Ven. Chao Khun Bhavanaviteht (Luangpor Khemadhammo) OBE.
Aggamaha Sadhamma Jotikadhaja
Born July 17th, 1944. England.
Grammar school, then from 1961 to 1964 trained as an actor, first at the Central School of Speech & Drama and then as a founding student at Drama Centre, London.
Professional actor from 1964 to 1971 and a member of the National Theatre Company from 1966 until 1969.
Then from September 1971, overland to the Buddhist Holy Places in India.
Arrived in Thailand at the beginning of December 1971.
Ordained a samanera by Ven. Chao Khun Dhep Siddhimuni on December 26th, 1971 at Wat Mahadhatu in Bangkok.
Then to the North East and Ven. Ajahn Chah and Wat Pah Pong at the beginning of 1972.
Ordained bhikkhu May 26th, 1972 in Warimchamrab in the presence of Ven. Ajahn Chah and monks of Wat Nong Pah Pong.
To England and the Hampstead Vihara with Ajahn Chah in 1977.
Began visiting prisons in the summer of 1977. The first prisons were Pentonville, Holloway and the three prisons on the Isle of Wight, Parkhurst, Albany and Camp Hill. Moved to the Isle of Wight in 1979.
Moved to Warwickshire in 1984.
Angulimala, the Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy launched at Magha Puja in 1985.
The Forest Hermitage opened in October 1985.
Made an OBE for services to prisoners in HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2003.
Made a Chao Khun on HM The King of Thailand’s Birthday, December 5th, 2004.
Abbot of The Forest Hermitage since 1985.
Spiritual Director of Angulimala, the Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy since its founding in 1985.
Buddhist Adviser to HM Prison Service & NOMS.
Awarded Hon. Ph.D. in Vipassanabhavana by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand, May 2013. Received at a ceremony in January 2014.
In January 2015, awarded the religious title of AGGAMAHĀ SADDHAMMA JOTIKADHAJA by U Thein Sein, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma). It was presented at a ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw on March 4th, 2015.
Has led the Buddhist Society at Warwick University for many years.