One Million Buddhas: Wat Phra Dhammakaya

million Buddhas In order to familiarize yourself with all the temples of Thailand one need more than one day, one week or even a month. There are about 40 thousand temples, each with its own peculiarity. Perhaps one of the most interesting  is the Buddhist temple of  Wat Phra Dhammakaya.million Buddhas2 Located in Khlong Luang district, only 16 km from the Bangkok international airport, the temple is famous for its enormous size. However, very few people know about it.Buddhist monks pray at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple in Pathum Thani province, north of Bangkok on Makha Bucha Day

Buddhist monks pray at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple in Pathum Thani province, north of Bangkok on Makha Bucha Day February 14, 2014. Makha Bucha Day honours Buddha and his teachings, and falls on the full moon day of the third lunar month. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) *** Local Caption *** Biarawan Buddha berdoa di kuil Wat Phra Dhammakaya, provinsi Pathum Thani, Thailand, pada Hari Makha Bucha, Jumat (14/2). Pada Hari Makha Bucha, umat Buddha memperingati Buddha dan ajaran-Nya, dan jatuh pada hari bulan purnama di bulan ketiga penanggalan bulan. ANTARA FOTO/REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/ox/14.

million Buddhas95Wat Phra Dhammakaya is more than impressive no matter which way you look at it, with its huge dome at the center of the monastery adorned with a mind boggling three hundred thousand golden Buddhas. This is a lot more than the number of statuettes that made famous the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Tsz), is a Buddhist temple in Sha TinHong Kong.

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Another 700,000 Buddhas displayed inside the temple. The golden dome is surrounded by a platform for meditation, serving as a memorial in honor of the founder of the sect, Phramonkolthepmuni.million Buddhas91

Wat Phra Dhammakaya is the center of the Dhammakaya Movement, a Buddhist sect founded in the 1970s and led by Phra Dhammachayo (Phrathepyanmahamuni). million Buddhas1

The temple was established in February of 1970, and the main chapel was completed in 1982. The leaders of the movement were accused of commercialization of religion, since Wat Phra Dhammakaya, worth $1 billion looked more like a giant spaceship, stadium or  a flying saucer rather than a traditional Buddhist temple.  million Buddhas94In 1999, however, and again, in 2002, it became the center of a scandal on a national scale. Wikipedia article has all the details of the controversy and ensuing allegation of embezzlement and money laundering. 

The author of the fabulous photographs used in this post, except for the Reuters/Damir Sagolj and National Geographic, is Aleksej Pitalenko (Алексей Питаленко.)

 

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