|Thailand Travel Information: Thai
The three greatest religions in the world is Buddhism,
Christianity and Mohammedanism. Buddhism, however, is the oldest
of the three. It was founded 2,500 years ago by Lord Buddha.
Buddha was a son of an Indian king. Buddha was the name he
called himself after his Enlightenment, meaning “ The
Enlightened”. His real name was Price Siddhattha. His father
was King Suddhodana of Kapilavasdu, and his mother Queen Siri
Mahamaaya, formerly a daughter of the King of Devadaha.
Theravada Buddhism is the national religion of Thailand,
practiced by 90% of its population. Theravada Buddhism, an
orthodox Buddhist sect which keeps the original doctrine and
tradition succeeded from the Buddha, is adopted by Sri Lanka,
Myanmar and Thailand while Mahayana sect is popular in China and
Japan. Buddhism originated in the southern Nepal with the
teachings of Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.
He renounced his royal life to find the way to be out of the
cycle of life which he considered suffering.
After years of studies of Hinduism in several schools and
self- mortification, he found that those ways way would not
allow him to see the salvation. He then continued to quest the
truth of life by mediating. Upon meditation under the bodhi
tree, Siddharta got the thorough knowledge of the world, called
the Four Noble Truths, becoming the Buddha or the Enlightened
One. The first truth is that life is dukkha or a suffering. The
fact that one must exist in the endless cycle of rebirth,
weakness, sickness and death is suffering. The cause of being
trapped in this suffering world is explained in the second
truth-that is tanha or desire. The desire detains ignorant
people attached to the illusion of the world: wealth,
reputation, or passion is all illusion. The third truth is that
the misery can be ended by removing the desire. The fourth truth
tells of the approach to achieve the release-that is the
Buddha's Eightfold Path. Nirvana is the ultimate goal of
Buddhism; it is the state that one ceases the rebirth.
Ever since the Sukhothai Period, Buddhism has been recognized
as the state's religion and significantly fundamental influence
of Thai society and culture. Songha or monastic community has
played a key role in Thai society since the ancient times.
Temple served as an important social unit for it is the center
of village; they were both spiritual and educational center.
Buddhism is expressed in every aspect of Thai daily life. From
birth to death, Buddhism is represented as the ceremonies
believed to bring happiness to life. Although the original
Buddhist doctrine does not say anything about ceremonies, people
have assimilated Buddhism with the primitive animist belief.
Nowadays, development and technology of the modern world has
somehow changed the traditional lifestyle of Thai people,
especially in big cities. Despite that, with the deep perception
of Buddhism within them, Thai people still adopt Buddhist
philosophy of simplicity and moderate to lead their ways, making
Thai society much more tolerant and peaceful if compare with
those which are suffering the stress from our competitive world
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