Dhammachai Day

Day of Victory
27 August

On August 27, 1969, Chaiyaboon Suddhipol was ordained at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, Bangkok and was given the monastic name “Dhammajayo”, which means “The Victor through Dharma”. He had a strong determination to dedicate his life to Buddhism and guide the world to find true happiness that comes from Dhamma within. This intention was reaffirmed later in the statement he made at Pa Dum, Chiang Mai:

‘O angels of Pa Dum! Be my witness. I, wearer of these saffron robes, the banner of the enlightened Arahants, the banner of the Supreme Dhamma that is free from cruelty, plant this banner of purity here in my heart. Upon these mountain tops of splendor, dwelling place of great lords, I declare to all: I shall dedicate my life as sacrifice to Buddhism, to ripen my perfections to full fruition, to release all people and beings from the shackles of suffering. For as long as the worlds’ beings have not yet all entered Nirvana, I shall remain here, to beat the Drum of Dhamma, to wander and teach the world’s beings, and I shall enter Nirvana as the last. May all living beings live in peace and harmony.’

Before ordination

Luangpor Dhammajayo, whose original name was Chaiyaboon Suddhipol, has been interested in reading all kinds of books and Dhamma practice since childhood. One day, he read a book called “Dhammakaya” containing writings based on sermons given by Phra Mongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro) of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen and was struck by the remark, “To follow in the right path of Buddhism, one must practice until one gains complete comprehension and understanding. At Wat Paknam, one can learn to comprehend and understand.” After reading the book, he had a strong desire to seek out and study Dharma with Luangpu Sodh. He later came across an article in “Vipassana Banteungsarn”, a meditation magazine, telling the story of Khun Yai Chand, a nun who was an outstanding student of Luangpu Sodh. Knowing this, he was determined to find Khun Yai Chand and eventually was able to study and practice Dhamma with her at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen since he was in secondary school.

A few years later, as a young university student who saw benefits of meditation for himself as well as for the others, Chaiyaboon was strongly determined to learn and practice meditation on a continuous basis and invited his friends at the university to join, forming a network of students who loved to practice meditation. As the lives of many group members had changed for the better, he became more confident in the path he was taking.

Great Aspiration

The tireless effort Chaiyaboon gave to practicing meditation resulted in great progress. His expertise in meditation was then recognized by those who had practiced meditation with Khun Yai Chand, and he was later assigned to be a mentor to help guide the meditation practice to the group.

The happiness he obtained from meditation helped him realize the value of meditation and clearly understand that only meditation can help one be relieved from suffering and find true happiness. Moreover, the happiness from profound meditation is the answer he had been searching for all along to the true goal of being born as a human being, and such happiness can truly create peace for the world.

Dhammachai Day, the Beginning of Lifetime Dedication in Monkhood

Chaiyaboon himself had the intention of becoming a monk since his university days as he believed this path could lead him to save people from suffering and find true happiness. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1969, he decided to steadfastly follow the path of Lord Buddha in leaving the worldly life behind. He was ordained as a monk in the same year on August 27, the full-moon day of the 9th lunar month at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen and given the monastic name “Dhammajayo”, meaning “The victor through Dhamma”.

Besides observing all precepts strictly, Luangpor Dhammajayo began to follow his aspiration by focusing on the study of Dhamma in theory and bringing it into practice as well as teaching Dhamma and meditation to the congregants who came to Dhammaprasit House located on the premises of Wat Paknam. As the place became too small to accommodate the growing community, there came an idea to find a larger place. Later, a plot of land in Pathum Thani province was donated by Lady Prayad Pattayapongsavisuttatibodi. The place was initially named “Buddhajak Meditation Center” and later changed to Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

From Past to Present, Achieving the Dream

To bring Dhamma to the hearts of people, Luangpor Dhammajayo began to lay out a plan for the new development based on three main concepts: “building a true temple, training monks to be true monks, and training people to be virtuous.”