Master Nun Yanee Sirivoharn
Reverend Maechee Yanee Sirivoharn
Former President of The Thai Buddhist Nun Institute Under Her Majesty The Queen’s Patronage
(1916 – 1976)
Maechee Yanee was born in Sotorn Sub-District, Mueng District, Chachoengsao Province, on Tuesday, 6 June 1916. She is the third child of Mr. Joi and Mrs. Jiam Sirivoharn. When she was a kid, she was raised by Grandma Boonmee, the wealthy person of Chachoengsao Province. Later on, Grandma Thip, a Buddhist nun who lived at Wat Paknam in Bangkok, adopted her.
When Yanee was 20 year old, she asked for permission from Grandma Thip to be ordained as a Buddhist nun. Grandma Thip agreed and brought Yanee to see Luang Por Wat Paknam (Sodh Candasaro) in order to request for Buddhist nun ordination. Luang Por managed for Yanee to be ordained on 5 November 1934, and he changed her first name from ‘Sa-nguan’ to ‘Yanee.’
Maechee Yanee followed the guideline and teaching of the seniors, and she respected in the supervising. She paid much attention to Luang Por Wat Paknam’s teachings and persevered in meditation practice until she attained Dhammakaya soon after her ordination. This was also made possible with her well accumulated merit as well. Maechee Yanee was able to practice the advanced superknowledge of Dhammakaya meditation respectively. Later on, she was assigned by Luang Por Wat Paknam to instruct Dhammakaya meditation to other Buddhist nuns and interested persons who wished to learn meditation at Wat Paknam. Maechee Yanee was very capable in teaching, and she had a beautiful voice as her specialty, and her saying was so clear. These qualities of Maechaee Yanee were admired by many people throughout the period of 40 years of her teaching.
Superknowledge & Teaching:
Moreover, she was entrusted by Luang Por Wat Paknam to supervise the advanced Dhammakaya meditation practice shift at the meditation workshop of Wat Paknam where she helped to eliminate or lessen the sufferings of people, either mentally or physically, who requested for help, for the sake of merit. Maechee Yanee had a strong motivation and perseverance in studying the Dhamma doctrine. She attended the Dhamma study course by herself. By that time, it was difficult to find the instructors, time for studying, and Dhamma text books. She spent as many as nine years to complete the advanced level of Dhamma study which was the highest level. If everything was supportive, it was possible to complete the advanced Dhamma study in three years. Luang Por Wat Paknam was very much satisfied with Maechee Yanee’s perseverance without disheartening. He always admired and exemplified Maechee Yanee among younger Buddhist nuns who studied the Dhamma courses.
Conducts & Achievements:
Maechee Yanee was a virtuous senior who practiced the four virtues of Brahma namely metta, karuna, mudhita, and upekkha. She had none of the four biases (agati). In addition, she was a competent governor. Achariya Kalya Sahajatikosi, who used to be under her support, had praised Maechee Yanee for her goodness always in respect of attentiveness, manners, education, and mental training, which Maechee Yanee provided to her subordinates until they could improved themselves from being emotional, arrogant, disheartened, and discouraged to be profound, calm, courageous, humble, patient, and enduring, which allowed them to take refuge in themselves. With her leadership, creativity, willpower, energy, and commitment toward her duties, Maechee Yanee was honored and respected for her goodness, and she was well known. With great support she received from others, she was able to establish the Thai Buddhist Nun Institute successfully in 1969. In the following year, she was elected to be the president of the institute and remained in the position for two consecutive terms. During her terms, she dedicated so much to her work according to her determination.
Later on, her health was worsen as she aged. She was admitted to Chulalongkorn Hospital for treatment and a surgery in 1975 under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. After that, Maechee Yanee returned to live at Wat Paknam as usual, but her disease was either stable or worsen. She was sick again because of nerve system and admitted to Payathai Hospital. Finally, she passed away on 6 December 1976. Her memorial service and cremation ceremony were under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. This was a great honor to Maechee Yanee Sirivoharn who already passed away, leaving her good deeds and works behind to be appreciated by the younger generations.
Compiled by Pattana Bhavanan and Sudsa-ngiam Petchsakul
Translated from Thai to English by Pittaya Wong