History of Vat Phra Dhanunakaya
Khun Yay Upasika Jan Kohn-nok-yung, one of the meditation students of Phra Mongkol Thep Muni (Luang Por Wat Paknam Pasicharoen), had practiced meditation by means of Dhammakaya and become ext remely successful in the meditation practice. Luang Por Wat Paknam admired Khun Yay that
”Daughter Jan is second to none”.
After the death of Luang Por Wat Paknam, Khun Yay conti nued teaching and disseminating the knowledge of Dhammakaya until she eventually sought a young age who devoted his heart whole heartedly for meditation practice. The man subsequently ordained a monk and received a monk name ‘Dhammajayo Bhikkhu’ which means a winner by way of morality.
Dhammajayo Bhikkhu taught meditation to interest ed laypeople until Dhamma Prasi d h House was unable to serve a huge increasing number of laypeople. A number of faithful followers, theref ore, joined hands to establish Wat Phra Dhammakaya on a plot of land, occupyi ng an area of 80 acres in Kh l ong Sam Sub -Di st r i ct, Khlong Luang Dist r ict , Pathumthani Province with a strong aim of making a temple a real temple, and making a monk a real monk and making people to be good people. Since the establishment of Wat Phra Dhammakaya on Magha Puja Day, Februar y 20, 2513 B. E. (1 970), a number of lay-people increased from tens to hundreds to t hou sands and then to tens of t housan ds.
EXPANSION OF AREAS AND BUILDINGS TO SERVE INCREASING NUMBERS OF FOLLOWERS
In 2527 B.E. (1984), on major religious holidays, approximately 20,000 Buddhists attended ceremonies at the temple. The space was very limited and unable to accommodate such large numbers of wor shippers. The temple needed expansi on, so an additional 1,000 acres was bought through the generous donations of its followers.
The new area was available for use in 2528 B.E. (1985) but the numbers of followers increased dramatically to about 100,000. Agai n, the space proved to be inadequate for the participants. The Dhammakaya Foundation then decided to construct three massive buildings in the new area.
The buildings would house:
- The Sapha Dhammakaya Sakol , the Assembly Hall for in door ceremonies;
- The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya, a space created to house the Buddha images and for open-air ceremonies
- The Maha Vihara Phramongkolthepmuni, which is the me morial hall to hold the one-ton solid gold statue of Phra Mongkol Thep
The requirements for the construction of these three mas sive buildings included creating a shape that was simple in design but also splendid. The buildings had to be durable, economical , multi-purpose and require minimal maintenance. The buildings needed to be clean, simple, and well -organized, yet elegant.
A cetiya is commonly known as a pagoda, which has been a sacred shrine in Buddhism since ancient times. It is a place where worshippers and visitors will be spiritually lifted to a high and pure inner place whereby they might eventually attain Nirvana. Any one who seeks success will pay homage to the pagoda and make a wish there. Anyone seeking deliverance will also worship at the pagoda.
The Maha Dhammakaya Ce t i ya, the Buddhist shrine for moral and et hical teaching for Buddhists all over the world, has been est abli she d on a l ar ge plot of landgathered since 2524 B.E.(1981 ). The const r uc t i on has b een started since 2538 B.E. (1995) and kept progressing step by step. All about 300,000 external Bhuddha im ages were completely placed on the cetiya on December 21, 2542 B.E. (1999) . The ul ti mat e goal of the establishment of the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya i s to creat e real world peace .
The Triple Gem is the noblest symbolic refuge for all humanity. The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya was cre ated to respect and to worship the Triple Gem. It is shaped like an overturned hemisphere comprising three
- The Buddha Stage is 108 meters wide and houses the Buddha’s relics and one million Buddha images.
- The Dhamma Stage is 10.8 meters wide, and holds / represe n t s all of the teachings of the Lord Bud·dha.
- The Sangha stage is 6 meters wide and is for the congregation of 10, 000 monks.
The Abbot Phrarajbhavanavisudh said,
”Each Buddha image shall look similar to the founder, Phra Dhammakaya, which is our inner body. This image embodies all the charac teristics of the Great Man and appears regal. The Buddha’s yellow robe was made to fit t i ghtly, revealing the magnificence of the Great Man.”
The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya is unique, for it is the residence of 1,000,000 Buddha images of which 300,000 are on the external part of the dome and its sl ope, and 700,000 statues on the internal part. Each image weighs approximately 2.5 kilograms. Through research, development, and our advanced technology for casting, each statue is exactly the same as the original model. Thus, each copy is as majestic as the first.
Those benefactors who contributed donations to dedicate his or her own Dhammakaya Buddha image will have their names inscribe (in letters 2 mm. In depth) on the front base of t he Dhammak,aya Buddha Image. In this regard, only three alphabets-Thai, English and Chinese-can be used to inscribe the sponsors names. After the casting process is finished, the Dhammakaya Buddha images will, t hen, be coated with real gold by ion plating (an electrical process) to give the images a long-lasting sheen. Moreover, it was not enough simply to be highly skilled in molding, casting and polishing the images-those recruited also had to observe at least the Five Precepts and maintain exemplary morality while being employed for this project.
A monk is doing Tl-Gold plating work. Illustration of the Dhammakaya Buddha image while being in the Tl-Gold plating process in the gold plating chamber. The gold-plated Dhammakaya Buddha images.
CENTER OF THE BUDDHIST FAITH
The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya i s a great center for Buddhists from all of Thailand and around the world. This center was created through the cooperation and devotion of Thai Buddhist s and Buddhists from across the world whose sole purpose is to develop moral societies with the sole expectation of worshipping Buddha and enhancing excellence. This center is expected to last for thousands of years and to be the great center for noble friends.
There are no tear s of sorrow but tears of happiness here!
There is no hunger but eternal sat i sf action here!
Hot or cold weather will never interfere with the ultimat e goals here!
Here, people from all over the world will join hand in hand with their strong faith and will join with the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya.
CENTER OF BUDDHIST ARTISTIC CRITERION
Phrarajbhavanavisudh (Dhammaj ayo Bhikkhu)’s goal was to construct The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya to worship Buddha and required the construction to be of the finest quality.
It s 3,333 foundation piles are around 20 meters below the ground surf ace. Each of these piles has stainless st eel cover which are 6. 5 meters in length to protect t hem from the erosion caused by acid. Through intense research, the finest quality concrete was discovered and used throughout the construction.
The Buddha images installed on the external and internal par t of the Ce t i ya are made of silicon bronze with a special casting technology that incorporates three coats one each of nickel, titanium, and gold respectively.
The highest quality granite was used for covering the Sangha Stage which provides durability, consistent color throughout and quick transmissi on of heat. The granite was selected from the world’s best granite mine.
Systems were designed for the most efficient heat , moisture, ventilation and flood control as well as adequate earthquake protection.
THE INTERVIEW WITH MR.ANANT ASAVABHOKHIN,
CHAIRMAN OF CONSTRUCTION OF THE MAHA DHAMMAKAYA CETIYA.
Each and every one of us on the construction team has put his orher skills and best efforts into the development of the Cetiya. Wereal ized how versatile this construction would be to all peoples. One of the most difficult parts of our work was the placement of the Buddha images. Numerous discussions ensued before we could reach a solution as to how each Buddha image should be installed so that it would last for thousands of years. The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya is a living Cetiya. The wind flowsbeneath the Cetiya and at the top of the Cetiya, breathing air in and out throughout the structure. This system will prevent moisture that might cause corrosion to the Cetiya.
I would say that the Cetiya is a link to world peace. This is just the beginning. This is the first time since Buddha’s lifetime that we are able to gather such a large group of Buddhists from various sects that share the same goal of world peace. In the future, I believe that people longing for peace will certainly unite at THE MAHA DHAMMAK.AYA CETIYA. ”
The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya is a great center for moral and ethical teaching for Buddhists worldwide.
No mat t er how advance d modern technology is developed, the world continues to transition through vicious cycles of evil and harm, while human beings struggle with their spiritual development .
Thus, virtuous training is essential for humanity. It is the best way t o cultivate the right view, wisdom and purification of the mind. The spreading of virtue through family, friends and society will eventual l y bring peace t o the world. Based on this concept , all activities held at the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya are aimed at creating world peace.
The Dhammakaya Foundation has been organizing three-day meditation retreat at the construction site of the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya, to provide the opportunity to learn meditation through simple lifestyle during the end of the last year and the beginning of the New Year.
The first meeting of faithful-followers ceremony on Asalhapuja Day: July 19,2540 B.E. (1997)
13,842 apirants are making a triple clockwise circumanbulation around the Ceitya: February 8,2541 B.E.(1998) As a part of the ordination ceremony to become the novices. The newly ordained novices will take part in the ceremony for enshrining of the image of the Parama Buddha on February 11 2541 B.E.
The second meeting of more than 20,000 faithful followers at the surrounding grounds of : September 6, 2541 B.E.(1998) the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya and there is a wondrous event “Miracle Sun” when the sun become ”as cl ear as crystal”.
The third meeting of the faithful followers. The 114 th anniversary of Phramonkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro) : October 11, 2541 B.E.(1998)
Faithful follower’s ceremony on Kathin Day: November 1,2541 B.E.(1998)
After the completion of the detailed retouching, the gold-plated Dhammakaya Buddha images have been enshrined to the top dome of the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya.
Many people of importance both Buddhist and non-Buddhist from different international organizations join the alms-offering ceremony in the early morning on Maghapuja Day. They also participate in various activities held for this auspiciousness until the night time candle lighting to worship the Triple Gems at the surrounding grounds of the Cetiya regarding as the highlight of t he ceremony.
Candle Lighting ceremony on MaghaPuja Day: March 1, 2542 B.E. (1999)
100,000 Monks and novices join together on Earth Day:April 22, 2542 B.E.(1999)
Establishment of Kalyanamitra Homes on the first day of Buddhist Lent Day: July 28, 2542 B.E. (1999)
The heavy rainfall never becomes an obstacle for those who have the firm faith to the Great Abbot of Wat Paknam , Phramonkolthepmuni, who strove to lay down his life and re-discovered in meditation the knowledge known to the Buddhas. The Dhammakaya Tradition becomes popular through his dedication to teaching and research in what he has re-discovered. And the Dhammakaya Tradition has nowadays responded to the social need to return to its ethical roots and virtue need to upgrade the consciousness of our society.
Phrabhavanaviriyakhun (Ven. Dattajeevo) presides over the ceremony of enshrining the last set of external Dhammakaya Buddhaim ages, is also leading the congregation making the resolution.
Phrabhavanaviriyakhun (Ven. Dattajeevo) is leading the congregation praying.
Phrabhavanaviriyakhun (Ven. Dattajeevo) is gilding the last set of the external Dhammakaya Buddhaim ages before establishment.
The first light of the first day of the Thai Year 2543 (Buddhist Era or B.E. ), will be marked by a flowering of every human mind, because a Millennium of World Peace has begun. A peaceful new milennium and a prosperous new century. This will prove to be the millennium to mark the unique and impressive great strides of the human race in its search for the f’gem of all gems” the means to world peace.
The inaugural opening of the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya day: April 22, 2543 B.E.(2000)
Afternoon session: Many hundred thousands of monks and devotees both Buddhist and non Buddhist are simultaneously driving the model piles and the inaugural foundation pile for multimedia control station. Iridescent crystals of peace and harmony-the ceremony of blowing bubbles of peace.
Although a pagoda must be established by people, their virtue is developed from it. People should develop their minds, then their developed minds further develop them.
Since the New Year Retreat for Purifying the Cetiya Grounds in 2538 B.E. (1995) till now, the solely purpose of all activities is for creating inner peace that leads eventually to world peace. Only one rotten fish may cause all fish tainted. Only one evil man could trouble the world. All problems in the world are from the evil men. We are an important part to help develop human minds to become perfect men by the methods that Lord Buddha taught. All activities are aimed to train people to do good step by step starting from ff giving”,
The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya stands as a sym bol for world peace and will become a world miracle once we are inspired to cultivate good deeds.
The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya would never exist without the great dedication and devotion of the worshippers.
The The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya is a valu able place for developing human minds so that they can eventually move their lives towards Nirvana.
Each element of the construction- sand, rock, concrete, iron wire, etc. is for the sake of creating a numerous number of virtuous people.
The merit belongs to all of you. The success belongs to all of you.
The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya belongs to the world.
It’s the time that the Buddhist doctrines are spread out. Nations have gained more and more virtuous citizens.
Then, the real peace will be restored to the world.
Objectives of Wat Phra Dhammakaya
Wat Phra Dhammakaya is a foundation with a goal of bringing peace to the world, by teaching the beliefs written in the Dhamma. (The Dhamma is an ancient Bhuddist manuscript that describes the fundamental beliefs that people should follow, allowing them to live together in harmony and peace). This first step towards peace, as taught by the Dhamma ot the Buddha, begins on the pathway to oneself. One must learn how to relax and meditate, ridding our mind of fear, f rust r at ion, anxiety, or resentment. Often when the thoughts of resentment come to a person, these are based on physical differences and or spiritual differences. Differences in race, gender, language, spritiual beliefs, or the different type of government one serves. In stead of thoughts that bring conflicts, we must establish thoughts based on acceptance. Though mediation and the placing of oneusmind at the cen ter of their body, internal conflicts within the mind will be driven out. As these internal conflicts are eliminated, one will then start to experience happiness and begin to establish an inner peace. As happiness starts to grow on the inside, happiness and the acceptance of others will start to show on the out side , by a change in ones attitude. As our attitude changes from resentement to acceptance, an inner peace begins to grow as we accept others.
Ideas to build a place to give people the Dhamma teachings
To achieve our goal of bringing peace to the world, we must first find and bring out the inner peace from within the individual, this requires people to become familiar with the Dhamma teachings. The number of people wan ing to develop their inner peace through meditation has grown significantly since our founding in 2515 B.E.(1972). The Dhammakaya Foundation started with 5 Monks and 12 laypersons. There were approximatley 300 people from Thailand who were interested in finding and developing their inner peace. Presently there are approximately 50,000 people who visit our temple every month. The people who now visit the Dhammakaya Centre are from through out the world.
Our original facilities were small and consisted of the Chapel, Monks residences, and a Meditation Hall. As an ever increasing number of people arrive from thoughout the world, who desire to develop their inner peace, so does our need to increase the size of our facilities such as, Dhamma school, a Meditation village, the Dhammadayada (the heir who followed the Buddhas teachings) training center, an assembly Hall and the Dhammakaya Cetiya. This facility supported Monks, l aypersons, and allowed people to visit and meditate.
The need to teach the dhamma to Student
As the interest in learning the Dhamma grows, so does the need for a greater number of Monks to learn and present these teachings to the newly ordained Monks, or laypersons, and to the people. There are many project s that teach, train, and lead to ordination as a Monk. The different programs are:
- Dhammadayada for the different age groups such as University Undergrads and Highschool Youth.
- Young Dham madayada, Summer Dhammadayada, Winter Dhamm adaya programs.
- Cadet Dhammadayadas
- Mass ordinations
Monks and Novices Training Programs
These different areas of instructing the Monks include:
1.Teach monks in Pali, the Buddhist Canon (Dhamma) .
2. Meditating training
4.Training and seminar for the senior monks about temple management
Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Dhammakaya Foundation supports the monks all over Thailand by inviting laypeople to offer the Scholarship for Monks. The scholarship promotes monastic education (in Pal i and Dhamma Studies). These studies cultivate good moral conduct and ethics. The goal we are obtaining is that everyone has the ability to reach their happiness from within by adapting the Dhamma to their daily life.
Public Traning Programs
These programs include:
- Teaching Pali and Dhamma Studies
- The Abhi dhamma , which is called systematic philosophy, a scholastic elaboration of doctrine, especially as regards to the analysis of mind.
- Teaching Meditation every Sunday and every Buddhist Holiday
- Weekends meditationretreat.
- Ethics and meditation training for both the public and private
- Youth training that provides direction into
- Ladies meditation training for 200000 people on the Queens birth day 1998
- Ubasaka (male) meditation training 100000 people on the Kingsbirthday 1998
- Teachers training
- Dhamma Ethics quizes Contest
- Ethics for the students
- Students Scholarship
- Short term meditation 3-7 days for the interested
- Meditation for foreigners
- Kalyanamitra Homes