Maha Thammaracha I
|Maha Thammaracha I |
|King of Sukhothai|
|King of Sukhothai|
|Successor||Maha Thammaracha II|
|Issue||Maha Thammaracha II|
|House||Phra Ruang Dynasty|
Maha Thammaracha I (Thai: มหาธรรมราชาที่ ๑), born as Lithai (Thai: ลิไทย), was a king of the Sukhothai kingdom, and the first Buddhist philosopher to write in the Thai language. He reigned from roughly 1347 until his death in 1368. Lithai was the son of Lerthai, also known as Loethai or LeLue Thai, and the grandson of Ramkhamhaeng. The exact chronology of Lithai's rise to the throne is unclear. Popular tradition names him as the fourth king of Sukhothai, but dynastic records seem to indicate that at least one other king (Nguanamthom) ruled between Lithai and his father, as well as the regent Phaya Sai Songkhram who ruled during Lerthai's absence following the death of Ram Khamhaeng the Great.
Lithai wrote the Tri-Bhumi Phra Ruang ('Three worlds by Phra Ruang', Phra Ruang being the dynastic name of Lithai's linneage), a religious and philosohical text describing the various world of Buddhist cosmology, and the way in which karma consigns living beings to one world or another. The Ten Virtues of a sovereign were set down as guiding principles for Thai monarchs. The Traiphuum would go on to serve as an important political document, being re-interpreted in response to changes in the domestic and international political scene.:29
Phaya Lithai also built the biggest Buddha image in the northern territory of Siam called Phraputtachinnarat.
According to George Coedes, "Loe Thai's devotion to Buddhism and his religious works earned him the title Dharmaraja or Dharmikaraja, 'Pious king'." He constructed many Buddhapada and restored Wat Mahathat of Sukhothai. He was succeeded by his son Lu Thai:219–220
- Jackson, Peter. 'Re-Interpreting the Traiphuum Phra Ruang' in Buddhist Trends in Southeast Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. 1993. ISBN 981-3035-81-1.
Maha Thammaracha IBorn: ? Died: 1368
| King of Sukhothai
Maha Thammaracha II
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