30,000 ordained as monks in one go!
Also known as “The Land of Smiles”, Thailand greatly respects Lord Buddha, the holy Dharma and all Sangha members. In Thailand, Buddhism has been established for thousands of years. Once strictly seen as religious teachings, the Buddhadharma has gradually become part of the Thai people’s beautiful culture and their way of life…the gentleness of Buddhism is infused in the polite outward interactions of the Thai people.
In a typical Thai Buddhist family, every male aged 20 and above is expected to be ordained as a monk for a period of time. It can be from 7 days up to a lifetime. Traditionally, when asking how long one has been a monk for, the Thai people would ask, “How many phansa?”. This refers to the number of Buddhist Rain Retreats the person has held monk vows for. The Buddhist Rain Retreat is so-named, as the period is just before the rainy season. The greater the number of periods one has been a monk for, the higher the seniority.
The Thai people will be ordained as a monk for themselves and/or for their parents, to express their gratitude towards them. By entering monkhood and holding the monk vows for a period of time, they gain a great amount of merit which they will dedicate to their parents and towards the peace of their land. Holding vows are a powerful way to overcome obstacles, increase one’s life and gain merits for spiritual practice for all involved.
This year, from 13 March – 30 April, was The 100,000–Monk Summer Mass Ordination Nationwide Project 2011. This was a large-scale project that was organized nationwide where thousands of people were invited to take monk vows. About 30,000 donned robes in a mass ordination ceremony in front of Dharmakaya Ceitiya, Thailand! Amazing..This is the largest Buddhist organization in the world.
Do take a look at the photos below, together with their captions. The same event was also happening at other temples all around Thailand!
Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Ordination-30000-Thailand.flv
In front of Dhammakaya Cetiya temple, more than 30,000 men are seen here carrying monk robes. This is the middle of the ordination ceremony after which they will take on their monk vows and don on their saffron robes. This is to signify their acceptance into monkhood, following the sacred Buddhist precepts and serving in temples across Thailand.
The actual attendance was an estimated to 200,000 people. In addition, there were thousands of viewers on satellite networks and there was participation in more than 100 meditation centers worldwide.
The annual celebration of Makha Bucha Day was attended by over 40,000 people in February at Wat Phra Dhammakaya. Held on the full moon of the lunar month every year, the festival is meant as a homage to Buddha and his teachings. It is a national holiday in Thailand, as well as in Laos and Cambodia.
Do share this with others…it is amazing!!
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