Buddhism; belief or philosophy
Supanburi Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
March 12th, 2008 – by: dodge
This trip I went with mom was a temples trip held by Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (Public bus company). It's a 9 temples tour in a day varying in different routes; Ayuthaya, Supanburi, Nakorn Pathom. You just buy ticket at the mass transit bus terminal in Laksi. It costs only baht 300 something, then you pick the route to go and get on the bus.
What do we expect to go for?
Of course, we expect good luck for the rest of the year or for the rest of our lives depending on how greedy we are. :D We donate some money, normally around bath 10-20 to get a set of sacrifice comprising of candle, joss stick, lotus and small slice pieces of gold.
We light the candle, joss stick together with the lotus and place them in front of the Buddha statue and we pray for our life.
However I think the purpose of doing so is just to pay respect and to show gratitude to our Lord Buddha for his universal philosophy with all those sacrifices. I don't think there is going to be halo effect glowing behind our back once we walk out the temple but we believe that we, at least, do something good for our lives and we feel happy after all.
What do the temples expect people to go there for?
You are right! Donation! to keep the temple running.
I sometimes think this is more like showing off!! When I look back to the history, the embellishment of the temples was a symbol to reflect the country's civilization and that was why when you go to some of our old towns like Sukhothai or Ayudthaya you will see those ruined temples and Buddha statues. The first civilization to be destroyed when a country lose the war was temple.
However, most important thing, temple is where to hold people's belief and those monks keep telling people to do good things which we can't get that from any bartenders in pubs.
What does the BKK Mass Transit Authority expect benefit from people's belief?
It's undeniable that on weekend people don't use bus a lot so the authority is just trying to maximize the profit from the resource; buses. We are talking about more than USD 500 income per bus per day here.
From time to time, the bus stops for people to buy some souvenir, of course commission includes but on the contrary, this tour financially helps our local shops and helps raising fund for some non-famous local temples.
And what's the philosophy of our Lord Buddha then?
I think one simple phrase that can simply explain about this Buddhism philosophy in my point of view is that "The only certainty is the uncertainty". The Buddha said that everything is born, stayed and gone. Nothing lasts. Nothing's forever. For instance, human, we were born, we grow up, we get old and wrinkle and then we die. So it's all about "accepting, letting go and not holding on to anything e.g fame, money, decorations, brand, love or even life. That's why you see monks wear only yellow clothes and beg food from people. They are learning to live in a basic way of life and not to stick with convenience or property. The way to understand this core of the philosophy is to stay with your "Now" moment, aware of it, understand it, see how it comes and goes and accept it.
Now when you know what Buddhism is and you look back to all the expectations above, what do you think Buddhism to Thai people anyway??
It might sound sarcastic but after I was confused about this belief and the philosophy for days, I had done a lot of thinking about it and I finally think that I do respect and accept the way they are as well. Because, I can see that, at least, everyone above has good will to do these things and shares common goal here which is Good Deed!
Though I ended up my day tired and confused, but one thing I was certain that my mom was really happy of what she did and my company. That was all I could do and I was happy afterwards.
May the peace be with you.
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