The Triumphant Return took place at 7.30 p.m. The joyous moment of the year. The welcoming devotees waited at the main gate and started playing music when the car drew towards the temple gate. Flowers were offered to him as he walked through the main gate and devotees showering him with flower petals as he walked mindfully towards the main shrine, with Brother Johnny carrying the Robe, Brother Keong, the Phrakhru Fan and Uncle George the PhraKhru Plaque. Committee Chairman, Mr Mah congratulated him at the entrance of the main shrine. There were 14 members of the Sangha in attendance, including Than Boon and some bhikkhus from Kelantan, Abbot’s colleague from Bangkok, Maha Sutimon and Ajahn Cakkat.
He is UBT ‘s pride and joy. Traditionally, this royal monastic title is conferred upon a bhikkhu who has completed 10 Phansas (monastic years) and been an abbot for at least 5 years. Although Ajahn Phian has completed 12 Phansas, he has only been abbot for a little over a year. However, with his credentials and testimonials from worthy members of the Sangha, this award is inevitable. Bhante has earned this title with his concerted effort and diligence. May he continue with his spiritual strife for the benefits of all beings.
The Ceremony started with paying respect to the Triple Gem, taking three refuges and five precepts, followed by Paritta Chanting by the Sangha members. At the end of the service, Than Boon gave a speech in which he acknowledged the good job that the Abbot had done evidenced by the activities and programmes currently in place at the temple and exposure through its own website. He also emphasized that the Phrakhru title, though something to rejoice about, was also a burden for greater expectations. All in all, Than Boon was happy with the result of Ajahn Phian’s hardwork which is evidenced by the improvements done to UBT’s activities, and urged the devotees to continue their support in his strife.
In Bhante’s speech he expressed his gratitude towards his parents who regrettably were not present and the pioneers of UBT, Founder Luang Phor Khron, Phor Than Mitr and May Chee. He was also grateful to all his seniors and colleagues for their support and not forgetting the UBT devotees and volunteers. Much as he appreciated the recognition of his work by the conferment of this Royal Monastic Title, he agreed with Than Boon that it was a burden as there would be higher expectation of him. He continued that he would carry on his duties diligently and looked forward to the continued support from everyone.
Mr Mah also acknowledged the good job Phrakhru Udom Dhammavithes had done to bring the temple to its current status and that he and the committee were proud of him.
At the end of the Ceremony, Bhante distributed a book to the Sangha members and the Committee members, and a token to all devotees who attended. Then all adjourned to the dining area to have their supper. Phrakhru Udom Dhammavithes then spent some time for photo session with devotees. More photos at the temple’s notice board.