16 January marked the 24th anniversary of Venerable Ajahn Chah leaving his mortal body. Venerable Ajahn Chah was one of the foremost Theravada monk of Thai tradition and widely considered an Arahant. (Arahant means Enlightened, a person who has become Enlightened following the path and teachings of Lord Buddha). Venerable Ajahn Chah is founder of two Thai Forrest monasteries specially Wat Nong pah Pong
Venerable Ajahn Chah (Phra Bodhiñāna Thera) was born into a typical farming family in a rural village in the province of Ubon Rachathani, N.E. Thailand, on June 17, 1918. He lived the first part of his life as any other youngster in rural Thailand, and, following the custom, took ordination as a novice in the local village monastery for three years, where he learned to read and write, in addition to studying some basic Buddhist teachings.
Venerable Ajahn Chah was one of the disciples of Ven Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Thera who was prominently responsible for founding Thai Forrest tradition. Ven Ajahn Chah played a fundamental role in the revival of Theravada Buddhism in Thailand and around the world. He along with his chief disciples like Ajahn Sumedo and Ajahn Brahma spread Thai Forrest Tradition to the western world.Venerable Ajahn Chah is one of the most influential monks of modern era who spread Mindfulness Meditation and followed strict Vinaya Monastic precepts as laid down by Buddha.
Every year thousands of devotees, both lay and monks come to monastery Wat Nong pah Pong,Thailand to pay tribute and homage to Venerable Ajahn Chah, from Jan 12 to Jan 17. They practice meditation, chanting, and listen to Dhamma talks schedules in the monastery. There are no words to express the contribution made by Venerable Ajahn Chah which remain eternal. It has no beginning and has no end.
Venerable Ajahn Chah teachings are recorded in some books. Food for the Heart is a leading bestseller and a landmark book to learn about Venerable Ajahn Chah teachings. I have myself not read the book and plan to read it sometime soon.
The book is a must read for anyone on the path of liberation.