Upon hearing the sad news of the passing away of His Holiness, Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara Somdet Phra Sangharaja Sakalamahasanghaparinayaka the 19th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, who turned centenarian in October 2013, sorrow and surprise nearly shocked me bodily and mentally. Allow me to give my condolences to and co-miserations with His Holiness's relatives, friends and associates for their bereavements.
But being mindful of Anicca, Dukkha, and Anatta our Lord Buddha had taught us, I managed to gather my strength and reflect upon the achievements of his Holiness in his long life in the field of Buddha Sasana.
In so doing my sorrowfulness becomes well balanced by my happiness in and admiration for His Holiness's untainted long life and undaunted and ceaseless mission for the promotion, and preservation of Buddha Sasana not only in the country of his birth but also across the world.
As a human being, I confess that my feelings are deeply sad at this news. But Anicca, the impermanence of life is what our Lord Buddha has taught us in his Dhamma, and being mindful of this Dhamma I gradually overcome my sorrow and turn to happy moments of my contacts and co-operation with His Holiness in our common mission of promoting Buddha Sasana. Those happy occasions shall remain, I am sure, in my everlasting memories.
Everything is mortal and subject to change we have learnt from Buddha's Dhamma and have been experiencing every day of our lives. Therefore we need not be always sad over a loss. What I personally feel and shall do now is, pray for His Holiness's much better life hereafter and take him as my role model in the missionary of Buddha Sasana.
"Sarira" and "Guna" are two words with two different meanings. Sarira is body and Guna is glory of good achievements. Body decays in a moment. But glory of good achievements of a person which is "Guna" lasts till the end of the world.
In such a way, Patriarchs of Sangha, who were well versed in Pariyatti and Patipatti and who gave the knowledge of the truth of Dhamma had passed away. I feel as though the eyes of Loka have been lost. The demise of His Holiness, Sangharaja of Thailand is indeed, an irreplacable lose to Buddha Sasana.
While his Holiness, Sangharaja was hospitalized for many years in silence, unable to speak, I had the chance to see him at the hospital. I was reminded of the words of Ashin Anurudha Mahathera who was present at the Parinibbana of Lord Gotama Buddha. "Lord Buddha with unswerving mind forbore the sufferings. In an oil lamp, when oil is consumed, and the wick is burnt out, the flame is extinguished."
Everlasting friend of His Holiness
Venerable Dr. Ashin Ñāṇissara (D.Litt., Ph.D.)
Chancellor of Sitag| International Buddhist Academies
Honorary Professor of International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University
Chairman of International Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities
Chairman of the board of director (TDSA)
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