Templed out

 
February 14, 2019   Thursday
 
 

Once in the past a farang [non-Thai] novice actually thanked a woman for a handful of rice. She was so offended she came to the monastery and told the senior monk she and her family would never give alms to the wat again. Devotees give to the robe, not to the wearer. They believe it is a ritual for the making of merit, for a better rebirth. If a monk thanks the giver, then by treating it as a personal favour, merit is not gained. Tim Ward, What the Buddha Never Taught

This morning we dressed conservatively (we wore long pants, not shorts) so we could go inside Wat Phra Singh, Wat Phan Tao, and Wat Chedi Luang. There are lots of wats in Chiang Mai.

So what is a wat? A wat is a Buddhist temple. It contains several buildings, at minimum a chedi, a viharn and a bot, and is enclosed by a wall. The bot is the main prayer room and the viharn is an assembly hall. The chedi contains relics. They might be relics of the Buddha or remains of a king or a very important monk. Depending on their financial means and the number of monks, a temple may also contain other structures like a sala, a scripture hall, living quarters for the monks, and a school. Wat Phra Singh, just down the block from our hotel, fills a city block and includes a school.

 
 
 
Wat Phra Singh      
 
Monks      
These monks sit expressionless and motionless in the temple as tourists mill about, talk, and take photos, like I did here, which is weird but hey it's their show.
 
Wat Phra Singh      
 
It's wrong      
 
Wat Phan Tao      
 
Bells at Wat Phra Singh      
 
Wat Chedi Luang      
 
Wat Chedi Luang      
 
Monks      
Thais think having a son ordain as a monk, even if only for a week, brings spiritual credit to his parents in their next incarnation.
 
Wat Chedi Luong      
 
Reclining Buddha      
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