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Venerable Yin Shun Attends the Cremation Ceremony for Samdech Preah Agga Maha Sangharajadhipati Tep Vong

PRNewswire June 5, 2024

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, June 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On June 3, 2024, one hundred days after the passing of Samdech Preah Agga Maha Sangharajadhipati Tep Vong, the Great Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia, the Cambodian royal family solemnly held his cremation ceremony in the square outside the Butomvatey’s stupa in the capital city of Phnom Penh.

Samdech Preah Agga Maha Sangharajadhipati Tep Vong, the Great Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia (PRNewsfoto/The Buddhist Association of China)

The funeral was presided over by Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni, with the presence of Prime Minister Hun Manet, Senate President Hun Sen and National Assembly President Khuon Sudary, as well as senior government officials, Buddhist monks, and the diplomatic corps. Venerable Master Yin Shun, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China, who was honored with the title “Miaojue Hongci Supreme Patriarch” by Tep Vong, was also invited to offer his respects and bid farewell.

Venerable Yin Shun Attends the Cremation Ceremony for Samdech Preah Agga Maha Sangharajadhipati Tep Vong (PRNewsfoto/The Buddhist Association of China)

On the morning of the ceremony, Tep Vong’s body was ceremoniously escorted from Wat Ounalom, where he resided, to the square in front of Butomvatey. At 7:50 am, his remains were placed in a specially constructed royal pyre pagoda. The cremation commenced 45 minutes later, with King Sihamoni entering the square with folded hands. The event was led by 93 senior Cambodian monks chanting scriptures and safeguarding the pagoda. Following this, Tep Vong’s family and friends circumambulated the pagoda three times to offer prayers and farewells.

At the funeral, Dr. Chhoeng Bunchea, Vice President of the Supreme Sangha Council of Cambodia, read Venerable Tep Vong’s royal biography and delivered a condolence speech. Four of the most revered monks in Cambodia stood guard at the four corners of the pagoda, and everyone stood up in silence for mourning.

Venerable Tep Vong passed away peacefully in Phnom Penh on February 26 this year at the age of 93. Born in 1932 in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, Venerable Tep Vong studied Southern Buddhism from an early age and became a bhikkhu at 21. He excelled in Buddhist scholarship and practice, completing three levels of the Dharmakaya teachings, specializing in chanting the Bhikkhu Dharma, and teaching Inner Meditation, Pali language, and the Bhikkhu Dharma.

In 1979, he was recognized as one of the seven senior monks in the country, the youngest among them. In 1981, he was elected Supreme Patriarch. In 1991, Cambodia reinstated the dual-patriarch system of the Mahayana and Thammayut sects, with Venerable Tep Vong serving as the Mahayana Patriarch. In 2006, he received the prestigious title of “Great Supreme Patriarch,” the first individual to be so honored in 150 years.

Venerable Tep Vong has been instrumental in fostering cordial exchanges between Chinese and Cambodian Buddhism, building a bridge for spiritual communication between the two cultures, and making significant contributions to world peace and human well-being.

With the endorsement of Venerable Tep Vong and other revered Cambodian monks, Cambodia hosted the relics of Venerable Ben Huan, a prominent figure in Chinese Buddhism, in 2015. This event led to the construction of Benhuan Pagoda, a unique structure in Cambodia dedicated solely to the relics of a celebrated monk from Han Buddhism.

Beginning in 2016, Venerable Tep Vong participated in the South China Sea Buddhism Roundtable at Shenzhen’s Hongfa Temple for four consecutive years. Even at the age of 92, he graciously attended the Phnom Penh Forum of the South China Sea Buddhism Roundtable in 2022.

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SOURCE The Buddhist Association of China

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