In the same year, the Most Venerable Phradhamsenabodi (Thongchai Suwannasiri), the Head monk of the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Thailand, Chiang Mai, donated the house and land on the Aegna island, in Estonia, where today the Wat DS Aegna Meditation Center has been established.
In 2014, the psychologist and therapist Dr. Andrus Kahn became the first Theravada monk in Estonian history. He was ordained as Venerable Ṭhitañāṇa, and the ordination took place at Wat Hatai Naresh Temple in the Kingdom of Thailand. Sri Lankan Asst. Prof. Dr. Ven. Walmoruwe Piyaratana from the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU) is his ācariya-teacher and the Abbot of the Wat Hatai Nares Temple in Thailand, Phramaha Kuruthavorndhammapimon, was his upajjhāya-preceptor. Since then, Venerable Ṭhitañāṇa has obtained a Master’s degree from MCU University and doctoral degree on kasiṇa meditation in 2019. During his doctoral studies Venerable Ṭhitañāṇa worked as a visiting lecturer at the same university. In 2020, Venerable Ṭhitamedha (Maarek Lind) and 2021 Venerable Mettābodhi (Taavi Oolberg) were also ordained, so since 2021 there are three monks in the Estonian Theravaada Sangha.
Tipiṭaka Conferences and Dhamma Books
Alongside studying at the MCU, Ven. Ṭhitañāṇa has written two books: “From Siddhattha to Buddha”, which was the first Estonian-language Buddhist book for children and the whole family, and “The Path of Enlightenment -- as the Buddha Taught”, introducing Buddha’s life and teaching. Both books are for free distribution. He is currently writing a five-part “The Buddhist Lexicon” that provides a comprehensive overview of Buddha’s life and teaching. Ven. Ṭhitañāṇa has also organized two International Tipiṭaka Conferences in Estonia in cooperation with University of Tartu, University of Peradeniya and Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University.
The Four Main Goals
In order to develop the Sangha and Buddha’s teaching in Estonia, the ETS has set Four Noble Goals:
- to built up the first Buddhist temple in Estonia
- to translate Pāḷi Tipiṭaka into Estonian language
- to reconstruct the WDS Aegna Meditation centre
- to built up an International Buddhist Dhamma-Vinaya Institute in Estonia