Saturday 18th July
THE THERAVADA PUJA
and why I love Thai Buddhism
at the Rojana Center, Suk. 23
Once a month we gather for a full on Thai Buddhist Puja, for English speakers. This is the ceremony that is held daily in Thai temples, for all echelons of Thai society, from local towns to the Palace. It’s the staple entry to Thai Buddhism. This is ‘Theravada’ Buddhism, known as the Way of the Elders, as practised widely in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos.
You’re welcome to just observe, or join in – everything will be printed out so you can follow exactly what is occurring.
We will gather in the Rojana center on Sukhmvit 23 – it’s an 11 minute walk from Asoke BTS and MRT, or you can take a motorcycle from Soi 23.
- 9:30 gather at the center
- 10:00 Start of the Puja
- 10:30 Dharma talk: Why I love Thai Buddhism, despite everything you see in the news, with Pandit Bhikkhu
- 11:15 Questions and comments
- 11:30 Formal food offering and blessing
There is no charge, and no need to book in advance. Please come on time, as it is disturbing to the proceedings if people are coming and going.
This is the big monthly gathering – for all meditators in Bangkok to join together and support each other
Every morning and evening in Thai temples there is a ‘Puja’ (Bucha Phra) – a ceremony where the community of the monastery gathers, lights candles and incense, and performs some chanting and bowing rites.
Such daily rituals are a mark of all forms of Buddhism (and other religions) – but for what reason? ‘Tamwat Chao‘ morning chanting is fundamental mark of Thai Buddhism, but not one that is well understood by visitors to the country.
The Buddha warned of ‘attachment to rite and ritual’, so why is this Puja considered so important?
The proceedings :
- Three refuges
- Five precepts
- ‘Tamwat Chao’: morning chanting in Pali (translations are available)
- Formal dharma desana request
- Dharma Talk
- Sharing of merits
- Forgiveness request and offering
- Food and requisites offering
Dharma Talk Topic:
You can’t be in Thailand long before you see monks, monasteries, and Buddhism. You might well know some of the foundations of Buddhist thought and practise. But how do these abstract ideas relate to the actual, on-the-ground practises that you find in the monastery? What is the benefit of years spent living a disciplined life within the Vinaya.
On the other hand you will see media stories of monks errant behaviour – and might well wonder why any sensible Westerner would ordain as a Thai Buddhist monk. The fact is that as human societies go, the Thai monks is an extremely good one. As far as the teaching goes, it is as good a vehicle as any other for getting down to the study and practise of Buddhism.
British born Pandit Bhikkhu has been ordained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand since 1996, living in Rajaburi province with his original Upajjaya (preceptor) and then in Bangkok. He finished a degree in psychology from the Sangha University, and is completing a MA in Buddhist Studies. Since 2007 he has been organising public events with various speakers in an effort to make the Buddhist teachings available for English speakers.
This is a new location for us, but we will be here every month from now on, so it is good to get on your radar.
The Rojana Center is on Sukhumvit 21 Soi 1 – or you can more easily get there from Sukhumvit 23. It is an 11 minute walk from Asoke BTS and MRT stations. Best to cross over Asoke Raod by the skywalk from the BTS station – it will save you much time!
Easiest is to take a motorcycle from the entrance to Soi 23 – the motorcycle drivers should all know exactly where the Rojana Center is.