BECAUSE of the position left vacant by the passing away on October 24 of the late Supreme Patriarch, His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, at the age of 100, the Sangha Supreme Council would soon nominate his successor, the director-general of the Nation
In accordance with the 1992 amendment to the Buddhist Order Act 1962, the council-endorsed nomination would be selected from the eligible most-senior monks in the hierarchy, based on the amount of time the monk has held the title “Somdet”. The name would be forwarded to the prime minister, who would then submit it to His Majesty the King, he added.
The appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch will take place after the royal cremation of the former Supreme Patriarch, according to Nopparat.
The monk nominated could come from either of the country’s two Buddhist sects: Maha Nikaya or Dhammayutti Nikaya. “In the past, we have seen Supreme Patriarchs from both sects,” he said.
There are seven “Somdet-titled” monks, with various degrees of seniority, according to the Matichon news report. First among them is Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn, the 88-year-old abbot of Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen, who belongs to the Maha Nikaya sect. He is the most senior monk, as he received the title in 1995.
The other six monks are Somdet Phra Maha Wirawong, 96, abbot of Wat Samphantha-wong of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2001; Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong, 86, abbot of Wat Ratchabophit of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2009; Somdet Phra Wannarat, 77, acting abbot of Wat Bowon Niwet of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2009; Somdet Phra Buddha Kosacharn, 83, abbot of Wat Suthat Thepphawararam of the Maha Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2010; Somdet Phra Thirayarnmuni, 66, abbot of Wat Thep Sirin of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2010; and Somdet Phra Buddha Chinnawong, 72, abbot of Wat Pichaya Yatikaram of the Maha Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2011.