April 5, 2017

3011 THAILAND (Bangkok) - The ordination of buddhist priesthood in Wat Suthat Thepphaararam

Wat Suthat Thepphaararam is a royal temple of the first grade, one of ten such temples in Bangkok (23 in Thailand). Construction was begun by King Rama I in 1807, and was continued by King Rama II, being completed until the reign of King Rama III in 1847-1848. It contains the Buddha image Phra Sri Sakyamuni which have been moved from Sukhothai province. At the lower terrace of the base, there are 28 Chinese pagodas which mean the 28 Buddhas born on this earth. Wat Suthat also contains Phra Buddha Trilokachet in the Ubosot (Ordinary Hall) and Phra Buddha Setthamuni in the Sala Kan Parian (Meeting Hall).

Buddhism in Thailand is largely of the Theravada school, which is followed by 93.6 % of the population. Like in most other Theravada nations, Buddhism in Thailand is represented primarily by the presence of monks, who serve as officiants on ceremonial occasions, as well as being responsible for preserving and conveying the teachings of the Buddha. During the latter half of the 20th century, most monks began their careers by serving as temple boys. The primary reason for that is to gain a basic education, particularly in basic reading and writing and the memorization of the scriptures chanted on ritual occasions.

Boys now typically ordain as a sāmaṇera or novitiate monks. In some localities, girls may become sāmaṇerī. Novices live according to the Ten Precepts but are not required to follow the full range of monastic rules found in the Pātimokkha. Young men typically do not live as a novice for longer than one or two years. At the age of 20, they become eligible to receive upasampada, the higher ordination that establishes them as a full bhikkhu.

A novice is technically sponsored by his parents in his ordination, but in practice in rural villages the entire village participates by providing the robes, alms bowl, and other requisites that will be required by the monk in his monastic life. Temporary ordination is the norm among Thai Buddhists. Most young men traditionally ordain for the term of a single vassa or rainy season. Those who remain monks beyond their first vassa typically remain monks for between one and three years.

After this period of one to three years, most young monks return to lay life, going on to marry and begin a family. Young men who have undergone ordination are seen as being more suitable partners for marriage. A period as a monk is a prerequisite for many positions of leadership within the village hierarchy. Monks who do not return to lay life typically specialize in either scholarship or meditation. The Thai tradition supports laymen to go into a monastery, dress and act as monks, and study while there.

Wat Suthat - Wikipedia
Buddhism in Thailand - Wikipedia

Sender: Pumipat
Sent from Bangkok (Bangkok / Thailand), on 20.03.2017
Photo: Apinan Buahapakdee

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