The Early Years
Kruba DuangDee’s parents had 8 children; and he was the 7th. He had a younger sister, 3 older brothers, and 3 older sisters. His youngest sister was named Mae Nin
When he was 11 years old, he accompanied his parents to Changwat Lampoon
Kruba Srivichai doted on young Duangdee and regaled him with endless Buddhist stories. On account of the innate gifts he recognised in him, Kruba Srivichai instructed Duangdee’s parents to allow him to pursue monkhood in the future, and fulfil his destiny of himself becoming an eminent monk with many followers.
First Step Towards Destiny
Upon his return home, young DuangDee requested permission from his parents to learn Buddhist teachings in the temple. His father brought Khan Khaw Tok Dok Mai and DuangDee to pay respects to Kruba Pothima
Care of the temple, as well as the educational needs of the young children in Wat Thachampee (which also functioned as schools in those days), was left to Sammanen Singh Keaw
For a stretch, there was no monk residing in the temple. Duangdee took over as the caretaker of the temple during this period, and maintained the cleanliness of the Wiharn, Ubosot and Kuti, as well as performing other mandatory duties such as daily offerings (water, flower, candles etc) to Bucha.
After 3 years had passed, the devotees around the temple invited Kruba Sohpa, who held the rank of Zhao Kana Tambon Tungsatoke in the Sangha, to be the Zhao Awat of Wat Thachampee, As he was a high ranking monk, devotees flocked to the temple. He was known to have completed the same amount of Pansa periods as Mahn Khanu Ba SinlaTham Srivichai
Duangdee learnt Pasa PeunMuang (the local language in the Province at that time, most probably Lanna language) from Kruba Sohpa. Kruba Sohpa decided to take Duangdee to once again see Kruba Srivichai. At that time, Kruba Srivichai was in Chiangmai, overseeing renovation works for a temple, something he did on a regular basis.
Understudy with Kruba Srivichai
In B.E. 2462, Duangdee met with Kruba Srivichai. Kruba Srivichai was elated to see DuangDee, and Kruba Sohpa reiterated his shared belief in DuangDee’s destiny of become an eminent monk with a great following. Kruba Sohpa suggested that Duangdee ordain at Wat Phra Singh
Duangdee was ordained as a Sammanen at Wat Phra Singh, and his Preceptor was Kruba Sohpa. After a few days, he was sent to the city of Chiangmai to live with Kruba Srivichai and assist, care for and learn from him. Through this experience, Sammanen Duangdee learnt about Wai Phra Suadmon, Nang Gammatan, Bucha Khandokmai and the construction of temples.
When Sammanen Duangdee was 21, he returned to Kruba Sohpa at Wat Thachampee. He wanted to be ordained as a Phra Song, and expressed these wishes to Kruba Sohpa. As both Kruba Sohpa and Kruba Srivichai were his teachers, he sought their approval and blessings. Kruba Sohpa discussed the matter with Kruba Srivichai, and it was agreed that once Sammanen Duangdee was ordained as a Bikkhu, he would return to Kruba Srivichai to continue his learning.
On a Sunday, Deurn Hok (6th month) Nuer, Kuen Kao Kam (9th day of the waxing moon), Bpee
Kruba Duangdee travelled and learnt extensively with Kruba Srivichai, until he was 28 years old. Kruba Srivichai was alleged to have been trespassing in forest conservations. He was also accused as being a PeeBoon (Shaman), and was arrested and brought to Bangkok. This was during a particularly chaotic period in Northern Thailand, where many other monks were accused of different charges and arrested. Kruba Sopha (Wat Thachampee) and Kruba Panya (Wat Thakinglehluang
Sometime during B.E. 2480 to B.E. 2481, Kruba Srivichai was acquitted of the charges levelled against him, and he returned to Lampoon. He passed away at Wat Chamthewee
Continuing the Legacy of Kruba Srivichai
Kruba Duangdee carried on Kruba’s Srivichai’s meritorious deeds of travelling around and renovating Ubosot. In B.E. 2484, at the age of 35, Kruba Duangdee also accompanied Kruba Zhao Apichai Pahkhaopee
After Kruba Srivichai was cremated, Kruba Zhao Apichai Pahkhaopee took small pieces of Kruba Srivichai’s galohk to be kept at Wat Suandok
The people of Pah Miang Pang Ma kluay
Tan Kruba Sohpa requested Kruba Duangdee to complete the construction of the various facilities at Wat Thachampee which had been left unfinished when Kruba Sohpa left for Myanmar.
By the time Kruba Duangdee arrived at Wat Thachampee to complete these tasks, he was 42 years old and had been promoted to Zhao Kana Tambon Tungsatoke. He was promoted on 5th Dec B.E. 2520, and was given the title Phra Kru Chan Pratuan Zhao Kana Tambon. In B.E. 5th Dec 2530, he was promoted again and given the title of Phra Kru Sunyabat ChanTho Phrasuphatsrilakhun.
Kruba Duangdee encouraged the laities to accumulate merits by personally participating in the development of infrastructure for their communities such as paving roads or pathways, and building Ubosot and Jaydee, as well as bridges, schools and hospitals.
Kruba DuangDee passed away on 6th Feb B.E. 2553 the age of 104, having completed 83 Pansa. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Vorachada Tindanadam was a guest of honour at Kruba Duangdee’s funeral.