A Biography of Venerable Phra Depvaraporn
The Venerable Chaokun Phra Depvaraporn (known affectionately as Lung-po Dep), who is presently the Vice-Abbot of Wat Sommanat Vihara in Bangkok, Thailand and who is the founder, benefactor and moral support of many temples throughout Thailand and abroad, was born Aim Klaewthanong on January 13th, 1928 in Songkla, Thailand to Thong Klaewthanong and Klayneaw Klaewthanong.
As a child he preferred to study about Buddhism because the temple played such a central role in his family life. Every morning his family would offer food to monks on pindabat (alms food gathering) and his family was very generous which taught him the merits of helping others, a central teaching of Lord Buddha.
Aim completed his four years of primary school education but could only continue in high school for one year when he was forced to give up his studies due to the complications which World War II caused for the Thai people.
He became Phra (monk) as Arinthamo Bhikkhu at the age of 21 in 1949 at Wat Kasethcholathee in Songkla. His Upajjaya was Phra Amormuni who was later known as Somdej Phra Wannarat Chab, the late Lord Abbot of Wat Sommanat Vihara (Wannarat II). His Ajhans were Phra Kammavachajan, who is the present Somdej Phra Sangharaja (Supreame Patriarch of Buddhism in Thailand), and Anusasanajan: Phra Saumukrachang, the present Abbot of Wat Kasethcholathee.
His education continued as a bhikkhu, completing Level Three in Dhamma in 1951 and Level five in the Pali Examinations in 1959.
His promotions of rank were: Prakru Aduldhammanuwatr -12/05/71, Prakittivarapasath- 12/05/79, Phra Depvaraporn- 12/05/98-present.
In addition to his present position as Vice-Abbot of Wat Sommanat Vihara, he has served on the Dhamma Exam Correction Committee, Pali Exam Correction Committee, has given Dhamma presentations and has especially served as a benefactor in organization and fund raising to build temples, schools, hospitals and various other community development projects.
One outstanding example of Lung-Po's inspiration to the generosity of Thai people is the founding of Wat Florida Dhammaramin 1993.