Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Praying to Buddha Image.‏

I met a guy at the temple last evening, he was talking about renting a statue back home. The problem is, he needs to persuade his mother/family to accept what he "believed". He wanted to get a Rahu Statue and the "Tua Pek Gong" he had at home was taken care by his mother, and hence out of respect he needs to get his mother's permission before he place the statue on the altar table.

I guess this is normal. Everyone has their beliefs, and we can’t forced others to accept what we deem is right. I know it’s not easy, so I told him, give his mother some time and don’t let this affect their relationship. Furthermore, this is the first time he pray to Rahu, I hope he can consider before rushing into getting a statue home, for the sake of getting.
I told him, he should see if he can make the effort to drop by the temple and pray, so what if he have the statue at home, when he is "busy" he is "busy" even if it’s right in front of him, he can turn a blind eye too.

I remember about 10 years ago, we don’t even have the Rahu Statue, but our group of friends went to the extent of looking for a dark and quiet spot middle of the night and set up our altar with all the black offerings and we JUST PRAY! It’s not easy and I would say it’s kinda scary too, cos I don’t know who and what am I praying to!

To me, it’s the "heart" that counts~~ A piece of clay or bronze or jade is not the object of our respect and worship. When we bow before Buddha images, we are recalling the qualities of the enlightened beings. It is their impartial love and compassion, generosity, morality, patience, joyous effort, concentration and wisdom that we are showing respect to. The statue or painting serves to remind us of the qualities of the Buddha, and it is the qualities, not the clay, that we are bowing to. We need not have a statue in front of us in order to bow to or respect the Buddhas and their qualities.

Luangpor Khoon discharged from hospital

Revered monk Luangpor Khoon Parisuttho was discharged from the Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital and returned to his Ban Rai temple Wednesday morning.

The monk left the hospital at 7:45 am.

He was admitted to the hospital for high fever and fatigue on Sunday.

The Nation

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Wats in Phuket

Phuket island is located in the tropical zone off the west coast of the southern part of Thailand in the Andaman Sea and is connected to Phang-nga province by Sarasin Bridge and Thep Krasattri Bridge. It is 862 km. away from Bangkok by road and one hour and 20 minutes by air.

Wat Chalong

This is Phuket's most beautiful and renowned temple. Located about 8 km. from town, the temple enshrines the gilt statues of monk-hero Luang Pho Chaem and his assistant Luang Pho Chuang, both much revered by local people because of their roles in quelling the miner rebellion in 1876.A recent addition to the temple is a 61.4-meter high chedi containing the Phra Borom Sareerikatat relic, a piece of the Lord Buddha's bones brought over from Sri Lanka. The Phra Mahathat Chedi is a mixture of southern, central and northeastern architectural styles and is the first in this region to house the holy Buddha's relic.

Wat Phra Nang Sang (Thep Krasattri Road)

This old temple, about 20 km. from town, is also an important temple of the province.The compound was once used as a Burmese military camp in 1785. Inside there are 3 historically valued bronze heads of Buddha images recently discovered, estimated to be over a thousand years old. The ubosot is where the three oldest and biggest tin Buddha images are enshrined. They are called the Three Kings and are positioned in between three other large statues.

Wat Phra Thong (Thep Krasattri Road)

For people in Thalang District, Wat Phra Thong is the most important Buddhist temple, enshrining a most revered Buddha image called "Phra Thong", meaning the Gold Buddha. The image is also called "Phra Phut" which means a Buddha image emerging from the ground. According to local legend, about 200 years ago the villagers found the image buried in the ground and tried to excavate it for enshrinement, but only the upper part could be uncovered. Later they built a temple over it and covered it with gilded stucco, and it has remained so ever since. Inside the temple area is a museum, whose collection of historical objects includes a raincoat worn by miners at the time when tin mining on the island was flourishing.The temple is located approximately 20 kilometers from Phuket City. Travel along Thepkrasattri Road, upon reaching the Thalang District Office, turn right and proceed directly to the temple.

Source- Thaiwaysmagazine

Monday, 27 April 2009

Luang Phor Khoon Admitted to Hospital

Luanpor Khoon Parisuttho is admitted to the Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital at 11 am yesterday. A preliminary diagnosis found the much-revered monk has infection in the respiratory system.

The Turtle Raft, a Thai children's story

Once upon a time in the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat there lived a kind old farmer and his wife. They led a peaceful life planting crops and vegetables and catching fish from the streams. One day the two could find no fish and so they walked sadly home. On the way, they met a blind old turtle whose shell was so dry that it almost seemed to crack. The kind couple helped carry the turtle to a shady pond where they left him to go about his own way. The very next day the two decided to fish on different sides of the stream.What happened next could be called coincidence or chance or whatever you might want to call it, but wherever the old man threw his net he could only catch that same blind old turtle. The old turtle would be freed only to be caught by the woman's bamboo dip net over on the other side of the stream. This happened all day long. The old man was so angry that he finally called his wife saying, Let's go back home and make the old creature into turtle soup!

My dear man: replied the old woman, its flesh must be as tough as rawhide, and how will you chew it?

After much debate the old man and woman decided to keep him as a pet along with their host of dogs. Time passed by. The old couple, their dogs and one turtle were quite happy in a peaceful way. One quiet dark night, the turtle crept into the old man's mosquito net and said, "Old man, old man! Get cut of bed and build a raft! The floods are coming!" At first the man wouldn't listen but the turtle was persistent. Finally he got out of bed, put on his rubber thongs, and with his axe began to chop the bamboo trees. The neighbors heard the commotion and when they found out he was building a raft they roared with laughter. "Why listen to a stupid old turtle?" they jeered. Even the old woman tried to stop him, for she did not want her husband to be the laughing stock of the village.

That night a terrible storm brewed. The river swept in and the whole village was brought down, some drowned while others were swept away by the current, but the old man, his wife, their dogs and the old turtle were safe on the raft. As the raft drifted along the river, a venomous snake slithered on board. The old man was about to kill it his axe but at the turtle, he decided to let it stay on the raft.

By and by, a bevy of forest animals such as a squirrel, a lizard, a monkey and a tiger joined the raft team. Each time a fierce animal climbed onto the raft the old man would aim to kill but he was stopped by the wise old turtle. Then one day, the old man and woman heard a young man splashing in the waters, shouting for help. The old turtle did not want the young man saved; but no matter how persistent it was, the old couple took pity on the young man and pulled him onto the raft. For several days they nursed and fed him until he became strong.

Soon the storm subsided as did the floods, and sadly each animal bade farewell to the kind old man and his wife. Back at their hut again, the two began to weed the soil and plant crops and vegetables as they did before. The forest animals were not forgetful and through the years they would each bring the old couple gifts such as wild fruits and beautiful plants. One day the tiger who had been on the raft was walking through the forest when he sniffed the aroma of good rich food. Peering through the leaves he saw some workers setting some gold and silver dishes onto a beautifully embroidered table cloth. When the waiters saw the tiger they dropped and fled. The tiger immediately picked the table cloth from all four corners with his mouth and with the food and dishes still in their place; he took the riches to the old couple's hut. Although the couple was out working in the fields, when they returned they saw the tiger's claw prints and assumed that the gift was from their tiger friend.

Soon afterwards there was another visitor this time it was no animal but that very young man whom the two had saved from the floods. Boasting that he was a courtier from the King's palace, the young man began to eat and drink the humble food which was offered to him on gold and silver plates. The first query which the young man had on his mind was: where was that treacherous turtle who wished to have him drowned?

When he found out the dwelling place of the turtle, he dashed off to seek revenge. It happened that the turtle was just about to journey to the old couple's house when the young man spotted him. The man started to throw stones at the turtle but the latter, as blind and old as he was, managed to slip into a nearby pond. Furious, the young man ran back towards the old couple's house and demanded an explanation as to how they obtained the gold and silver plates. "From the tiger," explained the old man. This was no satisfactory explanation for the vengeance-seeking human and he swiftly proceeded to call the palace soldiers. By this time the injured and sick turtle had reached the little hut but it was too late the old man and woman had already been taken captive by soldiers. The two were to be punished in the capital city.

Very soon, the turtle had broadcast the fate of the old man and woman. The animals in the forest had a conference to decide on how they could help their dear friends. As planned, the snake slithered into the chamber of the beautiful royal princess, the King's only child, and bit her in the arm. The poison caused her to fall into a deep slumber. The royal gong was sounded throughout the kingdom but no doctor could cure the ailing princess. It was all confusion at the palace gates and the monkey found this to be the right time to sneak into the prison where the old man and woman were imprisoned. When the monkey saw them he placed a magical cure of grounded leaves taken from the top of a tree in their hands and bade them to cure the princess with it. When news of their magical curing power reached the King's ears, they were sent for. The young princess was immediately cured; the old man and woman were set free, handsomely rewarded by the King and lived happily ever after.

The moral of this story is: those who are ungrateful are more harmful than the most vicious animals.

Wat Chang Hai Rat Buranaram

This monastery is at Ban Pa Rai, Tambon Tung Pala, close to the railway (Hat Yai - Sungai Kolok route) between Na Pradu and Pa Rai Stations. It is located about 31 kilometres from Pattani town.

This old monastery was built for more than 300 years, with the sculpture of Luang Pu Tuad, once an abbot of the temple. Also, the architecture of stupa, chedi, temple, and bell tower are magnificently beautiful.

Luang Pu Thuat, Wat Chang Hai, being respected by people all over the country, Luang Pu Thuat was an educational monk. It was told that he was able to turn sea water into fresh water. The history shows that Luang Po Tuad, who was respected by the southern people, came to visit and stays before his death in Malaysia. His remain was brought, burned and cremated at Wat Chang Hai, soon after the people built a stupa to place his cremated bone at Wat Chang Hai.

The annual festival to pay respect to his bone and ashes is in April. At Wat Chang Hai, visitors can pay respect during 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

By Train - Express and rapid train services from Bangkok to Pattani province. Tourist who want to visit Pattani, get off the train at Khok Pho Railway Station.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Ayutthaya's Great Blessings: Paying Homage to Nine Temples

The reason for choosing "nine" is this: Thais pronounce the number "9" เก้า as "kao" which is a homophone of the word ก้าว "kao" which means to step and to progress.

Thus, they believe that the worship they show to the Buddha at nine sacred temples will bring prosperity to their lives.

1. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
Great blessings: Victory over enemies, forgiveness and being the beloved
Located in the Southeast of the Ayutthaya Muang Island, the temple was established in 1357 AD in the reign of King U-thong (1350-1369). The Great Chedi Chai Mongkhon, a token of King Naresuan's victory over the Crown Prince of Burma in the duel on elephant back, was erected later in the reign of King Naresuan (1590-1605) at the same time of the temple renovation. Phra Phuttha Chaiya Mongkhon in the ordination hall is one of the most sacred Buddha images in Ayutthaya.

2. Wat Phanan Choeng
Great blessings: Smooth-running business, prosperity in one's job
This is a Mahayana temple situated to the Southeast of the Ayutthaya Muang Island. It is presumed to be built before the establishment of the Ayutthaya kingdom. The huge maravijaya* Buddha image (height 19 m./width 20.17 m) in the ordination hall, Luang Pho To (the big Buddha) or Sampokong, is greatly revered not only by the Thais and the Chinese-Thais but also by the Chinese from abroad. This is because most worshippers have found that their business and trading have become prosperous after paying homage to Luang Pho To.

*Maravijava (conquering mara) posture is a sitting position with legs crossed, the left hand on the lap and the right hand on the right knee with fingers pointing down to the ground

3. The Vihara of Phra Mongkhon Bophit
Great blessings: Prosperity in trade, success in one's job
Situated in the south of Wat Phra Si Sanphet on the Ayutthaya Muang Island, the monastery has no monks residing. The principal bronze Buddha image, Phra Mongkhon Bophit, is presumed to be built in the reign of King Sanphet VIII or King Tiger (1703-0708). In 1767, when Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese, the vicinity of the monastery was set on fire to remove the gold that gilded the stupas there. Phra Mongkhon Bophit was burnt too.The right arm from the shoulder fell off. A few years ago, the Fine Arts Department discovered lots of small Buddha images inside the left chest.

4. Wat Thammikkarat
Great blessings: Being the beloved, good health
Situated in the east of the site of ancient royal palace, the temple has existed since the reign of King Borom Trai Lokkanat (1448-1488). There is a stupa encircled by lion figures, reflecting the Khmer influence. Legend has it that Queen Ubon Dhevi of this king asked the gods for the recovery of her son. The prayer was granted. Thus, she erected the reclining Buddha image with a length of 12 metres there. Both soles were gilded with gold leaf and decorated with stained glass.

5. Wat Phutthai Sawan
Great blessings: Being the beloved, invulnerability, good health
The temple is located in the southern side of the Chao Phraya River, opposite the Ayutthaya Muang Island. It was established in the reign of King U-thong (1350-1369). At that time, the vicinity was called "wiang lek"and used to be the palace of the king.

6. Wat KasattrathiratGreat blessings:
Being the beloved, invulnerability, prosperity in one's jobs
Located on the Chao Phraya riverside, to the west of Ayutthaya Muang Island, this ancient temple was renovated in the first reign of the Rattanakosin Period (1782-1809). The double bai simas* of the ordination hall were magnificently carved.

*A bai sima is a heart-shaped stone placed outside a temple to mark its boundary. Usually, there are eight of them in eight directions. As for the royal temples, there are sixteen of them.

7. Wat Tha Ka Rong
Great blessings: A great merit of worshipping the triple gem of the Buddha
The temple is located near the Chao Phraya riverside to the west of the Ayutthaya Muang Island. It was built before Ayutthaya became capital. There is no evidence telling who the founder was. The ancient principal Buddha image in the ordination hall, Luang Pho Rattana Mongkhon, is highly revered by the villagers.

8. Wat Na Phra Mane
Great blessings: Prosperity, being the beloved
Situated in the north of the Ayutthaya Muang Island, it is the only temple in Ayutthaya that was not destroyed during the siege of 1767, because it was used as headquarters of the Burmese invaders. The ordination hall has no windows like other temples erected in the Ayutthaya period. Instead, it has several small openings on the walls with carved stone bars for ventilation.

9. Wat Nakhon Luang
Great blessings: Being the beloved, strong health, safety from all weapons
Situated on the Pa Sak riverside in Amphoe Nakhon Luang (20 km from the provincial town). In the Ayutthaya period, the area was part of the royal route for all kings who travelled to pay homage to Phra Phuttha Bat (the Buddha's footprint) in Saraburi province. In the same vicinity of the temple, Nakhon Luang Palace which was used as royal residence for all kings and royal families is situated. It is presumed to be built in the reign of King Song Tham (1610-1628) and was renovated in the reign of King Prasat Thong (1629-1656).

Source- thaiwaysmagazine

Saturday, 25 April 2009


In Thai culture, nine is considered to be an auspicious number. All of the temples listed below have auspicious names. It is believed that a merit-making pilgrimage to these nine sacred sites will bring good luck. Individual who complete the journey will earn much merit.

  1. Wat Chiang Man
  2. Wat Phra Sing
  3. Wat Chedi Luang
  4. Wat Chaimongkon
  5. Wat Loi Kroh
  6. Wat Dab Pai
  7. Wat Chiang Yuen
  8. Wat Muen Ngoen Khong
  9. Wat Phra Thad Doi Suthep

I will find out more information on all these temples soon.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Pictures_ Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya

Famous Buddha head in the Tree Trunk

Wat Mahathat is typical of the Ayutthaya ruins: large crumbling stupas surrounded by low laterite walls and rows of headless Buddhas.

Rows of Headless Buddhas

Buddha Image in the viharn at Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya

Thursday, 23 April 2009

My Bangkok Trip~~End

9th Stop~~ Wat Hualamphong, 3rd Class Royal Temple
A very BUSY temple with LOTS of Buddha statues and I would say it’s a good place to take pictures. To our surprise, the place for donating coffins is just NEXT to it. So of course we walk over and donated coffin. It’s a very crowded Chinese temple and the people that speaks very good teochew.
We managed to complete our mission in about 5-6 hours, Tiring but for fulfilling and amazingly all of us felt so peaceful and warm after the whole session. In fact before we make our trip, many people around us made lots of negative comment to dampen our enthusiasm. Telling us that this is a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, no way will we be able to complete all the 9 temples in one day. I’ve chosen to ignore and forgive their ignorance. If the thais can do it on their birthday and special occasion like SONGKRAN, it’s proven that this can be done.

A little setback, the driver changed my destination which I have planned, and I’m really upset with their unprofessionalism. As I do not want to upset and rest of the members, I choose to keep quiet and follow the routes since only the last 2 temples was changed by them, they thought I’m not aware, I do. Anyway, though disappointed, but I would say as long as we are sincere, it doesn’t really matters which temple we goes to. So far, this is another meaningful trip after the trip to Surin in 2005. And I hope in near future I would be able to return and complete the 9 temple as planned.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

My Bangkok Trip Part Four

Alright, finally last 3 temples.... by then we are kinda tired but at least it's something to keep us moving, we are so near to our final destination.
7th Stop~~ Wat Rakhang 2nd Class Royal Temple. Very Old Temple and renovation going on. There’s some little "street stall" next to the temple. Had always heard people talking about amulet of "wat Rakhang" and finally I know why. The temple "rent" lots of amulet, it’s like a little amulet shop and business was good. It’s a pity as there was quite a queue for blessing from the monk, we did not join in the queue. Oh ya I was told that this is one of the royal temple because King Rama I stayed there during his early years.

8th Stop~~ Wat Ratchanadaram 3rd Class Royal Temple, under renovation. Still get to climb up the temples to pray. There is an Amulet market beside the temple, full of people, can see that most are mass production. The famous Pagoda called "Loha Prasat" as size 36 metres high with 37 surrounding spires. The surrounding I would say ~~ VERY QUIET and PEACEFUL.

My Bangkok Trip Part Three

4th Stop~~ Wat Chanasongkhram 2nd Class Royal Temple.Inside the ubosot, the altar is quite impressive with its gilded Buddha image in front of a large gilded fan, and ceremonial umbrella above. Of special note are the elephant tusks, one pair of which is ebony. A small enthroned statue of King Taksin is situated in a side aisle.

5th stop~~ Wat Pho The Temple of the Reclining Buddha , 1ST class Royal Temple. The Reclining Buddha is forty-six metres long and fifteen metres high, decorated with gold plating on his body and mother of pearl on his eyes and the soles of his feet. The latter display 108 auspicious scenes in Chinese and Indian styles. The eyes catching Ubosot and the Prang not to be miss. Outside the Chapel, the temple grounds of Wat Po itself are a fascinating and architechurally stunning place to walk around. For a few baht you can drop forty small coins into forty bowls and the giant golden titan may grant you a wish. Not to be missed, the Buddha with Naga and the long gallery of Buddhas.

6th Stop~~ The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaeo Special Class Royal Temple. The Emerald Buddha. A pity, unable to take photo as nobody is allow to go into the area except for the King who will change the emerald Buddha. First time I’ve seen the Temple Guardian, (Yaksa). The Golden Chedi and Figures around the Ubosot is the best place for Photo. The wall painting of the Ramakien ~~Amazing!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

My Bangkok Trip Part TWO

We started our Merit making at the 9 Sacred temples on 3/3/09 at 9am, with all the "homework and research I’ve prepare before my trip. I gave the map to the driver and proceed.

Our first stop~~ Wat Sutha, 1st class Royal Temple of Bangkok. This temple contains the beautiful 13th century Buddha image of Phra Sri Sakyamuni from Sukhothai province. The ashes of King Rama VIII, brother of the current king, are contained in its base. Rows of Buddha images at the chapel were beautifully line up and they are really impressive.

2nd stop ~~ The Golden Mount, Wat Sakae, 2nd Class Royal Temple The 320 steps to get to the top, really Tiring! The top most part is about 100 meters high, and the base is 500 meters in diameter.There is a small shrine beneath the roof-top chedi. From the rooftop terrace you have a 360 degree view of Bangkok

3rd stop ~ Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, 1st class Royal Temple one of the most important temples of Bangkok, whose one-time chief abbot was King Rama IV before he ascended the throne. Other Chakri Kings who had resided here during their monk hood include King Rama IV and King Rama VII, as well as His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). The ubosot of Wat Bowonniwet contains the Phra Phutthachinasri image of Buddha, which dates from around 1357. There are several rare and much revered Buddha statues including Phra Suwannakhet, Phra Nirantarai and Phra Phuttachinnasi. to be con't

eckhart tolle