Friday, 28 March 2008
Luang Phor Opasee
No one actually knew what year Luang Phor Opasee was born in, but it is believed to be around 1877 to 1887. Luang Phor Opasee was the eldest of eight siblings. He started his formal studies at the tender age of five and became a novice at Wat Tai when he was thirteen. His teacher, seeing talent in him, advised him to travel to the city to further his education. Luang Phor Opasee, heeding his teacher's advice, left for Wat Ta Poh and studied there for a short period of time before leaving for Bangkok to learn Pali. He then became a monk at Wat Bovornives. Luang Phor Opasee was keen on learning and therefore studied many different languages. He was soon able to speak English, Chinese, Tamil, Malay, Japanese and Pali and many other languages. He stunned many with his outstanding intelligence. Luang Phor Opasee was also a disciple of Luang Phor Kob Wat Tham Salika from Lopburi. Though they have never met before, it is believed that they communicated through meditation. When Luang Phor Opasee was about to reach the highest level of Dhamma, his behaviour started to change. He would stare at burning flames over a long period of time. Luang Phor Opasee observed all the precepts of a monk strictly. He never accepted anything that was offered to him. He would just burn them, saying that the things are just temptations and that they would lead to unhappiness and that fire could destroy this. There was once he nearly burned down the whole of Wat Bovornives. The villagers were unhappy with him. They were unsure as to why he was behaving like this and they soon concluded that he was insane. Fearing for him, Phra Sangharaj Chao told Luang Phor Opasee to leave Wat Bovornives. Ajahn Bao Er found a place at Wat Arsom Bang Mok for Luang Phor Opasee upon hearing that he was moving out. Many years later a chief monk in India came to know about Luang Phor Opasee. He sent a letter inviting Luang Phor Opasee to attend a conference held on the 28th of October 1955 in India. He had two disciples that were also invited to go along. Luang Phor Opasee was not able to make it on the 28th, but could only be there on the 31st. He then told his disciples to go over there first to inform them of his late arrival. On the 31st, many people were at the airport to see Luang Phor Opasee off, but he never showed up. Wondering why, they visited the temple only to find out that Luang Phor Opasee had passed away. At that time, his two disciples had met Luang Phor Opasee. They later received news that he had passed away but they thought it was impossible as Luang Phor Opasee was there at the conference interacting with Buddhist monks from other countries.