The late Than Chau Khun (Chan) was born on the 15th day of May, 1909 in the village Teresek, Repek, Pasir Mas, State of Kelantan. He was the 3rd son in a family of three boys and four girls of the late Mr. Suk Pisngam and Madam Thiak.
He received his formal religious education from the monks in the village monastery when he was 15 years old. The monks taught him to read and write in the Cambodian and Thai alphabets in the monastery, but there was no school which conduct Malay language classes at that time and because of his self reliant attitude, diligent and hard working he had mastered the Malay language within such a short period of time. By the time he reached the age of twenty(20), he was already very proficient and had a very good command of Pali language thus not only enabled him to recite but also to translate and write the Patimokkha and Sutras from the Holy Dhamma books.
It is a good practice and exalted tradition for the Buddhist Thai Youth to enter into the monastery and began their serious practice to become a monk at the age of twenty one (21). Like others, Than Chau Khun Chan became a monk at age of twenty two(22) upon taking full ordination on the 7th day of July 1931 at Wat Uttamaram, in a ceremony solemnised by the well-known Abbot Phra Khru Ophasputtakhun (Kiew) of Wat Kampung Dalam Tumpat, Kelantan.After ordination, he was known as Phra Chan Kesaro.
Knowledge is a potential power and it is one of the important source in achieving wisdom. Therefore, in seeking for better and in-depth knowledge Than Chau Khun Chan then travelled to Thailand. This is because Thailand is very well known in Buddhist culture and has many monasteries that cater for Buddhist teachings.
In Thailand, he had enrolled himself in the Buddhist Institute of Thailand from year 1934 till 1949. In this Institute he was taught by two teachers who were also his mentors and they were Phra Khru Pipat Samanakic and Phra Khru Pibul Samanawat. Upon completion of his studies in 1949, he again furthered his studies in the prestigious Buddhist College of Wat Muclintawapi Vihara, Nongcik, Pattani in Southern Thailand. This Buddhist College has since been upgraded into a University of Buddhism. At this prestigious Buddhist College, he had studied the Pali language, the Tripitaka, Philosophy, Pali canon and amongst other secular subjects to equip himself to become a Buddhist teacher and to carry out the missionary works.Upon graduation from the Pali language and the various religious disciples he become a Maha.
In the year 1962, he was appointed as an Abbot of Wat Uttamaram and the subsequent year in 1963 he was conferred the ecclesiastical title of Phra Vicaranayanmuni Nayaka Maha Thera by the Buddhist Sangha Council of Thailand. Due to his enormous and invaluable contributions and services to the society of Buddhist teachings in the state of Kelantan, he was elected to be the Lord Abbot of Kelantan by the Royal Highness, the Sultan of Kelantan.
On the 30th day of November 1992 at 6.45 am, Phra Vicaranayanmuni Nayaka Maha Thera passed away peacefully at the age of eighty four (84). Even though his physical body may have perished but his immense, immeasurable, invaluable and ever lasting meritorious deeds and his untiring dedication and service to the religion, country and to all sentient being will always be remembered deep in the devotees’ heart.