BUDDHISM IN THAI LIFE : THAI MODEL FOR ASEAN

Decha Kuppako

Abstract


Historically the Thai people cannot live without Buddhism regarded as the religion of wisdom playing a great role in the Thai society. It is a great characteristic of the Thai Buddhists that they always know to adjust themselves in living together with nature surrounding them. As the spiritual center Buddhism also provides the harmony and stability for the whole Thai Nation in forms of several festivities helping to bind people of different groups together harmoniously. In matter of fact, the way of Thai life is inseparably connected with Buddhism from birth to death such as having a newborn child; the parents are to approach a respected monk for an auspicious name for him. Children are taught to pray and pay homage to the Triple Gems (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha) before going to bed, and to pay respect to monks. Generally speaking, Buddhist families always offer food to the monks every morning; this is regarded as a way of accumulating merit and fulfills the duty of lay Buddhists to support the monks who preserve the Buddha’s teachings for the world, that make all members of the society live together in the Thai society happily and peacefully. Accordingly, it can be said as the Thai Model, the model of living together happily and peacefully in the big society known as ASEAN.

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