130 Years of Phraya Anuman Rajadhon and Phra Saraprasoet. A talk by Acharn Sulak Sivaraksa


Phraya Anuman Rajadhon (left) and Phra Saraprasoet (right)


Phraya Anuman Rajadhon (1888-1969) and Phra Saraprasoet (1889-1945), two of Thailand’s most distinguished linguists, are revered for their contribution to culture and dedication to the literary world. Both scholars were prolific writers of considerable cultural knowledge.

Under the nom de plume of “Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa” (from Phraya Anuman Rajadhon’s last name, Sathirakoses, and Nagapradipa, from Phra Saraprasoet’s last name), they translated into Thai numerous works from a variety of languages. Among their literary achievements is the Thai rendition of the well-known novel The Pilgrim Kamanita, by the Danish poet Karl Adolph Gjellerup (1857-1919), joint winner with Henrik Pontoppidan (1857-1943) of the 1917 Literature Nobel Prize. The novel recounts the life of an Indian merchant’s son and his encounter with Gautama Buddha. In his later years, Phraya Anuman Rajadhon, a specialist in Thai folklore, was elected President of the Siam Society. In 1988, to commemorate the centenary of his birth, UNESCO declared him a National Hero. Phra Saraprasoet, himself a linguist, worked closely with King Vajiravudh, Rama VI (r. 1910-1925) throughout the monarch’s reign.

Acharn Sulak Sivaraksa, former editor of the Siam Society’s Journal, has long been known in the West as one of the fathers of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), an organization established in 1989 by leading Buddhist scholars, including the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, the Vietnamese monk and peace-activist Thich Nhat Hanh and the Theravada Bhikkhu Maha Ghosananda. On being awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize (the Right Livelihood Award) in 1995, Acharn Sulak became more widely known in Europe and the USA.  In 1968, Acharn Sulak founded the Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation and he is a former Chair of the Asian Cultural Forum on Development. He has been a visiting professor at UC Berkeley (California), the University of Hawai’i and Cornell University, in the USA.

Date: Thursday, 11 October 2018
Time: 7.00 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

Non-members donation: B200. Siam Society members, members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student ID cards are admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or

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The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2018-2019 Lecture Series.