Monday 31 March 2014

WAT DHAMMAKAYA - and my visit to the largest structure on EARTH ! Part 3

The Dhammakaya enthusiasts I spoke to on my visit would appear to consider that conventional Thai Buddhism has seriously lost it way and had become innately corrupt , promoted outdated superstitious practices and had many temples and monks which  tolerated poor behavior amongst the monks and the laity and they seemed set up to encourage regular donations and 'merit making' - (tamboon in Thai) for the  laity without equally encouraging and directing them to make real changes in their lifestyle and spiritual commitment that they feel ought to be made to become a true follower of the renunciant Buddha. In effect they wanted an easy life with occasional visits to the temple to top up their supplies of 'Buddha Magic' to help with problems in their life that need solving.

You will find no faint hearts or weekend part time Buddhists in Dhammakaya - when you join it's a 24/7 , for life full time existence and it appears that you must leave your old ways behind when you begin this journey and you will be encouraged to and will no doubt willingly donate any extra money you may have (or not have!) to the 'Movement'. It is this obsession with money and wealth that is part and parcel of the Dhammakaya movement that leads many ordinary Thais to hold the movement in great suspicion and with some fear.

My 'down to earth' , rooted and wise minded wife whilst dropping me off at the temple refused to come and have a look alongside me and showed no curiosity whatsoever and showed much disdain for both the temple and it's values and to a lesser extent my visit.

Undoubtedly I'd posit that lots of its enthusiasts really do cleanup their lives and live disciplined and useful existences with meditation and a devotion to the temple and movement at their heart. While you walk around Bangkok you are easily able to place a Dhammakaya business because they will always prominently display a picture of the Dhammmakaya founder - the meditation master monk Phra Dhammachayo in a high position in their business premises. These businesses in my humble opinion frequently appear clean, well-organized and thriving in comparison with that of some of their non Dhammakaya neighbours.

I'd urge anybody who's remotely thinking of visiting to study its curious and rapidly growing worldwide movement or simply really wants to visit a gob hitting illustration of what can certainly be called and merits the title  'Amazing Thailand' to visit and take a look.

So in conclusion and particularly since you can travel there on a brilliantly cheap12 baht city bus picking up just outside of Rangsit Future Park that takes about twenty minutes for the journey and stops just outdoors the temple I would urge you to go and HAVE A LOOK !

Oh and for the record whilst I was enormously impressed by their enthusiasm , undoubted huge endeavors and gob smacking breadth of their vision I will certainly not be joining them - it looks far too much like a cult and far too intrusive into my existence for my liking !

If you were ever wondering what kind of temple and cult that alien beings from another world would create then in my opinion Wat Dhammakaya would tick most of the boxes !


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