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Rare Photos 3 – Nuns

Mae Chee Gaew Sianglum was a direct disciple of Luang Pu Sao and Luang Pu Mun. In addition to being enlightened, she was also renowned for having almost unlimited pyschic powers of knowing and seeing.

She was the abbess of a nuns-only monastery in Mukdahan province. When she passed away, her final teacher, Luang Dta Mahā Boowa Ñāṇasampanno, took the responsibilty of building a Chedi to enshrine her relics.

Mae Chee Naaree Kaarun

Mae Chee Naaree Kaarun was another disciple of Luang Pu Mun. The Queen built her a kuṭi in Wat Pah Suddhawat, and there she would receive visits and offerings from many famous Ajaans, who held her in the highest esteem. She died in 1999 at the age of 123. Her remains had turned into relics before they were even collected from the funeral pyre.

Mae Chee Gaew (l) and Mae Chee Naaree Kaarun, two enlightened nuns in the Thai Wilderness Tradition. In the background is Luang Por Oonlaa Ṭhitadhammo.

Mae Chee Pimpa Wongsa-udom
Born in 1912, Mae Chee Pimpa Wongsa-udom was another extremely accomplished nun. She spent her last years at the monastery of Luang Pu Thate Desaraṁsi, who always referred to her by the nickname 'Mae Chee Lionheart".

After Mae Chee Gaew was enlightened, Luang Dta Mahā Boowa asked her to teach his mother, Mae Chee Peng Lohitdee (r). She did this for several years until she was satisfied, then returned to Huay Sai.

A rare early photo of Mae Chee Gaew. Luang Pu Mun forbid her from meditating without a proper teacher around because her mind was so powerful. Without a teacher for many years, she was forced to live through a disastrous marriage before she had the chance to ordain.

Even with a teacher, in her early practise she was often side-tracked by her amazing ability to see or know almost anything she wanted.

Ultimately, she succeeded in every possible way and became the most highly respected nun in Thailand. The Buddha often talked about the dangers of gains and respect for a practitioner, but the one aspect of respect he always praised was becoming an 'arahant' - someone worthy of respect.

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