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Panya Nanthaphikku (ปัญญา นันทภิกขุ)

Thai. ‘Monk with the Wisdom of Ananda’. Designation of a Buddhist monk (Phra pikku) from Pattalung Province, who spent 76 years in the monkhood and dedicated his life to the dissemination of Buddhism. He was born on 11 May 1911, ordained as a novice in 1929, became a Buddhist monk 1931, and passed away on 10 October 2007, at the age of 96. In his long life he became a Luang Pho and was the abbot or chao ahwaht of Wat Chonprathaan Rangsarit (วัดชลประทานรังสฤษฎ์) in Nonthaburi, as well as the patron or phu upatham of Wat Panyah Nantharaam (วัดปัญญานันทาราม) in Pathum Thani, which is named after him. His major legacy is his direct way of preaching the Dhamma, i.e. the teachings of the Buddha. His original name at birth was Pan Sanehcharoen (ปั่น เสน่ห์เจริญ) and he is also known as Pan Panyananthoh (ปั่น ปัญญานันโท) and holds the titles Phra Phrom Mangkon Ajaan (พระพรหมมังคลาจารย์) and Phra Dhamma Kohsahjahn (พระธรรมโกศาจารย์). Panya Nanthaphikku is also the founder of Phra Ubosot Klahng Nahm (พระอุโบสถกลางน้ำ) in Ayutthaya (map - fig.), i.e. the ‘Assembly Hall (Bot) in the Middle of the Water’, his last building project, erected behind the new main campus of Mahawithayahlai Maha Chulalongkon Ratcha Withayahlai, i.e. the Buddhist Chulalongkorn University (fig.) in Ayutthaya (fig.), of which he said he hoped he wouldn't die before it was finished (fig.). The name of Luang Pho Panya Nanthaphikku is sometimes transcribed Panyananda Bhikku (fig.). To commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth, Thailand Post in 2011 issued a set of four postage stamps with his portrait (fig.).