Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Wat Rong Khun- Chiang Rai

The white color is chosen to represent the Lord Buddha’s immaculation.
White glass means the wisdom of the Lord Buddha that shines out all over the earth and the universe. The bridge replaces walking across reincarnation to Bhudhabhumi. Before going up to the small half-circle bridge which means human’s earth and the bigger one with the fangs is the evil’s mouth or Rahu (the demon who swallows the sun and the moon) that means inner defilements representing hell or suffering. Whoever shall see the Lord Buddha in Bhudhabhumi shall have to leave their desires and cravings into the mouth of the evil so as to clear and clean up their mind. After that, they shall walk up along the bridge surrounded by 16 Omgun Asura, 8 for each side which implies for 16 defilements. Upon reaching the middle of the bridge which means Mount Meru where deities reside. Down below is the pond which means Sidantara Ocean with 6 tiers of heaven represented by 16 celestial lotuses around the temple. Four biggest lotuses are located beside the temple at the way up which means the 4 Ariyachao Archway consisting of Phra Sodabhan, Phra Sakitakamee, Phra Nagamee and Phra Arahant whom we should pay respect before getting up the half-circle staircase. The staircase contains 3 steps, each implies for Anijjung (impermanent), Tukhang (suffering) and Anatta (non-self) and leading to the land of 4 immaterial Brahma represented by 4 celestial lotuses and 4 gates. The last gate is a triangle glass means emptiness (extrication), then stepping over the doorsill to Bhudhabhumi. Designed to be viewed in moonlight, if you can manage to get there when the moon is out it’s worth the effort – very incredible indeed. This temple is certainly worth a visit.

Wat Rong Khun is a modern temple built since 1998 by famous thai artist " Master Chalermchai Kositpipat" , he desires to build a temple as a heaven – a touchable paradise on earth for human. Chalermchai expects it will take another 90 years to complete, making it the Buddhist temple equivalent of the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, Spain!

It seems that the creator and his followers put all of their energies into creating this imaginative temple. Unlike many temples, Wat Rong Khun refuses to accept donations of more than 10,000 baht and the donors cannot have their names recorded on the buildings.

Wat Rong Khun is located at Tambon Pa-Or Donchai, Muang, Chiang Rai 57000.

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