His Majesty the King Tuesday appointed Somdet Phra Maha Muneewong, the abbot of Wat Ratbophit, as Thailand’s new supreme patriarch, Prime Minister Prayut said.
Prayut said he nominated five senior monks for the post and King made the final decision. The appointment ceremony will be held on February 12.
Somdet Phra Maha Muneewong has spent eight full decades in monasteries.
Born on June 26, 1927, he was initially known as Ambhorn Prasattapong.
At the age of 10, he was ordained as a novice monk at a local temple in his home province of Ratchaburi. It took him just three years to complete the Dhamma Scholar, Elementary Level. By 1943, he had already completed the Dhamma Scholar, Advanced Level.
In 1947, a senior monk recommended him to the then-Supreme Patriarch (Vas Vassano) and thus he could move to Ratchabophit Temple in Bangkok.
In 1948, he was ordained as a monk. At the Ratchabophit Temple, he had studied Dhamma further
After completing the Pali Scholar Level 6 in 1950, he pursued further monastic education at the country’s Mahamakut Buddhist University. In 1957, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies.
After his graduation, he headed to India and studied for a master degree in history and archaeology at the Banaras Hindu University.
He received an honorary doctorate degree from the Mahamakut Buddhist University in 2009, the year he secured the Racha Khara rank.
In 2010, the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University also conferred him an honorary doctorate degree.
At present, he has been the abbot of the Ratchabophit Temple, a senior member of the Dhammayuti Order, and a member of the Sangha Supreme Council,