Lp Sanga Wat Ban Maw
1st Batch Rian BE2511
Luang Po Sanga’s former name is Sanga Wes-Suwan. He was born the son of Mr. Kiam and Mrs. Maw Wes-Suwan on 11 March 1916, at Ban Maw, Klona-ta-kod Sub-district, photaram district, Rajburi. During his childhood, he started his education at Wat Ban-Maw School. At that time, it was a temple which served as an educational institution with monks performing teaching. There were times that children had to stay overnight at the temple to serve the monks. That was also the case with the young Sanga thus making his life very close to the temple. As a child, he was outspoken, bold in his thinking and very attentive to his studies at Wat Ban-Maw School. But after graduating from grade 4 of this school where he obtained his literacy, he helped his parents work in the rice field.
As time went by, the young Sanga became a young lad who would enjoy life like the other men. After his diurnal work at the rice field, he would enjoy the freedom to visit other villages. This visiting activity would go on untill the rice-planting season. There were times that when he visited other villages, he would seek to learn magic spell from skillful masters. However, this was not very successful. One day, a man in his village was badly injured as a result of another man’s wanting to show his might over a girl’s issue. He witnessed the incident and thought…. “If only I had magical spell, I could have saved that injured fellow.”
Since then he kept seeking for a master from whom he could learn the magical spell, he finally went to a Luang Po at Wat Sai Arak and asked to learn from him. But the question asked of him was: “Where are you from?” “I am from Wat Ban Maw” answered as he answered. Luang Po at Wat Sai Arak then gave him a puzzling remark: “It’s quite a distance for the grass you are seeking to eat, do not disregard the grass close to you or overlook how beautiful it is”.
He kept thinking about this remark. And it was not until over a week later that he could solve the puzzle that the grass close to him was actually the Abbot at Wat Ban Maw. He decided to go to the Abbot and asked to learn from him. After years had passed by, he eventually obtained from the Aboot, the knowledge of spell, the sacred script, and magical drawings.
In 1938, or at the age of 22 Luang Po Sanga decided to devote himself for a monastic life. He was ordained in Wat Ban Maw. Performing his ordination were Phra Athigarn Klin from Wat Kong Ka being his Phra Upacha, Phra Arjan Keng and Phra Arjan Pae’, his Phra Anusasawanajarn (at,that time, 3 chanting monks were required for the ordination for the ordination, his monastic name was Anupubbho.
Luang Po Sanga stayed at Wat BanMaw. He pursued Dhamma studies so diligently that he passed the Nagtham I and Nagtham II (state monastical examination). Concurrently, he learnt the sacred script, and magical drawing in both Thai and Khom regimes from Arjan Pae and Arjan Pia whose were expertise in this type of knowledge was well known in the vicinity. At the same his interest also diversified into Thai herbal medicine. It was this knowledge he acquired during the three-lenten period he stayed in Wat Ban Maw that he used to cure himself and others in time of aliments.
A turning point for his life came in 1941 when Wat Nong Muang (located at Bang Pae District, Rajburi Province) needed a leading monk. Built in the Sri-Ayudhaya era, Wat Nong Muang was very old and dilapidated. There were only the remains of ruined chapel, working hall and a few kutis (living units for monks). The temple was left so long unattended that it was no difference from a jungle. Because of his ability, he was asked by monks in this temple to come to help with the administration and the restoration of the temple.
Things were difficult at first. Walking is the only means to access the temple. This was aggravated by diseases and thieves. Given all these difficulties, Luang Po Sanga had used much of his effort and ability such as having streets built into the surrounding villages, resulting in the gradual development of the temple.
At that time, the nearby villagers were low income rice farmers whose once a year harvest brought to them only a small return. It was not until these past few years that the villagers had higher earnings after they changed to raise cows. Their better financial condition helped with the development of Wat Nong Muang. It took Luang Po Sanga many years to develop this temple. In the past, the development of a temple depended entirely on the faith villagers had in a monk to help make the building of a temple successful as there were no construction men like these days. Therefore, monks needed to find ways (using their knowledge and ability) to make villagers have faith in them. And the fact that Buddha’s foot print in Wat Nong Muang drew people to come to the temple reflected Luang Po Sanga’s effort to develop the temple, which resulted in the temple’s tranquil environment.
In his youth, Luang Po Sanga studied veda text, magical drawing and tattooing, a popular learning among young men at the time. His interest in, this knowledge continued even when he was newly ordained. According to him: “Even this was not relevant to Sangkha activities, it was a popular belief of people those days and this could be a way by which faith could be created.” Luang Po Sanga was a tattooing master for quite a few years so as to bring people closer to temple and Dharma. Some of those who were tattooed by him became better people, others remained gangsters. Finally, Luang Pao Sanga decided to give up this ritual as it was not important or relevant feature of religion. As far as learning goes, he said: “In the past, teachers focused on practice. Knowledge and theories are easily obtained because they are in books, but practice brings the methods into use. That’s why the teachers in the past emphasized on practice.”
When he had free time, Luang Po Sanga would seek more knowledge from many masters whose expertise lay in different areas. For example, Luang Poo Dee, Wat Ban Yang, Ban Pong District, Rajburi Province was skilled in sacred object which depicted closing-eye monk that gave protective power. Luang Po Plian, Wat Tai, Kanchanaburi Province, a disciple of Luang Poo Yim, had the knowledge of sacred writing (Lop Pong ltije Patamang Trinisinghe) and Puthukun Yan 108 Na 108 (magical drawing). Luang Po Cheam, Wat Ta Kong, Nakorn Pathom Province whose knowledge derived from Luang Po Ta, Wat Paniang Tag. Luang Po Ngern, Wat Don Yai Hom, Nakorn Pathom Province, who taught Luang Po Sanga to perform Krob Kru Na Matta ritual, meditation practice and the popularly known words of wisdom: “Satisfying in what one has brings about happiness.” The accuracy and ability of Luang Po Sanga’s memory is astounding enabling him to apply all the knowledge he acquired to the best use in every situation.
Luang Po Sanga is a monk of loving-kindness. Not only has he developed temple but also people. The principle of happy life he gives to people is to be patient and independent. He teaches people to carry simple life. His words that are often heard are: “A person who is not rich should at least not be poor, if only he knows how to earn and spend, he will never be poor.” People from all walks of life and from many places pay visits to him and ask for sacred objects from him. Many of his disciples in Bangkok ask him to preside over charity affairs and house-opening ceremonies. Luang Po Sangya never boasts about how famous some of the people who pay visit to him are. He welcomes everyone equally without any formality. He simply says it is common for people to very in financial and social status, depending on their competency.
During his stay at Wat Nong Muang, some civil servants pay a visit to him asking him to sprinkle them sacred water, others asking him to perform a sacred ritual to ward off misfortune for them. Miraculously, their ill fortune would turn to blessing. Those who were unlucky with their business and went to see him saw an improvement in their business after getting his blessing. Luang Po Sanga was also experienced in figuring for auspicious time