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The Business of Buddhism....
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  1. #1
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    The Business of Buddhism....

    Visited Wat xxxxxxx xxxxxx on the Ayutthaya leg of our annual Ching Ming tour. Every year, the temple out does itself!

    One is first struck by the fact that they have a sign stating "Foreigners 20 baht". I wonder if anyone is foreign to Buddha.

    They have closed down a large portion of its limited parking to make room for even more offering opportunities. It now resembles a circus arcade!

    What struck me today was the big pictures of the King and banners reading "Long Live the King" above the arcade.

    Because Buddha says one is to accept only what is freely giving, I already find all the "merit making" a bit sacrilegious. But, can someone explain how using the King as a poster child isn't lese majeste?

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  3. #2
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    Re: The Business of Buddhism....

    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post

    One is first struck by the fact that they have a sign stating "Foreigners 20 baht". I wonder if anyone is foreign to Buddha.
    I been in and out of Thailand for past 10 yrs and recently stay in BKK for a year. I notice a few temples are amazing and getting bigger and majestic while the surrounding remains the same. Hopefully, these few temples use most of their money to contribute to the society while part of the money to rebuild the temples.

    I will never go into any temple which demands entrance fees as I am not going to amusement park or a zoo but I don't mind put a few baht into donation box.

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    Re: The Business of Buddhism....

    Have to agree .... Temples now a days and even some of the monks are becoming very commercial The bigger the "Donation" given .. the more/longer blessings they will give you .

    Jsut My 2 cents .

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    Re: The Business of Buddhism....

    By 'Foreigner' they refer to non-Thai, and like many National Parks, and the Grand Palace, make a charge to farang which they do not do Thais. Greed, ignorance, discrimination
    The lay people are not taught correctly by many monks, that the length of a blessing does not increase the merit made. These monks pander to the lay-peoples ignorance instead of trying to destroy it, because they themselves are interested in getting many offerings and do not want to scare people away by telling them the truth. In fact, if a person is dis-satisfied at receiving a short blessing, hoping for a long one, this wrong view will cause the merit to disappear.

  6. #5
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    Re: The Business of Buddhism....

    Not all Thai people think this way. A decade ago, I was at a temple in BKK which got famous after it was aired on a Hong Kong documentary series. When we went there to pay visit to the new head monk there, a female layperson started asking us where we were from, and that maybe next time we can bring tea from SG for Ajahn cos Ajahn likes tea etc etc. On our way back, the chauffeur who was silent during the episode spoke up and said that he found that that temple was rather interested in money as he himself and his wife had once sought blessing from that temple and they actually quoted him like THB1000 or so (remember, it was in about year 2000 and to a Thai couple who was obviously making a living, not somebody very rich).

    Thai people are not ignorant but maybe their grouses are just not heard too often due to the Thai nature of jai yen yen or associated life philosophy.
    Sleep, little one, close your eyes, mother will sing you a lullaby... Sleep in a jewel cradle, sleep, mother will rock you.
    If you don't sleep the midges will go for your eyes and pollen will fall on the cradle....Sleep, close your eyes...
    - Isaan folksong, from "The Price of a Life" (Onkom, 1997)

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