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  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

    1/39

    fHE HIUORY

    OF

    HUOOHUH

    IN

    THAliA

    S

    8Q

    55

    8

    67

    C 3

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    ., .

    ,

    .

    BUD DH1SM N TH IL

    NO

    '

    tJ

    ,WAIIG

    BORIBAL BURIBANDH

    tr nsl ted y

    , 'Or.

    Luall

    SurlyalteDls M.D.

    , '

    . "

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    ,

    Pre ace

    :N

    former

    d 8 Y ~ .

    88y50

    years ago,

    h a i 1 a ~ d :was

    mostly only

    , known from

    boo'ksand

    colourful deSCrIptions

    made

    by a

    :few privileged

    persons who

    had

    ventured to visit this country.

    t was

    ktlown

    as

    ~ h ~ Land of

    White

    Elephants

    t

    of gilded

    temples

    apd

    pag()das.

    as

    ci

    the

    Land

    of Yellow

    Robes and

    ., the Landof Smiles

    II

    It was described as

    an

    island of peace

    and

    tral)quility, a

    haven

    far

    away

    from the high

    seas

    ,of

    u p ~

    heaval

    and

    pOlitical unrest.

    Today

    particularly since

    the

    armed

    conflict in Korea,

    where, the free nations

    of

    the

    world

    struggled to contain the

    disruptive

    fo,rcesof

    C o m m u n ~ s m

    the

    eyes of

    the world

    are

    focussed

    upon Thailand as

    a possible future victim of Com-

    m u n i s t a g g r e s s i o ~ .

    , It is receiving the attention of both sides,

    precisely

    because of

    its privileged position.

    t

    is still

    an

    island

    of

    peace

    and

    relative prosperity, where there are class dis .

    tinctiQns

    y ~ t

    no class

    hatred.

    Where rich

    and poor

    live p e a c e ~

    fully togetl,1er

    because

    of their Buddhist tolerance and because

    ~ h e r e . i s

    abundant

    food,for all.

    Where

    foreigners of every

    race

    and

    coUntry are

    met

    with a smile.

    And

    where

    the

    subtle

    tactics ~ n d s L\bversive activities of Communism

    have

    not as

    yet met with succesa worth speaking of, because of the

    p e o ~

    ple \i deep faith

    in

    their Religion and because of their inborn

    love of personal freedom, and their loyalty. to their Rulers

    who ~ n c e

    .ancient times

    have

    cared

    for their

    peoples as

    a

    Father

    would

    look after his children.

    Today. most

    peoples of

    the

    world

    have become

    a i r ~

    minded. And

    because of the

    ease and

    comfort

    and speed

    with which

    .it

    i . possible to travel by air, hundreds of people

    from all corners of the earth

    and

    of every description now

    come

    to

    see

    for themselves the wonders of this country,

    of

    whlchtney'have

    read

    in

    old books

    and

    in magazines or which

    they

    saw

    in the picture..

    They

    come into personal contact

    widl ordinary folk, they learn to

    laugh and

    play,

    with them.

    Withthelr

    ow

    eye.

    they see how the Buddhist religion

    is

    be-

    iDg

    faithfully

    p r a e ~ d

    ~ y

    monks

    and laymen alike;

    and, at

    the

    aame t i ~ e . h o w people

    enjoy

    the

    many

    amenities of

    mo-

    d e l n c i ~ t i O n i m p o r t e d

    from

    the

    West. ThOle

    who have

    I

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    visited Thailand before. SaY

    20 r

    30 ';years ago. ,1so notice

    the sad decline of our highly spiritual Culture which once

    had gained the

    respect

    of foreign countries

    and which

    in the

    process of rapid

    sectilarisation

    has

    become

    less

    apparent in

    the larger cities.

    but

    still lives on in the hearts of the ordinary

    Thai

    in rural areas and in the ,older

    generations.

    The

    great attractions of Thailand alld her

    people

    fot

    'foreigners

    are

    stjU the fairylike

    beauty of

    our

    temples and

    ch dis; the picturesque sight of ancient cuitUTaI monuments

    and modem buildings standing side by side in complete har-

    mony; th highly spiritual culture of

    the ordinary

    Thai their.

    traditional

    hospitality

    and

    their extreme tolerance

    toward. all

    fO'feigneH and their creeds. In short. better communications

    have brought Westernera

    into c lOH contact with

    our

    people

    and have effected a better

    mutual

    understanding. 1

    he

    only

    barriers.

    besides

    tlle inoon'V,enience

    of

    paeaporta

    and v ~ a s fo'

    a still greater knowledge of each other. are those imposed

    by

    the limited knowledge

    of

    foreign

    languages.

    The eultitree

    and

    religious beliefs

    of

    Eastern peoples.

    their cuatoms and

    habits. are

    an enisma

    to most and are

    not 'Yet

    well known

    enGugh eVen to

    higher

    educated people in the

    West.

    The1'e

    is slill a

    wide gap

    to be bridged.

    and

    as long as this

    P P

    Cit

    tha:e

    is

    bound

    to be misunderstanding

    and mutual di.truet

    among

    the peoples of the world. Therefore there is a great

    need for more books on the various aspects of the Eastern

    Way of Life;

    books

    that are baaed on facts aDd ligurea and

    written with

    thorough knowledge of the subject

    at hand

    .

    In

    consideration of this very acute need fo, mOl'e books

    to

    fill

    the gap between

    Weat

    and East,

    ,tllia

    Hiatory

    of

    the

    Buddhist Religion in Siam. written by an eminent Siamese

    8cl10Ial'. ha. been translated into English for the c o n w : : e ~ e o c e

    oJ

    the m$ny

    r i ~ n d s

    of

    Thailand. And

    to make

    it more

    readily,

    under.tood.

    a .hol't introduction to

    the

    Buddha'. Doctrine hn

    been

    added

    which

    t :>gether

    will.

    it

    i ,

    hoped,

    enluUlce

    gC',)04,

    under.

    landin'S between

    East

    and

    West,

    so much deeded'. in

    t h ~ e pre.eot

    days of

    fru$trati :>n.

    of

    fear

    and of

    mutual

    dlstnlat

    and ant 'lomam

    b e ~ e e n the

    people. of the:

    world

    .

    Peace tt

    all

    eingsJ '1

    :

    ;:

    .

    ;

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    BUDDHISM IN THAILAND

    11'

    The,

    Buddha s Doctrine

    The

    toun4e

    of the BGddhiat Religion was Gotama the

    Buddha., who lived.

    .bout

    60(} years before the Christian era.

    He wae botnm6.22B.C. (80

    year.

    before the BuddhistEraHn

    Lumbini Park, near Kappillavatthu, as the son of King S u d ~

    dhodana.. and Queen Maya who reigned over an Indo-Aryan

    tribe a I ~ d Saldya, in the North

    of

    India

    at

    the foot of the

    Himalaya'mountains and at the border of Nepal. When he

    wae horn; it

    had

    been predicted that

    he

    would either become

    the Ruler of ,tLeWorld or a Buddha. As his parents did not

    wi.h

    him to become a Buddha, they sUfleJunded him only

    with

    YOWlg

    'folk and tried to keep 'him in ~ o m p l e t e ignorance

    of the aiUferinga of man; but they did not succeed. The sight

    of

    a decrepit old man, a sick man, a dead man

    and a

    mendi

    cant monk-'lhese F ~ u r Signs left such a deep impression

    uPOn hi.

    tnirtd

    that,

    atfheage

    of 29, he decided to leave

    his

    home

    and

    to enter the homeless life u

    of

    a

    monk

    to seek the

    Truth

    and

    fO

    'titl

    a we.,

    to

    Sal-vatisn fer aU Sentient Beings,

    an cape

    f i . , .

    .. the;WhM of

    Rebirth

    aud bom all Suffering

    , In hi. aeareh for Salvation, he first went to Alara Kala.

    ma

    and

    l a ~ t oh to Uddaka t advice; but he found that all

    t L ~

    doctrine'S

    of

    his

    t e a c h e ~ 8

    were ., insufficient, n,ot leading to

    A.wllkenitlg,

    to

    Extinction and to Enlightenment

    and

    Insight ,

    a he

    himself laid. Not satisfied with their teachings, he

    ~ a l 1 d e t e d

    up and down in the hind of Ml1ghadha from place

    to'l'lace and arrived ne'ar the town of Uruvela, the present

    Btiddha

    Gaya. Here he

    saw

    .. a delightful piece

    of

    country

    , with

    a b e a ~ t i f u l

    foreat and a dear river most suitable 'for

    Lathiftg; I l l< 'el, place surrounded by meadows and fields

    then came to me the thought, ye Brethren. this il.'l, indeed, Ii

    delightful

    .pot

    on

    eatth; this plaee

    will

    ,

    suffice for ascetic

    \

    ~ d e e 8 . ' H.ne.

    in

    Uruvela; he met the Five Ascetics (Panca

    VtIg ji)

    whb offeltd their services 10 him. With greatest :zeal

    'Repraetiaeic:l aelf-.orti6catioft

    fOtmany

    years, and the, Five'

    AKetiee followed kim tn

    evtrytLing'hedid,

    but w,de unable

    ..,\bathimmrheit e r e i . e t .

    3

    "

    t

    . ,

    http:///reader/full/botnm6.22http:///reader/full/botnm6.22
  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    Finally

    the Buddha

    r e a ~ i e d

    that these Ascetic.eiercillles

    Were not

    the

    right way to

    attain

    to Salvation. He

    had

    p r ~ c t i s -

    ed

    self-mortification to the limit

    of his endurance

    and felt

    much weakened without a.chieving anything. So he 'partook

    of

    food and having gained s t r e n ~ t h again he began topractise

    meditation which finally led to his E n l i g h t e n m ~ n t

    under

    the

    Holy Bodhi tree near

    the

    river Naranya

    by

    U ~ v e l a

    when he

    was

    35 years

    old.

    The Supreme Knowledge he attained through his intui

    tive insight

    in his

    Enlightenment under.

    the Holy

    Bodhi tree'

    were: (J) The Doctrine of Anatta,

    namely that

    everything is

    transient, miserable,

    and

    not

    self.contained

    AniccaDukkha-

    Anatta

    .

    All phenomena. nay

    the

    whole universe, is

    subject'

    to change. It

    is

    a fleeting

    process of

    arising and disappearing,

    without

    any perceivable break in it. t There is no primary

    cause apparent, but all things

    arise and

    cease in dependence

    of

    each other

    in a long chain of

    cause and

    effect.

    All

    is

    ,. Be,:

    coming without permanent substance;

    put

    together. unatable

    and

    changeable , says the Buddha.

    (J

    1 The Doctrine of

    Karma

    and Rebirth,

    namely

    that

    all sentient beings. including tIlen.

    are

    born

    according

    to their,

    good and evil deeds, each merely consisting of wLat

    he

    has

    thought, sPoken and

    done

    before. and only differs from others

    by

    his

    own

    selfcreated

    Karma

    ( will-actions) which none

    can

    escape. All beings exist because of their individual Karma.

    ~ n

    as

    long

    as

    his

    will

    actions are misguided

    by

    ignorance of

    the'true facts of life. by

    Greed.

    UI.will.

    and

    Delusion of,Self.

    he is bound

    to

    create new Karma. h i ~ h 'causes c ~ n t i n a e d ,

    Suffering and Rebirth. In man there is no abiding principle"

    he

    has

    no eternal Soul, as all

    the Five

    Aggregates of which

    lJ,is ..

    personality

    consists are subject .to constant

    change

    and'

    at

    the moment of death are

    completely e x t i n g u i ~ h e d . No

    . soul not

    even

    consciousness,

    passes

    over

    to

    the new

    Being,

    but only that part of Karma whic'll has

    not

    yet been ~ h a u . t e d

    ill

    t h ~ p r e . e n ~

    life is reborn in anot)ter form. in another bodY.

    and either in

    this

    realm

    of

    existence or in

    any

    otherl'ealtQ.

    such as in hea\l'en or in hell,

    depending

    upon'

    the

    Kan::na

    < : r ~ a t e d in the a s t : This e ~ i d u a l Karm.a

    i

    somewhat i R , ~ t

    , .of:

    I

    ; ,

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    own

    ~ o t i . : ~ K a r m 8 : of .the

    deceased,

    as it only consists of the

    K a r n l a ~

    l f t ~ by

    the deceased.

    It constitutes a

    separate

    entity

    in the

    individual life stream and

    becomes

    the

    One

    to

    f;,e,born

    Gandhabba)

    which

    creates consciousness of its

    from this reeidual Karm:a and ullder the inRuence of

    _. I

    ignorance and ite i n h e ~ e n t desire to live Tanha). This new

    conscil;)usnes. of. the

    one

    to be born

    eventually descends

    intot:h.e maternal womb' as the

    Buddha

    says, and creates a

    new

    set

    of Five Aggregates

    of

    Existence

    and

    is

    born

    a.8 the

    new Being. Thus Rebirth

    takes

    place without transmigration

    of

    any

    .purlou.

    soul or

    Ego

    and

    eyen

    without

    any

    passing

    over

    of

    consciousne.s.

    Life consist. of a specific stream 01 Karmic.

    causes

    and effects created by each. individual life.

    This

    continuity

    of life, this indiv;dual life stream manifests itself a,s man or

    beast or in any other kind of being in the various realms of

    existence depending upon the

    good

    or bad will-actions of its

    past

    life.

    Birth, Death and Rebirth are but manifestations of

    one

    and

    the

    same

    in.dividuallife-stream

    which

    will continue to

    ~ o w

    without a break

    i.n. it

    from life to life until no more Karma

    is Cl .eated; until no more a t t a c h ~ e n t to life e x i s t ~

    that

    is until

    the individual has destroyed the Thirst of Existence and Ig

    norance

    which

    are the causes of Karma. of renewed con

    s c i o u ~ h e s s ~ n d of rebirth. When all eonscioU:sness has- com.

    pletely ceased all life ceases.

    Namean9, Form (our corporeal organism) die out,

    l e ~ v i n g po tracebehin'd . as the J;luddha says. With

    the

    com

    p l e t e ~ x : t i n c t i o n

    of consciousness. the state of nothingness is

    attained which is Nirvana, the consummation of man's spirit

    ual

    struggle. the goal

    of ll

    Buddhists.

    tU) The Foul'

    'Noble

    Truths. namely the Truth of

    Sqift)ring, ite origin. its cessation; and the Holy Eightfold

    Path

    that

    leads to the cessation of suffering. The Four Noble

    Truths constitute

    the

    eS,sence pf the

    Buddha's

    teachings. Birth.

    disease, old age

    death:

    not to attain what

    one

    desires; to be

    separated from those we love; even the

    Five

    Aggregates of

    ~ c h r n e n t of

    whicbOU'tpersonality

    conslets;-all these are

    5

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    'Sufferiilg".

    The origin of 8'Uikrintt

    i.

    tbe Threefold i

    '

    namely, .exual de.ite. thed4lti:r6 to live,

    and

    the

    du!r& ~ t e

    be

    what one dislike.. T ~

    Cl'avifts'is

    due

    1:0

    ianorance

    of the

    true facts of life; namely, thai aD

    ill

    itn'Pftl'llanent, mWerable,,'

    and

    not self-contained.'

    In.

    ~ r * l 1 e e of theae

    true fael'8

    of

    i ~

    weare attached to'aU tharwe 'can gra.p with. our.Dc _ l e a

    ( the mind being the sixth

    l 5 e n . ~ ) .

    Heaee. the ceseation of

    suffering is effected by conquering r be Threefold Cranag

    which is the cause of attachmerit.

    and of .n

    euffering;by radic

    al destruction of greed, hatred

    and

    dedu.ion.

    and b)

    destroying

    ignorance by following the Noble F4*htfold

    Path

    of Ealighten

    ment which leads to the cessation of all.ufferlng.

    The

    Fourth

    Noble Truth conl1ists

    of

    the

    Holy

    Eithtfold

    P ~ h .

    namely:

    Right Underatanding:

    Richt

    Mindedne

    ;

    Right

    Speech; Right

    AdM&,

    Right Living;

    R.ight Effort:

    Right

    Attepti"ene

    ;

    atkl

    Right Concentration.

    By following conscientiously .the Holy Path of rili.ght

    enment one attains

    to Nirvii.na. .

    tt.

    i. the

    goal of perfection,

    ,he

    consummation of the

    p i r i t u a l . t r ' I 1 * ~

    of

    having dvdcome

    the

    'f

    Ten Fetter.'o which b i n ~ Olen to the "Circle

    of

    Rebirth".

    It

    i the extinction of greed, hatred

    aftd

    cteI\urion; the

    eetilft.tioft

    of all individual life

    and

    of

    an

    sulferin&

    This is in brief the Supreme Knowledge of which the

    , Buddha became cognisant in his Englightenmerit under the

    Holy Bodhi tree

    2,500

    years ago.

    He

    discovered the workinat

    of

    the Laws of Nature which form

    the

    'baais of

    hi.

    whole

    Doctrine. They constitute the Absolute Trttth wlUch camrot

    be tenoned but must be e z : p e r i e n e e d ~ eatb by' hiJneell and.

    for

    himself.

    The

    Eightfold Path of Enlightenment ~ p e r i e f t ~ e d by

    the Buddha and taught to mankind i . the only way

    to

    attain

    t'olialvation by oneself

    and

    , thour any external help.

    AM

    the

    power inherent in his nature

    to

    seek

    and

    achieve !iw

    0W1l

    .salvation. That is the beauty of the Buddhist' Rebaion.

    Buddhism

    i

    a

    docrtril)e of Cogniti9D';

    it

    the

    truth

    tp:at. d ~

    pon Man "whe1lthe tearathat.Roware n the

    hea1l:"'1 . BIle

    . . that ia not all.

    .

    Beinl aware ithe

    t lU6'Mctl

    f l i fe. :wW .

    6

    . ,

    .

    .

    http:///reader/full/Nirvii.nahttp:///reader/full/Nirvii.na
  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    I

    ; . ~ u _ u m d beasts

    alike are brothers

    iD the same boat

    .UD he

    high seas

    of life, each' seeking happiness

    and

    peace

    ,

    endtryiog

    desperatel" to escape bom suffering f r ~ life to

    ~ e

    until the

    oommon

    soal

    t

    Nirvana, is reached.

    Thi.

    sen.e of common

    brotherhood

    in suffering, the

    ewarcDeU ()f each forming

    an

    integral

    part

    of the universe,

    this

    Oneness

    with all there has been and

    can ever

    be,

    becomes

    the source

    of

    unlimited loving

    kindness and compassjon

    (

    Metta-Kar ,na) and

    toleranee

    lowards

    all beings.

    And

    this

    universal. all-embracing loving kindness and

    compassion

    is

    the

    fundamental principle underlying the 'whole Doctrine of

    the Buddha, unsurpassed

    by

    any

    other

    religion. The Buddha's

    foremost

    aim was to

    encourage

    man

    to purify

    his

    heart from

    all passion (Kilesa); to contemplate himself

    ob

    iectively in

    , order to free himself fr.om the delusion

    of

    self; and, to attain

    to supreme wisdom and insight by meditation a ~ d

    by

    leading

    a

    pure

    life which is

    to

    !!void evil

    and

    to

    do

    good . The

    Buddha's teachings must be experienced

    by

    oneself

    in

    order

    to

    be able

    to

    e m a n ~ i p a t e

    oneself from

    the

    "Circle of

    Rebirth

    and of all suffering.

    His

    philosophy is difficult and hard to

    understand

    by

    those who

    love pleasure and

    seek

    it

    .

    But

    the

    greatest

    and

    irre.istable altraction Buddhism has had and still

    has

    for ordinary

    men

    and women is the all-embracing loving

    kindness

    and

    compassion

    of the

    Buddha

    for

    the

    sJliferings of

    all sentient beings. No other religious teacher has laid so

    much emphasis upon

    suffering

    as

    the fundamental attribute .

    of all life as

    the

    Buddha. ' Hi. Noble

    Truth

    of Suffering, its

    origin, it cessation, and

    too

    Eightfold

    Path that

    leads to the

    Cessation

    of

    Sufferins..,

    are

    the greatest gifts ever

    made

    to

    mankind.

    In

    the

    Holy Scripts

    of

    the

    Pan Canon

    of the

    Theravada

    School, there lives

    the

    Spirit of our Lord

    Buddha

    and of his

    immediate Disciples.

    unchanged

    and

    unspoiled

    after 2,500

    years. It haa stood the acid test of time and lives on in the

    hearts

    of the

    Thai

    people,

    who ever

    since HinaYIJNJ LlJnka

    Buddhism

    was

    introduced in Thailand have

    remained

    faithful

    to their reliKion.

    For

    this reason

    t

    the introduction of Lanka

    HihaYlJna Buddhism

    to this

    ~ u n t r y

    is the

    most important

    period iQ the history of Buddhism in Thailand.

    7

    ,

    '

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    Opinion .as to w.hen Buddhism C4me to Thailand s st ll

    divided. Some believe i t w s introduced

    by

    King A.oka: the

    Great who sent .Earth Buddhist missionaries to numerous

    countries in order to

    spread

    the Teachings of our Lord Btid

    dha.

    Others

    think it.

    came

    at a much larerpel'iod, while some

    . believe that Buddhism was introduced to Thailand as J'ecently ,

    as at the Sukhodaya period.

    From archaeological findings, nd

    judging frorn his

    torical records, we may

    assume

    that Buddhism spread to

    Thailand at four qifferent periods:

    I. As Hinayana Theravada Buddhism

    .

    2. As Mahayana Buddhism.

    3.

    As

    Pukam Pagan) Hinayana B u d d h i m ~

    4. As Lanka.-Hinayana B u d d h i s m ~

    In the following pages, these four periods shall

    be

    deiilt

    within

    detail.

    ; .

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    n.

    ,

    . . .",4

    1044u,

    . . . . . ;

    . . . . . . . . . 100

    . . . .

    I ....

    l044u I.

    n

    ..

    l ,

    ,

    . ,

    I

    6 . 4

    0

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    n.. ( ,14 t . 4 4 ~ . ...... ;..........

    ' ' ' ' '

    . I

    t 4 ~ I.

    n.

    l l

    ..

    4

    I .

    'M

    1

    I

    6 04

    P. I . ,

    ..

    ......

    . .

    ;

    I

    . . . . . .

    ,

    .

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

    13/39

    n . ( ..... .

    h ....

    ~

    0

    ;.

    .. .. ;

    0 1 ~

    1 1 1

    1>00,'

    ....

    I

    .

    ....

    1

    ....

    1

    Go

    .

    1

    . ,

    ...

    ,

    r.

    0 1

    ..

    ..

    .....

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    HIN Y N THER Y D BUDDHISM

    r,t

    Hinayana

    Theravada

    Buddhism was for the first time

    . !

    introduced into Thailand when this territory was still

    inhabited

    by

    the

    Laos

    or

    Lawa. Their Capital

    was

    Nagor

    Pathom, which

    is m e n l i o ~ e in the

    Maha

    Wongse hiltory of Lanka

    as

    Su-

    varnabhumi,

    and

    figured in the Chinese chronicles

    as

    Davara

    vati. As you all know; Buddhism originated in

    India

    and.

    a

    du:ough

    the l ik

    of

    Lord Buddha.

    never spread

    outside

    India. Therefore the

    story that Lord Buddha visited

    the

    Isle

    of Lanka Ceylon) and

    even came

    to Thailand, leaving a

    footprint

    on

    Saccabhanda

    hillside,

    named

    after a hermit

    named

    Saccabhanda to whom

    it

    is said the Buddha preached

    a sermon, is only a legend believed l:ty some

    Lanka

    people.

    The truth is that Buddhism only

    began

    to spread out-

    side India in

    the

    reign

    of

    King Asolea the Great, under whose

    auspices

    the thirdBuddhist Council

    was

    held in B.E. 303,

    which i . a little more than 300 yeaflll after the Buddha attained

    to

    Nibbana

    Sid.

    Nirvana . After

    the

    Third

    Council waS

    held, King Asoka

    invited the Rev.

    Bhikkhu

    MoggallipuUa-

    tina-thera

    to

    select a

    number

    of

    Arahants whom

    he sent forth

    to

    various

    countries as missionaries, the first missionaries sent

    in world history.

    In the Maha Wongse History

    of

    Lanka., the following

    countries and Arahants are named.

    I

    Majjhantika.ihera

    went

    to

    Kashmira

    and

    to

    Gandha

    rat the present Afghanistan.

    f3

    Mahadeva-thera went to the province

    of

    Mahisa,

    south

    of

    river Kotavari. the present Mysore.

    8.

    Rakkhitathera went

    t

    Vanavarsi, a province north

    of Gandhara.

    4.

    Dhammatakkhita-thera went to

    Parantakayona,

    the

    province

    of

    the

    northern

    sea

    border

    of

    Bombay,

    .

    6. Mahadhammarakkhita-thera went to Maharatha, the

    country near the springs of the

    Kotavari

    river.

    6. Mahar:.t1tkkhita-th ra went to Yonaloka,

    the

    country

    cotIqueud

    by the

    Yonaka

    Greek) people who liv.ed in

    t ~

    P.,. ban).

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    \

    .

    of the towns they founded in this country, for instance

    Beira.

    puri,

    Rajpuri, Kanchanapuri and Ayodhya,

    in

    the

    same

    way

    as

    the

    British

    gave old

    English

    town names

    to

    their new

    cities

    in America,

    such

    as

    New

    York

    and

    New

    London.

    Further

    ,more, there were several

    trade

    routes used in those days

    by

    the

    Indians'in their intercourse with

    this

    country.

    Coming

    ,fr

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    Golden ,Land ). The town

    of

    U-The..g and

    ot

    S\W,WII.

    bhumi are one and the same town.

    The

    reason

    why the

    people

    of

    Pukam

    (Pagan)

    claim

    the town of Saterm

    (Tllaton)

    to be

    Suvarnabhumi

    is that, in

    Burmese history, it

    is stated

    ~ h a t about B.E.1600 King Anu

    rutha

    or

    Anorata-Manchor ~ h o reigned

    overPukam

    wi.hed

    to'

    obtain

    the Holy Pali Scripts as well as Buddhist monks

    from Suvarnabhumi. which was refused by the Governor of

    Suvarnabhumi on account of the Pukam people

    being

    non

    believers

    in

    Buddhism.

    This

    so

    much

    aroused

    the wrath

    of

    King Anurutha

    that

    he made war

    against

    the country of Su -

    varnabhumi. In Burmese records it is claimed

    that

    the town

    of Saterm (Thaton) was in the territory of Suyarnabhumi; but

    there

    isno

    evidence

    to substantiate

    this claim. The

    archaeo

    logical

    objects

    said

    to

    have been

    taken

    as trophies by King

    Anurutha at that

    time, such

    as

    coins

    and

    votive tablets

    or

    types

    of

    stupas

    built in

    Pukam,

    have

    not

    been

    f.ound

    in

    the

    town

    of

    term nor at any other place nearby, whereas they

    have

    been found in abundance in the province of N g ~ Pa

    thorn. Furthermore.

    Pukam

    (or Pagan) and the t ~ w n of

    Thaton

    are

    not far distant from one another .and King Anu

    rutha's realm only reached that far. It is most probable that

    he had already

    annexed

    the

    town of Sa term (or Thaton) to

    his

    Kingdom

    as

    all K.ings of Burma who used to wage war g a i ~ t

    the

    Thai

    people

    had already

    subdued the country of

    the

    Mons: The boundaries of Nagor Pathom were far eno},lgh

    from the frontiers of

    Pukam,

    which makes it ut:l.der,standable.

    why

    the Governor

    of Suvamabhumi. in ignorance of the

    habits

    and

    customs of the

    people

    of Pukam believed the

    Pukam

    inhabitants

    to

    be

    non-believers in the Buddhist religion, ani l

    therefore refused to

    send

    the

    Holy

    Scripts

    and

    Buddhiat

    monks from

    Suvamabhumi

    to

    Pukam.

    Nagor

    Pathom

    ,was

    much

    more likely to be the capital

    of

    SuvarnabhJlmi than

    Thaton.

    It

    is furthermore generallyacknowledge.d

    that

    Kjpa

    Anurutha's realm at the time

    extended

    to ThaiterritOl lY:

    and

    there are many archaeological monuments pa:e serYc:d

    this

    day

    which were built by King Anurutha:

    f o t i n s t ~ e thie

    Temple of the Seven Spires in

    Chiensmai w h j ~ h ~ _

    Anurutha

    copied

    from

    Buddha

    Gaya

    and

    f

    wlUcll

    he

    Wit

    b

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    . , _ ~ n ~ J . e p l i c a

    in

    PJl.ke.,m.

    At that time

    C h i ~ m a i

    wa,

    1I.oown

    as Mehraming.

    These are

    ,briefly' the facts recorded

    in the hwtory

    of

    L.anka.

    and

    of

    Pukam.

    According

    to Chinese records.

    Dvaravati was

    a

    large

    00llMrY between 'the country of Srikashetr

    i.e.

    Burma)

    and

    the

    e a s t e r n c ~ u n . t r y

    of

    the Khmer people

    and

    received it. cuI.

    ture

    and it. arts

    from India.

    Part

    of this territory included

    southern

    Thailand.

    at the' time when the original Lawa

    people still inhabited this country,

    At that time. it

    was divided

    into three great territories.

    The

    8 0 ~ t h e r n

    part was

    called

    Dvaravati.

    the

    northern

    part was

    named

    Yang or yono},. the eastern part was called .. Kotra-

    bur . That Dvaravati was actually

    the name

    of this country

    may be

    seen

    from

    the

    fact that. when King Thong founded

    his capital

    of

    Sri Ayudhya, its full name was .. Krungdeb

    DvaravatiSri Ayudhya ", which indicates that Sri

    Ayudhya

    waS

    the .capital of the

    Kingdom of

    Dvaravati. Krungdeb meaning

    Capital.

    Dvaravati

    is the former

    name

    of

    this country,

    and

    the name

    of

    Sri AyudhY l is

    a

    transformation of

    Ayodhya.

    The

    reason why, according to Chinese records of B.E.

    1150,

    Nagor Pathom

    was

    believed to be the capital of

    Dvara.

    vati

    is

    because in Nagor Pathom there are many ruins of an

    ancient

    town larger

    than any other

    town in this country. In

    th.e

    prpvince of Nagor

    Pathom and

    in neighbouring

    province.

    many Buddha images

    were

    f i ) u n ~ .

    Their iconography

    shows

    much simi1aa:ity wi(h Indian craftsmanship of the period of the

    G1lPtJl Dynasty (J3. E.

    ,863-1023,

    ) leav:ing ,no

    doubt

    that the art

    of makin,gBlld,dha hna,ges

    was

    brought to this cO, IJntrY from

    India. which

    proves

    the correctness of the Chine&e xecords.

    ~ h the history of

    Suvarnabhumi

    and of

    Dvaravatiapea,k

    of

    one and

    .the same country,

    the

    difference only being that in.

    the

    h ~ t o r y

    of

    Lanka

    this

    country

    is

    aUed

    Suvarnabhutni

    .

    and

    in. Chinese reoords pvaravati. Furthermore. the assumption

    that the caPital of both countries

    named

    was Nagar Pathom

    is mplyproved

    by

    the fact that ,in Nagar Pathol)l. many

    alchaf,elogical findings b.ear both the name.s

    of

    S1;IvarnabhuJ;Qi

    frnd,of Dvaravati. The

    a r c h a e o l ~ g i e a l

    objects bearing fhe

    n ~ t Qf S vwnal;humi .consist :of a Dha.mmtlp :lkka

    ~ d ..

    13

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    deer.

    various seats

    or pedestals;

    stupas and

    footprints

    of

    the

    Buddha,

    all

    being

    used

    instead of actual Buddha

    images for

    wors hipping. The

    Dhamm ICakka reminds the

    worshipper

    of

    the

    Buddha s

    first

    sermon,

    and the

    Deer

    S an

    allusion

    to the

    deer

    park of lsipatana (or

    Migatayavan)

    near

    Benares

    where

    the

    Buddha preached his

    first

    sermon

    to the Five Ascetics

    PancaTJaggi).

    The

    pedestals

    are symbolic of the

    place

    where

    the Buddha attained to Enlightenment under the Holy Bodhi

    tree at

    Buddha Gaya, whereas the Stupas

    often containing re-

    lics of the Buddha

    remind

    the

    worshipper of the

    Buddha s

    attainment

    tO

    I

    Nibbana;

    and the Buddha

    footprints are wor-

    lhipped

    instead

    of standing Buddha images.

    These

    archaeo-

    logical findings were all reminders of

    the Buddha and

    were

    the

    only

    objects of

    worship used

    before it

    became the custom

    to create

    Buddha images.

    Since

    ancient

    times. the

    Indians

    thought it

    unseemly to make

    Buddha

    portraits

    or

    images;

    and

    whenever the

    necessity arose to worship Lord

    Buddha,

    they

    used objects

    which were

    o n l ~ symbolic

    of

    the Buddha. This

    Indian custom

    was

    strictly followed until after the reign of

    King

    Asoka. Even in

    the reign of

    King hok

    drawings

    and

    pictures

    describing

    the

    Life

    of the Buddha

    always

    used

    sym-

    bols

    to signify

    the Person of

    the

    Buddha or

    the

    design$ only

    hinted

    at the

    Buddha.

    For

    example,

    in

    the

    scene

    describing

    \ the

    Buddha

    leaving

    his

    royal

    palace

    to enter the ..

    homeless

    life" of a Bhikkhu,

    one sees only his saddled

    horse. but with

    no Bhodisattva

    sitting

    on

    horse.

    back.

    t

    was

    only after King

    Asoka s

    reign that

    Buddha

    images' were made for the purpose

    of worship. And

    it

    was

    not the Indians who created them. but

    the

    Greeks

    who settled down in India

    and

    made Buddha images. They

    were

    not forbidden by

    their religion to make

    images

    for

    worshipping, but

    on

    the contrary had long been

    making

    images of the Gods

    they

    worshipped.

    Thus

    when

    the

    Greeks

    in

    India

    adopted Buddhist religion they

    began

    to

    create

    many Buddha images

    for themselves to

    worship.

    According

    to history, the first Buddha image was m d ~

    under the

    auspices of

    King Melinda

    of

    India between B.E.

    363.387.

    King

    Melinda was a Greek, and the

    Indians soon

    followed

    his e s a ~ p l e

    The

    various objects of

    wd:rahip

    4

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    , found in Nagor

    Pathom,

    such, as

    the

    hammacakka and a

    deer

    show

    the

    same

    design and. craftsmanship

    as those

    art of making these objects of worship was r ~ u g h t and

    taught

    to

    the

    local

    inhabitants

    by

    Buddhist

    missionaries

    who

    came to this country in thQse ancient days. All these objects

    '

    o

    worship were made at a time when it was not yet the cus

    tom to

    make

    Buddha images.

    They

    are

    found

    abundantly in

    the

    province

    of

    Nagor

    Pathom but not

    in

    the

    town

    of Saterm

    nor

    at

    any other place. Furthermore, the Stupa of Nagor Pa

    thorn and other stupas of the. same' period. when

    the

    upper

    part

    which was

    added at

    a later

    period

    is

    taken

    off, will

    show

    exactly the same construction and style

    as

    the Stupa of Sand

    in

    India.

    It is therefore certain

    that

    the

    Stupa

    of Nagor Pa

    thom

    is

    an

    exact replica

    of the one

    erected

    by

    King

    Asoka:

    the

    design

    of which was brought to this country by Buddhist

    misssionaries sent forth by King Asoka. Besides this, the

    character in which for instance the Ye hamma Kalha is en

    graved

    are in

    Magadha

    language (PaIn, showing

    that

    the

    Buddhist religion came from

    the

    land of Magadha.

    From this short summary of archaeological evidence

    given above, the Capital of

    Suvarnabhumi

    cannot

    have

    been

    any other town but Nagor

    Pathom.

    t is also evident that

    Buddhism

    came

    for the first time to thi$ country in B.E. 300

    and

    was' brought by

    two missionaries, namely Sona-thera

    and

    Uttara-thella.

    Another

    thing worth mentioning and

    f

    whieh former

    historians apparently had not thought

    of, is the

    common

    be

    lief that any

    language

    spoken

    by

    any race can be understood

    by people of all races without ado. For example, it is stated

    that when Sona-thera and Uttara-thera preached the Brahma

    iala-Sutta to

    the people

    of Suvarnabhumi. those who listen

    ed

    at once

    won

    faith

    in

    the

    Buddha's

    Doctrine. which

    if we

    come

    to think of

    it today does

    not seem as

    easy

    as that, as

    told

    in those historical records. The

    only explanation

    is that

    many Indians

    had

    lived already

    for a

    long

    time in

    Suvarna

    bhumi, who had come

    to

    settle down

    as traders.

    and it was

    probably

    to the.se Indians that

    the

    two missionaries first

    t ught the Buddha.Dhamma or possibly the eher s used In

    I

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    ly observed and no alterations

    whatever

    should be

    made.

    These

    monks

    were called the Theravada school. The other

    8chool maintained that the Buddha in

    his last days

    had con-

    sented

    that

    minor

    and

    less

    important

    rules

    of

    the

    Vinayana

    might be changed. They therc

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    MAHAYAJt _8U_QIlHISM

    Long after

    Buddhism

    in IndIa

    had been divided

    into

    two schools,

    into

    Hinayana

    and

    Mahayana Buddhism,

    there

    ruled over

    India in,B.E. 6.13 a King named Kanishaka w o s ~

    Capital was

    the town

    of

    Burushbura. the present

    Peshav8.

    His

    empire

    extended ~ the.South. He was a great believer

    in Mahayana Buddhism whkh

    W8S

    brought

    to

    his

    country

    by

    Bhikkhus

    of the Acariyavada school, wL; had Red to the

    North

    in

    great

    numbers

    since the reign

    of

    King Asoka.

    It

    was

    his greatest

    ambition

    ,to become' 8S great 8 protector

    and

    supporter of Mahayana

    Buddhism

    as King Asoka had, sup ;.

    ported Hinayana. He built numerous

    Chedl

    (Buddhist shrines)

    '

    and

    temples

    and thus contributed much to the prosperity of

    the Holy Sangha

    in the country of

    Gandhara

    in th e same

    way

    as King Asoka

    had

    fostered Hina'yana

    Buddhism

    in the land

    of Magadha. King

    KanJshaka's endeavour was

    to unite the

    two

    schools

    into a single great Nikaya, but was

    unable

    to

    succeed

    because

    the

    schism

    between the two

    schools had al-

    ready

    existed

    t09 long, so he,

    ordered

    a Council to be

    held

    of

    only Mahayana monks whose task it was to revise and

    make

    changes,

    in tI:e

    Dhamma

    Vinaya.

    This

    Council

    was held in

    Peshava

    in

    B.E. 624, and the

    Holy

    Scripts (the Dhammavina

    ya) were recited in Sanskrit

    which

    was

    the cause

    for the

    Tri

    pitakas to

    become

    widely different from the original Canon,

    namely

    the northern

    school

    believed in the Sanskrit Tripitakas

    and

    the southern school remained

    faithful to the

    Tripifaka

    in Magadha

    or

    Pili language as

    fixed

    by

    the

    Third

    Council

    under the auspices

    of King

    A.oka.

    The Acariyavada monks, who since the foundation of

    their Order had

    already

    made minor changes to the

    Buddha's

    Doctrine, now

    gradually undertook

    more

    radical

    and greater

    deviations from the original Doctrine. for inatance

    as, regarp.

    Nibbana Sltt.

    Nirvltna).

    According

    to

    the Hinayana

    Doctrine, man is

    able to

    attain

    to Nibbana

    by becoming

    a

    Buddha,

    a

    Pacheka Buddha

    or

    an Arahant, and

    therefore

    Arahantship was

    their goal.

    But

    the Mahayana Buddhists say that one should nol aim at be-

    coming an Arahant.

    becaus.e one would altain

    t

    NirvilOa

    lone, which is

    of

    no

    help

    to others.

    One

    should,

    op

    the

    e

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    _COftbaty,

    endeavour

    only to

    become

    a Bud.dhabhumi

    ~

    Sod.hi

    attve.

    in

    order

    to be able to help others get a.cross the

    Wheel

    -of Rebirth, Suffering

    and

    Samsara first, after which one

    would

    : attain to Nirva,na.

    To

    support

    their view, they cite

    the example

    of

    t ~ e

    Buddha himself, who in one of his previous incarna

    tions

    was

    a hermit

    named Sumedha

    Dabot.

    He was

    then

    .till

    a

    Bodhisattva

    ~ n d he

    refused to

    accept

    the prediction of

    a Brahmin

    who

    predicted

    that

    he would attain to Nirva.na in

    this life.

    but

    made a wish to

    be

    r,eborn

    as

    a

    Buddha in order

    to

    be able

    to show

    the Way

    to Salvation to ait sentient

    beings.

    As

    this

    was

    their

    common

    belief.

    the Mahayana

    monks

    taught all

    people

    to

    endeavour

    to

    become Bodhisattva.

    instead of

    striving to

    achieve

    the fruits of

    the Holy

    Eightfold

    Path

    of n J j g h t e n ~ e n t as was

    practised

    before.

    Whoever

    lives this high ideal

    is an

    Ariya, a potential Bodhisattva.

    Hence the

    worship of the Bodhisattva principles in

    Mahayana

    Buddhism.

    As

    there

    also

    existed a

    strong

    rivalry between the

    B u d ~

    dhist

    religion

    and Hindu

    religion, the

    Mahayana

    school

    made

    further changes to their Doctrine to fall in line with

    Hinduism.

    For example they

    changed the

    oIiginal Buddhist teaching that

    there

    had been Buddhas in

    the past before the

    present one

    and

    here would oome a further t athagata (Buddha)

    in the

    distant

    future, into quite a new doctrine.

    They

    said that there

    exists universal

    Buddha

    called

    A d i ~ B u d d h a

    who came

    into

    existence

    at ~ same

    time

    with the

    world

    and

    rules eternally

    over the 'universe;

    tbatheaides this universal

    Buddha

    there

    are

    yet

    five

    Ohyani

    Buddhas,

    naniely: V a i r o c a n a ~ B u d d h a

    Akahobhaya Buddha, Ratana Sambhava Buddha,

    Amitabha

    Buddha,

    -

    and Amoghasiddha

    Buddha.

    who

    all came info

    exifltence

    by the

    heavenly power

    of AdiBuddha and under

    ,whose

    rule they live in

    the

    higher Heavenfl.

    t was

    also Adi-

    Buddha

    who

    caused

    to Bodhisattva to

    be

    born

    in

    the world of

    man

    as

    Manuahya Bodhisattva (or Human

    Bodhisattva)

    to

    teach

    the Ohamma to all Beings. Later the

    Mahayana

    Bud

    dhists created a new

    Buddha image

    which they called

    Bhaya

    aajuguru , which some believe to

    represent

    the

    Dhyani

    Buddha,

    while

    others

    believe it to be yet

    a n o t h e ~

    human

    Buddha.

    9

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    Whereas accol i:Hng to the Hinayana Doctrine. Bodhi. ,

    sattva

    was the name given to Lord Buddha in .his former

    existences before

    his

    attainment

    of

    Buddhahood,

    and that

    only

    one more Bodhisattva will

    be born

    in the future,

    namely

    Maitreya Bodhisattva {the Buddha.to.be}. the Mahayana

    s c ~ o o l bhanged this Doctrine into a new complicated

    cosmo

    logy.

    They taught that

    there

    will

    be many future Dhyani

    Bodhisattvas, Manu

    Bodhisattvas (human Bodhisattvas) with

    the same characteristics of

    the

    Buddha. Besides

    Bodhiaattvas.

    they discerned more deities such as Nang Daras, the wives

    of

    Bodhisattvas,

    aU

    possessing heavenly powers, who'will

    e

    sent to the world of

    man

    to assist m ~ n k i n d in times

    of

    calamity.

    The five most important Bodhisattvas in Mahayana

    Buddhism

    are:

    1.

    Samantabhadra

    Bodhisattva,

    the

    g u a r d ~ ~ n ) f

    the

    religion of the Kakusandha Buddha.

    2. Vajrapani Bodhisattva, guardian of t h e r e ~ i o n o f

    ,Konagama Buddha: .

    3. Ratnapani Bodhisattva, the guardian . )f the religion

    of

    Kassapa

    'Buddha.

    4. 'Avalokitesavara BO dhisattva, t h ~ g u a r d i a n of the

    r ~ H g i o r t o f Gotama

    Buddha.

    5.

    Visvapani Bodhisattva, the guardian of the religion

    of Maitreya Buddha

    who will

    be born in the future. ,

    The belief in so many Bodhisattvas is most reassuring

    to

    believers,

    in Mahayana Buddhism, ~ s they can be

    invoked

    w h e n e v ~ r

    people are

    indi'stress.

    Thus. people feel themselv-

    es

    at no

    disadvantage

    to believers

    in

    Brahmanism.

    Mahayana came to

    Thailand

    at two different

    period.,

    namely at the

    time,when

    the empire of Srivijaya was at its

    height

    and

    for the second time when the Khmer were ,ruling

    over this country, namely in ,the period of Lobpuri. When

    Mahayana Buddhism

    was

    at its height

    in

    India. Indians

    spread

    this doctrine to

    adjoining

    countries. It first spread to

    the Isle

    f

    Sumatra and

    then to

    Java

    (the

    present

    Indonesia)

    and to Kampuja. These Buddhist missionaries

    were.northern

    20

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    , ~ '

    o I 4 ~

    S ~ 1 . ~ . I 1

    1

    ~ 10

    n l I , . , I

    . .

    1

    .

    1

    N

    i 1 M

    . .

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  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    ed over Kampu]a

    ( ea mbodia) between

    B f 1545- t

    725. they

    probably extended

    their sovereignty over

    the

    whole of pre8ent.

    day

    Thailand.

    establishing capitals for administrative pur

    poses

    in Lobpuri. which wae the administrative centre for

    Dvaravati.

    and

    in Srideb.

    the

    Centre of Pasak river valley; in

    Bimai. which was the c ~ p i t l of the

    highlands

    in the South.

    and in Sakol Nagor, which

    was

    the' ~ n t r e of adminiatration

    of the highlands i ~ the North. Lobpuri was the most im

    portant

    Capital of all these vassal states of the Khmer empire.

    Therefore

    historians call this period the .. Lobpuri

    period .

    The

    Khmer

    Kings

    and

    their people were

    Mahayana Bud.

    dhists

    whose

    Doctrine

    came

    from Sumatra. But, for centuries

    before, the Khmers

    had

    developed t h e i r o ~ n arts which were

    different from that of India and ofSumatra. Thus arose another

    separate

    school of arts called Khmer craftsmanship. When

    the

    Khmers conquered this country, they built i large number of .

    Wats and monuments for the worship

    pfDevas(deities)which

    are

    commonly. called Prasat

    in

    (Stone Monuments). for

    instance the

    Prasat

    Hin of Bimai and the Prasat Hin

    on

    the

    hill of Banom Rang.

    All u d ~ h i s t temples ,built in thie period

    by

    the Khmer.

    are dedicated

    to

    Mahayana

    Buddhism.. Besjdea the above

    mentioned monuments, there are yet more archaeoloaical

    findings

    such

    as

    Buddlla

    i m ~ g e s

    Bodhisattva images

    and'

    Deva

    images. But the original inhabitants

    did not

    all follow

    the

    Mahayana

    Buddhism of the Khmers but still were faithful

    to

    Hinayana Buddhism

    inherited from generation to genera

    tion since

    the

    Dvaravati period.

    And

    a stoneinaciption

    was

    found in the

    Hindu Temple

    (fl1i 1Wum\,\,) of Lobpuri, written

    in Khmer language, stating that in this town of Lobpuri there

    are

    monks of

    the Sathaviranikaya , which

    was

    the first Bud

    dhist

    sect

    that came

    in the Dvaravati period.

    u

    well

    as

    Maha

    yana monks who

    only

    prospered

    since the Khmer became the

    masters

    of this town

    and

    since Mahayana began,080urish in

    the country at that time; and

    who

    used the Sanskrit language

    to preach the

    Dhamma.Vinaya

    instead of PAli language ae

    was the custom before. That is all there i.-to be

    said

    about

    the

    spread

    of

    Mahayana

    Buddhiam

    in

    Thailand

    in

    the period

    of Srivijaya and of Lobpuri.

    22

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    PUK M HIN Y N UDDHISM

    IN B.E. 1600 King Anurutha, after having

    conquered

    all

    .the country:

    of

    Raman

    (Southern Burma), established

    his

    Capi

    tal

    in Pukam.

    then pushed

    his frontiers further north to

    the Thai

    country of

    Lanna.

    the

    present

    circle of Bayab. and southwards

    down

    to the

    province

    of Lobpuri.

    spreading

    at

    the

    same time

    the Buddhist

    religion

    to all the

    territories of his

    realm, while

    Buddhism in India was

    rapidly

    declining and almost became

    extinguished by

    the general adoption

    of

    Brahmanism and the

    Mohammeda.n religon by

    the peoples

    of India.

    Originally, the people

    of

    Pukam had

    adopted

    Hinayana

    Theravada

    Buddhism

    which

    had been brought

    to

    them

    from

    the counh:yof

    Magadha

    in

    the same

    way

    as

    ithad

    been

    brought

    t

    the territory of the Thai. But later

    on.

    when they lost more

    and more contact

    with India, their religion developed. into

    the

    so-called

    Pukam

    Hinayana

    Buddhism;

    and

    when they

    con-

    quered the

    country of

    the Thai. their religion

    ~ p r e a d

    to

    the

    Thai people living in the

    circle

    of Bayab, which has

    been

    proved

    by

    the fad

    that

    no a h ~ y a n a Bodhisattva images

    are

    found in northern

    Siam,

    while

    they

    are abundantly encountered

    in

    Southern Siam.

    The

    reason

    for this

    probably is that

    the

    Burmese only established themselves in northern Siam which

    they

    conquered and which was

    wit \tin easy

    reach

    of

    Burma;

    whereas they

    left

    the South

    to

    be ruled by

    the

    Khmers 8S vassal

    t a t e ~ c f Pukam in their capital

    of

    Lobpuri, which was also

    the

    realon

    why Mahayana Buddhism

    still continued to

    exist

    in the

    South for a long time

    .Thi,

    period

    coincides with the

    era in

    which many Thai

    people

    migrated

    southwards

    into

    the

    present Siam from

    their

    original homeland which today

    lies within

    Southern China,

    which

    consists ofthe provinces of

    Hunnan,

    Kiew Chiu, Kwan.

    tung

    aad Kwangsi.

    Each

    of

    these provinces

    had

    their own in

    .ciependent

    rulers

    ( Chao

    and

    their

    own realm. The reason

    why these Thai people migrated from their original homeland

    into

    the

    preMnt

    .

    Siam waa that they had been conatantly

    hara

    ctd

    by the

    Chineee

    who

    gradually

    took. their

    land.away,

    3

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    a

    process

    which

    began ever

    since

    before RE.

    400; therefore

    the Thai migrated in s t ~ ~ e s to

    the

    territory of Lanna

    (Chieng-

    mai)

    and of Lanchang

    Luang Phl abang).

    These Thai

    already

    were Buddhists, but

    of

    the

    Mahayana

    school which had

    been

    brought to

    them whim

    they were still living in

    their

    original

    homeland.

    t was onlY when King Anurutha brought Hina,-

    yana Pukam

    Buddhism

    to the territories of Lanna and

    of

    Lan-

    chang

    that

    the Thai adopted the

    Hinayana

    religion in the

    Pukam venion.

    Later on. after

    the

    reign

    of

    King

    Anurutha. when the

    . mighty Kingdom of Pukam and the Empire of the

    Khmers

    declined,

    the

    Thai became

    more and. more

    powerful,

    both

    in

    the north as well as in the

    ~ o u t h but

    whereas the Thai in the

    north still had their

    own

    customs and original culture, the

    Thai

    in the

    south

    who

    had

    been

    dominated

    by the

    Khmers

    for a long time and to whom Mahayana Buddhism

    had

    been

    brought by

    their former masters,

    forcing

    them

    to

    use

    the

    ,Khmer alphabet

    and language. still commonly used

    Khmer

    customs

    even

    after they had liberated

    themselves

    and were

    now free people ruling themselves. But as the Thai have a

    born

    ability

    to. discern what is good or bad

    in

    foreign

    customs,

    , they adopted

    w h t e ~ e r

    seemed useful to them

    or

    improved

    upon

    them. For example they changed and improved

    the

    Khmer

    a l p h a b ~ t

    to a

    Thai alphabet.

    As

    regards the

    Buddhist

    religion. the Thai in this period

    were

    divided; the Thai

    of

    Lanna and of Lanchang were

    Hina.

    yana

    Buddhists,

    which

    doctrine

    had been brought to

    them

    from Pukam ( Burma , whereas the Thai

    South

    of

    Sukhodaya

    still ~ h e r e to

    Mahayana

    Buddhism as taught to them by the

    Khmer

    in this third

    period.

    . I may

    now

    be

    allowed

    to say a few words about the

    Thai alphabet invented by King Ramkamhaeng. Formerly

    the alphabet used

    in

    this cO untry was of Grintha

    characters

    of

    Southern India which later

    on

    were

    changed

    into

    MOn

    and

    Khom letters.

    When

    the

    Khmer ruled over this country, Khom

    letters (or

    Khmer)

    were used in official

    correspondence.

    But

    the Khom alphabet could

    only

    be used

    for

    writing

    Pali

    and

    Sanskrit or Khmer

    words:

    but could not be used to write Thai

    24

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    ~ 8. 46' Ji I . I

    ho

    1

    01 810

    , .1 . .

    I. . .

    . . . . .

    . . . . . . . .

    .

    ,.,41 I

    . .

    . .

    010

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    , , .

    language,

    because

    the alphabet had

    not

    sufficient vowels nor

    ,had it any accents to

    express

    the low and high tones

    of

    the

    Thai

    language,

    and

    the

    characters themselves

    were too ornate

    and

    could not

    be

    written quickly. So King Ramkamhaeng

    alten=d and improved

    upon

    the existing

    characters

    so

    as

    to

    render

    them more

    suitable for writing

    Thai words

    easily. He

    invented

    additional vowels and accents for expressing

    the

    right tones.

    The

    introduction

    of

    this first Thai

    l p h ~ b e t

    in-

    v ~ r i t e by King

    Ramkamhaeng,

    besides being most useful for

    writing

    Thai. was

    a brilliant

    beacon

    to

    demonstrate

    that

    the

    Thai

    had

    shaken

    off their Khmer

    yoke

    under

    which they had

    been suffering for many centuries. and that they now were free

    people

    (Thai)

    in every respect

    and

    even possessed their own

    l p h b e t ~

    \ aroused their patriotism. But the alphabet

    invented by King a m k a m h a ~ n g differs from the one

    used

    today as in his alphabet the vowels

    as

    well

    as

    the consonants

    are written all in one row. All vowels are

    placed

    in front of

    t h ~ eonsonants except

    0 :;

    which follow the consonants. Np

    vowels were placed above and below the

    consonants

    as in

    the untidy Khom alphabet. But King Ramkamhaen g s

    alphabet was only

    used

    as long as he lived, and in later

    reign.

    the vowels were

    placed

    partly in front, partly , behind

    r

    above

    or

    below

    the consonants as practised

    today. Thus.

    ill ,the end, we only inherited from King Ramkamhaenghis

    vowela.but

    not

    the way

    of

    writing; the

    reason

    for

    which

    is

    that generations after King ~ m k a m h a e n g

    we have

    become

    le.s patriotic.

    We

    do

    not

    r,ea:lise the neces,sity

    nor t h ~

    pride

    of

    pOl8essinK

    something of

    our

    own

    as King Ramkamhaeng

    and

    his people

    did. Otherwise the

    way

    of writing our own

    language might

    have

    been

    as

    advanced

    and

    modern

    as

    all

    other

    foreign languages.

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    L NK BUDDHISM

    The

    fourth

    period is

    of

    great

    importance

    as

    it

    marks

    the period in which all Siamese a ~ o p t e d

    Hinayana

    Buddhism

    as their

    only Buddhist Faith and ever

    since t h e ~

    have

    faith.

    fully kept it to this day.

    In

    RE.

    1696

    King

    Para Kama Phahu

    the Great of

    Lanka

    brought about a revival of Buddhism on the isle of

    Lanka by

    inviting

    Maha

    Kassapa-thera

    to

    preside

    over

    a

    council, the object of which was to revise the Buddha

    Dham

    ma

    Vinaya.

    t

    was the 7th Council held

    by

    Southern Bud-

    dhists. News of this great Council held under the auspices of

    King

    Para Kama Phahu

    reached

    aU eastern

    countries

    of

    Buddhist Faith, and delegations of monks from Pukam, M6n,

    Siam

    and Kambuja (Cambodia)

    were

    sent

    to the isle

    of Lanka

    to

    study

    the

    newly

    revised

    Buddhist Holy

    Scripts

    in

    order

    to

    bring

    back home

    what

    they had learned.

    But

    the

    Holy

    Sangha

    of Ceylon would not accept

    these

    foreign Bhikkhus into their

    Order unless they consented to

    be

    reordinated in the Lanka

    Nikaya

    (sect). All

    the

    monks.

    who

    had

    seen for themselves

    the practice of the Dhamma Vinaya of this new monk

    Order

    6f Lanka,

    agreed to be reordinated

    in

    the Lanka Sangha.

    Since that time, the

    revised procedure

    of

    ordination

    as laid

    down

    at this Council

    appears ip

    the

    Canon of Southern Buq

    dhism. After studying the

    revised.Canon,

    the foreign mission-

    aries returned to their respective home countries. Some of

    them invited Lanka monks to accompany them

    back

    to their

    country to

    teach

    the revised Dhamma Vinaya to the local ~ n

    habitants,

    who became much

    impressed

    by

    the

    Lanka monk.,

    and allowed their sons and grandsons to be ordained in this

    Lanka Monk

    Order

    in

    increasing

    numbers. Thus, Lanka

    Bud-

    dhism spread rapidly to

    Burma.

    the M6n country, Thailand

    and as far

    as

    Kambuja.

    In

    Thailand these Lanka monkssettled nrstin

    NagorSri.

    dharmaraj about

    B.E. 1800.

    as evidenced by

    archaeological

    nndioss

    discovered when the

    Phra Maha Dhatu of Nasor .

    ~ Q

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    ..

    .

    Sridharmarai

    was repaired. and. changed. Irom its original Sri.

    vijaya

    style into a

    Lanka

    type

    of Stupa which

    still exists

    t o ~

    day.

    In Wat

    Phra Mahadhatu.

    a

    Buddha image made of

    iade

    was

    also found which

    shows Lanka craftsmanlhip of that

    ~ e t i o d As

    further evidence, a stone inscription

    dated

    B.E.

    1630) was found with the following inscription:

    King

    Ramkamhaeng gave alms (Dana)

    to

    the 'Holy

    Th,ras (Elders) who had completed the study of the Tripitaka

    and were appointed to higher ranks than any other

    monks

    residing in this country.

    They all c me from Nagor Sridharmaraj.

    Thus.

    it

    is certain that

    the Lanka monks

    firlt

    came to

    Nagor Sridharmarai. and

    when their

    f a ~ e reached the

    town

    of

    Sukhodaya which at that

    time was the

    capital

    of King

    Ramkamhaeng, the

    King invited these Theras to come and

    \

    settle

    down in

    his Capital.

    At

    the

    same time, the King ordered

    the

    Governor of

    Sridharmaraj

    to

    negotiate the transfer of

    the

    Phra

    Buddha

    Sihing image from

    Lanka

    to Siam.

    Mahayana Buddhism; which had

    been

    adopted when

    the

    Khmer ruled

    over the

    country. declined and finally dis-

    appeared.

    Nevertheless.

    at

    the

    beginning of

    this

    fourth period,

    the Holy Sangha in

    Siam

    was still

    divided

    into two sects.

    namely

    those monks

    who belonged to the original Nikaya

    and

    those who were ordained according to the Lanka religion.

    Even

    in Burma,

    the

    M6n country

    and Cambodia, the monks

    in

    the

    beginning were still

    divided into the

    two

    above-mention

    ed

    Nikayas.

    but

    finally

    joined

    together in

    one

    single sect. In

    the

    M6n country,

    the

    unification

    had

    to

    be

    enforced

    by

    the

    King, as

    stated on

    a stone inscription, whereas in Siam the

    unification took place by

    m u t ~ a

    consent, for

    which

    there is

    evidence found today, namely, the formalities of an ordination

    used

    in former days or practised even at the present day

    in

    some

    rural districts

    was

    to let the novice repeat twice

    the CfTlu ee Refuges" (Trisaranagama), once in Pali and for

    the second

    time

    in

    Sanskrit,

    which

    shows

    the

    Lanka

    .

    that

    Buq.?hilts uSed

    Pali

    according,

    to Hinayana Buddhism

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    whlle thelormet monks Used

    S a n 8 k ~ i d n

    accordance

    Mahayana religion which had

    been.

    introduced to this

    ~ o u n t r y

    by.the

    Khmers.

    Furthermore, the

    rOYBf

    wats

    (monasteries) in

    Su-

    khodaya. Lanna and

    Lanchang.

    erect 2

    Sema,

    (Skt. BU. .

    b o u n ~ a r y stones around the most

    holy part

    o f t h , e t e i n p l e ~

    ~ r in

    ~ o m e

    w ts 3 '4

    Bemas,

    which probably i . d u ~

    to

    the

    fact

    that when

    the

    L a ~ k a monks came to this country they

    objected to the local .monks, because

    they

    were' pS:rtly

    Mahayana and

    partly

    Hinayana monks

    mixed t o . t h e t ~

    and

    would

    not

    consent to

    ordain.

    their.

    disciples..

    witbinthe

    precincts. of the Semas

    erected

    by

    Mahayana m o n k ~ . T h i .

    was

    most

    embaraasing to parents who wished to have their

    sons

    ordained

    by Lanka monks in

    the village

    or townwatJ,

    as the

    Lanka

    monks lived in

    forest

    wats far outside the vil-

    Jages ot towns. On the

    other

    hand, the wats near their

    hOJ;lles

    belonged to the local monks.

    1n order to make it

    more

    convenient

    for his people.

    the King

    allowed

    the Lanka

    monks

    to add the new Semf#

    to

    the

    old ones in

    the

    .town and village wats, so thattney

    could be

    used y both the

    former monks and

    the new monkia

    for

    ordination purposes.

    Some

    Wilts had 3 or 4 SemtfS, because Lanka monk.

    who

    c a m ~ later objected to the

    old

    ones and therefore added'

    new

    ones of their

    own,

    considering it of great

    importance.

    The

    main

    reason why

    the

    unification of

    the

    l\vo .Becta wall

    posaible

    was the fact.

    that

    the majority

    of p e o p l e ~ ~ ~ t e a

    Lanka.

    Buddhism,

    and in

    increasing

    numbers

    h ~ i t h e i r .cl.il-

    dren

    ordained by monks

    of

    this

    sect.

    The

    former

    monkalo

    ..

    more and more disciples and finally

    had

    to join with the

    Lanka monks.

    Since Lanka

    Buddhiam

    began to

    prosper

    undeJ'the

    Phra

    Ruane J}ynalty. all Chedis were built in Lanka t y l ~ n d

    according

    to

    Lanka

    doctrine. For instance. diey b4nev.4. that

    i twal

    po.sible to find

    retli

    e

    of the. Biaddha (PM4 StJril iJ...:

    dn , :), and

    it

    became the .custom to build Stupae for

    a..dd1.

    renal.

    The.G JuP

    wefe

    :built.in Lanka .ty , '- ' .e,

    http:///reader/full/built.inhttp:///reader/full/built.in
  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

    36/39

    < .

    ~ w ' 1 W . . W ' t ~ i 6 r . . .

    nCe

    the

    &uPS

    at Wat 'Chang

    Llml i n s Y ~ J . t . k ; v '

    Lifo

    erect a Parihhoga Chedi (a. sbrim.

    tontaiaibif ~ i n e o l i ; e _ l ~ behind: by the Buddha,

    luch

    al

    Buddha.

    f o o t p r i n ~ ) ,

    they

    went

    to

    Lanka

    to

    eopy the

    Buc:ldha f u Q t ~ n t .aid to

    have been 'actually made by the

    Buddha at t bc niounwn of Sumanakut

    and

    built an esact

    r ~ l i c a o f t ~ ~ ioqtprint at the hill of Phrabat and changed

    the Deane

    Ql

    the hill to Sumanakut, giving

    it

    the same n a m ~

    as the

    "e in Lanl$a. '

    Forprejithiag tbe .Dhamma (doctrine), Pali was Wled

    u

    the

    fUD4a.eatallanguage

    of

    the Buddhist religion. and the

    aludy of PallbecatQe c ~ t o t n a r y and spread widely, whereas

    S a n a k r i ~ was used to triln.lf,te Pali into Thai. Sanakrit is

    uaed

    ..:

    i t i t were a c t u ~ 1 i y the Thai, language. For instanc;e.

    . ,

    ,

    Auho

    is espressed

    in

    1fhai as

    Artha SfUtha i.

    e;xprelled

    a

    Sasda and

    meenl teacher or master;

    Satlnam is

    eapreed

    . . S4Ira.-mcains weapon.' Pali is raised to aholy laQsuage,

    .,;hile Sanskrit is used ~ s a Colloquial or ordinary

    laquase

    .

    .

    Wl1en

    Ud

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    I

    Qoftmology, called the 44:Tri Bhumi

    K.adaa.

    ( Tehbhumikaluunii.)

    of 'phra 'Ruang". It is the oldest work of

    Thai

    literature

    apart

    from the stone inscriptions,

    much older

    than

    any

    other

    , Thai books.

    , After their unification into one single sect, the Thai.

    Buddhist

    monks

    divided theniselves into: two groups. One

    group of

    monks made

    it their

    task

    to study the

    Palitexts and

    the Doctrine. They were called

    \

    Gamavasi Bhikkhus or

    Ganthadhuram,

    meaning U occupied with study" and lived in

    the

    wats

    of the towns where they inaugurated Buddhist schools.

    The

    other group of

    monks

    practised meditation (Vipal ana

    Dhara land endeavoured to attain to Vimutti or emancipation

    from suffering an d rebirth. They lived in forest wats an(.l i).

    These

    forest dwellers were called in Lanka Aranyavasi.

    The

    isle of Lanka being'mountainous and the mountain. forests

    beii:lg within

    easy reach

    of towns, the

    monks

    in town

    wats

    called the other monks Vanavasi. They still use'their forest

    wats

    in

    Lanka

    today.

    In

    the

    Ayudhya period, Buddhism in

    Thailand

    remained

    much the same as it was in the Sukhodaya period, which was

    . Lanka

    Buddhism, except that

    in' the

    beginning

    the

    Stupas

    'were buUt in Khmer stYle. t was only after the reign of King

    Parama

    TraUokanat that

    Chedis

    were built in

    Sukhodaya

    style. King Parama

    Trailokanat

    followed the example of

    King Dharmaraja Llthai of Sukhodaya ~ i \ d invited ?hra Ma-

    Lasami, the P a t r i ~ r c h of Lanka, to

    be his

    Upajjhaya(ordinat-

    ~ i n g thera} for his ol'dinatlon

    at

    Wat

    Chulamani

    in Bisnulok. '

    He dedicated

    i ~ royal palace to be used

    as

    a Buddhist Chapel,

    and

    in the reigns of later Kings

    stupas

    and

    Buddha

    1majites

    were added to this place which now is the present Wat Phra

    'Sri Sanbejra,

    which was

    a t:eplica ,of

    Wat

    Mahadhatu' in

    Su.

    khodaya; they made Stupas more beautiful

    than

    the

    u k h o ~

    daya stupa.

    For instance, they chanjited

    the

    square type of

    the Sukhodaya Stupa into a duodecahedral stupa

    ( n ~ m J ~ 6 1 1

    f t f ) ~ ) ; Examples ale' the Phrachedi Sri Suriyodaya and the

    Phrachedi at WatJumbor Nikayaram. They f u r l ~ r l'eceived

    . luggestions diree: tly from Lank,. for

    the

    r e ~ ~ o n o Bl.idd\l_t

    ,

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    s h r i n e ~ . : F Q r x a m p l e , whereas the Buddha footprint which in

    this country

    was

    originally believed to

    be

    only a

    Uddesika

    Chedi was in Lanka regarded as a Paribhoga Chedi. a real

    relic belonging to

    the

    Buddha, meaning that the Buddha

    actually left behind

    his

    footprint and the footprint was not

    man-made. It was further learned that there

    was

    another

    footprint of the Buddha,

    namely

    at the foot of the hill of Sac-

    cabandha near Saraburi.

    The

    Buddha is said to

    have

    left a

    footprint at this

    place

    when he delivered a sermon to the her-

    mit

    Saccabhanda. This

    story was told to the Thai monks

    when they visited the u d d h a ~ s sacred foot p r i n t ~ a t the hill of

    Sumanakut in the isle

    of Lanka.

    On their return from Lanka,

    these

    Thai

    monks reported this story to King Songdharm.

    Whereupon

    a

    search

    was

    ordered by

    the King

    and

    they

    found

    the Buddha's footprint on the hillside of Saccabhandhakiri

    which is the present

    Phrabat.

    near Saraburi. Since

    'that

    time,

    Phrabat

    on 'Saccabhandakiri hill

    has

    been

    regarded

    as

    a sa-

    Cred Paribhoga Chedi, a shrine of g r e ~ t importance. Many

    laymen

    and m9nks go yearly to

    Phiabat

    to worship the

    Buddha's footprint.

    . Towards the end of the Ayudhya period, a great revolu-

    tion

    broke out

    on

    the

    isle

    of Lanka

    in the course of which the

    Lanka menkhood was wiped out. The King of Lanka there-

    fore asked

    the

    King of Thailand to send a delegation of Thai

    monks to Lanka and to preach

    the

    Dhamma Vinaya. King

    B o r 5 1 ~ a k o t sent Phra UPali and Phra

    Aryamuni as

    leaders of

    the Thai delegation of monks to Lanka. Ever since then

    the

    Lanka

    Thai has

    continued to exist

    under the

    name

    of

    onpe pa

    1 to t

    IS

    .S

    ay ,m

    W

    r

    I

    W

    ongse

    .h' d

    ay.

    Th

    e mIs-

    sion

    of

    Thai monks

    was

    of

    great importance,

    as

    it

    gave

    us the opportunity to return

    the

    services once rendered to our

    country by the Lanka Sangha

    and

    to

    show our

    gratitude to

    them.At the same time, it greatly enhanced the prestige and

    .the high esteem of our Sangha in the eyes of the people o

    Lanka; in fact. to lIIuchan extent that a book

    was

    written in

    Ceylon .entitled

    uA

    Textbook on the Ordination of Thai

    Monk

    .

    ( S a ~ a m u p a m p a f l a t ) which still exists today.

    U

  • 8/10/2019 History of Buddhism in Thailand

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    In the Ratana'k.o i.ndra period. 1 a D \ a B ~ d d h i . ~ a.a

    practised durina the Ayudhya period,

    still

    ~ o n t i n u e d

    in.the

    meW4ly.The making of Buddha Chedis,theobservanpe.of

    the

    Dhamma

    Vinaylt-

    rules and tbe

    .tudy

    of

    the

    Buddha

    D o ~ :

    trine conlinued to be p r ~ c t i s e d as in the Ayudhya period.

    For instance, the Temple of the Emerald.

    u d d h a

    in the GI'Uld

    Palace was built in the aame style aa that. of the Ayudhy.

    period. Although many

    minions

    were exchanged be.tween

    Lanka

    and Thailand

    during those

    day.,

    no

    ne

    idea. were

    brought to Thailand in regard to the Buddhist relision. The

    Lanka miasionarie. brought

    o01y

    Buddha Relics to Thailand

    and the Thai' mis.joltaries . sent 0 Lanka took no further

    Improvements of the Doctrine except that they hrought back

    with them a sapling of the Holy. Bhodi tree, said robe

    from the original Bhodi tree in Buddha-gaya

    hom

    the: time

    when Mabinda-thera brought

    the

    Buddha aTeaching to

    the isle of Lanka

    and

    w hleh

    i.

    worahiprled

    a.

    ~

    Parlhhoja

    Chedi, a relic used by the Buddha

    himaelf,to

    this day.

    The practice of the Buddhist reltaion in

    Thail.nd

    since

    the Sukhodaya period should

    t h e r e f o r ~ be considered as

    p e c i f i c a l l ~ Thai in the same way as wall the Hinayana

    Buddhism of King Anurutha. And, for this reason, the

    ~ n t r o d u c t i o n

    of Lanka Buddhipm should be regarded.a the

    most important period of Buddhism in Thailand.

    it

    was

    the

    period:

    ef

    unification of all Buddhists in Thailand under one

    single Faith. in Hinayana Buddhism. and ever since t h ~ n

    the Thai people have been Hinayana Buddhists.

    http:///reader/full/Chedis,theobservanpe.ofhttp:///reader/full/Thail.ndhttp:///reader/full/Thail.ndhttp:///reader/full/Chedis,theobservanpe.ofhttp:///reader/full/Thail.nd