach well is rewarding, to learn from a good teacher is a blessing, bless others with your good teaching skills and your life will be overflowing with boon(blessing).
Luang Por Dattajeevo was born Padet Pongsawat on December 21, 1940 to an agricultural household in Pakplaak District of Kanchanaburi province. He graduated in agricultural science from Kasetsart University and studied in Australia at post-graduate level.
Luang Por Dattajeevo’s path on his pursuit of Perfections is filled with lots of extraordinary thoughts and ideas. Since a young age, he has always enjoyed practicing meditation and reading books on all subjects, especially about the practice of meditation found in various ancient scriptures. He sought out numerous well known meditation masters to train him in meditation in order to dispel any doubts about ‘merit, demerit, and the existence of heaven and hell’ that remained in his mind.
Padet was a very curious young man, and as part of his wide curiosity he became involved in Thai black magic since he was seventeen years old. In his student years at Kasetsart University, he would often hold organized public demonstrations of black magic to his fellow students. Every time a junior student Chaiyaboon joined to watch one of Padet’s demonstrations, the magic would not work. Padet therefore become curious about Chaiyaboon’s mental powers, and decided to test Chaiyaboon by bringing him to his black magic teacher. But even the teacher could not use his powers in Chaiyaboon’s presence. Padet therefore wanted to learn more about Chaiyaboon and the meditation he practiced. He felt inspired by Chaiyaboon’s sincerity in meditation and his adherence to the Buddhist five precepts. This was a turning point in his life, and from that moment on he has always been Chaiyaboon’s student and assistant, and they developed a solid friendship. Chaiyaboon often invited Padet to Wat Paknam to practice meditation with Khun Yai, one of the Great Master Phramongkolthepmuni’s most outstanding disciples whom he extolled as being ‘second to none’.
Padet’s virtuous path on his pursuit of Perfections began when Khun Yai provided answers to questions that lingered in him and helped remove all his doubts. She was the only one who confirmed the existence of good & bad karma, and heaven and hell. She had even once rescued her late father from the hell realm.
Luang Por Dattajeevo ordained in 1971 and became known as Luang Por Dattajeevo, which means “He who gives his soul (to Buddhism) and quickly became a well-known teacher and speaker. He also took on a significant role in managing Wat Phra Dhammakaya. By that time, Chaiyaboon had already ordained as Luang Por Dhammajayo.
As a teacher, Luang por Dattajeevo has spoken regularly before international audiences. For example, as a panelist at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session “World Summit for Social Development” in 2000 in Geneva, he highlighted the importance of spirituality in addressing social development and overcoming poverty. A prolific author, he has written many books published in Thai language, many of which have been translated into other languages than Thai. His books are often about contemporary problems. A topic that he is known for is Buddhist economics, which he relates to personal development of qualities like mindfulness, simplicity and contentment.
In Wat Phra Dhammakaya, he is person with the second most authority in the temple, next to Luang Por Dhammajayo. His character and organizational style complement Luang Por Dhammajayo in many ways. Khun Yai Chand once stated that without Luang Por Dhammajayo and Luang Por Dattajeevo, the founding of Wat Phra Dhammakaya would not have been possible. Luang Por Dattjeevo is responsible for the day-to-day management of many of the temple’s affairs and he is known for his informal character. He is also responsible for the management of international centers of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. He was made vice-president of the Dhamma Missionary Outreach Sector 8 and is the president of the Dhammakaya International Society of California. He was also caretaker abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya from 1999 to 2006, and again from 2011 to 2016.
Luang Por Dattajeevo received the Dhammacakra Sema-Pillar award from Princess Sirindhorn in 1993. Furthermore, he received an honorary degree from the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in 1994. In the 2010s, a stupa was built by Luang Por Dhammajayo honoring him, called the Phra Maha Cetiya Dattajeevo.