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Phra Dharma Visuddhi Mangala (Bua Ñāṇasampaṇṇo) commonly known as Ajahn Maha Bua or in Thai Luang Ta Maha Bua the word "Ajahn" (means "teacher"), born as Bua Lohitdee, was a Thai Buddhist monk. Bua is one of the best known Thai Buddhist monks of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He was widely regarded as an Arahant — a living Buddhist saint. He was a disciple of the esteemed forest master Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta, and was himself considered a master in the Thai Forest Tradition.
When he was 21, his parents asked him to enter the monkhood for a season, a Thai tradition to show gratitude towards one's parents. He entered Yothanimit monastery and was ordained on May 12, 1934 with Venerable Chao Khun Dhammachedi as his preceptor. His preceptor gave him the Pali name 'Nanasampanno', meaning 'one endowed with wisdom'. At the time, Bua had no intention of remaining a monk for the rest of his life. As Pra Nanasampanno, he studied the incarnations of the Buddha and his Arahant Disciples. He has said he was so impressed that he decided to seek the same enlightenment as had the Buddha's original disciples.
He studied Pali, the language of Theravada Buddhism, as well as the Vinaya (the monastic rules of correct conduct). After seven years, he passed the third level of Pali studies, and achieved the highest level in Dhamma and Vinaya studies. He then concentrated entirely on the practice of Dhamma in hopes of studying with Venerable Ajahn Mun, one of the most renowned meditation masters of his time.
In 1950, after the death of Mun, Bua sought a secluded place. He went to Huey Sai village in Mukdahan province. He was very strict and serious in teaching the monks and novices, both in the austere dhutanga practices and in meditation. He continued his teaching until these same principles became established amongst his followers. Learning that his mother was ill, he returned home to look after her. Villagers and relatives requested that he settle permanently in the forest south of the village and no longer wander in the manner of a forest monk. As his mother was very old and that it was appropriate for him to look after her, he accepted the offer. With a donation of 64 acres of land, he began to build his monastery in November 1955. It was given the name Wat Pa Baan Taad.
Bua has traveled to London to give lectures. He also founded the Help Thai Nation Project, a charitable effort dedicated to helping the Thai economy. He has been visited and supported by the King and Queen of Thailand.