Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya (P. A. Payutto)


SomdetPhraBuddhaghosacariya (P.A. Payutto) was born PrayudhAryankura, the fifth child of the family, on January 12, 1939 in Supanburi, Thailand.  Started school in 1944 in his hometown, he, then continued his secondary school in Bangkok until 1950.  Back to his hometown in 1951, he was ordained as a novice on May 10 at Ban Krang Temple where he began his Pali studies.  In 1953, he moved to PhraPhiren Temple in Bangkok to further his studies and eventually became the fourth novice in Rattanakosin Period to complete the highest level of Pali studies.  Thus, in 1957, he was granted higher ordination under the royal patronage in July 20 and was given the monastic name as “Payutto.”  In the same year, he also obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Buddhist Studies with first-class honors from MahachulalongkornRajavidyalaya Buddhist University. 

After graduation, he became a lecturer and vice secretary general at MahachulalongkornRajavidyalaya Buddhist University until 1974.  From 1972 to 1976, he was an abbot of PhraPhiren Temple, Bangkok.   
Aside from teaching Buddhist studies in various Thai universities, he was invited to give lectures at University Museum of Pennsylvania University in 1972 and at Swarthmore College, USA in 1976.  Later, he was invited to be a visiting scholar and was appointed a research fellow at Divinity Faculty, Harvard University. 

Thousands of his lectures have been published and hundreds of his books have been used as reference especially his “Buddhadhamma,” “Dictionary of Buddhism with Numerical Dhammas,” and “Dictionary of Buddhist Terms.”  He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees and honorary positions from almost 20 universities in Thailand and abroad.  Some honorary positions are; for example, an honorary Tipitaka Scholar from NavanalandaMahavihara, India, and the Most Eminent Scholar from the World Buddhist University. 

His present abode is Nyanavesakavan Temple in NakornPathom province, Thailand. 


Ecclessiastical Ranks 

On account of his devoted services to Buddhism over the past decades, he has been successively elevated to the following ecclesiastical ranks:       
 • PhraDebvedi       
• Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya
(By convention each of these ranks may be informally prefixed with the honorific “chaokhun,” or “than chaokhun,” the latter of which can also be used reverentially as a form of address.) 



  • 1962-1964  Pali lecturer at MahachulalongkornRajavidyalaya University 
  • 1964-1974  Vice secretary general and lecturer of Buddhist Studies at Mahachulalongkorn  Rajavidyalaya University; giving occasional lectures at the Faculty of Archaeology,  Silpakorn University, and at the Comparative Religions Program, Mahidol University  
  • 1972-1976The Abbot of PhraPhiren Temple 
  • 1972Giving lecture on Buddhism and Thai culture at University Museum, University of Pennsylvania 
  • 1976-1978Giving lecture on Buddhism at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania 
  • 1981Visiting Scholar at Center for the Study of World Religions; giving lectures on Buddhism  at  Divinity Faculty, and Arts Faculty, Harvard University 
  • 1994-presentThe Abbot of Nyannavesakavan temple, NakornPathom 


Honorable Rewards 

ShapeInternational Awards and Recognitions 

  • 1994  UNESCO Prize for Peace Education 
  • 1995 Appointed to a post of TipitakaArcharaya, a scholar well versed in Pali Canon, by Nava Nalanda Institute 
  • 2005 Awarded the Most Eminent Scholar as a guru of Theravada Buddhism by The World Buddhist University 
ShapeHonorary Degrees  
  • Honorary Doctorates in Buddhist Studies from Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, 1982 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Philosophy from Thammasat University, 1986 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Education from Silpakorn University, 1986 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Education from Kasetsart University, 1987 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Linguistics from Chulalongkorn University, 1988 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Linguistics from Mahidol University, 1988 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Education from Srinakharinwirot University, 1990 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Education from Ramkhamhaeng University, 1993 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Education from Prince of Songkhla University, 1994 
  • A post of TipitakaArcharaya, a scholar well versed in Pali Canon from Nava Nalanda Institute, 1995 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Ethicsfrom Mahidol University, 1988 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Science from Chiangmai University, 1998 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Buddhist Studies from Mahamakut Buddhist University, 2001 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Buddhist Studies from BansomdejchaoprayaRajabhat University, 2001 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Philosophy from Sripatum University, 2002) 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Religions and Philosophy from Burapha University, 2009 
  • Honorary Doctorates inEducation from Naraesuan University, 2009 
  • Honorary Doctorates in Communication Arts from SukhothaiThammathirat University, 2009 

Awards and Recognition

- 1982  praised as “a devotee of Buddhism” in the occasion of 200 anniversary of Rattanakosin Period 
- 1982  The first prize of literary award in prose on his work “Buddhadhamma” from Bangkok Bank Foundation 
- 1989  MahidolVaranusara” Prize 
- 1989  praised as a devotee of education from the Faculty of Education, Kasetsart University 
- 1990  “Sang Ngern” Prize on Buddhism propagation 
- 1994  UNESCO Prize for Peace Education 
- 1995  praised as “a cultural expertise” from the National Cultural Committee 
- 1995  Tipitaka Scholar” from Navanalanda, India 
- 1998  TFF Award on Social Studies and Humanities on his book “The Sustainable Development” from  
              ThammasatUniversity and Toyota Foundation 
-2001  SarojBuasri” Award from Srinakharinwirot University 
-2001  entitled “Professor” by the Royal Command for MahahulalongkornRajavidyalaya University 
-2004  “The Most Eminent Scholar” as a sage in Theravada Buddhism from the World Buddhist University 
-2006  entitled “Royal Scholar” by the Royal Command 
-2009  praised as a venerable person in Thai language from the National Cultural Committee 



Bhikkhu P. A. Payutto's Birthplace Museum 

The Bhikkhu P. A. Payutto's Birthplace Museum was established by JatiBhumi P. A. Payutto Foundation with cordial contributions mainly from a group of appreciative locals in honor of Bhikkhu P. A. Payutto. The museum serves as a center of information about his biography and works.  

49  Moo 3, Si Prachan Market, Tambon Si Prachan 
Amphoe Si Prachan, SuphanBuri Province, Thailand 
Telephone Number: 035-548-722 

Operating hours:
Tuesday - Sunday 
from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. 
Admission is free. 

- Information for research purposes 
- A guide for groups provided upon request 
-Eduational activities 

First Floor
The atmosphere of the "BaiRatanagarn" shop in Si Prachan market is brought back, displaying the shop house selling special kinds of Thai- and Chinese- style clothing. This is a place where the Venerable was born and in whose neighborhood he was brought up. On display is his biography, depicting in particular his childhood and some later highlights in his life.  
Sang Hang Saddha (The Light of Faith) 
Some interesting stories of the venerable were presented through the faith and memories of many people. 
Prateep Hang Dhamma (Candle of Dhamma) 
A small reading room behind the house, in which some of the venerable's works are put on display for locals and visitors to study and appreciate. 
Exhibition:  Second Floor 
Vithee Hang Praj (Ways of the Sage) 
Extracts from "Vithee Hang Praj," a book featuring various accounts of memorable experiences and thoughts related to the Venerable by those around him, are projected in exhibition signs reflecting the Venerable's commendable personal nature and conduct - an excellent example to follow. 
BumroongWuddhiraj (Nurturing people) 
An old classroom of the high school in his neighborhood is represented.  It is the place where the Venerable’s mind is nurtured to become a great teacher. 
NganHaengCheewit (Works of Life) 
Some of his works – his books and transcriptions from his lectures or discussions – are presented as examples for interested persons to further their studies. 


The content of this site, apart from dhamma books and audio files, has not been approved by Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya.  Such content purpose is only to provide conveniece in searching for relevant dhamma.  Please make sure that you revisit and cross check with original documents or audio files before using it as a source of reference.