Written & Compiled by Ajaan Dick Sīlaratano
It is important that Venerable Paññāvaḍḍho’s biography is being written and published due to the efforts of Tan Ajaan Dick who has been close to this most venerable and reclusive monk. Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho spent most of his monastic life at Wat Pa Baan Taad, a remote forest monastery in Udon Thani, North-East Thailand.
He trained and practiced under the guidance and support of one of Thailand’s most respected bhikkhus, Tan Ajaan Mahā Boowa—now generally best known in Thailand as “Luang Dtaa Mahā Boowa.” I arrived in Thailand at the New Year of 1966 after serving in the American Peace Corps in Sabah, Malaysia, for two years. At that time there were very few western men taking ordination in Thailand. I came to Thailand with the deliberate intention of ordaining and to receive teaching and instruction in Buddhist meditation. I lived my first six months in Bangkok, investigating the possibilities for ordination and beginning my initial efforts in meditation at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok. At this time, I met Tan Ajaan Mahā Boowa at Wat Bovornives and was told about his disciple, Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho. However, I did not have the opportunity to meet him until three years later, when Luang Por Chah took me on a tour in order to meet some of the respected “Krooba Ajahns” in North-East Thailand. We came to Wat Pa Baan Taad to meet Tan Ajaan Mahā Boowa. During this time, I had the opportunity to meet Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho for the first time.