Criticised by a senator, the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple's mass thudong pilgrimage through downtown Bangkok has been defended by the Office of National Buddhism.
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Some of the 1,500 monks and novices at Wat Phra Dhammakayawho are taking part in a pilgrimage which started on Monday and is due to end tomorrow. Photos by Somchai Poomlard.
Monks' city walk
Wat Phra Dhammakaya has defended the temple's mass thudong pilgrimage through downtown Bangkok, insisting the walk by 1,500 novices and monks does not violate their code of ethics.
It has rejected criticism by a senator that the monks' walk is improper.
Appointed senator Truengjai Buranasompop, chairwoman of the Senate committee on religion, arts and culture, said the walk might violate the monks' code of ethics.
The senator believes the pilgrimage, which began on Monday and ends tomorrow, is improper as the monks walk through the city's already crowded streets and increase traffic congestion.
Phra Sanitwong, of Dhammakaya Foundation's public relations, however, said monks making a pilgrimage are not required to worry about congested streets.
They must abide by two of 13 ascetic practices set by the Lord Buddha – they must have only one meal a day, and stay at an arranged place.
He said the monks were indeed eating only once a day, and staying at schools and temples along the route.
The walk could be done anywhere, although the thudong is normally taken through forests.
Ms Truengjai added the pilgrimage might also have political implications, as it is goes through Ratchaprasong intersection, the site of the mass protest by the red shirts in 2010.
She called on the Office of National Buddhism (ONB) to rule if the walk disrespected Buddhism.
ONB deputy director Amnart Buasiri said yesterday the walk is not against Buddhist regulations and it is not improper to adapt the thudong to city life.
Conventionally, a thudong through forests allows people the chance to offer food to monks and listen to sermons.
But today many people live in cities and the pilgrimage brings them into closer contact with the monks.
"We should look at the real intention, to propagate Buddhism," he said.
The pilgrimage started at Wat Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani province and will end at Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen.
There, the monks will pay homage to the late Luang Phor Sod or Phra Mongkol Thepmuni, who founded the Dhammakaya Buddhist sect.
The monks' route will include Phahon Yothin Road, Don Muang, Saphan Mai, Bang Khen, the Victory Monument, Prathunam, Ratchaprasong, Banthat Thong, Yaowarat, Phra Pokklao bridge, Wong Wian Yai and Talad Phlu.
novice – someone who has entered a religious community but is not yet a full member สามเณร
pilgrimage – a journey that a person makes to a holy place เดินทางแสวงบุญ
defend – to say things to support someone or something ปกป้อง
mass – to gather in large numbers รวมกันเป็นกลุ่ม, รวมกันหนาแน่น
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
violate – to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
code of ethics – the rules of morally proper behaviour ประมวลจริยธรรม, ระเบียบวินัย
reject – to not agree with ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
criticism – comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad การวิจารณ์
senator – a member of the Senate ฒิสมาชิก
improper – not suited or appropriate to the situation ไม่เหมาะสม ไม่สมควร
appointed – officially chosen for a job ถูกแต่งตั้ง
traffic congestion – roads that are very crowded with vehicles รถติด
foundation – an organisation that provides money for things such as medical research or for a charity มูลนิธิ
public relations – the activity of creating a good opinion among people about a person, product, company, or institution งานประชาสัมพันธ์
abide by – to follow a rule, law or instruction ทำตามกฎหมาย
ascetic – not allowing yourself physical pleasures, especially for religious reasons; related to a simple and strict way of living เกี่ยวกับการบำเพ็ญตนอย่างเคร่งครัด
practice – a way of doing something การปฏิบัติ
meal – the food that you serve or eat at one time มื้ออาหาร
indeed – used to emphasize a positive statement or answer อย่างแท้จริง, โดยแท้จริงแล้ว
route – the roads used to go from one place to another เส้นทาง
implication – the effect that an action or decision will have on something else in the future การเกี่ยวพัน,ความหมาย,ความเกี่ยวข้อง
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
site – a place where something happens or happened สถานที่เกิดเหตุ
protest – a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
rule – (of a court or other group with similar authority) to make and announce a decision ตัดสิน, พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด
disrespect – to treat someone or something without respect ไม่นับถือ,ไม่มีสัมมาคารวะ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
regulation – an official rule that controls the way that things are done กฎระเบียบ
adapt – to change something to suit different conditions or uses ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ
conventionally – usually or normally ตามธรรมดา, โดยปกติ
sermon – a talk on a moral or religious subject, usually given by a religious leader during a service การเทศนา
intention – a plan in your mind to do something ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ
propagate – to spread an idea, a belief or a piece of information among many people เผยแพร่,แพร่พันธ์
pay homage to – to show deep respect for someone แสดงความเคารพ
late – dead ที่ล่วงลับไปแล้ว
found – to start an organizsation, company, political party etc สร้าง, ก่อตั้ง, สถาปนา
sect – a group of people who belong to a particular religion but who have some beliefs or practices which separate them from the rest of the group นิกาย (ทางศาสนา),กลุ่ม, พรรค
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