Memories of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Teachings
As the nation continues to mourn, we are reminded of the teachings that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej left behind for us. He led by example and it is through these words that his legacy and memories live on.
We talked to five women whose families have witnessed these teachings brought to life by His Majesty himself. They also shared with us the photograph and lesson that serve as a constant reminder for them to live a life in rememberance.
ML Radeethep Devakula, Granddaughter of Mom Chao Wongsanuvat Devakula
"My family has long served His Majesty King Bhumibol dating back to the time of my grandfather, Mom Chao Wongsanuvat Devakula, who was appointed secretary and privy councilor from 1971 until his death. My father, MR Thepkamol Devakula, continued this honour as a privy councilor in 1997.
Our childhood was peppered with inspiring tales about His Majesty. My grandfather had the opportunity to accompany His Majesty on various trips upcountry. According to him, His Majesty never once complained, despite the demanding conditions of these trips. Instead, he tirelessly provided undivided attention to all his subjects, while trying to find effective solutions for their plights.
My father always tells us that His Majesty earned the love of his people not because of his title, but because of his devotion and dedication to his country. As the longest reigning Monarch, His Majesty will forever remain in our hearts. "
Parima Phoopat, Granddaughter of Khun Ying Pachern Arthayukti
“I’ve heard many anecdotes from my grandmother, but the one teaching that stood out to me most and to which I live by today is that ‘nothing in life comes easy’. My grandmother told me about the time when the royal family was living in Lausanne, Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother would refuse to buy toys for His Majesty nor let others give them to him. Instead, he was taught to save up for the things he wanted, whether it's a bicycle or camera.
My mother would repeat this story every time I asked her to buy something for me. I feel blessed for having this value instilled in me at a very young age as it taught me that you have to earn the things you want in life.
His Majesty’s teachings are like philosophy to me. He often referred to his theory of ‘self-sufficiency’, which is about being satisfied with yourself and what you have. It’s not about settling for less or giving up any ambitions for what you want in life. I’ve come to realise that as you go on trying to achieve something, it’s important to remind yourself that the results come from knowing that you have done your best and being content with it."
ML Churaimas Diskul, Granddaughter of Chamnong Bhirombhakdi
“While the feeling of loss still numbs my heart, I can say with great confidence that His Majesty will always be my inspiration in life. This is partially because my grandparents had the chance to work and travelled closely with His Majesty during the years.
His Majesty often asked my grandfather to take photos for him and our house is filled with rare and unseen photographs from that time. I was also very fortunate to have met His Majesty and performed a show for him when the King and Queen of Netherlands visited.
These stories have taught me to be selfless and to always watch over the people around me. His Majesty saw the importance of each individual, regardless of their background or status and strongly believed that our nation is one. Hence, I feel that it is very important to be humble and to have respect for all, despite our differences."
Pensupa Gajaseni, Granddaughter of former PM Thanorm Kitikajorn
“As a child, I recalled my grandfather having a very close relationship to His Majesty. On several occasions, my family was invited to attend events, such as ballets and dinners at the palace where we had the honour of being in the presence of His Majesty. He was often described by my late grandfather as a softhearted individual who made that extra effort to get to know his people.
His Majesty not only taught us to love and be there for one another, but also to set a good example for future generations. I hope for my children to hold the same values and continue to pass them on.
I was in a state of shock and disbelief upon hearing the news of His Majesty’s passing. I didn't want to believe it. But despite the sorrow, I feel very blessed to have been born under His Majesty’s reign and to have witnessed his admirable efforts for our nation. I will definitely be wearing black for the rest of the year.”
Duangkaew Bhakdibhumi, Member of Jayankura Family
“Throughout my life, I’ve heard many stories that I hold very dear to my heart and family. As a Thai, I grew up seeing His Majesty continuously venturing into the most remote parts of the country to be with his people and to help those in need.
Throughout the decades of His Majesty’s reign, I have witnessed the commitment, hard work and humility, which never ceases to inspire me. His choosing to live a private and humble life encourages us to follow in his footsteps."