Sunday, April 15, 2007

Buddhism in Thailand : Ratanakosin Period King Rama II

King Rama IX

The reign of King Rama IX, formally called King Phumiphon, began in B.E. 2489.

A special hospital for Bhikkhus was built and two Buddhist Universities, in the real sense of a university, were established. These two are Mahamakuta University, situated at the temple of Bovaranives, opined in B.E. 2489. and Mahachulalongkorn University, situated at the temple of Mahadhat, opened in B.E. 2490. There two Buddhist Universities were really managed by Bhikkhus, with a subsidy from the Government and contributions from the public. Also studying in these two universities are Bhikkhus from neighbouring countries such as Laos and Cambodia. Up till now there have been several groups of graduated students. This is in a way a good omen foe Buddhism in this age of trouble and turmoil.

In B.E. 2499. King Bhumiphol temporarily renounced the throne for the purpose of ordination. During the period as a Bhikkhu he gad attentively studied Buddhism both in its theoretical and practical side. This moved the people to a general appreciation and rejoicing and in this occasion there was also rejoicing and in this occasion there was also an amnesty of many prisoners. The Supreme Patriarch was the Preceptor [Upajja] in this royal ceremony of ordination.

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