“Big Baba” Black Buddha



Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee

( Arjarasupoh )


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Full Biography

Biography - Section III


Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee

( Arjarasupoh )

(January 2014)



Section III:  Big Baba's (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) History and Background


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Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) is an eminent Vipassana meditation teacher and a Theravada Buddhist monk (July 7, 1979 to present).  He has studied the tradition of Theravada Buddhism with his Master Luang Por Jumnian for over 30 years.  Theravada Buddhism is based on the religious movement founded in the 6th century BC by Siddhartha, later known as the BUDDHA.  The BUDDHA urged the world to relinquish the extremes of sensuality and self-mortification/self-loathing and follow the enlightened Middle Way.  The focus of this religion is on man, not gods.  The assumption is that a characteristic of life is its unsatisfactoriness and suffering, which is a consequence of craving, and that suffering can end only if desire ceases.  The end of suffering is the achievement of nirvana (in Theravada Buddhist scriptures, nibbana), often defined as the absence of craving and therefore of suffering, sometimes as enlightenment or bliss.  (Source:  Wikipedia)


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Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) was born on August 24, 1958 in Nakomsrithammarat, Thailand.  He studied political science, and speaks Thai and English.  Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) was ordained as a monk when he was 20.  He was located at Wat Tham Sua (Tiger’s Cave Monastery) from 1979-1999 and Thalaythip La-Ong Manee Meditation Center from 1999-present, both in Thailand.  His practice and discipline as a monk have included accompanying his Master Luang Por Jumnian for over 30 years on extensive annual international Dhamma teaching tours.  In this capacity, he has been responsible for all interface with local cultures in places as diverse as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Bhutan, India, Europe, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, East and West coasts of the United States, Tibet, and China, among others.  His interest in other cultures includes cultivating his followers in the United States, where he regularly has visited with Dhamma tours for over 15 years.


Big Baba’s (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) Mom Offers

Food to Big Baba and She Is Very Happy


Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) was the first official Abbot of Wat Tham Sua (Tiger’s Cave Monastery), Krabi, Thailand.  Luang Por Jumnian initially established the temple on which the monastery was founded.  Wat Tham Sua includes a community of 250 monastic residents.  Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) left that post to pursue his own practice, and agreed to be advisor to the successor Abbot at Wat Tham Sua while also performing his other duties.

(Wat Tham Sua’s location)


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Wat Tham Sua


While at Wat Tham Sua, Big Baba’s (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) key interests and talents were used specifically in developing large or complex building projects that honor his commitment to the Buddhadharma.  For example, he has been responsible for the following major construction projects:

·       He oversaw the building of a complex set of 1272 steep hillside steps over 750 meters leading to the top of the mountain which has a footprint of the BUDDHA.  

·       He was responsible for clearing the land and laying the foundation for a large 90 meter tall Pagoda, currently under construction at Wat Tham Sua.  

·       He planned and oversaw the installation of a key statue of Seevalee (one of the great disciples of the BUDDHA) which he designed and had cast to his specifications, and landscaped the surrounding garden.  


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·       He managed and supervised the construction of several other building projects in Wat Tham Sua including residential buildings and Luang Por Jumnian’s residence.


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Thalaythip La-Ong Manee Meditation Center


At Thalaythip La-Ong Manee Meditation Center, one of Big Baba’s (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) meditation centers, Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) also has orchestrated many important projects:

(Thalaythip La-Ong Manee’s location)

·       He founded Thalaythip La-Ong Manee Meditation Center based on substantial resources his followers offered him, including beautiful property by the sea in southern thailand.  In specific, he deeply wants to thank and express his gratitude to Mrs. Sujittra La-Ong Manee for contributing the land for the Meditation Center.

·       He oversaw the design, planning, construction, and completion of the multi-building complex, including a large granite and marble clad Temple, numerous residential kutis, a large dormitory, and bathroom facilities that can accommodate hundreds of visitors at festival times. 

·       As part of his vision for integrating the meditation center with the surrounding community, and in keeping with his desire to promote benefits to the local residents, he engineered and oversaw the drilling of an extensive well and filtration system to provide drinking water to that community.


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Suanpa Thipmongkol Seangtham Meditation Center


Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) has a second meditation center called Suanpa Thipmongkol Seangtham Meditation Center in Ratchaburee, Thailand.  At this meditation center, he has built a special BUDDHA, a special Pagoda, and a building dedicated to meditation on land that was donated by Mrs. Sirion Seangsokeiam, and on adjacent land donated by Mrs. Rattana Yuttagraichaisri and Mr. Panupop Tangsomboon.  Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) wishes to express his deepest gratitude and appreciation to these individuals. 

(Suanpa’s location - Click on the Thai script in the upper left-hand corner)


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Suanpa Thipmongkol Seangtham Meditation Center


In addition, Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh) has used his training to become adept at conflict resolution by using loving-kindness, compassion, and the Middle Way.  He is known among his large number of followers for his wise and pragmatic peacekeeping skills.  His phenomenal abilities in bringing people together to finance and complete projects that reflect these Dhamma teachings are evidence of his skills and commitment.


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The BLACK BUDDHA of Nalanda


During a pilgrimage to India in 2005 with Luang Por Jumnian and Phra Ajahn Ngam, Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh (Big Baba) was inspired by his visit to the BLACK BUDDHA image in the village of Baragaon near the ancient site of Nalanda University.  He curtailed his pilgrimage and stayed instead for two and one half months with the local community, where he nourished a vision for the common benefit of the BLACK BUDDHA and the local community.  His vision encompassed a plan for providing more comfortable road access and parking for pilgrims, toilet facilities, solar generated energy, a drinking water system for the pilgrims and local community, a temple for the BLACK BUDDHA, and a marble clad temple already nearly completed as an expression of gratitude to the local community for the respect and reverence with which the image has been maintained for centuries.


Road to the BLACK BUDDHA - Start to Finish





Starting:  Project Stone


Starting:  Project Stone












Completed Road




Curriculum Vitae, Big Baba (Phra Ajahn Withoon Putamee Arjarasupoh), 2013.


Note:  A very special thank you to the Venerable Phra Promwachirayan (Member of the Sangha Supreme Council; Abbot of Yannawa Temple in Bangkok, Thailand; and the Executive Director of the Reinforced Concrete Road Project for the BLACK BUDDHA of Nalanda, Bihar, India) and to the Maha Bhikkus Sangha of Thailand.  Thank you to the Venerable Phra Thepbodhividet.  Thank you to the Venerable Phra Rajrattanarangsi (Head of the Dhammaduta Order in India-Nepal and Abbot of the Royal Thai Temple, Bodhgaya, Bihar, India).  Thank you to the Venerable Sanghasena in Ladakh and the Maha Bhikkus Sangha in India.  Thank you to Southeast Asia University in Bangkok, Thailand, Dr. Pitakpol Preechachart, Mr. Lertpon Atcharanun, Dr. Thanyathip Phattarapornpisitti, Mr. Weerasak Tullyaporn, Mrs. Grittiya (Meakaw), Mr. Chakkrit Seelacharoen, and Ms. Siddhini Kittisiddho.  Many special thanks to all of my supporters around the world.


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