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Pattaya Daily News

16 September 2006 :: 16:09:37 pm 22460

“Buddhism” the sole Religion in Thailand

Buddhism plays a very important role in thai people‘s life and involves almost every occasion such as birthdays, marriages, moving to the new house, funerals, opening business offices and buying new vehicles etc.
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About 95% of the people in of Thailand are Buddhists. Theeravada-buddhism or some time calls Hinayan. Theravada means the olderest doctrine.

The evidence how, what and where Buddhism start. And how and where it start in Thailand we don‘t know but like they think it was in the 3rd century BC it was introduced to some parts in Thailand and it was quickly in the peoples hearts and now almost 99 % off The Thai people are Buddhist .
The 3 principal aspects of existence are written down here for you . 
dukkha = suffering , the mening of dukkha is not just only means suffering but also enjoying and desire of all entrances
anicca = impermanence,and
anatta = non-substantiality

The ultimate aim of Buddhism is Nirvana which means the extinction of all desire and thus of all suffering (dukkha). It is an end, not only to suffering and action (karma), but also to the cycle of rebirths that is existence.

Buddhism probably reached its height under the reign of King Li Thai of Sukhothai ( King Ramkhamhaeng‘s grandson) as it was during his reign that the first Buddhist didactic literary work was written and it was known as the “Tribhumikatha”.

Buddhism has been the main driving force in Thai cultural development for centuries. All classes of thai people subscribed to Buddhist doctrine. Although Buddhism is proclaimed as the state religion, all Thais are endowed with full religious freedom. Though Thai Constitutions stipulate that Thai Kings must be Buddhists the Kings, however, must be the Upholders of All Religions.

There are about 27,000 Buddhist temples across the country and majority of them are in the countryside. In Thailand Buddhist monks are highly venerated for their chaste life, self-restraint, social benevolence and knowledge of spiritual practice. To allow people to have more time to devote to religious practices, all major Buddhist holy days are declared as national holidays. In addition, it has long been a Thai custom for Buddhist males over twenty years old to be temporarily ordained as Buddhist monks, usually during the annual Rains Retreat. Temporary ordination, ranging from a few days to three months, is opened to everyone, even His Majesty King Bhumibol and Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn have been monks for short periods.

Two extremes are to be avoided: the extreme of indulgence in sensuality and worldly pleasures, and the extremes of austerity, mortification and self-torture. Austerities produce confusion and sickly thoughts, while sensuality is enervating and makes man a slave of his passions. One should follow the Middle Path which keeps aloof from both extremes. One should satisfy the necessities of life, and keep one’s body in good health and one’s mind strong in order to comprehend the Four Noble Truths:
The first Noble Truth is the existence of suffering: Birth is suffering, sickness is suffering, old age is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, dejection and despair are suffering. Contact with unpleasant things, not getting what one wants are suffering. Suffering must be comprehended, and its cause given up.

The Second Noble Truth is that the cause of suffering is craving or desire. Craving for pleasures, wealth, power, even craving for rebirth, create eventual suffering because of inherent greed and lust.

The Third Noble Truth is that anyone can eliminate the cravings (and thereby, the suffering) on his own, without the need of gods and priests to direct our beings.
The Fourth Noble Truth is the path leading to cessation of suffering. Known as The Eightfold Path, it consists of: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.

Buddha taught these fundamentals of what was to become one of the world’s great religious philosophies – a way of life towards individual salvation, and a path that is today followed by countless millions.

Teaching the Truth

The Buddha spent two months at Bodhgaya continuing his meditations, and then set off to find his old teacher. At the Deer Park of Isipatana, at Sarnath near Varasi, he came across the five ascetics who had been his former companions. At first they rebuffed him, but later, perceiving that there was something special about this man they had known a Siddartha Gotama, they came to be convinced by the Buddha’s message and became the first five disciples of the Sangha, the Buddhist monastic order.
For the next fifty years the Buddha travelled the length and breadth of what is now Northern India, teaching the Dharma to anyone willing to listen, from simple peasants to royalty, including his own family. He also instructed his monks to “teach”, not proselytize, out of Buddhist respect for all religions.
The spread of Buddhism for more than twenty-five hundred years has occurred because many millions of people have recognized in the Buddha’s teachings a truth intensely and personally meaningful to them, a path to their self enlightenment

The Buddha Passes into Nirvana

In his eightieth year the Buddha was stricken by a serious illness, the nature of which is not known, and declared that he would pass away in three months’ time. This sad news alarmed Ananda, the Buddha’s closest attendant, and he wept. He asked the Buddha what would happen to the Sangha after his death, to whom could the disciples turn to for instruction and inspiration? The Buddha answered that the disciples had learned from him everything he was able to teach them and that now they should “dwell as having refuge in themselves and not elsewhere”.
Ananda then asked what those disciples should do who had been accustomed to pay reverence to the Buddha when the Rainy Season had ended. The Buddha told him there were four places to which a faithful disciple might go, places that would rouse his devotion: LUMPINI GROVE, where the Buddha was born; BODHGAYA, where he attained enlightenment ; SARNATH, where he delivered his first discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of the Doctrine; and KUSINARA (Kashinagar), where he would soon attain complete nirvana.

On what was to be the last day of his life and still seriously ill, he stayed in the mango grove of a smith named Cunda, who prepared for him a meal accidentally contaminated with a bacteria, which made the Buddha dreadfully sick, causing violent pains. Through the force of mindfulness and meditation the Buddha was able to control the pains, and continued on to Kusinara with Ananda.

Proceeding to a quiet grove, the Buddha laid down for the last time, his head pointing to the north, and received devotees from the village. Asking the five hundred assembled monks if any of them had any doubts, misgivings, or questions about any matter of the Dharma, all were silent.

With his last breath, the Buddha addressed this final advise to his disciples: “Decay is inherent in all compound things. Work on your salvation with diligence”. Then, as the founder of one of the world’s great religions, the compassionate teacher who showed mankind how to escape suffering, entered nirvana, lotus blossoms fell from heaven and covered his body.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Lifestyle

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