21 Jun Buddhism (Episode 1)
Buddhism shapes way of life in Thailand
About 95% of Thailand is Buddhist and there is a mandatory subject about Buddhism in schools, but it didn’t teach you how to meditate or something like that, just the history of Buddhism, what Buddhism is about, Buddhism in culture and society.
For centuries, Buddhism has played an important role in the history of the kingdom and has enriched the lives of Thai people in all their aspects. It is certainly notable that without Buddhism, Thailand would not be what it is today. Buddhism in Thailand has also successfully been integrated with the local folk beliefs. One of the most important places for Buddhists in Thailand can be found in Nakhon Pathom, one of the oldest cities in Thailand.The chedi was modeled and that was built in the 3rd century BC by order of emperor Ashoka. Monks from India brought over relics from the Buddha, that were enshrined in the Phra Pathom chedi in Nakhon Pathom Province.
Buddhist Temples (Wat)
Temples play an important role in everyday life for Thai people. People go to the temple for merit making, prey to the Buddha for things such as good health, good fortune and to seek advice from monks. Besides being a place of worship and celebration, these temples are served as, schools, and as gathering places for locals.
A Buddhist’s life is one dedicated to gratitude. When people visit temples, they are doing so to pay respect to Buddha. They are actually thanking the Buddha for his instruction, not praying or worshipping.
Every man in Thailand is required to become a monk for a period of time before the age of 20. Though the expected time length is about three months, some will stay as little as a day or two. The majority of monks remain for at least a few weeks. Young men do this in order to receive good karma and merit.
It’s important to show your respect when stepping inside each exquisite temple.
A little joke to make you smile ☺
Daughter: 'Dad, may I ask you a question?'
Daughter: 'Why do men become ordained into the monkhood before they get married?'
Father: 'Because if someone got married first then got ordained, he might remain a monk for the rest of his life.'