Weekly Local Biography

  Dr Budhacharan

I first saw Dr. Budhacharan walking through the gardens of the Whole Earth Restaurant. A tall figure in long white flowing robes, with similar beard, walking confidently with an almost visible aura of calm. Being a believer in ‘Carpe Diem’ (seize the day) I picked up my camera and began to snap, to be embarrassed by him walking right up to me and asking in perfect English, “Where do you come from? What are you doing here?” My intrusion into his personal space was almost impudently painful, and his acceptance to be interviewed later was almost as gracious!

He began by saying, “Life is not perception, but it is not the truth. Intellect cannot discover the truth. Truth is beyond perception.” With that kind of opening, I knew we were in for an interesting hour. Part of that hour was discovering that this ‘holy man’ had been a manager in the hotel industry and a promoter of rock bands!

He was born in Surat Thani, the 5th child born to a fisherman and his wife. His early life was one where the family home did not have amenities such as electricity. This was a poor fisherman’s family. He received the basic government schooling, but as he showed promise, was sent to Bangkok to stay with an uncle and receive a little more education.

This was not just attending classes, but night school classes, while he worked during the day in a drug store, and then as a hotel waiter. In this way he finished high school. His natural abilities were still apparent and he received a grant from the American East-West Centre for further training in Hawaii.

He stayed there for six years as a management trainee with the Sheraton, and enrolled at the University of Hawaii where he was first exposed to meditation and spirituality. “When I started to meditate I found I had not learned the core of Buddhism.” He continued, with enthusiasm, “Meditation is life itself - research into your own being - which is bliss. Seeking to be happier. Seeking to be who you are.” By this stage I also knew that I was going to have trouble keeping the interview on this planet and not at the metaphysical level!

For Dr. Budhacharan, the path to enlightenment was not quite so simple either. Music they say, is good for the soul, but perhaps not Dr. Budhacharan’s style of music. He returned to Thailand and became a rock band promoter for the next four years. “I took them all over the world. I had two discotheques. I was the first to be successful. This means name and fame, money and gifts.”

Having been denied name and fame, money and gifts in my lifetime, I would have been happy enough to stay with the glitzy lifestyle, but not so for Dr. Budhacharan. “I was not happy, so I looked to my inner self and became a teacher of meditation. It was April 1980 and a planetary trigger occurred. Before 1980 it was a period of seeking, but not knowing what I was seeking. Having discovered (myself) I wanted to share this (way of achieving knowledge) with others. So I became a teacher and gradually took over a spiritual lifestyle.”

I returned to his “planetary trigger” and asked whether he believed then in Astrology. “Totally” was his immediate reply. “It is not a belief, it is intimately part of everyone’s life and creation. Life is not just physical, but mental as well.”

However, he realized that the physical needs had to be met if he were to continue on the mental journey and this is where the restaurant came in. The Whole Earth had come in a business deal with one of the discotheques, so his family became involved in running that, leaving Dr. Budhacharan to continue his personal spiritual research.

“I follow Verdic tradition,” he said, “which is the source of all ‘isms’. Verdic means knowledge. Not book knowledge but is ‘nature’ itself. Knowledge has organizing power, but pure knowledge has infinite organizing power. I am a devotee of pure knowledge.”

He continued with his personal concepts. “Life is naturally blissful. The idea that Life is suffering or sin is neither a Buddhist, Christian nor Islamic concept. The teaching that has been done by the disciples of these religions is only ‘partial’ as the master’s teaching has not been fully understood.”

And so Dr. Budhacharan continued on his personal quest for enlightenment until the year 2000 when another planetary shift occurred. This was to produce the next phase of his life - developing an ‘Ashram’, a center of learning, health and rejuvenation.

I asked him if he believed that this was predestined. “It was ordained, but you can negate it if you are not ready for it. You have the choice. I took it because it was correct for me.” We then discussed the concept of life being ordained and whether one is then just a passenger in life. He replied in another of his allegories, “You can either be a football or a football player. Best yet, be the referee!” all said with a smile.

He is totally convinced that ‘nature’ will support the establishment of his teaching ashram, and indeed 15.5 rai of prime location land was donated for that express purpose. As a center for enlightenment he says that those who come to him are people who are in the dark. “People who are in the light do not need us,” he said simply. “In the darkness any small boat is good to give a glimpse of the future light.” He continued, “The philosophy, or doctrine, is ‘nature’, not an ‘ism’ doctrine. It’s hard for the world to understand this. Reality is beyond the senses. You have to leave scientific thinking,” he chided me. “You have to transcend. Realization is not equivalent to understanding.”

By then I realized I was not understanding, but time precluded further teachings from one of Chiang Mai’s more interesting men.