Short Biography of
Venerable Acariya Varongkot Virivatharo (Luangta Ma)
Wat Phrommapanyo (Wat Tham Muang Na)
Thambon Muang Na, Amphor Chiang Dao
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Luangta Ma’s original name is Varongkot Suwannakun. He was born on November 23rd 1934 in the Noraniwat district of Sakon Nakhon, a north-eastern province of Thailand. His father’s name is Wandee Suwannakun and his mother’s name is Sorpar Suwannakun. His parents had three children of which Vorangkot was the second.
Luangta Ma has been a lay disciple of Luangpu Du and practised meditation under Luang Pu’s guidance for more than 20 years. When his teacher was over 70 years old, he implored Luangta Ma to ordain as a monk. Luangta Ma complied with his teacher’s wish. He was ordained on Sunday, July 24th 1988 at 10:06 AM at Wat Buddhathaisawan in the Ayutthaya province. Venerable Ajahn Pathrakit (Luangpor Huan), the abbot of Wat Buddhathaisawan, was the preceptor of the ceremony. Venerable Ajahn Suangthorn Dhammanithed (nicknamed Boonsong) acted as first ordination teacher and Venerable Ajahn Pichit Kitarthorn (nicknamed Sanae) acted as the second ordination teacher.
Pilgrimage and Ascetic Practices
After Luangta Ma spent one lent in robes, he went to pay respect to Luangpor Huan and asked his permission to leave the monastery in order to go on a pilgrimage. He also took the Thirteen Austere Practices, which constitute an ascetic practice considered helpful by the Buddha for removing the defilements. Luangpor Huan gave his consent, upon which Luangta Ma went to pay respect to Luangpu Du at Wat Sakae. He arrived at night time when Luangpu Du was the only person residing at the abode at Wat Sakae. Luangpu Du gave him a sermon and wished him well. He finally added: “Wherever you stay, I will be with you. Take this amulet. If you need my assistance, just turn to the amulet.” With these words he gave him an amulet with Luangpu Du’s image imprinted on it, some travel utensils, and 500 Baht in cash.
Luangpu Du told Luangta Ma to go up north, yet he did not state any reason for it. In the morning, Luangpu Du sent a monk to bring Luangta Ma a lunch box, since he knew that Luangta Ma was too busy with preparations that morning and didn’t go on alms round.
After these events, Luangta Ma followed his master’s advice and went north. He became a solitary wandering monk and practised Tudong (pilgrimage on foot) through northern Thailand for several years. He often lived in caves to practice meditation. He experienced many odd and unusual occurrences during this time. One day he reached Prathat Jomjaeng which was formerly known as Prathat Jomkithi. At this place, he meditated in the open and prayed to find a secluded place suitable for solitary meditation. Miraculously, an old man appeared in the morning and told Luangta Ma about a remote cave in the forest of Muang Na. If it wasn’t for the old man’s story, he would moved onwards to the Four Buddha Footprints in Mae Rim.
Muang Na Cave
Luangta Ma, however, decided to follow the old man’s lead. He sought the cave which the old man had told him about and -while on his way- asked Luangpu Du for guidance through serene contemplation. It wasn’t long until Luangta Ma found the cave, which the locals simply called Muang Na cave. The cave was exactly as the old man had told him. When he arrived there, Luangta Ma took up mediation and contacted Luangpu Du through contemplation.
In 1990 it became known to Luangta Ma that Luangpu Du had left his physical body. He went to Ayutthaya to join the royal funeral ceremony. After the ceremony, he returned to the Muang Na. Since then Luangta Ma practised solitary meditation at the cave for more than ten years. During this time he was supported by the Thai and Shan villagers who live in the Muang Na area.
Originally, Luangta Ma set out to seek enlightenment in this life, as epitomised by the Arahat ideal. Yet, when he advanced his meditation practice, he connected to previous stores of Bodhicitta. He felt deep sympathy for all beings and prayed to stay on, rather than to pass into Nirvana, in order to help all beings in the heaven, human, animal, and hell realms.
Consequently, Luangta Ma decided to give up the solitary life in order to help others to practise. He began building a temple around the cave in Muang Na. At the same time, he started to teach the Dhamma to people who came to the temple and he instructed them in meditation practice.
In recent years, Luangta Ma was able to attract a considerable following. He is now widely recognised in Northern Thailand; he is also known for his great kindness. It is obvious to his students that Luangta Ma follows the ideal of the Bodhisattva. He teaches the Dhamma to his students, as well as meditation and amulet making in the tradition of Luangpu Du. Thus Luangta Ma continues the lineage of his great Ayutthayan master Luangpu Du.
龙达玛Wat Tham Muang Na的简介小传 龙达玛的原名是Varongkot Suwannakun。他在泰国东北东部Sakon Nakhon省的Noraniwat区出生于1934年11月23日。他父亲的名字是Wandee Suwannakun和他母亲的名字是Sorpar Suwannakun。他的父母有三个孩子，龙达玛是第二位孩子。龙达玛一直是龙婆嘟的俗家弟子，并在龙婆嘟的指导下，练习禅坐超过20年。当龙婆嘟超过70岁时，他恳求龙达玛出家为僧。龙达玛遵守他的老师的愿望。龙达玛于1988年7月24日（星期日）上午10:06在大城府省Wat Buddhathaisawan受戒。Wat Buddhataisawan的方丈尊者阿姜Pathrakit（龙婆Huan）是受戒仪式的导师。尊者阿姜Suangthorn Dhammanithed（绰号Boonsong）是第一受戒师和尊者阿姜Pichit Kitarthorn（绰号Sanae）担任第二受戒师。
过了一段时期，龙达玛向龙婆Huan请求，允许他离开寺庙去的朝圣。龙婆Huan给了他的同意，龙达玛就去拜见龙婆嘟Wat Sakae。他去到已经是晚上的时间，龙婆嘟是唯一在庙里驻守的人。 龙婆嘟给他讲道，并祝他好运。他最后补充道：“无论你到哪里，我会与你同在。拿着这个护身符。如果你需要我的帮助，就使用这个护身符。”龙婆嘟给了龙达玛这个护身符，一些旅行用具，以及500泰铢的现金。
这些事件之后，龙达玛跟着龙婆嘟的意见并北上。几年来他在泰国北部一个人孤独的游走以及实行Tudong（赤脚朝圣）。他经常住在山洞里练习坐禅。在此期间，他经历了很多奇怪和不寻常的事件。有一天，他到达Prathat Jomjaeng，前名为Prathat Jomkithi。在这个地方，他开始坐禅和祈祷，找到一个适合坐禅的僻静地方。不可思议的是，一位老人在早晨出现和告诉龙达玛，远方Muang Na的森林有一个洞穴。 龙达玛决定遵循老人的指引。他根据老人的告知寻找洞穴，也通过沉思默想向龙婆嘟请示。过了不久，龙达玛就发现了洞穴，当地人简称为孟娜洞穴（Muang Na Cave）。这个洞穴与老人诉说的一模一样。当他到达那里的时候，龙达玛就坐禅告知龙婆嘟。
Credits given to Thomas and Ann in watthummuangna.com