Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya (P. A. Payutto) was born Prayudh Aryankura, 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 Phra Phiren 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 Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya Buddhist University.
After graduation, he became a lecturer and vice secretary general at Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya Buddhist University until 1974. From 1972 to 1976, he was an abbot of Phra Phiren 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 Navanalanda Mahavihara, India, and the Most Eminent Scholar from the World Buddhist University.
His present abode is Nyanavesakavan Temple in Nakorn Pathom province, Thailand.
On account of his devoted services to Buddhism over the past decades, he has been successively elevated to the following ecclesiastical ranks:
• Phra Srivisuddhimoli
• Phra Rajavaramuni
• Phra Debvedi
• Phra Dhammapitaka
• Phra Brahmagunabhorn
(By convention each of these ranks may be informally prefixed with the honorific “chao khun,” or “than chao khun,” the latter of which can also be used reverentially as a form of address.)
• Prayudh Payutto (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)