Wat Phra Dhammakaya

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The Memorial Hall of Phra Mongkolthepmuni
Aerial view of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya compound: Chedi (lower left), Phra Mongkolthepmuni Memorial Hall (upper left), Great Assembly Hall (upper right)
Chedi of Wat Phra Dhammakaya

Wat Phra Dhammakaya (Thai: วัดพระธรรมกาย) is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani Province north of Bangkok, Thailand. It is the centre of the Dhammakaya Movement, a Buddhist sect founded in the 1970s and led by Phra Dhammachayo (Phrathepyanmahamuni). Chapel was built on December 24, 1977 HRH Princess Sirindhorn 's . CSR Instead, he went To lay the foundation stone Inside the chapel for the monks to join their ranks with up to 200 photos with the look of Applied Arts Thailand . Designed with simplicity and elegance . The architecture of the Year award in 1998 . [1] Maha Dhammakaya cetiya is a symbol of world peace through inner peace. Built entirely on international public contributions, it is also the embodiment of unity and love for mankind. The dome-shaped Cetiya (stupa) is the hallmark of what has become the largest venue for mass meditation and prayers for Buddhists and peace-loving people of the world. The design has been likened to a sports stadium or even a UFO, rather than resembling a traditional Thai temple (wat).[2]


The temple was established on Magha Puja Day, 20 February 1970, on an eighty-acre (320,000 m²) plot of land donated by Khunying Prayat Phaetayapongsa-visudhathibodi by a group led by the monk Phrathepyanmahamuni and his teacher Chandra Khonnokyoong. The site, sixteen kilometres north of Don Mueang International Airport, was originally called 'Soon Buddacakk-patipatthamm' (Thai: ศูนย์พุทธจักรปฏิบัติธรรม). From acidic paddy fields, a woodland was created to be a park for meditators. The foundation stone for the main chapel was laid by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on behalf of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in December 1977. It was officially recognized as a temple by the Thai government the following year[3] as 'Wat Voranee Dhammakayaram'. The main chapel was completed in 1982, and the ceremony for allocating of the chapel's boundary (sima) was held three years later. During the temple's construction, the Dhammadayada ordination plan gave training to hundreds of university students, who swelled the number of residents in the temple community.

Public accusations of 1999–2002[edit]

In 1999[4][5] and again in 2002[6][7] the temple's abbot was accused of charges ranging from fraud and embezzlement to corruption. Social critic Sulak Sivaraksa criticized the abbot for promoting greed by emphasizing donations to the temple as a way to make merit.[4] Julian Gearing of Asiaweek commented that widespread negative media coverage at this time was symptomatic of Wat Phra Dhammakaya being made a scapegoat for commercial malpractice in the Thai Buddhist temple community in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.[8] Apologies to Wat Phra Dhammakaya were published in full after the Thai newspapers and TV channels were successfully sued for slander in the period 2001-3.[9][10][11][12] In 2006 The Thai National Office for Buddhism cleared Wat Phra Dhammakaya's abbot of all accusations when he agreed to donate all funds to the name of the temple.[13] He was subsequently restored to the position of abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya.[14]

Nevertheless, the temple is still viewed as "supported by powerful politicians and billionaires."[15]

Allegation of involving embezzlement and money laundering[edit]

According to Department of Special Investigation (DSI)'s press conference on 29 October 2015 after the completion of its investigation on the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) scandal and its links to Phra Dhammakaya Temple, Pol Lt Col Pakorn Sucheewakul, head of the DSI's Finance and Banking Office concluded into the case.

He state that The DSI investigators found that Supachai Srisuppa-aksorn, ex-chairman of the cooperative, was accused of having fraudulently authorised 878 cheques worth 11.37 billion baht in total for seven to eight groups of people and legal entities. The money trails of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Phra Dhammajayo (the abbot), and Maharattana Ubasika Chan Khonnokyoong Foundation and monks related to these groups showed they had received cheques from the credit union in 21 instances between 5 March 2009 and 15 Feb 2011 totalling 1.2 billion baht.

He also concluded that "The acts of Phra Dhammachayo (the abbot) and these groups were considered embezzlement or aiding and abetting others to steal because there had been no financial obligations between the cooperative and these groups of people." The case report would be submitted to public prosecutors to decide whether to file charges against anyone else. [16][17][18][19]

Activities to present[edit]

The community living at Wat Phra Dhammakaya now numbers 3,000 monks, novices, laymen and laywomen - making it the largest temple in Thailand in terms of inhabitants. Congregations on Sundays and major religious festivals reach 100,000, which since 1985 exceeded temple capacity and influenced the temple's decision to expand the site to one thousand acres (4 km²) with the building of the World Dhammakaya Centre project. The temple has also organized a World Peace Ethics Contest in which people from all over the world compete in their knowledge of Buddhist ethics. Part of the World Dhammakaya Centre project is to construct a cloister intended to accommodate Buddhist monks from all over the world. Aside from religious activity, the temple has granted financial aid and supply to the numerous schools and temples in Southern Thailand, which presently is in the midst of violent conflict.


Wat Phra Dhammakaya received the “the Best Meditation Center Award 2013” In accordance to the National Office of Buddhism’s policy to encourage the permeation of Buddhism to achieve the same standard, the Provincial Office of Buddhism has surveyed and selected the best meditation center in their region that reach the standard to present the awards. In 2013 (2556 B.E.) The presenting of the awards ceremony, which has the presenting of the awards and certificates of the Best Meditation Center, was being held on 11 March 2014 at Wat Phichaiyatikaram, Klong San District, Bangkok, Thailand.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Architecture Award of the Year 1998.
  2. ^ Tiwary, Shiv Shanker (2009), Encyclopaedia Of Southeast Asia And Its Tribes 1, Anmol Publications, p. 66 
  3. ^ Swearer, D. K. (1991) Fundamentalistic Movements in Theravada Buddhism, in: M. E. Marty & R. S. Appleby (Eds) Fundamentalisms Observed (Chicago & London, University of Chicago Press), p.656.
  4. ^ a b Asiaweek 17 September 1999
  5. ^ David Liebhold (1999) Trouble in Nirvana: Facing charges over his controversial methods, a Thai abbot sparks debate over Buddhism's future Time Asia 28 July 1999 [1]
  6. ^ Yasmin Lee Arpon (2002) Scandals Threaten Thai Monks' Future SEAPA 11 July 2002 [2]
  7. ^ Controversial monk faces fresh charges The Nation 26 April 2002
  8. ^ Julian Gearing (1999) Buddhist Scapegoat?: One Thai abbot is taken to task, but the whole system is to blame Asiaweek 30 December 1999 [3]
  9. ^ Siamrat 3 October 2001
  10. ^ Siamrat 22 October 2001 p.13
  11. ^ Bangkokbiznews 24 June 2001 p.11
  12. ^ Matichon 19 July 2003
  13. ^ Bangkok Post 23 August 2006
  14. ^ Yuwa Song News Today 23 August 2006
  15. ^ Ekachai, Sanitsuda (21 June 2012). "Islamic scholar gave Buddhist point to ponder". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Thamnukasetchai, Piyanuch (30 October 2015). "DSI to charge abbot of Wat Dhammakaya". The Nation. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  17. ^ "Dhammachayo likely to be charged". Bangkok Post. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  18. ^ Laohong, King-Oua (30 October 2015). "Temple abbot 'key player' in KCUC scandal". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  19. ^ "Thai abbot to be probed over massive donations". AisaOne. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 14°04′23.37″N 100°38′47.01″E / 14.0731583°N 100.6463917°E / 14.0731583; 100.6463917