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Buddha Statue Meanings
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Buddha: " Whenever you see things, just see. Whenever you listen, just listen. Whenever you know, just know."

Thailand - The basics of Thai Buddhism

Novice Buddhist Monks - Chiang MaiIn the Buddhist religion there is no all-powerful god to worship or look to. The ethos of the religion is that every man, woman and child is responsible for their own actions and how they affect the world about them. We can all develop the powers within us to achieve enlightenment or 'Nirvana' - we as individuals can also become 'he who is awake' - a Buddha.

The first Buddha was an ordinary man who gained enlightenment - The name Buddha means, ‘He who is awake’.

The Lord Buddha was born a prince, six to seven hundred years before Christ. He left the safety of the royal court just before he was thirty years old and became impoverished - coming to terms with his situation through meditation. An advocate of 'The Middle Way', rejecting wealth and indulgence on one hand and overcoming poverty and austerity on the other, he eventually reached an enlightened state - Nirvana.

Buddha image at a temple on Koh SamuiIn Thailand Buddhism is the national religion and evident at every turn. With the golden spires of thousands of Buddhist temples everywhere, occasional saffron robed Buddhist monks and the Thai people them selves showing gentle respect to the people they meet.

Buddhism is like many other religions in that the followers have codes to follow - much like the ten commandments - Thai Buddhists try to abstain from killing any living creature (unnecessarily), lying, stealing and over indulgences in sexual matters and intoxicants. Thai Buddhists try to carry out acts of kindness at every opportunity (at least daily!)

The Buddhist monks in Thailand are greatly revered - they give and receive alms - and you will see them everywhere from the International Airport to the poorest areas of towns and cities.

Women should not touch, or give or receive anything from a Buddhist monk this is considered very bad etiquette.

 




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Buddha Image above a temple in Mae Hong Son province


 

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