Memory about Khunya
Death is very fearful for everybody
since it will bring much suffering to the body and mind. But
for grandma who everyone called “Khunya”, it is
just a common thing that no one can escape.
Khunya has proven that death is
not at all “horrible”.
I had never seen the sign of sorrow
but only the smiling face and cheerful voice of Khunya while
she stayed in hospital. This made me very interested in her
life. At that moment, I began to feel that it’s a pity
I did not have a chance to know her before and spend more
time with her.
I remembered the first time that
I saw her at her eldest son’s house. Although she was
very sick of liver cancer, she was still very calm. She was
very different from other patients who usually express their
painful feeling or cry when they suffer from serious illness
especially at the last period of their life. But for Khunya,
even though she was very sick of incurable disease, she still
smiled and talked to everyone who came to visit her. Her appearance
surprised the doctors and nurses who took care of her. The
patient room where Khunya stayed until the end of life was
absolutely different from others. It had the atmosphere of
“peace”. Sometimes, there was the sound of chanting
from Khunya and her grandchild, the sound of the monk’s
preaching, the voice of Khunya and her children as well as
her grandchildren talking about Dhamma and their good memories
with Khunya and the sound of happy laughing. This reminded
me the time when I was still young and my kind teacher told
many stories and tales to us the same as Khunya did.
I had learned that both Khunya and
Khunpoo (grandpa) were teachers. Good teachers must be patient
and full of kindness because “teachers” are the
ones who give knowledge as well as goodness and morality to
students to live happily and be good citizens of the country.
Besides working as a teacher, Khunya also extended her helping
hands to the children who lacked opportunity. A lot of children
did not have a chance to continue their study because their
families were very poor. Moreover, their houses were quite
far from school. They were very fortunate to be supported
by Khunya who provided accommodation for them and also took
care of them as if they were her own children. She gave them
love, warmth and useful advice for their happiness and success.
At present, all benefit and goodness done by Khunya is seen
in the form of “ Bandeg Project ”, Home and Fund
for Children. It is the place of hope for children who lack
opportunity to study for improving their lives.
Although Khunya and Khunpoo did not
have much salary, both of them were very kind and generous
especially to the children taken care by them. It is difficult
to find anyone, even a millionaire, who devoted as much as
Khunpoo and Khunya. Many Children supported by Khunya had
successful life and work. They usually came back to visit
Khunya. Khunya’s own children were the good citizens
of the country. Some were government officials, some were
good teachers the same as Khunya, some was a kind veterinarian,
some worked very hard to develop the villagers’ quality
of life. Khunya’s youngest son, Bhikku Sudhiro resigned
from his very good job in the Royal Thai Army, ordained as
a monk and committed to renunciation to find the real happiness
and peace, help all mankind, preserve and develop Buddhism
for prosperity. Khunya had strong faith in Buddhism all through
her life. Her youngest son, Bhikku Sudhiro was the one who
lightened her soul with the everlasting goodness of Dhamma
until the last minute of her life.
When people gets older, they usually
feel that they are the burden of others. They cannot, anymore,
make benefit for the society. So, they live without hope and
For Khunya, the more older she became, the more love, warmth
and kindness she had with her. I saw many people came to visit
Khunya at her patient room in hospital including her relatives,
friends, patients who stayed near Khunya’s room, doctors,
and nurses, etc. I also felt very warm and peaceful when I
had a chance to see her and talked to her. I was fortunate
to have some time with her before she passed away. I learnt
from her how to be happy. It was to be kind to yourself and
others and always be helpful to everyone.
Khunya had made me realize that money
is not the most important thing to make life happy. Kindness,
sincerity and beneficial life will create real happiness.
Khunya passed away peacefully without
any worry. She has completely done all of her duties as a
good child, good wife, good mother, good teacher, good friend,
good Buddhist and good citizen of the country. The most important
thing is that Khunya’s life was in peace and happiness
because she understood the Lord Buddha’s teaching about
the Four Noble Truths which are the meaning of suffering,
cause of suffering, end of suffering and the way to be free
from suffering. This was clearly seen in her last period of
life that she was very calm and mindful.
When her life was near the end, she
looked happy among the warm and tranquil atmosphere like the
last sunset that remained its charming and beautiful light.
Before she passed away, still happy and conscious, she chanted
and meditated with her children and grandchildren.
Khunya’s picture in her Funeral
looked so happy. I believed that all of her goodness would
lead her to the very peaceful and happy place in her next
From the past until now, I have seen
many people who struggled for happiness in life by trying
to serve their own desire but could not manage to receive
real happiness. Happiness will be given in return if we made
our life worthwhile by having the will to give good things
to other people.
No one cried at the time of Khunya’s
death. I saw Bhikku Sudhiro close his eyes softly and calmly,
with a little smile on his face, to express his adoration
to Khunya, the beloved mother of him and everyone.
Written by Bhikku Pabhassaro
English version by Natalie Daranand
Khunya - means grandmother , Khunpoo - means grandfather,
which people always call Bhikkhu Sudhiro’s parents.