Sunday, April 15, 2007

Buddhism in Thailand : Ratanakosin Period King Rama VI

King Rama VI

King Rama VI, the poet and philosopher, formally known as Phra Mongkut Klao, ascended the throne in B. E. 2453. In order to imbue the spirit of Buddhism into the minds of his citizens, without distinction of position, profession or sex, he organized a new branch of studying Buddhism in Thai language. This was successfully done because there has been several texts on Buddhism compiled in the reign of his royal father together with many writers during his reign [mostly by the Supreme Patriarch Prince Vajirananavarorasa]. He himself never neglected to do so, and thus there were written many religious books which were both instructive and understandable by all. His wealth of religious literature consisted of such books as “ Addresses to Scouts” and “What did the Buddha realize?” So it can be said that the study of Buddhism was now accessible to all, whether they know Pali or not, whether they want to study it for a long time of within a limited period of time and whether they be a male or a female. In case they have a limited time for studying, it is then advisable that they should Buddhism from the texts written in Thai, and if they are ordained as a Bhikkhu or Samanera [Novice], they are called “Nak Dhamma [Dhammiko-the Dhamma student]. The [almost] same course for laymen or woman called “Dhamma Suksa”. [Dhamma-Sikkha-Dhamma student].

As regards the transliteration work done in the reign of King Rama V, more Commentaries, Sub-commentaries, Tika, and other Paki works were transliterated during his reign.

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