Wat Phra Dhammakaya
The Dhammakaya Cetiya
Luang Por Dhammajayo (honorary) Phravidesbhavanajarn (official caretaker abbot)Luang Por Dattajivo (deputy abbot and de facto caretaker)
|Important associated figures||Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro|
|Location||Pathum Thani, Thailand|
Wat Phra Dhammakaya (Thai: วัดพระธรรมกาย) is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Khlong Luang District, in the peri–urban Pathum Thani Province north of Bangkok, Thailand. It was founded in 1970 by Maechi (nun) Chandra Khonnokyoong and Luang Por Dhammajayo and is the most well-known and the fastest growing temple of the Dhammakaya Movement. This movement, also known as the Dhammakaya meditation tradition (Vijja Dhammakaya), was started by Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro in the early twentieth century. The temple is part of the Mahanikaya fraternity, and is legally represented by the Dhammakaya Foundation. The temple emphasizes the revival of traditional Buddhist values, but does so through modern methods and technology, which has led to controversy and government response. Despite these controversies, the temple has continued to play a leading role in Thai Buddhism, and has been described as "the face of modern Thai Buddhism" (Irons). The temple emphasizes personal transformation, expressed through its slogan "World Peace through Inner Peace".
Initially, the temple was founded as a meditation center, after Maechi Chandra and the just ordained monk Luang Por Dhammajayo could no longer accommodate the rising number of participants in their activities at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen. The center became an official temple in 1977. The temple grew exponentially during the 1980s, when the temple's programs became widely known among the urban middle class. Wat Phra Dhammakaya expanded its area and the building of a huge stupa (pagoda) was started. During the period of the Asian financial crisis, however, the temple became subject to criticism as Luang Por Dhammajayo was charged with embezzlement and removed from his office as abbot. In 2006, the charges were dropped and he was restored as abbot. The temple grew further and became known for its many projects in education, promotion of ethics, and scholarship. The temple's movement developed an international scope, as in 2007, the temple's following was estimated at one million practitioners worldwide. The temple also became more accepted as part of the mainstream Thai Sangha (monastic community). Under the 2014 military junta, the abbot and the temple were put under scrutiny again and Luang Por Dhammajayo was accused of receiving stolen money of a supporter. The junta eventually stated that it was their intention to "reform" the temple. The temple has been referred to as the only influential organization in Thailand that has yet to be subdued by the ruling junta, which has shut down most opposition since it took power. The judicial processes against the abbot and the temple since the 1990s have led to much debate regarding the procedures and role of the state towards religion, a debate that has intensified during the 2017 lockdown of the temple by the junta.
Wat Phra Dhammakaya emphasizes a culture of making merit through doing good deeds and meditation, as well as an ethical outlook on life. The temple promotes a community of kalyanamittas ('good friends') to accomplish such a culture. In the first period, the temple emphasized mostly meditation teaching, then later fundraising was more promoted. Finally, the temple broadened its activities to include more social welfare and humanitarian aid. Although the temple emphasizes traditional Buddhist values, modern methods of propagation are used, such as a satellite television station and a distance-learning university, as well as modern management methods. In its large temple complex, the temple houses several monuments and memorials, and in its construction designs traditional Buddhist concepts are given modern forms, as the temple envisions itself as a global spiritual center.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Founding years (1963–1978)
- 1.2 Asian economic boom (1979–1996)
- 1.3 Asian financial crisis (1997–2000)
- 1.4 Nationwide activities (2001–2006)
- 1.5 Period of political change (2007–2017)
- 2 General analysis of controversies
- 3 Principles, practices and beliefs
- 4 The foundation
- 5 Layout of building complex
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 Citations
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Founding years (1963–1978)
|Part of a series on|
Wat Phra Dhammakaya started with the Maechi (nun) Chandra Khonnokyoong. She was a notable student of Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro, when he was still alive. Although illiterate, she was widely respected for her experience in meditation, which is rare for a maechi. She managed to attract many well-educated students, despite her rural background and illiteracy. After Luang Pu Sodh died in 1959, Maechi Chandra transmitted the Dhammakaya tradition to a new generation at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen. She taught meditation to people interested, including a university student called Chaiyabun Sutthiphon. His parents were Lao Song and Thai-Chinese, and separated when he was young. Chaiyabun was raised by his father, who was an engineer working for a government agency. Chaiyabun developed a strong interest in reading, especially in books on Buddhist practice and biographies of leading people in the world, both religious and political. He came across a magazine about Maechi Chandra. In 1963, while he enrolled in Kasetsart University, he started visiting Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen. It was here that he first met Maechi Chandra and started to learn meditation with her.
Chaiyabun encouraged his fellow university students to join the activities at Wat Paknam, and the community grew. One of these students was Phadet Phongsawat. In Wat Phra Dhammakaya's biographies, it is told that Phadet often held public demonstrations of black magic (Thai: ไสยศาสตร์) to his fellow students in his years at Kasetsart University. However, every time Chaiyabun joined to watch one of Phadet's demonstrations, the magic would not work. Phadet therefore became curious, and learnt about Dhammakaya meditation from Chaiyabun. He felt inspired by Chaiyabun's sincerity in meditation and his adherence to the Buddhist five precepts.
From Wat Paknam to Wat Phra Dhammakaya
In the beginning, the meditations and teachings were carried out in a small house called "Ban Dhammaprasit" in the compound of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen. Chaiyabun had set up a group called "Dhammaprasit" and this group had financed the house together to organize meditations in. Once Chaiyabun ordained as a monk in 1969 and received the name Phra Dhammajayo, he started teaching Dhammakaya meditation together with Maechi Chandra. Because of the popularity of both teachers, the number of participants increased and they considered it more appropriate to start a new temple by themselves. Although initially they intended to buy a plot of land in Patum Thani, the landowner Khunying Prayat Suntharawet gave a plot four times the requested size to celebrate her birthday. Thus, on 20 February 1970, Maechi Chandra, Phra Dhammajayo, Phra Dattajivo and their students moved to the 196 rai (313,600 m2) plot of land to found a meditation center.
The site, sixteen kilometers north of Don Mueang International Airport, was originally called "Sun Phutthachak-patipattham" (Thai: ศูนย์พุทธจักรปฏิบัติธรรม). At the time Patum Thani was well outside Bangkok's northern suburbs. From acidic paddy fields, a woodland was created to be a park for meditation practitioners. The initial budget for construction was very low (3,200 Baht), but despite these economical constraints, the construction of the buildings on the land was able to continue. A book about the initiative was compiled, to inspire people to join in and help. In the accounts of the temple, it is told that the construction happened with great attention for detail. For example, the outside of the wall of the Ubosot was made of gravel that was selected manually. Because the land at first was very acid, only wattle could be planted. Later on, the soil improved. Though originally the intention was simply to build a center—as a satellite meditation center of Wat Paknam—eventually, this was changed to building a full-fledged temple, under pressure of authorities. The foundation stone for the Ubosot was laid by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on behalf of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in December 1977. The following year it was officially recognized as a temple by the Thai government, as "Wat Voranee Dhammakayaram", named after the daughter of Khunying Prayat, Voranee. However, there was disagreement as to who should become the abbot of the temple, and she left. In 1982, the temple was therefore renamed "Wat Phra
Start of Dhammadayada program
In 1972, Wat Phra Dhammakaya started a program called Dhammadayada ('heirs of the Dhamma'), a meditation training program focused on university students. Wat Phra Dhammakaya emphasized youth and young adults in its orientation from its outset. The Buddhist societies of many of Thai universities and colleges were led by supporters of the temple, many coming from the Dhammadayada program, though mid-1990s this influence grew weaker. In 1981, the temple also started organizing a contest called 'Path of Progress' (Thai: ทางกาวหน้า). In this program, schools all over Thailand competed in their knowledge of Buddhist ethics, which was designed to complement the national education system, which the temple believed had become too secularized. Due to the large number of students joining the temple's activities, who in the 1970s tended to be leftist, for a brief period Wat Phra Dhammakaya was accused of supporting the Communist insurgency in Thailand and the student uprisings in the 1970s.
In this beginning period, Maechi Chandra still had an important role in fundraising and decision-making. During the years to follow, this would gradually become less, as she grow older and withdrew more to the background of the temple's organization.
Asian economic boom (1979–1996)
Further development of the Dhammadayada program
After 1979, the Dhammadayada program began to include a temporary ordination. In Thailand, it had been a tradition for men to ordain for the monastic rains retreat (vassa) as a rite of passage before becoming adult. These ordinations were becoming shorter, and the temple was trying to reverse this trend. During such a training program at the temple, participants typically started off with rigorous physical training to prepare themselves for the program. When the training started, they kept the eight precepts, slept under mosquito nets in the open air, and meditated for four to eight hours per day. After this preparatory training, they ordained for the remaining period of at least one month. Ordination ceremonies were held at Wat Benchamabophit. The program initially focused on university students, starting with network of friends of Luang Por Dhammajayo and Luang Por Dattajivo. During the period of the temple's construction, the Dhammadayada ordination plan gave training to hundreds of students, who swelled the number of residents in the temple community. For monks who stayed on for longer, ordaining for life was emphasized more than in other temples, though considerable screening took place before someone could do so. For women, a parallel training program was held from 1986 onwards, in which the eight precepts were kept, but the women did not shave their hair in the manner of mae chis or nuns.
The temple gained great popularity during the 1980s (during the Asian economic boom), especially among the growing well-educated and entrepreneurial middle class, mostly small-business owners and technocrats of Sino-Thai origin. Royalty and high-standing civil servants also started to visit the temple, including the generals Arthit Kamlang-ek and Chaovalit Yongchaiyuth. During this period the temple experienced tremendous growth in terms of monks, lay workers and temple visitors. The temple therefore established a screening procedure for newcomer employees. Furthermore, Mae chi Chandra set strict rules and regulations for the community, such as a prohibition on political lobbying and selling things in the temple. Wat Phra Dhammakaya emphasized values of prosperity, modernity and personal development, which made it attractive for the middle class, especially during times of quick cultural and social changes. By the mid-1980s, the temple was attracting up to fifty thousand people on major ceremonies. The Dhammadaya ordination program started out with sixty participants in 1979; by 1986, over a thousand participants joined. In 1990, the temple had 260 monks, 214 samaneras (novices that are minors) and 441 full-time employees. In 1995, Wat Phra Dhammakaya caught the nation's attention when a Magha Puja celebration was broadcast live on television, with the then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn as chairman of the ceremony.
Wat Phra Dhammakaya became known for its emphasis on meditation, especially samatha meditation (meditation aiming at tranquility of mind). Every Sunday morning, meditation was taught to the public. Every weekend a meditation retreat was held at the temple at no cost. For these weekends, the temple started using the word dhutanga ('ascetic practice') for accommodation in the open air, a word normally used for monastic practice. Seven–day retreats were held regularly at several locations, during which participants were required to keep the eight precepts. Also, special retreats were led by Luang Por Dhammajayo himself in Doi Suthep. With regard to the three Trainings (Pali: tisikkha) in Buddhist teaching, the temple was described as the temple that represents the meditation aspect (Pali: samadhi), whereas the Santi Asoke movement represents the discipline aspect (Pali: sila) and Luang Por Buddhadasa and his followers the wisdom aspect (Pali: pañña).
One of the core activities of the temple, since its inceptions, has been the ceremony of 'honoring the Buddhas by food' (Thai: บูชาข้าวพระ), held every first Sunday of the month. This ceremony was of that importance that people from all over the country traveled by bus to join it, from urban and rural areas. It was usually led by the abbot himself, and up until her death, by Maechi Chandra Khonnokyoong too. According to the temple's practitioners, in this ceremony food is offered to the Buddhas in meditation. The ceremony has been an important aspect of the temple's attractiveness for the public.
The temple also started to develop a social dimension in its activities. For example, it started promoting blood donations. The temple also organized training programs for both the private and public sector, emphasizing peace and stability in society by training government officers to be more reliable. The temple also became active in promoting Buddhist scholarship and educational reform in the Sangha (monastic community), producing a cd with searchable texts of the Pali Canon in 1984, in cooperation with the Pali Text Society, Mahidol University and the University of California in Berkeley. In 1990, the temple also organized its first academic seminar Buddhism into the Year 2000, with over a hundred international scholars joining. On a more local level, the temple started to organize a yearly congratulation ceremony for Pali graduates at the highest level, and offered funds to temples that excelled at teaching Pali. The temple was known to have wide support from the Thai Sangha and was tolerated by the government, though at times the government asked the temple to limit its mass assemblies. In 1985, the Department of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Education, prohibited the building of a meditation center in the province, citing as a reason that it was not accessible enough for people to visit. Fuengfusakul concludes that during this period the government was afraid of the temple's ability to gather a large number of people.
In 1986, the Dhammakaya Foundation became a United Nations-accredited non–governmental organization, and started sending delegations to join worskhops on youth and peace education. as of 2015[update], the foundation was in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. In the 1980s, the foundation also became a member of the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth and the World Fellowship of Buddhists networks, and later the chairman of the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth. The foundation started to build up many relations with Buddhist organizations outside of Thailand, including Fo Guang Shan in Taiwan and the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Hong Kong.
The Ubosot was completed in 1982, and the ceremony for allocating of the Ubosot's boundary was held three years later. In 1984, Wat Phra Dhammakaya started expanding the temple's ground with two thousand rai (3.2 km2). (See § World Dhammakaya Center, below.) Surrounding land was bought from a land owner, on the condition that the temple would deal with the sixty-one farmers who rented the land. The temple offered the renting farmers the option to end the contract early and obtain a compensation, or to stay until the contract ended and then leave. Seven farmers disagreed with both proposals, however, and the temple raised its offer, but to no avail. The resisting farmers then organized a protest, which was joined by a hundred land tenants from other places who felt unfairly treated by real estate firms.
The protest, which was featured in all major Thai newspapers, ended with the tenants handing over a letter at a government office, asking for justice. The government investigated the temple's case, but concluded that the temple had acted lawfully. Outraged by the outcome, a number of protesters destroyed some parts of Wat Phra Dhammakaya's temple grounds, and the mob leader was arrested and imprisoned. The local municipality had to mediate and was able to persuade some of the farmers to accept the temple's proposal. Wat Phra Dhammakaya stated that they believed the protests were stirred up by investors who wanted the land for themselves. A similar incident occurred in 1988 in Chiang Rai Province, when villagers felt threatened by the expanding activities led by forty monks of the temple. Eventually the monks had to leave because of the violent conflict that erupted. In this case local politicians may have stirred the violent clashes, Taylor speculates.
In 1994, the temple began designing for the building of a huge stupa (a mound-like structure) which was later to become known as the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya. The monument would be built to last for a thousand years, and would consist of a million Buddha images. An experienced architect and experienced engineers were employed, and the latest technology was used in the construction, to meet the demands of the project and to follow the traditions of cetiyas and stupas. Though traditionally stupas were often financed by kings, the Dhammakaya Cetiya was to be financed by people of all parts of society, all contributing their part. Attempts were made to involve the devotees of the temple through different stages of construction, through organizing meditations around the Cetiya, and holding ceremonies, in which people were given hammers to symbolically hit a foundation pile into the ground.
Asian financial crisis (1997–2000)
The miracle controversy
In the late 1990s, Wat Phra Dhammakaya became known for its modern management and iconography, and became active in using modern media and public relations, to a scale which was until then unknown in Thailand. The temple even received a prize for best marketing strategies from the Business Association of Thailand. In 1998, the temple first started to hold large-scale training programs, for laymen (13,824 participants) laywomen (140,000 participants) and samaneras (13,842 participants). The temple received much financial support, including donations from real-estate firms.
In November 1998, after a ceremony held at the Cetiya of the temple, the temple reported in brochures and national newspapers that a miracle (Thai: อัศจรรย์ตะวันแก้ว) had occurred at the Cetiya, which was witnessed by thousands of people. The miracle involved seeing an image of a Buddha or of Luang Pu Sodh imposed on the sun. Shortly afterwards, the Thai media responded very critical, leading to a nationwide, very intense debate about the state of Thai Buddhism in general, and Wat Phra Dhammakaya in particular, that lasted for an unusually long ten months. Critics believed that Wat Phra Dhammakaya, and Thai Buddhism in general, had become too much of a commercial enterprise (Thai: พุทธพานิช) and had grown corrupt; practitioners and temple devotees argued tradition was being followed.
The main criticism was that the temple was using fundraising methods that did not fit in with Buddhism. Examples that were pointed out were the fact that fundraising resembled direct sales, the distribution of amulets to donors as complementary gift and the use of modern technology. Scholars in Buddhism, such as Luang Por Payutto, social critic Sulak Sivaraksa, as well as two monks who formerly lived at the temple, all argued against the temple's fundraising methods. Moreover, some teachings of the temple were criticized: the idea that large donations yield greater fruits or merit, and the idea that Nibbana was the true self. (See § Principles, practices and beliefs, below.) Although many of these methods and teachings were not unique to Wat Phra Dhammakaya, the criticism came at a moment when the temple had become very noticeable due to its size, its high-profile supporters, and due to the project of building the Cetiya, which required a lot of funds. And all of this at the backdrop of the financial crisis that Thailand was going through.
Wat Phra Dhammakaya replied to the critics of the Cetiya building project that the building had begun before the crisis, when the economy was still booming; therefore, the timing was not wrong. The temple also raised examples of other important Thai building projects that had been realized during crises. Finally, the temple posed the question: if, despite the crisis, people were still buying alcohol and cigarettes and still going to the movie, then what was wrong with donating for a religious building? The temple also replied its critics about the accusations of wealth, stating that the temple's wealth was used for the laypeople and Buddhist education, not for other purposes. Building large buildings benefited Buddhism as a whole, not just the temple, because it helped strengthen the religion. Apart from donating to hospitals or schools, financially supporting Buddhism should also be done, because it would help foster ethics in society.
Investigations and lawsuits
Under pressure of public outcry and critics, January 1999 the Sangha Supreme Council started an investigation in the accusations, led by Luang Por Ñanavaro, Chief of the ฺGreater Bangkok Region.[note 1] The Sangha Council declared that Wat Phra Dhammakaya had not broken any serious offenses against monastic discipline (Vinaya) that were cause for defrocking (removal from monkhood), but four directives were given for the temple to improve itself: setting up an Abhidhamma school, more focus on vipassana meditation, and strict adherence to the rules of the Vinaya and regulations of the Sangha Council. One of the accusations Luang Por Ñanavaro investigated, was that Luang Por Dhammajayo had moved land donated to the temple to his own name. Wat Phra Dhammakaya denied this, stating that it was the intention of the donors to give the land to the abbot, and not the temple. Nevertheless, Luang Por Ñanavaro asked the Religious Affairs Department to assist Luang Por Dhammajayo in returning the land to the temple. The abbot stated he was willing to transfer the land, but this required some time, because it required negotiation with the original donors. When by May the temple had not moved all the land yet, a number of things happened.
First of all, a letter was leaked to the press which was signed by the Supreme Patriarch (head of the Thai monastic community). This implied that Luang Por Dhammajayo had to disrobe because he had not transferred donated land back to the temple. A warning had preceded this letter, which government officials said had not yet been forwarded to the Sangha Council and Wat Phra Dhammakaya. The statement had a great impact. In response, the Religious Affairs Department pressed criminal charges of embezzlement against the abbot and a close aide. The temple stated that, being subject to a criminal lawsuit, the abbot would no longer transfer the land, because this might be interpreted as acceptance of guilt. Wat Phra Dhammakaya and the Sangha Council requested the department to wait until the monastic trials were finished first, but it continued the lawsuit anyway. Moreover, the department set up a public help-desk and post office box to receive complaints about the temple. With the resulting witness accounts, more charges were laid against Luang Por Dhammajayo. In the process of these investigations, the main politicians responsible, that is the Minister and Deputy Minister of Education, were both replaced, with the new Minister Somsak Prissanananthakul assuming a key role in the judicial processes against the abbot.
In June, the prosecutors started summoning Luang Por Dhammajayo, but he did not go to acknowledge the charges, citing bad health. Moreover, the temple underlined the legal rights of monks under the constitution, pointing out that possessing personal property is common and legal in the Thai Sangha. Spokespeople also questioned whether the letter of the Patriarch was not a fake.[note 2] In a statement that was featured in many newspapers, Luang por Dhammajayo declared that he would not disrobe under any circumstances, but "would die in the [monk's] saffron robes". When the Prime Minister himself pressured the abbot to acknowledge the charges, the temple asked for a guarantee that the abbot would not be imprisoned and consequently defrocked.[note 3] No such guarantee was given, an arrest warrant followed, and a standoff began between a police force of hundreds, and thousands of the temple's practitioners, in which the latter barricaded the temple's entrances. After two days, Luang Por Dhammajayo agreed to let the police take him when the requested guarantee was given, and a Sangha Council member threatened to defrock the abbot if he did not go with the police. The abbot was interrogated for three hours, but not defrocked. Then he was released on a bail of two million baht, still on the same day. The news made headlines worldwide. From November onward, Luang Por Dhammajayo started to go to court.
The Ministry of Education also accused Luang Por Dhammajayo of having stated that the Tipitaka (Buddhist scriptures) was incomplete. This accusation was religious in nature, however, and would normally only be made by other monks in a monastic trial. Luang Por Ñanavaro and Wat Phra Dhammakaya therefore questioned the jurisdiction of laypeople in this matter, but eventually it was decided that the charges could be pressed, as long as the accuser in the final trial was a monk. A period of investigation passed by, after which Luang Por Ñanavaro insisted that the Sangha Council's four-point advice had been sufficient. Discussions arose in the media, questioning the authority of the Thai Sangha and government to deal with problems within the Thai Sangha. Luang por Ñanavaro was removed from the Sangha Council and replaced.
Meanwhile, Luang Por Dhammajayo was suspended as abbot, as the trials continued and Luang Por Dhammajayo's deputies continued to manage the temple. The chief monk overseeing the local temples in the area had to be removed from office in the process, because he refused to suspend Luang Por Dhammajayo. Luang Por Dhammajayo had fallen ill and was hospitalized with throat and lung infections. In the 2000s, the controversies gradually lost the interest of the public, as the news focused on other topics, although in 2002 a fifth charge against the abbot was added to the list.[note 4] The trials proceeded slowly, as the hearings were postponed because of evidence that was not ready, and because of the abbot's illness.
The temple's response
During the Supreme Sangha's investigations, the temple responded little to the accusations. But when the Ministry of Education decided to no longer wait on the Sangha Council's investigations, and pressed charges on Wat Phra Dhammakaya, the temple responded by suing for malicious prosecution. The temple accused several leading people in the Ministry of abusing their position, and petitioned the Constitutional Court, calling the religious charges a violation of freedom of religion. Spokespeople and proponents of the temple described the response of the ministry and the media as "stirring up controversy", and politically motivated.
During this period, many news reporters used pejorative language in describing the Sangha Council, the Supreme Patriarch, or Wat Phra Dhammakaya. In May 1999, monastic chiefs of regions nationwide sent a letter to the Prime Minister to help protect Buddhism and press media to use more polite language and show more respect for judicial processes. News reporters would often use abusive or pejorative language describing the temple or Luang Por Dhammajayo, such as 'idiot with glasses' (Thai: ไอ้แว่น) or simply calling Luang Por Dhammajayo by his first name used as a layman, "Chaiyabun", as though he had already been defrocked. December 1999, Wat Phra Dhammakaya sued the news papers Matichon, Siam Rath, Khao Sod, Daily News and the television station ITV. The temple laid civil and criminal charges for slander, accusing the media outlets for depicting the temple in a distorted way. In 2001 and 2003, ITV, Siam Rath, and Matichon were found guilty of slander and forced by verdict to issue a public apology in their newspapers,[note 5] admitting to publishing distorted information about Luang Por Dhammajayo trading in stock, transferring money to mistresses, and other accusations. Siam Rath was also found guilty of violating the authority of the court, by publishing incorrect information on a verdict. The charges laid against Daily News were dismissed, however, because of being laid too late.
Although the period of intense media attention of 1999–2000 had disastrous effects on the temple, the temple still continued to organize projects, ceremonies and other events. The temple promoted laypeople nationwide to open their homes or workplaces as kalyanamitta homes ('houses of good Dhamma friends'), for establishing a culture of shared meditation practice and wisdom. In 2000, During a celebration of the new millennium at the newly built Dhammakaya Cetiya, 300,000 people joined. Many monks from different temples of Thailand joined as well, and temples and NGOs from outside of Thailand. This period also brought Boonchai Bencharongkul to the temple, then CEO of the telecommunications company DTAC. In 1999, the temple had thirteen centers outside of Thailand.
When in 2000 the Thai Maharat Party was founded, it was suspected the temple had a hand in it. Founder Kanin Boonsuwan denied the temple's influence in the founding, however, although he admitted some of its members were Dhammakaya practitioners.
In 2000, Maechi Chandra Konnokyoong died. The temple announced it would give people the time to pay their respects for several months, after which Maechi Chandra's remains would be cremated.
Nationwide activities (2001–2006)
The period of 2001 to 2006 was the period that Thaksin Shinawatra came into power. It was a period of increased democratization and diversification of civil society in Thailand, as the Thai parliament withdrew itself from religious affairs. The temple thrived on this, though the temple did work on similar objectives as the government in terms of education, health care and even national security. The temple was no longer at the margins of the religious landscape in Thailand, but started to integrate itself within the Maha Nikaya fraternity. It was the period the temple cremated their teacher Maechi Chandra, and it was a period that the temple started to expand its activities to a national scale.
Cremation of Maechi Chandra Konnokyoong
On 3 February 2002, Maechi Chandra's remains were cremated, and abbots of 30,000 temples were invited to join the cremation, to give the lay people the chance to make merit in gratitude to Maechi Chandra. During the cremation, there was merit-making and meditation. 100,000 monks and another 100,000 laypeople joined the cremation. Many high-standing guests joined, including the Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia. Maechi Chandra's remains were burnt in a grand ceremony, using glass to ignite the fire by sun light. Her ashes were kept in a small stupa. Critics said the cremation was too grand for a nun, but the Religious Affairs Department said it was the temple's right to organize the event at this scale. Scott cites Maechi Chandra's cremation as evidence that some female religious leaders have had a great impact on Thai society.
Campaigns against drinking and smoking
In the 2000s, the temple began to focus more on promoting an ethical lifestyle, using the five and eight precepts as a foundation. Nationwide people were encouraged to quit drinking and smoking through a campaign called The Lao Phao Buri (Thai: เทเหล้าเผาบูหรี่, literally: 'throw away alcohol and burn cigarettes'), cooperating with other religious traditions. This project led the World Health Organization (WHO) to present a World No Tobacco Day award to Luang Por Dhammajayo on 31 May 2004. Over two hundred The Lao Phao Buri ceremonies were held, involving literally the pouring away of alcoholic beverages and the burning of cigarettes. The ceremonies were later to become a model of practice in schools and government institutions. The temple's campaign was carried to new heights when in 2005 the beverage company Thai Beverage announced to publicly list in the Stock Exchange of Thailand, which would be the biggest listing in Thai history. Despite attempts by the National Office of Buddhism (a government agency) to prohibit monks from protesting, two thousand monks of the temple organized a chanting of Buddhist texts in front of the Stock Exchange to pressurize them to decline Thai Beverage's initial public offering.[note 6] In an unprecedented cooperative effort, the temple was soon followed suit by former Black May revolt leader Chamlong Srimuang and the Santi Asoke movement, holding their protest as well. Subsequently, another 122 religious and social organizations joined, belonging to several religions. The organizations officially asked Prime Minister Thaksin's cooperation to stop the company, in what some of the protest leaders described as "a grave threat to the health and culture" of Thai society. While the Stock Exchange pointed out the economical benefits of this first local listing, opponents referred to rising alcohol abuse in Thai society, ranking fifth in alcohol consumption. Ultimately, the protests led to an indefinite postponement of the listing by the Stock Exchange, as Thai Beverage chose to list in Singapore instead, and the Stock Exchange chief resigned because of the loss of profit.
International meditation and the tsunami memorials
The temple broadened its activities to a more national scope. The temple started its own satellite channel called Dhammakaya Media Channel (DMC), and a university that supports distance learning. The temple started to use this satellite channel to broadcast live events to branch centers, such as guided meditations. Wat Phra Dhammakaya started to develop a more international approach to its teachings, teaching meditation in not-Buddhist countries as a religiously neutral technique suitable for those of all faiths, or none. An international Dhammadayada program was also started, held in Chinese and English, and the temple started to organize retreats in English language in Thailand and abroad. Later on, guided meditations were also held online, in different languages.
In 2004, Wat Phra Dhammakaya made headlines when it offered aid to victims of the 2004 tsunami disaster in Thailand, through charity and by organizing inter-faith memorial services for the victims in Phang Nga and Phuket. The temple acted as an intermediary in the coordination between the government and NGOs.
The Path of Progress contest started to expand (as of 2006, 19,839 schools, according to the temple) and a number of schools in other countries started to compete in their knowledge of Buddhist ethics as well.
In 2006, the running lawsuits ended when the Attorney-General withdrew the charges against Luang Por Dhammajayo. He stated that Luang Por Dhammajayo had moved all the land to the name of the temple, that he had corrected his teachings according to the Tipitaka, that continuing the case might create division in society,[note 7] and would not be conducive to public benefit. Furthermore, Luang Por Dhammajayo had assisted the Sangha, the government and the private sector significantly in organizing religious activities. Luang Por Dhammajayo's position as an abbot was subsequently restored. Critics questioned whether the charges were withdrawn because of the political influence of Prime Minister Thaksin.
When PM Thaksin was in power, the temple was often accused of having close ties to him, influencing his policies. The temple has denied this, saying that all political parties are welcome in the temple. In 2006, before the charges were withdrawn, Wat Phra Dhammakaya hosted a meeting of 78,540 local administrators, led by PM Thaksin, themed Every religion working together for local development. The meeting was held as a form of inter-faith dialogue between Buddhists, Christians and Muslims, in which speakers of each religion explained their views on local economical and social development. Critics argued this was a political rally, but the government and the temple stated that the temple simply offered a venue which was hard to find elsewhere, and the temple did not take part in the actual event.
Although the temple did have similar methods as Thaksin to build a mass support base, and raise funds, the political connection with the Red Shirts was not so self-evident. In fact, some major supporters of the temple were publicly known as members of the Yellow Shirts political pressure group, which was strongly opposed to PM Thaksin. At least one Red-shirt leader has later come out to state that there is no link between Wat Phra Dhammakaya and the Red Shirt pressure group. Anthropologist Taylor believes the temple's involvement in political agendas was most intensive in the early period, but after that had become less, and in 2017 described the temple as "stoically politically neutral, aloof".
As of 2006, the community living at Wat Phra Dhammakaya numbered over a thousand monks and samaneras, and hundreds of laypeople. Apart from that, the temple also had two thousand volunteers for help in ceremonies. Though, just like most Thai temples, the temple had no formal sense of membership, congregations on Sundays and major religious holidays, such as Kathina or Magha Puja, were estimated at over a hundred thousand people. Worldwide, the temple's following was estimated at one million practitioners.
Period of political change (2007–2017)
Educational and scholarly programs
From 2008 onward, the temple extended its youth activities to include a training course in Buddhist practice known as V-star, and a yearly national day of Buddhist activities. In the V-star course, children were encouraged to observe ten daily practices, among which paying respect to their parents, and chanting Buddhist texts before sleeping. Students were also encouraged to lead Kathina ceremonies in local temples.[note 8] The point of these practices was to create good habits, fostered through a cooperation between parents, teachers and monks (Thai: บ้าน วัด โรงเรียน, shortened as บวร). On a yearly V-star day the children normally meditated and chanted, but also listened to Buddhist teachings, watched an exhibition and solved problems about those teachings. They confirmed their Buddhist faith through a refuge ceremony. The day closed by watching a 3D movie with a Buddhist theme. As of 2014[update], five thousand schools joined the program.
Together these programs were called the 'World Morality Revival' (Thai: ฟื้นฝู่ศิลธรรมโลก) project, using the slogan "knowledge combined with virtue". The project became noticeable quite soon, when former PM Thaksin Shinawatra and Deputy PM Somchai Wongsawat were guest speakers on the 2008 V-Star Day. To promote these programs further, Wat Phra Dhammakaya started cooperating extensively with the Ministry of Education, the temple's education department signing an MoU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) in 2010. Shortly after signing the MoU, however, the Minister of Education asked a commission to review the programs mentioned in it. The ministry was criticized by a network of scholars, led by Sulak Sivaraksa, for being too personally involved with the temple. The contents of the proposed programs were also questioned. The minister issued a press release, stating the involvement was merely professional, but he would be careful as the project would become more concrete. As the plans evolved, it became clear the temple wanted to offer training programs to millions of youth through the entire country. Essential to the project was the idea that teachers would work more together to promote good morals in education. Criticism did not stop, however, and the program was brought to a halt, only to be revived by Yingluck Shinawatra's government. Three nationwide training programs were held in the period of 2010 to 2013. Programs involved meditation, Buddhist teaching and keeping eight precepts. The OBEC often defended the project, saying that nationwide many temples were involved in the project, not just Wat Phra Dhammakaya, as well as many organizations promoting Buddhist education.
Also, in this period, Wat Phra Dhammakaya started to invest more resources in its own education and scholarship. In 2009, Wat Phra Dhammakaya had the highest number of Pali (language of the Theravada Buddhist canon) graduates in the central area of Thailand. The temple continuously placed itself as one of the five highest in the country in Pali studies. In 2010, Wat Phra Dhammakaya started the Dhammachai Tipitaka Project, providing facilities for scholars worldwide to work together collecting ancient manuscripts, mostly from Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, to make a critical edition of the Pali Canon, the Theravada Buddhist scriptures. This edition was to provide the technology and comparative data for scholars to come to a reconstruction of the Tipitaka texts as they were known in the fifth century CE, when they were first written down. There were over a hundred staff members working on the project worldwide, divided in manuscript reading teams. The work was reviewed by an international advisory board of scholars, including Rupert Gethin, Richard Gombrich and Oskar von Hinüber. A digital version of the Tipitaka was expected to be completed by 2028, but the first part was published in 2015. The project backfired, however, when Matichon and other Thai newspapers interpreted the project as an actual correcting or 'purification of the Tipitaka' (Thai: ชำระพระไตรปิฎก), as this was done in the historical Buddhist Councils. Wat Phra Dhammakaya denied this in a press statement, however. They said it was not their intention to rewrite the Pali Canon, and considered it unlikely that in the present day anyone could do so. Wat Phra Dhammakaya set up another research institute, located in Australia, called DIRI (Dhammachai International Research Institute). This institute promoted research on manuscripts of early Buddhism, and offered fellowships to that end.
In April 2007, while a government-appointed council was working on drafting a new constitution, a march of two thousand monks and lay people was held to press the council to include in the new constitution that Buddhism become the state religion of Thailand. It was widely understood that Wat Phra Dhammakaya supported the march. Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont stated, however, that such a clause was not feasible, as it would lead to rejection of the draft.
Propagation in the city
The temple also started to organize huge alms giving events around the country, including at important sites in Bangkok, such as shopping centers Siam Paragon and Central World, as well as in the area of Pratunam, some of which were joined by numbers of over twenty thousand monks. The alms giving events were held to help bring monks and lay people together, to revive the custom of alms giving, and as a dedication of merit to the victims of the insurgency in the Southern provinces. The profits from the alms giving events were used to support the temples and teachers in the South with aid and supplies. The events were the first mass gatherings which the junta had allowed since the 2006 coup d'état. In 2012, the alms events became more prominent when then Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra joined an event in person, as well as comedian Udom Taepanich.
In 2011, in Thailand's worst flooding for more than half-a-century, a great deal of Bangkok and its outskirts were inundated, including Patumthani, the area were Wat Phra Dhammakaya is located. Working together with the government, the temple deployed monastic and lay volunteers to bring a halt to the floods in the area, who had to work day and night to build walls using sandbags and pump out the water. At the same time, the temple offered shelter to evacuated workers from local factories, food, drinking water, transport and sandbags to local villagers, other affected temples and temples that also offered shelter.
From 2009 onwards, Wat Phra Dhammakaya expanded its temporary ordination program by making it nationwide. In this program, the participants were trained in thousands of temples spread over Thailand, but ordained simultaneously at Wat Phra Dhammakaya. Held in cooperation with the House of Representatives, the concept of the program was to reverse the trend of the number of monks in Thailand decreasing. The program was held twice a year, and the participants who decided to stay in the monkhood were encouraged to revive abandoned temples. In 2010, 10,685 monks joined the program. As part of the ordination programs, Wat Phra Dhammakaya started to organize pilgrimages passing important places in the life of Luang Pu Sodh. This was done through a procession by over a thousand monks through the areas of Central Thailand that were flooded before, while life-size images of Luang Pu Sodh were ceremonially brought to install in pilgrimage places. During the breaks between the walks, the monks spent their time meditating, chanting and making good wishes to those affected by the floods.
The pilgrimages were held with analogy to the traditional story of the Buddha ridding Vesali of illness and drought. On the way to Vesali, the Buddha's entire route had been decorated with flowers by King Bimbisara. As a re-enactment of this story, throughout the walks, laypeople spread self-picked flowers to pave a path for the monk-pilgrims. Controversially, the temple used the word dhutanga for the walks, as it did before with its retreats. Responses were varied. On the one hand, the pilgrimage caused many people to participate with enthusiasm in the activities organized. For example, managers of some companies let the entire workforce take leave to join the flower-spreading. Critics, however, said the dhutanga walks were causing traffic jams, and were not in accordance with traditional interpretations of dhutanga practice. The temple then defended the walks by stating that the monks joining actually took dhutanga vows, and by pointing out the spiritual benefits for the laypeople joining. Nevertheless, a senator asked the National Office of Buddhism to investigate the matter further. Initially, the National Office of Buddhism approved of the city pilgrimage, saying that it agreed with Buddhist ideas and helped the economy. Meanwhile, however, some news analysts speculated that the pilgrimages were meant to express loyalty to Somdet Chuang, the Supreme Patriarch to be. The appointment of the Supreme Patriarch was subject to rising disagreement, which fed the protesters' resentment. Still in 2015, however, the National Office of Buddhism told Wat Phra Dhammakaya to stop organizing the pilgrimage walks in Bangkok, and only organize them outside of Bangkok, citing the problem of the traffic jams. At the end of the year, when the criticism did not tune down, Wat Phra Dhammakaya announced to postpone organizing the pilgrimages indefinitely.
In 2010, during the Red Shirt protests, in an attempt to keep control of any initiatives opposing the junta, a number of monastic and academic organizations and people, among which Luang Por Dhammajayo, were put on a surveillance list by the Thai military. Duncan McCargo speculates that this information may have been deliberately leaked to the press as a form of threat to these organizations and people. Wat Phra Dhammakaya did not openly join any Red Shirt activities, but some leading members of pro–Thaksin parties were connected to the temple.
In 2012, the temple broadcast a talk of Luang Por Dhammajayo about what happened to Steve Jobs after his death. The talk came as a response to a software engineer of Apple who had sent a letter with questions to the abbot. Luang Por Dhammajayo described how Steve Jobs looked like in heaven. He said that Jobs had been reborn as a deva living close to his former offices, as a result of the karma of having given knowledge to people. The talk was much criticized, and the abbot was accused of pretending to have attained an advanced meditative state and of attempting to outshine other temples. The temple stated that the talk was meant to illustrate the law of karma, not to defame Jobs, nor to fake an advanced state.
As of 2010[update], Wat Phra Dhammakaya was the fastest growing temple of Thailand. As of 2015[update], the temple had twenty-eight centers in Thailand, and eighty centers outside of Thailand., in all continents, except for South-America. The ceremonies of the temple were often led by monks from the Supreme Sangha Council or other leading monks, and joined by high-ranking people from Thailand and other Buddhist countries. For major festivals, the number of practitioners reached 300,000 people.
Junta's reform council versus Sangha Council
After the 2014 coup d'état, several initiatives were started to bring change to Thai society, which the junta stated was necessary before elections could be held. Among these measures, a National Reform Council was founded and the religious committee of this council was led by Paiboon Nititawan, a former senator who had played a crucial role in the coup. Backed by the bureaucracy, military and Royal Palace, Paiboon sought to deal with any shortcomings in the leading Thai Sangha through judicial means. He was joined by Phra Suwit Dhiradhammo (known under the activist name Phra Buddha Issara), a monk and former infantryman who had assumed a main role in the coup as well. Finally, Mano Laohavanich, a former monk of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, also member of the reform council, joined the investigations.
To start with, Phra Suwit requested the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), a department modeled on the FBI, to start an investigation in the assets of the Sangha Council's members. This also included Somdet Chuang Varapuñño, who had been nominated by the council to become the next Supreme Patriarch per 5 January 2016. Phra Suwit objected against this nomination, and successfully held a petition to stop it.
In the meantime, in February 2015, Paiboon Nititawan tried to reopen the 1999 case of Luang Por Dhammajayo's alleged embezzlement of land. Somdet Chuang and the rest of the Sangha Council were also involved in this, as they were accused of being negligent in not defrocking Luang Por Dhammajayo. First, the Sangha Council reconsidered the embezzlement and fraud charges, but concluded that Luang Por Dhammajayo had not intended to commit fraud or embezzlement, and had already returned the land concerned;[note 9] after that, Phra Suwit enlisted the help of the Ombudsman, who asked the General-Attorney and the National Office of Buddhism to reconsider the criminal law case of embezzlement.[note 10]
These investigations, however, did not go without response. In February 2016, on Magha Puja, a protest was held by over a thousand Thai monks in the Phutthamonthon Park, as a response to this involvement by the junta. The protest was organized by the Buddhist Protection Center of Thailand, a Red Shirt-oriented network. The protesters demanded that the Thai junta not interfere with the Sangha's affairs, in particular the appointment of the next Supreme Patriarch. After the junta responded by sending soldiers to control the site, the protest ended, but the monks announced they would repeat their protests again if their demands were not met. Wat Phra Dhammakays's involvement was implied by the media. The temple denied organizing the protests, but did not disagree with them either. At this point, the charges laid by Paiboon and Phra Suwit against the temple were by many interpreted as a way to discredit Somdet Chuang. Somdet Chuang had been abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen and preceptor (Pali: upajjhaya; person who ordained him) of Luang Por Dhammajayo during the latter's first years at Wat Paknam. Moreover, several Thai intellectuals and news analysts stated that Paiboon, Phra Suwit and Mano were abusing the Vinaya (monastic discipline) for political ends, and did not really aim to "purify" Buddhism.
The investigations were widely reported in the press, but eventually junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha intervened: the embezzlement case had already been closed in 2006 by the then Attorney-General and that was the end of it. Prayuth was afraid of the rising conflicts. He then dissolved the religious committee of the reform council. However, Paiboon, Phra Suwit and Mano continued to address the leading Sangha's shortcomings through judicial means. In the meantime, the DSI investigated further, and it was discovered that a used vintage car in Wat Paknam's museum had not been properly registered, allegedly to evade taxes. Somdet Chuang was charged with tax evasion by the DSI, and the accusations were reason enough for the government to further postpone the appointment. Fear of Phra Suwit Dhiradhammo and his ties to the army may have played a role in this stalling.[note 11]
On 29 October 2015, the DSI stated that Supachai Srisuppa-aksorn, then chairman of the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC), had fraudulently authorized 878 cheques worth 11.37 billion baht, in which a portion totaling more than a billion baht was traced to Wat Phra Dhammakaya. The problem had begun in April 2013, when it turned out that Supachai had borrowed too much money from the credit union for it to manage, and it had to freeze fifty thousand accounts, as well as postpone the payments to seventy-four creditors. The angered members held many protests and the credit union sued Supachai. The temple was implicated as well. In defense, spokespeople of Wat Phra Dhammakaya explained that Luang Por Dhammajayo was not aware that the donations were illegally obtained because the temple lacked the means to check for illegally obtained money.
In 2015, in a written agreement with the credit union, supporters of the temple had raised 684 million baht linked to Wat Phra Dhammakaya to donate to the KCUC to compensate their members. The money was donated under the condition that the credit union would withdraw the charges, and the money would be returned to the temple if Supachai's donations to the temple were later proven legal.
In the meantime, Supachai was convicted and jailed, but more charges of embezzlement and fraud were still under investigation. Another 370 million baht linked to the temple was discovered as the Anti-Money Laundering Office and DSI investigated further. Donors of the temple donated the remaining 370 million baht to the credit union as well,[note 12] but apart from the problem of compensation to the credit union, the DSI suspected Luang Por Dhammajayo of having conspired in the embezzlement of Supachai. The department then investigated two charges: conspiring to launder money and receiving stolen goods. The charges were laid by an affected client of the credit union, who felt the money the temple returned had too many strings attached. The temple denied the charges of the department, stating that donations were received in the open in public, and that Supachai had only donated cheques, no cash. They further explained that the temple had a department for financial matters, in which Supachai had no part, and accused the DSI of double jeopardy.
Luang Por Dhammajayo was summoned to acknowledge the charges of ill-gotten gains and conspiring to money-laundering at the offices of the DSI. Spokespeople of the temple asked for postponement three times, however, the first time citing a busy schedule due to training programs, and after that the abbot's deep vein thrombosis. According to spokespeople, to travel to the DSI could mean a risk for Luang Por Dhammajayo's life. The temple requested the DSI to let him acknowledge his charges at the temple, a request the DSI refused. The DSI was skeptical of the temple's cited reasons and asked for a certificate from a physician, which the temple gave, but just as in 1999, discussions arose regarding the way the certification should be properly done. Moreover, the DSI concluded that Luang Por Dhammajayo was a flight risk and asked for an arrest warrant to take the abbot into custody. In the period the DSI issued an arrest warrant for the abbot, the temple was organizing a training program for women with thousands participants. Accused of organizing a human shield to prevent the DSI from entering, a spokesperson of the temple said that the only thing the temple would do to resist is "chanting and meditation".
In the meantime, news analysts, lawyers, current and former government officials of the Thai justice system, such as Seripisut Temiyavet, came out to state that the DSI was not handling the investigation of the temple with proper legal procedure. It was questioned why the DSI would not let the abbot acknowledge the charges at the temple, which many considered legitimate under criminal law. The DSI replied that they did not want to visit the abbot at the temple at this stage, because the temple was crowded with people, who could force the DSI to commit itself to additional conditions. A spokesperson of the temple also questioned why the DSI did not pursue lawsuits that were still running against Paiboon and Phra Suwit. Was the DSI biased because they received orders from someone not disclosed? The DSI had seen its independence questioned before, even by leading people within the department itself. In short, the temple's practitioners and spokespeople felt the charges were politically motivated, and had no confidence in the justice system under the junta. Moreover, they felt that if the former abbot would turn himself in, this would set a precedent for more baseless persecutions of other monks.
In June 2016, the DSI entered the temple to take Luang Por Dhammajayo in custody. After having searched for a while, a number of laypeople rose and barred the DSI from continuing their search. The DSI, avoiding a confrontation, withdrew. A temple official was seen giving a press statement that the abbot would surrender himself "as soon as the state has become a democracy", enabling a fair judicial process. Even though the statement was later downplayed by temple's spokespeople as not representing the temple's official opinion., former senator Paiboon pointed out it reflected the temple's autonomy from the state. In reflection, news analysts concluded that the DSI did not really have the intention to arrest Luang Por Dhammajayo, but was simply surveying the temple grounds, or "playing political theatre" (Otago Daily Times).
After the standoff had taken place, tensions in social media rose, and the attorney-general stated that DSI should complete its investigations first, before further action could be taken. In the meantime, Luang Por Dhammajayo was ordered by a senior monk to step down as abbot temporarily, after Phra Suwit Dhiradhammo filed a request for suspension, citing Luang Por Dhammajayo's illness. It turned out, however, that Luang Por Dhammajayo had stepped down since 2011, but this was not widely known. It was then announced in the media that Luang Por Dattajivo was the acting abbot. In December, however, Phravitetbhavanacharn was appointed instead.
When it turned out that the prosecutors were slow to continue the Klongchan lawsuit with regard to Luang Por Dhammajayo, the DSI and several other police departments started to press charges on other people related to the temple. To further pressurize Luang Por Dhammajayo, the DSI also expanded its focus to branch centers of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. Branch centers in Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiangmai, Kanchanaburi, Loei, and Tak were investigated and charged with encroaching on nature reserves. On 21 November, this finally led to another two arrest warrants, totaling three, and plans were made by the Thai police, and the DSI to take Luang Por Dhammajayo into custody, through force if required.
A deal was proposed that if Luang Por Dhammajayo surrender he would not be incarcerated and subsequently defrocked. Although the DSI agreed with such a guarantee at first, they later stated they could not give it because it was the jurisdiction of the court to decide on this. News analysts speculated that Thai law enforcement had not been able to arrest the abbot successfully, because of the complexity of the temple's terrains, the flexibility and amount of practitioners, and the imminent danger of a violent clash. Another reason brought up by news analysts was the Thai junta's concern for potential international backlash that may be generated from Wat Phra Dhammakaya's numerous international centers. In fact, international followers had already petitioned the White House and met with US Congressmen regarding the case. During the standoff, temple officials still affirmed that they were willing to cooperate with law enforcement, their only request being that the DSI give Luang Por Dhammajayo his charges at the temple due to his health. However, the police applied the method of "trimming the tree" by issuing hundreds of fines about gates, bridges, and other parts of the temple, to gradually get more control over the temple. As of February 2017, the Thai junta has laid over three hundred different charges against the temple and the foundation, including alleged forest encroachment and allegedly building the Ubosot illegally in the 1970s. While law enforcement was under growing pressure to get the job done, criticism against the operation grew as well, news reporters comparing the temple with Falun Gong in China or the Gulen Movement from Turkey.
Meanwhile, the temple started a project to encourage people to chant the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, traditionally regarded as the first teaching of the Buddha. However, the activities at the temple were interpreted as methods to block law-enforcing officers from entering the terrain. On 9 December 2016, the television channel of the temple was therefore closed down to prevent the temple from further mobilizing supporters. In February 2017, four days after the appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch with no connections to the temple, junta leader Prayuth announced a special decree following the controversial Section 44 of the interim constitution. The section gave a carte blanche to law-enforcing authorities to get Luang Por Dhammajayo into custody through a wide range of means. The decree included heavy penalties against any person obstructing the arrest, and declaring the temple a restricted zone, which no-one could access or leave without the authorities' permission. A 4000-man combined task force of the DSI, police and army surrounded the temple and started to search every corner of the terrains. The temple showed little resistance. After two days, the task force reached the residence where the former abbot stayed, only to find it empty. Despite having searched every room and building in the temple, the authorities did not withdraw and ordered all non-residents of the temple to leave. Tensions increased, and though the temple staff was unarmed, they managed to push through the task force and a deal was brokered to allow lay people to come in the temple. On 22 February, an official negotiation followed, the DSI still pushing to remove all non-residents from the temple. But the temple stated they had given enough lenience and pointed out that the task force had completed their search. In the meantime, the junta government stated they did not only look for Luang Por Dhammajayo, but also intended to reform the temple. This raised questions, and a critical national debate started as to what a "real temple" and "real Buddhism" should look like.
The junta further increased its control on the temple by having the mobile signal in the temple area shut off, by barring reporters from entering the temple and by censoring and blocking a broadcast from Al Jazeera in Thailand. Criticism of the operation further increased when one man committed suicide and one asthma patient died during the operation. On 10 March 2017, a deal was made allowing authorities to search the temple once again on the condition that representatives of the Thai Human Rights Commission and news reporters were allowed to witness the search. Once again, authorities were not able to find the abbot, resulting in the junta ending the three-week occupation of the temple. However, section 44 still remained in effect, allowing the authorities to resume action against the temple at any time.
The lockdown resulted in a heated debate about section 44. The section was raised as an example of the junta's illegitimacy and unjust means, by the temple and many other critics. While proponents pointed out that all would be finished if Luang Por Dhammajayo only gave himself over to acknowledge the charges, critics pointed out that Luang Por Dhammajayo would be imprisoned and defrocked if brought into custody. News reporters have compared the temple's resistance with the Burmese Saffron Revolution in 2007, some reporters expecting defeat soon, others a new opposition movement. Many reporters have also questioned the practicality of using section 44 and many resources to arrest one person for acknowledging a charge of a non-violent crime. It has been pointed out that it is more viable to try Luang Por Dhammajayo in absentia to determine guilt first.
A few days before the lockdown was brought to a halt, it was announced in the Royal Thai Government Gazette that Luang Por Dhammajayo had been removed from his honorific title Phrathepyanmahamuni, because of the accusations he was charged with. The junta stated that after this announcement, they could and would immediately defrock Luang Por Dhammajayo if they would find him.
Following the end of the lockdown of the temple, the junta stated authorities will look for Luang Por Dhammajayo elsewhere. However investigations against the temple continued. Just days after the end of the lockdown, additional charges were filed against Wat Phra Dhammakaya, this time against the deputy abbot, Luang Por Dattajivo, for allegedly using the Klongchan Credit Union money to buy stocks and illegal land, something the temple dubbed "fake news". The junta also claimed that a stockpile of out-of-date military grade weapons found at the house of on-the-run Red Shirt leader Wuthipong Kochathamakun was also linked to the temple. Kochathamakun denied this, claiming the weapons were planted at his house by the junta and stating he had no affiliation with Wat Phra Dhammakaya in the first place.
With both Wat Phra Dhammakaya's honorary and deputy abbot under investigation, the junta has pushed for a replacement abbot for the temple, with the junta appointed director of the National Office of Buddhism calling for an outsider to be appointed the temple's abbot. The director stated this was necessary for investigating the temple's assets and defrocking Luang Por Dhammajayo. The junta has stated it was also necessary to take over the temple because it is a "threat to national security".
General analysis of controversies
Wat Phra Dhammakaya has been subject to considerable controversy, changing in nature throughout Thailand's recent history, e.g. in the 1970s being accused of communist sympathies, but in the 1990s of capitalism. The "pervasiveness and longevity" (Scott) of controversies surrounding Wat Phra Dhammakaya have been subject of speculation by scholars and news analysts. Since the junta's crackdown of the temple in 2016 and 2017, the question has once more been raised as to why the state is that strongly opposed to the temple, because the legal problems do not seem to warrant it.
Many believe that the controversies reflect a general criticism of Thai Buddhism as a whole, which started against the backdrop of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, as the commercializing of Buddhism became the most controversial religious problem in Thailand. Indeed, the crisis stirred up a widespread questioning of Thailand's social and political structures. It has been pointed out that the problems with Wat Phra Dhammakaya formed a distraction for the more serious issues politicians had to deal with, both in 1999 and during the Klongchan controversy.
Scott analyzes the criticism of the temple's methods of propagating according to Kao's categories of "anti-proselytization". She concludes that criticism on Wat Phra Dhammakaya can mostly be categorized as "anti-proselytization of targets and means" and "anti-proselytization of group protection". "Anti-proselytization of targets and means" refers to the criticism that a religious organization uses material rewards to persuade someone to believe something, whereas "anti-proselytization of group protection" refers to the tendency to regard a religious organization's propagation as an attack on the beliefs of the collective community. It has been pointed out that in Thai society many people might be afraid that Wat Phra Dhammakaya would exert too much influence in the Sangha, or take over the Sangha.
Scott has shown that criticism against Wat Phra Dhammakaya, its fundraising practices and teachings on merit-making, partly reflect historical changes in Thai society with regard to wealth and merit-making. The relation between giving and wealth is ubiquitous in vernacular Pāli literature, and many stories of exemplary donors exist, such as the stories of the bankers Anāthapiṇḍika and Jōtika. The association of wealth with merits done has deeply affected many Buddhist countries. At the beginning of the twentieth century, however, perspectives of merit-making had changed in traditional Buddhist societies, as merit-making was being associated with capitalism and consumerism, which had been rising in South and Southeast Asia. Modern Thai Buddhism became to be associated with the traditional village life and a sole rejection of material wealth, as partly reflected in King Bhumibol's sufficiency economy philosophy. Also, in some Buddhist countries, such as Thailand, there is a tendency among teachers and practitioners to dismiss and even revile merit-making in favor of teachings about detachment and attaining Nirvana, for which Cousins has coined the term ultimatism.
Another thing scholars have pointed out is the awkward timing of the PR of the temple, which may have stirred criticism in Thai society. As an example Scott mentions the strong and persistent fundraising that was done after the miracle event had taken place, which was in the middle of the Asian economic crisis. Indeed, Luang Por Dhammajayo himself has stated in an interview that bad PR may have been a weakness of the temple.
With regard to the Klongchan controversy and the resulting crackdown, news analysts have described that the actions of the Thai junta towards the temple reflected a political need to control who should be selected as the next Supreme Patriarch. Formerly the main candidate, Somdet Chuang Varapuñño, is Luang Phor Dhammajayo's preceptor. In fact, Somdet Chuang had already been nominated by the Sangha Supreme Council, but the appointment was postponed and eventually withdrawn, as another candidate of the Dhammayuttika fraternity was appointed. Since the period that Thaksin Shinawatra was still in power, Wat Phra Dhammakaya had been associated with him, and subsequently, his Red Shirt pressure group which opposes the junta. On top of that, selecting Somdet Chuang would mean a Supreme Patriarch from the Maha Nikaya fraternity, rather than the Dhammayuttika fraternity, which historically had been the preferred choice by the Thai government and the monarchy.[note 13] Finally, King Bhumibol's illness and death, created a power vacuum, thus further increasing the political tensions.
One spokesperson of the temple has pointed out that the temple is easily seen as a threat during politically tense periods, and that the political Yellow–Red divide puts the temple in the middle of the tensions. Since the junta was not a democratically chosen government, it was important for them to legitimize themselves by seeking the moral high ground and pointing out moral failures of their political opponents, especially those associated with Thaksin. But more material motivations may also be involved. Critics and scholars have speculated that the junta may be trying to seize the temple and confiscate its famed wealth. Indeed, the temple has often been described as the only influential organization that has not been subdued by the ruling junta since the 2014 coup d'état. The junta's move against the temple has been backed by the palace as well, as is shown by its agreeing to the removal of the abbot's monastic titles. In listing the reasons why the junta is opposed to the temple, Taylor notes that the temple has not donated much to the palace.
The Phuttamonthon protesters drew comparisons between Somdet Chuang's postponed appointment and criticism, and that of Phra Phimontham, a governing monk charged with cooperation with communist insurgents during the Cold War. The latter was jailed and defrocked, but after four years a military court decided he had been innocent all along. Proponents of Wat Phra Dhammakaya also referred to Phra Phimontham's case to explain why Luang Por Dhammajayo did not go to acknowledge the charges in 1999, and again in 2016.
Despite its many opponents, Wat Phra Dhammakaya is generally seen by pro-democracy Thai intellectuals as a symbol of religious pluralism that has managed to survive. Following a similar reasoning, McCargo has posed the question of why conservative Thai scholars have not considered the freedom of religion argument very much in the case of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, and believes that with the current attitudes in the Thai government and Sangha, little religious diversity is tolerated. Several Thai scholars have pointed out that the increasing entanglement of state and religion in Thai society has helped to create the controversies of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, as the temple relies heavily on the Supreme Sangha Council's authority in its activities. Since the Sangha Council is part of the Thai government, critics are afraid the influential temple might over the state. If state and religion were more separated in Thailand, problems such as with Wat Phra Dhammakaya could be more easily solved by the Sangha itself, without any state interference and with increased transparency.
Principles, practices and beliefs
Wat Phra Dhammakaya refers to traditional pro–establishment Buddhist values, but teaches those values using modern, according to some, modernist methods, which has been a source of controversy. For these reasons, Wat Phra Dhammakaya has been compared to Taiwanese new religious movements. The particular focus on the Dhammakaya meditation method and the active, modern propagation practices of Wat Phra Dhammakaya (Thai: เผยแผ่เชิงรุก) make the temple stand out from mainstream Thai Buddhism, though it is not defiant of it. The temple has put in great efforts to remain part of the main Maha Nikaya fraternity and makes it a point to often demonstrate their loyalty, and offer assistance to the Thai royal family and the leading monks of the Thai Sangha. The combination of the traditional and the modern can also be found in the temple's teachings, in which intellectual Buddhism and Thai folk religion meet.
Wat Phra Dhammakaya attaches great importance to its lineage of teachers, starting from Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro, who then passed on his experience to Maechi Chandra Khonnokyoong, who in her turn passed it on to Luang Por Dhammajayo. In the PR and media of the temple the teachers are much emphasized as an inseparable part of the temple's tradition, from which the temple gains its authenticity.
Wat Phra Dhammakaya attempts to revive the local temple's role as a spiritual community center, but does so within a format that is meant to fit with modern society and customs. According to the temple's active propagation philosophy, in the present day and age people will not come to the Buddhist temple anymore, because the temple is no longer the center of community life. The temple therefore must seek out the laypeople in society in an active way, so as to promote virtue both in the temple and at home and school. In this active propagation philosophy, if it would be possible to introduce Buddhism and Vijja Dhammakaya to every person in the world, they would do so. An important part of this active propagation style is the role of the layperson. The temple has been noted for its emphasis on lay participation.
The propagation of the temple has been analyzed from three scholarly approaches. The earliest analyses of the temple were done by Thai (former) monastics and intellectuals, who criticized the temple for the content of its teachings. These scholars described the temple's teachings as "distorted" from "original" Theravada Buddhism, and depicted the temple as using these teachings for profit and power. Scott and Buaban point out the modernist perspective in this approach, as it emphasizes a deviation from a rational, idealist and universal Buddhism, that is unaffected by local customs and traditions. The second group of scholars were anthropologists and sociologists, both Thai and non-Thai, who mostly studied the question why the temple had been so effective in its propagation. Most scholars in this group emphasized the popularity of the temple among middle-class Thai from the cities, and the ability of the temple to appeal to middle class attitudes and use modern technology.[note 14] The third group are Thai scholars who believe that Thailand should become a secular state with no state intervention in religion. These scholars downplay the true Buddhism–false Buddhism dichotomy, and believe that Wat Phra Dhammakaya should be given freedom in propagating its views, as long as they do not infringe on human rights.
The temple is known for its emphasis on meditation. Central to the temple and the Dhammakaya movement is the idea that Dhammakaya meditation was the method through which the Buddha became enlightened, a method which was forgotten but has been revived by Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro. This method is also called Vijja Dhammakaya. According to the tradition, the principles of Dhammakaya meditation were discovered by Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro on the full-moon night of September 1916 at Wat ฺBotbon, Bangkuvieng, Nonthaburi. Essential to the meditation method is the center of the body: whatever technique someone might use to meditate, the mind can only attain to a higher level through this center, which Luang Por Sodh precisely describes. This center is also believed to play a fundamental role in the birth and death of an individual.
As with many forms of Buddhist meditation, Dhammakaya meditation has both samatha and vipassana stages. The process of concentration in Dhammakaya meditation correlates with the description of samatha meditation in the Visuddhimagga, specifically kasina meditation. Luang Pu Sodh usually explained the process of attainment in the method in terms of inner bodies (Pali: kaya), existing within every human being. These are successively more subtle, and come in pairs. Dhammakaya meditation at the higher levels is also described to bring forth abhinna, mental powers that can be used for the benefit of society at large. Publications from Wat Phra Dhammakaya describe that Dhammakaya meditation was used during the Second World War to prevent Thailand from being bombed, and used to extinguish the negative forces in the cosmos (Mara). This final aspect has strongly affected the attitudes of practitioners at the temple, who therefore hold that Dhammakaya meditation is not only important for the individual, but also for the cosmos at large.
It is Dhammakaya meditation what makes the movement stand out from other forms of Theravada Buddhism, as the movement believes that all meditation methods lead to the attainment of the Dhammakaya, and this state is the only way to Nirvana. According to the Dhammakaya Movement, the Buddha made the discovery that Nirvana is nothing less than the true Self, the Dhammakaya, a spiritual essence. The Movement believes that this essence of the Buddha and Nirvana exist as a literal reality within each individual. The not-self teaching is considered the method to let go of what is not the self, to attain this true self. The bulk of Thai Theravada Buddhism rejects this teaching and insists upon not-self as a universal fact. In particular, Luang Por Payutto has written much to oppose the views of the Dhammakaya Movement. The Dhammakaya Movement has responded in different ways to the debate of self and not-self. Wat Phra Dhammakaya's assistant-abbot Luang phi Thanavuddho wrote a book about the topic in response to critics, but the temple generally seems not much interested in the discussion. Followers are more concerned how Dhammakaya meditation improves their mind.
The temple often uses positive terms to describe Nirvana. Apart from the true self, Scott notes that Wat Phra Dhammakaya often describes Nirvana as being the supreme happiness, and argues that this may explain why the practice of Dhammakaya meditation is so popular. In its teachings on how meditation can help improve health and the quality of modern life, the temple can be compared with Goenka. The temple's emphasis on meditation is expressed in several ways. Meditation kits are for sale in stores around the temple, and every gathering that is organized by the temple will feature some time for meditation. The temple emphasizes the usefulness of meditating in a group, and public meditations have a powerful effect on the minds of the temple's practitioners.
Cleanliness and order
Luang Por Dhammajayo was heavily influenced by Maechi Chandra Khonnokyoong in his teachings. He turned the Dhammakaya meditation method "into an entire guide of living" (McDaniel), emphasizing cleanliness, orderliness and quiet, as a morality by itself, and as a way to support meditation practice. In Taylor's words, the temple "eschews disorder". In Wat Phra Dhammakaya, ceremonies are commonly held on Sundays rather than the traditional lunar calendar-based Uposatha days. Free buses drive to the temple. Lay people joining the ceremonies are strongly encouraged to wear white, a traditional custom. No smoking, drinking or flirting is allowed on the temple terrain, nor newspapers, animals or fortune-telling. Traditional, noisy temple fairs are not held. Children attending activities at Wat Phra Dhammakaya are taken care of through Sunday school and crèche while their parents attend the adult meditation sessions in the Great Sapha Dhammakaya Hall. There are activities for children and young people: people of all ages attend activities. Moreover, the temple teaches regularly about traditional Thai manners, explained as the heart of being Thai. In short, the temple's appearance is orderly, and can be described as "a contemporary aesthetic" (Scott), which appeals to practitioners, especially the modern Bangkok middle class. Practitioners are also encouraged to keep things tidy and clean, through organized cleaning activities. A strong work ethic is promoted through these activities, in which the most menial work is seen as the most valuable and fruitful. The temple's emphasis on discipline and order is expressed in its huge and detailed ceremonies.
Merit-making, parami's and self-development
Wat Phra Dhammakaya has a vision of a future ideal society. The temple emphasizes that the daily application of Buddhism will lead the practitioner and society to prosperity and happiness in this life and the next, and the temple expects a high commitment to that effect. Through meditation, fundraising activities and volunteer work, the temple emphasizes the making of merit, and explains how through the law of kamma merit yields its fruits, in this world and the next. The clarity of such explanations are appreciated: in surveys, one major reason for joining the temple's activities is the structure and clarity of the teachings. Leading donors are publicly recognized as examples, and donor groups are credited by certain titles. Donors are typically very joyful about their generosity, but critics have described this emphasis on merit-making and its fruits as religious consumerism or capitalism. In 1988, Kukrit Pramoj, a former Thai prime minister known for his religious debates with Luang Por Buddhadasa and Santi Asoke, questioned "whether the temple is offering spirituality or religious pleasure comparable to that of recreation clubs and fishing parks?" Wat Phra Dhammakaya responded by saying that it is empowering lay people to engage with, rather than renounce the world they live in, through moral and meditation training. In its PR and teachings, the temple points out how all sorts of problems in work or family life can be solved through meditation and making merit. Former PM Kukrit's criticism is echoed in Fuengfusakul's studies, in which she compares the merit-making at Wat Phra Dhammakaya with the marketing of a product, pointing out how the temple makes merit-making very convenient and pleasant. But the temple feels that providing such convenience is part of what the Buddha taught. The temple does not see this as compromising the sacred element of Buddhism, but rather as amplifying it. On a similar note, the temple has also been described a prosperity movement, because the temple teaches how giving leads to wealth, and the temple is not critical of pursuing both. Indeed, Wat Phra Dhammakaya's practitioners believe that pursuing wealth does not necessarily lead to attachment and may even help develop meditation attainment, provided wealth is used for generosity. The ideal of giving as a form of building character is expressed in the temple's culture with the words Cittam me, meaning 'I am victorious', referring to the overcoming of inner defilements (Pali: kilesa).
Merit-making or doing good deeds as a way to overcome inner defilements, is further expressed through the concept of parami. Parami is a term mentioned in later canonical and post-canonical Buddhist literature, and is usually translated as 'completeness, perfection, highest state'. Such perfection comes as a result of practicing ten principal virtues, usually by bodhisattas (somebody striving for Buddhahood). According to the temple, Paramis are formed when people do merits consistently, and these merits become 'concentrated' (Thai: กลั่นตัว) through the passage of time. This happens when people dedicate their lives to merit-making. Wat Phra Dhammakaya does not consider paramis solely the domain of Buddhas-to-be however, but as necessary for everyone aiming for the Buddhist goal of release from suffering. There are traditionally ten paramis, that is, giving, morality, renunciation, wisdom, effort, patience, truth, resolute determination, loving-kindness and equanimity. All of these can be practiced through the three practices of giving, morality and mental development, which includes mostly meditation. The practice of giving and merit-making in Wat Phra Dhammakaya's perspective is therefore a practice of self-training and self-sacrifice, in which merit is dependent on intention, not merely the amount donated.
To explain the importance of self-transformation, Wat Phra Dhammakaya often refers to the Mangala Sutta, a Buddhist sutta (discourse) that emphasizes ethics. The ethics contests the temple has been organizing throughout the country since its early years, are heavily based on this sutta. Also, the temple often refers to traditional narratives from the Tipitaka regarding exemplary donors and the fruits that merit-making yields. The emphasis on individual ethics is also expressed in the temple's view on society: the temple emphasizes strengthening the individual's morality more than changing the system of society, and measures the welfare of the state by the virtue of its citizens. Field research also confirms that the temple's practitioners believe the individual's lack of virtue to be the main reason for current economic problems. Indeed, every year Earth Day is celebrated in the temple, on which the motto of the temple "Clean the world, clean the mind" is brought forward, stating that the environment will only improve if we start working on clearing up our own minds.
Participants in the temple's activities report that the temple feels like a family. According to Taylor, the temple's success may be partly explained by the flexible social structure of the temple, allowing for openness to newcomers. The temple organizes its followers into groups with certain interests. The temple's lifestyle promotes good family values and emphasizes a network of like-minded friends to facilitate spiritual development. Wat Phra Dhammakaya encourages people to persuade others to make merit, because such persuasion is in itself considered a merit. In activities of the temple, even on retreats, ample opportunity is therefore given for socializing and spiritual friendship. In teachings of the temple, practitioners are encouraged to set up kalyanamitta homes ('homes of good spiritual friends') to meditate together with friends and family, and practitioners are trained to take on leading roles. Wat Phra Dhammakaya makes it a point that homes, temples and schools should unite in creating responsible members of society, and organizes programs to that effect. Communities of kalyanamittas also have an exemplary effect, according to the temple. One of the reasons why the temple emphasizes huge gatherings during ceremonies, as stated in the temple's literature, is that such gatherings will effect that "people of the world will stop, think and ask themselves why so many people have gathered in one place to meditate.(...) and they will strive to find the answer for themselves.".
Wat Phra Dhammakaya very much emphasizes respect for one's seniors and people in higher rank. This holds for lay people towards monks, but also amongst lay people. Qualities such as being easy to advise, being humble, being soft-spoken and so on, are encouraged and promoted through the temple's activities and teachings. Such qualities are also connected to accomplishment in meditation practice. Fuengfusakul speculates that the culture of respect of Wat Phra Dhammakaya has its roots in the seniority system of Kasetsart University, from which the first generation of the temple's monks were mostly graduated. Kasetsart was one of the first universities where the Buddhist student society was revived and promoted by the temple, and Buddhist societies at many other universities followed the model of the Kasetsart Buddhist society. Indeed, one of the main activities at the Buddhist societies led by the temple is the revival of the custom of Wai Khru, a ceremony for students to express gratitude and respect to their teacher. Alma mater traditions aside, Litalien speculates that Wat Phra Dhammakaya's emphasis on respect for hierarchy and seniority comes from the conviction that position and status are gained by merit-making and karma.
Thi Sut Haeng Tham
Wat Phra Dhammakaya's teachings on merit-making, morality and meditation are not only considered to bring about individual happiness and world peace, but also serve a higher aim. The temple teaches that the ultimate purpose of one's life is to develop paramis on the path of the bodhisattas. The temple's practitioners aim for Buddhahood, but call this aim Thi Sut Haeng Tham (Thai: ที่สุดแห่งธรรม), literally 'the utmost of Dhamma'. This goal is described as helping to bring all living beings to Nirvana, which requires an utmost effort. In this context parami is also defined as a habit to put one's life on the line to develop goodness.
Although Wat Phra Dhammakaya does not involve itself in traditional magical rituals, fortune telling and giving lottery numbers, it doesn't oppose everything that is miraculous. In the biographies of Luang Pu Sodh and Maechi Chandra, the temple often relates of miraculous events relating to the meditation prowess of these two masters, thereby establishing the value of the lineage. Mackenzie points out that not everyone who comes to the temple is interested in the miraculous, but it is nevertheless a part of the temple's appeal: "Some members especially appreciate the logic and relevance of the Dhamma talks, others draw much from the effect the cetiya and other buildings have on them, others place a special value on meeting their friends and clearly many have a very strong focus on meditation. I have also met members who look to experience the miraculous at the temple..." On a similar note, practitioners believe that meditation not only calms the mind, but also has a miraculous effect on the outside world, especially the meditations every first Sunday of the month.(See § Other activities, above.) Fuengfusakul points out, however, that the temple tends to downplay the gap between the miraculous and the rational or scientific, and draws on science to explain the miraculous or psychic.
Wat Phra Dhammakaya is legally presented by the Dhammakaya Foundation, described as the modern equivalent of the traditional 'temple committee' (Thai: กรรมการวัด). Founded in 1970 under the name Prasit Foundation, the foundation was in 1985 renamed the Dhammakaya Foundation. Later, a second foundation was founded to finance the worldwide activities of the temple, the Khun Yai Ajan Maharatana Khonnokyoong Foundation.
The Dhammakaya foundation has a complex organization structure, and is more formalized than traditional Thai temples. It is managed like a modern organization. Despite its modern methods, the temple adheres highly to a traditional hierarchy, and Luang Por Dhammajayo as a leader. He is both the abbot of the temple as the president of the foundation, assisted by deputy-abbot and vice-president Luang Por Dattajivo. Thus, the foundation is intrinsically connected to the temple. There are several departments in the foundation that are run by assistant-abbots, who report to the abbot and deputy-abbot: a human resource center, a support center that helps with facilitating ceremonies, a department for maintenance, fundraising, education and propagation divisions. The responsibility for lay people is further subdivided in sixty-two groups. The personnel of the temple consists of monastics, full–time employees, workers and volunteers. Full–time employees will sometimes ordain after a while, but their ordination is different than that of males who ordain without having been an employee. Former employees usually take a vow for lifelong ordination in a special ceremony, and often have high coordinating positions as monks.
Among lay personnel, the full–time employees are expected to follow the eight precepts, behave orderly and spent their lives in the temple, without a paid job or residence outside the temple. Just like in the Dhammadayada training programs, full–time employees are trained thoroughly, including a probation period before being employed. They are not paid a full–fledged salary, but receive some money, as well as some welfare services. Full–time employees have an important role in the temple's active approach of spreading Buddhism: they complement monastics who have more limitations because of the Vinaya. They are also meant to be role models for the public at large. Wat Phra Dhammakaya is known for its relatively high–educated monastics and full–time lay personnel. A high percentage possesses a bachelor's degree.
In the 1980s, Wat Phra Dhammakaya was very centrally organized, which led to problems within the organization. From the early 1990s onward, the temple began to invite professional management and law consultants to develop its organisation processes, and decision-making was distributed downwards to supervisory committees.
On its website, the foundation lists seven goals:
- To teach Dhammakaya meditation;
- To promote and support Buddhist studies;
- To promote and support Dhamma education for both monastics and lay people;
- To provide support for the people living in the temple;
- To build and maintain the World Dhammakaya Center;
- To build and maintain the temple;
- To build and maintain an academic institute that offers all levels of education, from pre-school to university, in which Dhamma education is provided together with the normal curriculum.
Another list of five objectives underlying the work of the foundation is sometimes also mentioned:
- To provide facilities for the teaching of meditation and the study of the culture that underlies world peace;
- To create virtue in society by instilling morality, with special emphasis on the younger generation;
- To promote the recognition and praise of those of exceptional virtue in society;
- To produce materials in print and other media to promote peace, social harmony, virtue and morality;
- To provide humanitarian services.
The objectives of the foundation are expressed through the slogan "World Peace through Inner Peace" in English, although in Thai language the motto "We are born to build up our parami's" is also used. Another motto is "Dhammakaya is the goal of life". The last two mottos are often combined in one sentence, in which the fulfillment of paramis is the path, and the attainment of the Dhammakaya at the highest level is the aim. This attainment is equated with Nirvana.
Layout of building complex
The general appearance of the temple is clean and orderly. The temple has many well-maintained gardens and greenery. Unusual in a Buddhist temple building in Thailand, buildings are functionalist with minimal ornamentation, which makes them look futuristically modern and global. But they are based on older tradition.
The temple's area is divided into three parts: the 'Buddha residence area' (Thai: เขตพุทธาวาส), including the Ubosot, and residence areas for monks; the 'Dhamma residence area' (Thai: เขตธรรมาวาส), including the areas for teaching and ceremonies that involve laypeople; and finally, the 'Sangha residence area' (Thai: เขตสังฆาวาส), including the areas for monastic ceremonies. Although many Thai temples divide their area in this fashion, Wat Phra Dhammakaya stands out in that it uses most of the space of the temple's grounds for the Dhamma residence area, providing enough room for the large masses of people that come to the temple's activities, and for the international community.
In the older areas the following buildings are important:
- The Ubosot: Designed based on Wat Benchamabophit, the building was awarded an honourable mention by the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) in 1998. The Buddha image in the ubosot is modern rather than classic Thai. Nevertheless, the temple's Buddha images are made following the traditional thirty-two characteristics of a Great Man, mentioned in the Pali Canon, and the temple believes they are more authentic than many other types of Buddha images.
- Purohita: an important office building.
- Dhammakaya English Learning Center: a center for the study of English for usage in propagating Buddhism, with experienced foreign teachers.
The World Dhammakaya Center
Since 1984, the number of people joining the ceremonies of the temple exceeded its capacity and prompted the decision to expand the site and the building of the World Dhammakaya Centre, an area of two thousand rai (3.2 km2). Buildings are designed using principles from meditation practice, and, according to the temple, are built to last a thousand years. In the area there are a number of important buildings:
- The Great Sapha Dhammakaya Hall: This hangar-like construction built in 1997 is a multi–functional two-storey building, used for meditation, Buddhist lectures and ceremonies, youth training courses and monastic conferences. The upper level has been designed to accommodate 150,000 people. The lower level is used primarily for parking but can be used as seating capacity for an additional 150,000 people, if necessary.
- The Dhammakaya Cetiya: The Dhammakaya Cetiya is described by the temple as a symbol of world peace through inner peace. The design is based on the architectural style of different ancient stupas, among which the stupas of Sanchi, Borobodur, Anuradhapura, Shwedagon and the stupas of the Pagan Kingdom. The Cetiya has the shape of a hemispherical dome, thirty-two meter high and hundred and eight meters in diameter. The hemispherical dome represents the Buddha, the surrounding inner terraces the Dhamma, and the granite outer terraces the Sangha. The exterior holds 300,000 Buddha images, placed on the dome and the terraces. Each of the images has the name of the donor engraved in it, which is an old tradition. Inside the Cetiya are Tipitaka texts, another 700,000 Buddha images and a large central Buddha of 4.5 m made from sterling silver. The central Buddha image symbolizes the possibility of liberation through meditation. The outer terraces of the Cetiya can seat ten thousand monks, whereas the open area around the Cetiya can accommodate 600,000 people. The area has become a meeting-place for Buddhists all over the world, who join the yearly ceremonies. It was officially opened in 2000.
- The Grand Meditation Amphitheatre: The Grand Meditation Amphitheatre is the name of a two-storey cloister built to accommodate monks, samaneras and people from around the world to meditate and pray. The Amphitheatre has been built around the Cetiya.
- The Memorial Hall of Phramongkolthepmuni: This circular domed building was built in 2002 in honor of Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro. It houses an exhibition and a golden statue of Luang Pu Sodh. The building is open to visitors and pilgrims.
- The Dining Hall of Khun Yay Archaraya Chandra Khonnokyoong: The Dining Hall of Khun Yay can seat up to six thousand monks. Every day, lay people come to offer food and refreshments to over 1,200 monks and samaneras who reside at the temple.
- The Memorial Hall of Khun Yai Achan Chandra Khonnokyoong: This hexagonal pyramid-shaped chapel was built in 2002. This two-storey structure is made of gold-tinted plate glass. The lower floor is a museum with an exhibition, telling the biography of Maechi Chandra Khonnokyoong. The upper floor houses a golden image of Maechi Chandra.
- The Pariyattithum School: This is a school in which Buddhism and Pali is taught to laypeople and monastics, at different levels. The school was founded in 1985.
- The Sixtieth Year Building: This is a building that is planned to be used for Dhammakaya meditation at an advanced level.
- The hundredth year Khun Yai Ajan Maharatana Upasika Chan Khonnokyoong Office: As of 2016[update], this building was in development. It is meant to be a central office building for management, but will also have training activities in it. The building has been equipped with a closed circuit water cooling system and is made of self-compacting concrete. Currently, the Dhammakaya Foundation is located here.
Besides these, in the World Dhammakaya Center there are also more office buildings, a medical center, kutis for the samaneras, a computer center and a broadcast center for the satellite television channel and radio channel. The construction layout of the World Dhammakaya Center has been compared with that of Wat Mahadhatu, in that the layout reflects the cosmological order and the idea of the nation.
It is the intention of Wat Phra Dhammakaya to develop the World Dhammakaya Center into a meeting-place and pilgrimage place for Buddhists from all over the world, just as Vatican City is for Christians and Mecca is for Muslims.
- Then known by the title "Phraprommolee".
- The Supreme Patriarch was ill at the time, and could not easily be visited.
- Disrobing effectively strips a Buddhist monk from his status and position within the monastic community, and is therefore considered by practitioners tantamount to execution.
- The five charges were: helping a civil servant to act unlawfully, two charges of embezzlement of land and two charges of embezzlement of money.
- ITV doing so through Bangkok Biz News, also owned by The Nation Group.
- The temple used the project name "Thai Buddhist Monks National Coordination Center".
- In 2006, there were rising political conflicts.
- There had been a problem with temples not being able to organize Kathina ceremonies due to lack of supporters or funds.
- In the same period, Narong Nuchuea, a leading journalist on religious affairs, came out to state that the statement of the Supreme Patriarch was fake, because "politics got involved". He said that the then Supreme Patriarch would never leak such a letter to the press. Several Thai journalists and scholars have stated that the letter was suspicious for several reasons, including its layout, and the timing it was issued, and was therefore never taken in consideration by the Sangha Council. The Sangha Council itself stated that the Supreme Patriarch's letter was not an unconditional order: it said that Luang Por Dhammajayo should disrobe if (and only if) he did not return the land on his name to the temple.
- The Ombudsman pointed out that the returning of land could not in itself be cause for withdrawing the charges: it would only make the charges less severe. Moreover, although recognizing that he had no jurisdiction with regard to ecclesiastical law, he did point out some inconsistencies which he believed indicated that the Sangha Council had not taken the letter of the Supreme Patriarch very serious.
- In November 2016, the prosecutors decided not to charge Somdet Chuang, but to charge his attendant Luang phi Pae instead, and another six people who had taken part in importing the vintage car. On 12 January 2017, however, the prosecutor issued a non-prosecution order against Luang Phi Pae, since the Department of Special Investigation had found no evidence of conspiring to evade taxes. The order indicated innocence on the part of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, the temple of Somdet Chuang. Paiboon responded to the outcome by giving several other reasons why he believed Somdet Chuang could not be Supreme Patriarch. In December 2016, the National Legislative Assembly amended the 2005 Monastic Act to allow other monks than Somdet Chuang to be appointed Supreme Patriarch. Finally in February 2017, Somdet Amborn was appointed by King Vajiralongkorn to serve as the next Supreme Patriarch.
- The sum of the two amounts donated to the credit union did not exactly match the total amount of money that was traced to Wat Phra Dhammakaya, because it was argued by the temple's lawyers that twenty cheques had not actually reached Luang Por Dhammajayo.
- During the period of PM Thaksin, the increased liberalization of Buddhism had benefited mostly the Maha Nikaya fraternity and Wat Phra Dhammakaya.
- Buaban does point out that middle class has often not been clearly defined by this group of scholars.
- Head, Jonathan (22 March 2017). "The curious case of a hidden abbot and a besieged temple". BBC. Bangkok. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- Sirikanchana 2010, p. 885.
- Swearer 2010, p. 114.
- Scott 2009, p. 52.
- Irons 2008, p. 155.
- Fuengfusakul 1998.
- Scott 2006.
- Gombrich, R. (1996). "Freedom and Authority in Buddhism". In Gates, B. Freedom and Authority in Religions and Religious Education. London: Cassell. p. 11.
- Heikkilä-Horn 1996, p. 94.
- Taylor 1989.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 33.
- . Retrieved 15 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Dokbia Thurakit (in Thai). 20 December 1999. p. 8
- Rajakaruna, J. (28 February 2008). "Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya where millions congregate seeking inner peace". Daily News (Sri Lanka). Lake House.
- McDaniel, Justin (2006). "Buddhism in Thailand: Negotiating the Modern Age". In Berkwitz, Stephen C. Buddhism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-85109-787-2.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 83.
- พระทัตตชีโว หลังฉากพระธัมมชโย [Phra Dattajivo, standing behind Phra Dhammajayo]. Newsnight (in Thai). 1 June 2016. Event occurs at 1:38. Amarin TV. 34. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- Sirikanchana 2010.
- Zehner 1990, p. 408.
- Banchanon, Phongphiphat (3 February 2015). รู้จัก "เครือข่ายธรรมกาย" [Getting to know the Dhammakaya network]. Forbes Thailand (in Thai). Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- Dhammakaya Foundation 2005, pp. 102–3.
- Thammachayō, Thattachīwō & Tawandhamma Foundation 2007, pp. 46–9.
- Dhammakaya Foundation 2005, p. 108.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 34.
- Scott 2006, p. 222.
- จาก "บ้านธรรมประสิทธิ์" สู่ "มหาธรรมกายเจดีย์" [From Ban Thammaprasit to the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya]. The Dhammakaya Epic. Episode 3 (in Thai). 29 May 2016. Event occurs at 1:52. Channel 8 (Thailand). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Heikkilä-Horn 2015, p. 62.
- Swearer 1991, p. 656.
- Kaewsai, Nataya; Poungnoi, Pa-ob (1999). A study of the role of information technology in the Buddhist missionary activities of Wat Phra Dhammakaya (Report). Office of the National Culture Commission, Ministry of Education (Thailand). p. 5.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 157.
- Sivaraksa 1987.
- Scott 2009, p. 84.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 44.
- Newell 2008, p. 128.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 42–3.
- . Retrieved 13 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 18 September 1999. p. 23
- Litalien 2010, p. 146.
- Zehner 2005, p. 2325.
- Litalien 2010, p. 120.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 41–3.
- Newell 2008, p. 130.
- Kinnard, Jacob (2006). "Buddhism" (PDF). In Riggs, Thomas. Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices. 1. Farmington Hills: Thomson Gale. p. 68. ISBN 0-7876-6612-2.
- Arpon, Yasmin Lee G. (11 May 2010). "Scandal in the Temple". Southeast Asian Press Alliance. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Zehner 2005, p. 2324.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 58–60.
- Scott 2009, pp. 83–4.
- Newell 2008, pp. 128–30.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 176.
- Newell 2008, p. 131.
- Swearer 1991, p. 659.
- Bunbongkarn, Suchit (1 January 2000). "Thailand: Farewell to Old–Style Politics?". Southeast Asian Affairs. ISEAS, Yosuf Ishak Institute: 285–95. JSTOR 27912257.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 64.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 60.
- Falk, Monica Lindberg (2007). Making fields of merit: Buddhist female ascetics and gendered orders in Thailand. Copenhagen: NIAS Press. ISBN 978-87-7694-019-5.
- McDaniel 2010, pp. 41, 662.
- Bechert 1997, p. 176.
- Newell 2008, p. 136.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 43.
- เจาะโครงสร้างอำนาจอาณาจักรธรรมกาย [The Dhammakaya world's structure in depth]. Now 26 (in Thai). Bangkok Business Broadcasting, The Nation Group. 24 February 2017. Event occurs at 1:40. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Taylor 1989, p. 126.
- Zehner 2013, p. 191.
- Keyes, Charles F (1993). "Buddhist Economics and Buddhist Fundamentalism in Burma and Thailand". In Marty, Martin E.; Appleby, R. Scott. Fundamentalisms and the state: remaking polities, economies, and militance. The Fundamentalism Project. 3. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-50884-6.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 35.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 65.
- Nyanatiloka (1980). "Dhutanga". Buddhist dictionary: manual of Buddhist terms and doctrines (4 ed.). Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. p. 101. ISBN 9552400198. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
- Snodgrass 2003.
- Swearer 1991, p. 661.
- Ambuel, David (2001). . American Asian Review. 19 (4): 149.
- Thammachayō, Thattachīwō & Tawandhamma Foundation 2007, pp. 64–70.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 34.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 192.
- Vasi 1998, p. 68.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 95–7.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 46, 48, 98–9.
- Litalien 2010, p. 143.
- Burford, Grace G. (2005). "Pali Text Society" (PDF). In Jones, Lindsay. Encyclopedia of Religion. 10 (2 ed.). Farmington Hills: Thomson-Gale. p. 6956.
- Lancaster, Lewis R. (2013). "Digital input of Buddhist texts". In Keown, Damien; Prebish, Charles S. Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. p. 289. ISBN 1-136-98588-3. Unknown parameter
- Dhammakaya Foundation (1994). Buddhism into the year 2000: International conference proceedings. Bangkok: Dhammakaya Foundation.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 121.
- Litalien 2010, p. 147.
- 29 ปีบนเส้นทาฃธรรม [29 years on the path of the Dhamma]. Dokbia Thurakit (in Thai). 1 March 1999. p. 1.
- Scupin, Raymond (2001). "Parallels Between Buddhist and Islamic Movements in Thailand". Prajna Vihara. 2 (1).
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 178.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 116–9.
- Taylor 1989, p. 116.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 119.
- Sirikanchana 2010, p. 886.
- Litalien 2010, p. 137.
- "United Nations Civil Society Participation (iCSO)". Integrated Civil Society Organizations System. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, NGO Branch. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- "United Nations Economic and Social Council–Commission on the Status of Women". United Nations. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 122.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 123.
- Scott 2009, p. 73.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 56–8.
- Scott 2009, p. 136.
- "Detractor's testimony slams Dhammakaya". The Nation (Thailand). 19 January 1999.
- Na Songkhla, N. (1994). "Thai Buddhism Today: Crisis?". Buddhism Into the Year 2000. Khlong Luang, Patumthani: Dhammakaya Foundation. pp. 115–6. ISBN 9748920933.
- Taylor, Jim (2008). Buddhism and Postmodern Imaginings in Thailand: The Religiosity of Urban Space. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-6247-1. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- Peleggi, Maurizio (2007). Thailand: The worldly kingdom (PDF). London: Reaktion Books. p. 114.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, pp. 160, 168.
- . Khao Sod (in Thai). 15 July 1998. p. 27 – via Matichon E-library.
- Satha-Anand 1990, p. 401.
- Scott 2009, pp. 2–3, 13, 124.
- Scott 2009, pp. 124, 141.
- Scott 2009, pp. 129–30, 135, 137–8.
- Harvey 2013, p. 391.
- Scott 2009, pp. 132–4.
- Gearing, Julian (30 December 1999). "Buddhist Scapegoat?: One Thai abbot is taken to task, but the whole system is to blame". Asiaweek.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 55.
- Khao Sod (in Thai). 28 November 1998. pp. 1, 12 – via Matichon E-library..
- "Thailand: Buddhist Sect Accused of Preying on the Poor". AP Archive. 30 May 1999. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
- Scott 2009, p. 127.
- Gearing, Julian (17 September 1999). "Abbot Dhammachayo: 'I Will Never Be Disrobed'". Asiaweek (25/37). CNN. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- PR Department Team (19 December 1998). เอกสารชี้แจงฉบับที่ 2/2541-พระราชภาวนาวิสุทธิ์กับการถือครองที่ดิน [Announcement 2/2541-Phrarajbhavanavisudh and land ownership] (in Thai). Patumthani: Dhammakaya Foundation. Archived from the original on 12 March 2005.
- Scott 2009, p. 145.
- . Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 23 August 2006. p. 16
- Udomsi, Sawaeng (2000). "รายงานการพิจารณาดำเนินการ กรณีวัดพระธรรมกาย ตามมติมหาเถรสมาคม ครั้งที่ ๓๒/๒๕๔๑" [Report of Evaluation of the Treatment of the Case Wat Phra Dhammakaya-Verdict of the Supreme Sangha Council 32/2541 B.E.]. วิเคราะห์นิคหกรรม ธรรมกาย [Analysis of Disciplinary Transactions of Dhammakaya] (in Thai). Bangkok. pp. 81–5. ISBN 974-7078-11-2.
- Scott 2009, pp. 129, 137, 143.
- Chinmani, Vorawit (22 July 2015). เคลียร์ "คำวินิจฉัย" ปาราชิก [Clearing up the analysis of an offense leading to disrobing]. Thai PBS (in Thai).
- "Frequently Asked Questions". Dhammakaya Foundation. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
- Religious Affairs Department, Ministry of Education (Thailand) (7 March 1999). . Matichon (in Thai). p. 2. Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.
- The Nation. 26 May 1999. p. A6. Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- พระสังฆราชองค์ที่ ๒๐ [The 20th Sangharaja]. Thai PBS (in Thai). 18 December 2016. Event occurs at 9:12. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- Puengnet, Pakorn (10 December 1999). The Nation Group. p. 2. Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. ฺBangkok Biz News (in Thai).
- Bunnag, Sirikul (6 June 1999). Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. p. 3. Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 51.
- 18 ปีกับคดีพระธัมมชโย จบไหมที่รัฐบาลนี้? [18 years of lawsuits against Phra Dhammajayo: will it end with this government?]. VoiceTV (in Thai). Digital TV Network. 27 June 2016. Event occurs at 4:12. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- Scott 2009, p. 138.
- Scott 2009, p. 143.
- . Retrieved 13 February 2017 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 15 May 1999. p. 19
- Scott 2006, p. 223.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 53.
- Mackenzie 2007.
- Wiriyapanpongsa, Satien (13 December 2016). ล้วงลับจับธัมมชโย? ผ่าน 2 มุมมอง [Will Dhammajayo perish? From 2 perspectives]. PPTV (in Thai). Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- "Scandal over a monk's property". Asiaweek. CNN. 1999. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Neilan, Terence (26 August 1999). "Thailand: Monk ends standoff". The New York Times. Reuters. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- . Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon. 23 October 1999. p. 23
- Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 19 November 1999. p. 11. Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- พระสังฆราชองค์ที่ ๒๐ [The 20th Supreme Patriarch]. Thai PBS (in Thai). 25 January 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- The Nation. 1 September 1999. p. A2. Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- . Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Dokbia Thurakit (in Thai). 29 November 1999. p. 7
- Scott 2009, p. 139.
- . Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 15 September 1999. p. 24
- "Thai monk to stand down from temple duties". New Straits Times (413/12/99). The Associated Press. 7 October 1999. p. 19. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 53–4.
- Scott 2009, p. 154.
- "Controversial monk faces fresh charges". The Nation (Thailand). 26 April 2002. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007.
- Arpon, Yasmin Lee (11 July 2002). "Scandals Threaten Thai Monks' Future". SEAPA. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014.
- . Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Naew Na (in Thai). 23 August 2006. p. 1
- Kom Chad Luek (in Thai). The Nation Group. 19 June 2003. p. 3. Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Kom Chad Luek (in Thai). The Nation Group. 26 August 2003. p. 16. Retrieved 18 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Liebhold, David; Horn, Robert (28 June 1999). "Trouble in Nirvana". Time. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Naew Na, 8 December 1999, p. 7.
- Phraputthasat-mahabandit (14 June 1999). . Retrieved 11 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Dokbia Thurakit (in Thai). pp. 3–4
- Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 28 May 1999. p. 14. Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Khao Sod (in Thai). Matichon Publishing. 14 November 1999. p. 1. Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- The Nation (Thailand). 8 December 1999. p. 7 – via Matichon E-library..
- Naew Na, 8 December 1999, p. 1.
- Naphaket, Sakda (3 October 2001). ประกาศ [Announcement]. Siam Rath Sapdavichan (52/17691). Siam Rath. Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via dhammakaya.net.
- Srisuwan, Suchat (19 July 2003). . Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). p. 10
- Chairat, Krisana (21 June 2001). ประกาศ [Announcement]. Bangkok Biz News (in Thai). 14 (4655). The Nation Group. Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Dhammakaya Media Channel.
- Chairat, Krisana (24 June 2001). ประกาศ [Announcement]. Bangkok Biz News (in Thai). 14. The Nation Group. p. 11. Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Dhammakaya Media Channel.
- ประกาศ [Announcement]. Siam Rath. 16 September 2001. Retrieved 1 May 2016 – via dhammakaya.net.
- Daily News (Thailand) (in Thai). Si Phrayakarn. 14 November 2000. p. 2. Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- . Retrieved 1 November 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon. 28 June 1999
- Special event team of Naewna (28 April 2000). . Naewna (in Thai). p. 5 – via Matichon e-library.
- "From Mobile to Art: Boonchai of Thailand Opens Private Museum". Forbes Asia. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Matichon, 10 January 1999, p. 4.
- Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. 24 October 2000. p. 3. Retrieved 15 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Litalien 2010, p. 125.
- . Matichon (in Thai). 18 September 2000. p. 19 – via Matichon E-library.
- Litalien 2010, pp. 116–7, 120, 125, 156.
- McCargo, Duncan (1999). "The politics of Buddhism in Southeast Asia". In Haynes, Jeff. Religion, globalization and the political culture in the Third World. Basingstoke: Macmillan. p. 219. ISBN 9781349270385.
- . Retrieved 5 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 21 January 2002. p. 5
- . Retrieved 5 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Naew Na (in Thai). 17 February 2002. pp. 1–2
- Nemsiri, Mutukumara (1 February 2002). "Upasika Khun Yai, the founder of Dhammakaya". Daily News (Sri Lanka). Lake House. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
- Somsin, Benjawan (4 February 2002). The Nation (Thailand). p. 1. Retrieved 5 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- . Retrieved 5 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Dokbia Thurakit (in Thai). 28 January 2002. p. 1
- Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 2 February 2002. pp. 1, 16. Retrieved 5 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- . Retrieved 5 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 5 February 2002. p. 15
- Scott, Rachelle M. (2010). "Buddhism, miraculous powers, and gender: Rethinking the stories of Theravāda nuns". Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. 33 (1–2).
- Zehner 1990, p. 424.
- "List of World No Tobacco Day awardees-2004". World Health Organization. 17 September 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 71.
- Seeger 2006, p. 7.
- Litalien 2010, p. 153.
- ทหารสกลนครเทเหล้า เผาบุหรี่ งดเหล้าเข้าพรรษา [Sakon Nakhon's soldiers throw away their alcohol and cigarettes at start of Rains Retreat]. Nation TV (in Thai). The Nation Group. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- กิจกรรมเทเหล้าเผาบุหรี่ ปี 2559 [The Lao Phao Buri activities in 2016]. Paliang Padungsit School (in Thai). 2 June 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- Hills, Jonathan (5 April 2005). "CSR and the alcohol industry: a case study from Thailand". CSR Asia. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- Kazmin, Amy (19 March 2005). The Financial Times. Retrieved 29 November 2016..
- Inbaraj, Sonny (20 March 2005). "Thailand: Beer and Buddhism, a Definite No, Cry Conservatives". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- ขบวนการต้านน้ำเมา ร้อยบุปผาบานพร้อมพรัก ร้อยสำนักประชันเพื่อใคร? [Resistance against alcohol: a hundred flowers bloom fully, and for who do a hundred institutions compete?]. Nation Weekend (in Thai). The Nation Group. 4 March 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "Protests 'halt' Thai beer listing". BBC. 23 March 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- "5,000 Buddhists protest against listing breweries on Thai exchange". Today Online. Agence France-Presse. 20 July 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2016 – via The Buddhist Channel.
- Kazmin, Amy (4 January 2006). The Financial Times. Retrieved 29 November 2016..
- "Thai Bourse Chief Quits After Losing I.P.O. to a Rival". Financial Times. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2016 – via New York Times.
- Heikkilä-Horn 2015, p. 63.
- Scott 2009, p. 85.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 48, 63, 71.
- Newell 2008, p. 242.
- Mathes, Michael (3 August 2005). "In Thailand, British monk brings Buddhism to Westerners". Daily News. Lake House. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- Schedneck, Brooke (11 July 2016). "Thai Meditation Lineages Abroad: Creating Networks of Exchange". Contemporary Buddhism. 17 (2): 2–5. doi:10.1080/14639947.2016.1205767.
- Schedneck, Brooke (15 May 2015). "The Field of international Engagement With Thai Meditation Centers". Thailand's International Meditation Centers: Tourism and the Global Commodification of Religious Practices. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-44938-6.
- Litalien 2010, pp. 148–9.
- Thammachayō, Thattachīwō & Tawandhamma Foundation 2007, pp. 94–103.
- "Quick Look–Examination on World Peace". Daily News. Lake House. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
- "Thai court spares founder of Dhammakaya". Bangkok Post. 23 August 2006. Retrieved 11 September 2016 – via The Buddhist Channel.
- อนาคตธรรมกาย อนาคตประชาธิปไตย [The future of Dhammakaya, the future of democracy]. Thai PBS. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- Dubus, Arnaud (22 June 2016). "Controverse autour du temple bouddhique Dhammakaya: un bras de fer religieux et politique" [Controversy regarding the Dhammakaya Buddhist temple: A religious and political standoff]. Églises d'Asie (in French). Information Agency for Foreign Missions of Paris.
- Swearer 2010, p. 141.
- Scott 2009, pp. 155–6.
- "Thailand: Devotees block arrest of Dhammakaya temple abbot". BBC News. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Kom Chad Luek (in Thai). The Nation Group. 11 July 2006. p. 14. Retrieved 7 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- The Nation Group. 19 July 2006. p. 8. Retrieved 7 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Bangkok Biz News (in Thai).
- . Retrieved 7 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 12 July 2006. p. 11
- The Nation. 18 July 2006. p. 4. Retrieved 7 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- ประณีต อ่อนไหว ทำไม บุญชัย เบญจรงคกุล บาทก้าว ธรรมกาย [Refined and fast: Why does Boonchai Benjarongkul step in for Dhammakaya?]. Matichon (in Thai). 21 June 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
- Tan Hui Yee (23 June 2016). The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 16 November 2016..
- Rojanaphruk, Pravit (12 June 2016). "Yellow & Red Seen in Orange Folds of Dhammakaya Scandal". Khaosod. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Tostevin, Matthew; Satrusayang, Cod; Thempgumpanat, Panarat (24 February 2017). "The power struggle behind Thailand's temple row". Reuters. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Taylor, Jim (6 March 2017). "The perplexing case of Wat Dhammakaya". New Mandala. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- Seeger 2006, p. 1.
- Osthanon, Prapasri (30 January 1999). The Nation. The Nation Group. p. A1. Retrieved 13 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Taylor 2007, p. 9.
- Bansong, Aggarat (15 January 2013). "'One million children' join Buddhist meditation event". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- การตลาดธรรมกาย [Dhammakaya's marketing]. Channel 8 (Thailand) (in Thai). 26 February 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- . Retrieved 5 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Dokbia Thurakit (in Thai). 10 November 2003. p. 11
- . Retrieved 3 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 20 December 2014. p. 5
- Litalien 2010, p. 135.
- เปิดเบื้องหลัง นร.2 แสนแห่รับ [Behind the 200,000 schools lining up to receive [funds]]. Matichon (in Thai). 26 May 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- . Retrieved 3 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 23 May 2008. p. 13
- เร่งตรวจสอบ กรณีธรรมกาย [Pressing investigations into the case of Dhammakaya]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2016..
- "มาร์ค"จี้ศธ.เร่งเคลียรเอ็มโอยู"สพฐ.-ธรรมกาย" เลขาฯกพฐ.ปัดใช้ความสัมพันธ์ส่วนตัวปูทาง [Minister of Education urges his ministry to explain the MoU between OBEC and Dhammakaya, secr. OBEC denies personal involvement having been start]. Matichon (in Thai). 12 May 2010.
- The Nation (Thailand). 10 May 2010. p. 16. Retrieved 3 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Kritthaphat (9 September 2013). . Retrieved 24 November 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Lok Wannee (in Thai). pp. 2–3
- Education News Team (4 July 2009). "วัดโมลี-ธรรมกาย-ตากฟ้า-โสธร" คว้าบาลีดีเด่น [Wat Moli, Dhammakaya, Tak Fa and Sothorn obtain awards for excellent Pali]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- 43 หัวกะทิภิกษุ-สามเณร ผ่านประโยค 9 ปี 53 [43 top monks and novices obtain a ninth-level degree in 2010]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 6 March 2010.
- Wynne, Alexander. "The ur-text of the Pali Tipiṭaka: Some reflections based on new research into the manuscript tradition". Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- Gombrich, Richard (6 September 2015). "OCBS News March 2013–Tipitaka". Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. Oxford. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
- Wynne, Alexander (2013). "A Preliminary Report on the Critical Edition of the Pāli Canon being prepared at Wat Phra Dhammakāya". Thai International Journal of Buddhist Studies. IV: 167, 142–3. ISSN 2286-8348.
- พระพรหมโมลี ลั่นห้ามธรรมกายทำไตรปิฎกเพี้ยน. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- มมร.แฉ"วัดพระธรรมกาย"เร่งชำระพระไตรปิฎก แก้ ′อนัตตา′เป็น′อัตตา′ หวั่นทำพระพุทธศาสนาเสียหาย [Mahamakut Buddhist University exposes Wat Phra Dhammakaya quickly reviewing the Tipitaka, replacing 'anatta' with 'atta', shaking up and destroying Buddhism]. Matichon (in Thai). 23 March 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- Dye, Curtis A. (1 August 2014). "72nd Dhammachai Fellowship Announcement". Asian Languages & Literature. University of Washington. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "OCBS News". OCBS News. Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- The Nation Group. 26 April 2007. p. 15. Retrieved 8 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Bangkok Biz News.
- Srivalo, Piyanart; Butrsripoom, Atthayuth (26 April 2007). The Nation. pp. 1A, 4A. Retrieved 8 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Agarwal, Ruchi (2015). Linking Religions with Trade Networks and Their Marketing Infrastructure in Asia (PDF). The 2015 WEI International Academic Conference Proceedings, the West East Institute. Athens. p. 61.
- Kom Chad Luek, 24 February 2010, p. 32.
- . Banmuang (in Thai). 1 January 2014. p. 13 – via Matichon E-library.
- Litalien 2010, p. 148.
- Henton, George (26 November 2014). "In Pictures: 10,000 marching monks in Bangkok". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- ชมภาพชุด "ยิ่งลักษณ์ WHOLESALE -ธรรมกาย" ทำบุญตักบาตรพระสงฆ์ 22,600 รูป ฉลองพุทธชยันตี 2,600 ปี [Let's look at Yingluck giving alms to a Sangha of 22,600 monks, celebrating Buddhajayanti 2,600 years, this is wholesale for Dhammakaya]. Matichon (in Thai). 18 March 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- นายกฯ เป็นประธานตักบาตรพระสงฆ์ 22,600 รูป [PM is chairman in alms giving to 22,600 monks]. VoiceTV (in Thai). Digital TV Network. 18 March 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- วัดพระธรรมกายแจงกรณีธุดงค์ทำจราจรติดขัด เผย "โน้ส" ผูกพันกับวัดมายาวนานกว่า 10 ปี [Wat Phra Dhammakaya makes statement about Dhutanga and traffic jams, reveals that Udom is fond of temple for over 10 years]. The Nation (Thailand) (in Thai). 6 April 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2016 – via Matichon.
- "Thailand Floods 4". The Associated Press. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- 7อ.ปทุมฯวิกฤติ น้ำสูงกว่า3ม. 'ลำลูกกา'ไม่ได้รับความช่วยเหลือ [Crisis in 7 municipalities in Patumthani: water higher than 3 m, Lamlukka has not received help]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- . Retrieved 2 December 2012 – via Matichon E-library.. Naew Na (in Thai). 31 October 2011. p. 17
- "Flooding threatens Bangkok". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System. 24 October 2011. Image 2. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Bangkok flood barriers hold firm". Express. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- น้ำท่วมปทุมธานีเร่ิมลด คาดอีก2สัปดาห์จะกลับสู่ปกติ [Flood levels in Pathumthani are falling, within 2 weeks back to normal]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- The Nation. 18 October 2011. p. 14. Retrieved 2 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 8 February 2012. p. 15. Retrieved 2 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Kom Chad Luek, 24 February 2010, p. 31.
- Swatman, Rachel (4 November 2015). "Buddhist monks complete longest journey walking on flower petals across Thailand". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- ธุดงค์ธรรมชัย วัดพระธรรมกาย, ประเด็นข่าวรอบวัน [The Dhammachai Dhutanga, Wat Phra Dhammakaya, and other news today]. Channel 3 (Thailand) (in Thai). 2 March 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- ธุดงค์ธรรมชัย พื้นที่ 6 จว.น้ำท่วม ปัดเป่าผองภัย-สร้างบุญใหญ่ให้แผ่นดิน [Dhammachai Dhutanga in the 6 flooded provinces: ridding the land of dangers, doing a great merit for the country]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- Nukaew, N. (27 January 2014). . Retrieved 24 November 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Pim Thai (in Thai). p. 7
- Suthassanachinda, Sorayuth (4 February 2015). 2 มุมมอง ธุดงค์ธรรมกาย [2 perspectives on the Dhammachai Dhutanga]. Channel 3 (Thailand) (in Thai). Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- The Nation (Thailand). 5 April 2012. p. 15. Retrieved 3 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- Bangkok Post. 5 April 2012. p. 3. Retrieved 3 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library..
- พศ.-ธรรมกายแจงธุดงค์กลางกรุง ไม่ผิดหลักศาสนา [ONB and Dhammakaya state that city dhutanga is not violating Buddhist principles]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- Ekmahasawat, Danai (24 December 2015). ถอดรหัสขึ้นป้ายค้าน "ธรรมกาย" ธุดงค์ธรรมยาตรา [Unraveling the riddle of the signs protesting Dhammakaya's Dhutanga Dhamma Journey]. Spring News (in Thai). Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- Society News Department (31 December 2015). ปีหน้า ไม่ให้ธรรมกายจัดเดินธุดงค์ในกรุงเทพฯ [Next year, Dhammakaya not allowed to walk dhutanga in Bangkok]. Thai News Agency (in Thai). Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- ย้อนรอยธุดงค์ธรรมกาย [Retracing the Dhammachai Dhutanga]. Nation TV (Thailand) (in Thai). 1 January 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- Dubus, Arnaud (11 November 2014). "Pour approfondir-Bouddhisme et politique en Thaïlande" [In depth-Buddhism and politics in Thailand]. Églises d'Asie (in French). Information Agency for Foreign Missions of Paris.
- McCargo 2012, pp. 631–2, 641.
- McCargo 2012, p. 641.
- "The Crisis in Thai Buddhism". Asia Sentinel. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- "'Steve Jobs now an angel living in parallel universe'". Sify. New Delhi. Asian News International. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- ธรรมกายแจงปมภัยศาสนา [Dhammakaya responds to issues that threaten [Buddhist] religion]. Thai News Agency. 3 June 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- กระฉ่อนโลกออนไลน์ ธรรมกายเผย'สตีฟ จ็อบส์'ตายแล้วไปไหน [Circulating through the online world: Dhammakaya reveals where Steve Jobs went after his death]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- Chantarasiri, Ruangyot (27 August 2012). . Retrieved 3 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Lok Wannee (in Thai). p. 2
- Hookway, James (31 August 2012). "Thai Group Says Steve Jobs Reincarnated as Warrior-Philosopher". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Swearer 2010, p. 138.
- Litalien 2010, p. 145.
- . Retrieved 3 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Prachachat Thurakit (in Thai). 28 April 2014. p. 11
- . Retrieved 3 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Pim Thai (in Thai). 24 April 2013. p. 7
- de Silva, Neville (13 February 2009). "LTTE preventing civilians leaving war zone, Prime Minister tells Thai counterpart". Daily News. Lake House. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- Tan Hui Yee (25 February 2016). The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 16 November 2016..
- Wechsler, Maxmilian (10 May 2009). Bangkok Post. p. 6 – via Matichon e-library..
- Dubus, Arnaud (18 January 2016). "La Thaïlande se déchire à propos de la nomination du chef des bouddhistes" [Thailand is torn about the appointment of a Buddhist leader]. Églises d'Asie (in French). Information Agency for Foreign Missions of Paris.
- Thamnukasetchai, Piyanuch (28 February 2015). "Thai abbot to be probed over massive donations". The Nation (Thailand). Asia News Network – via Asia One.
- Iamrasmi, Jirachata (23 July 2015). "เคลียร์ "คำวินิจฉัย" ปาราชิก "พระธัมมชโย"" [Clearing up the analysis of an offense leading to disrobing]. Thai PBS (in Thai).
- Laopet, Jomquan (23 February 2015). สง(ฆ์)สัยสงฆ์? [Is the Sangha in doubt about the Sangha?]. Kom Chad Luek (in Thai). The Nation Group. Event occurs at 18:37. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
- . Matichon (in Thai). 23 February 2015. p. 12 – via Matichon E-library.
- "Investigation of Phra Dhammachayo continues". The Nation (Thailand). 11 February 2016.
- Constant, Max (2016-02-27). "Controversial Thai temple denies involvement in politics". Anadolu Agency. Bangkok. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- McCargo 2012, p. 635.
- Wongcha-um, Panu (5 February 2016). "Thai monks protest against state interference in Buddhist governance". Channel News Asia. Mediacorp. Retrieved 2016-08-28.
- ปฏิรูปศาสนาหรือไล่ล่าธรรมกาย [Reforming religion or hunting down Dhammakaya?]. Voice TV (in Thai). Digital TV Network. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- Yimprasert, Sutchchai (27 February 2017). ธรรมกายในประวัติศาสตร์ [The history of Dhammakaya]. Lok Wan Nee (in Thai). Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Phaka, Kham (16 June 2016). ปัญหาธรรมกายสะท้อนข้อจำกัดอำนาจรัฐรวมศูนย์ [Problems with Dhammakaya reflect limitations in the government's centralizing efforts]. Voice TV (in Thai). Digital TV Network. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- Panichkul, Intarachai (8 June 2016). วิพากษ์ "ปรากฎการณ์โค่นธรรมกาย" สุรพศ ทวีศักดิ์ [Surapot Tawisak: commenting on the fall of Dhammakaya]. Post Today (in Thai). The Post Publishing. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- . Retrieved 25 January 2017 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 4 June 2015. p. 12
- . Retrieved 25 January 2017 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 8 June 2015. pp. 8–9
- Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016..
- Holmes, Oliver (29 March 2016). "Top Thai Buddhist monk investigated over vintage Mercedes-Benz". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Deechuay, Anapat; Samerp, Sakda (12 July 2016). "Prayut refuses to submit nomination of Somdet Chuang as Supreme Patriarch". The Nation (Thailand). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- เลื่อนสั่งคดีครั้งแรก รถโบราณสมเด็จช่วง [First hearing vintage car Somdet Chuang postponed]. Kom Chad Luek. The Nation Group. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- สั่งไม่ฟ้องหลวงพี่แป๊ะคดีรถโบราณหรูสมเด็จช่วง ชี้ไม่มีหลักฐานรู้เห็นเอกชนเสียภาษีไม่ถูกต้อง [Issuing non-prosecution order for Luang Phi Pae in lawsuit vintage car Somdet Chuang, no evidence of awareness of private company paying taxes incorrectly]. Thai PBS (in Thai). 12 January 2017.
- ไพบูลย์ยก 3 ข้อ สังคมแคลงใจ สมเด็จช่วงปมซุกรถหรู. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- Dubus, Arnaud (2 January 2017). "La junte amende la loi monastique pour écarter Somdet Chuang de la direction de l'Eglise bouddhique" [The junta amends the monastic law to remove Somdet Chuang from the leadership of the Buddhist religion]. Eglises d'Asie (in French). Paris Foreign Missions Information Agency. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- The Nation. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017..
- พิษเงินบริจาคพันล้าน [Poisonous donations of a billion baht]. Thai PBS (in Thai). 2 May 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. Lay summary – Dhammakaya Uncovered (21 April 2016).
- ฟังทนายพระธัมมชโย แจงคดีร้อน [Let's listen to the lawyer of Phra Dhammajayo, providing information about a controversial lawsuit]. Spring News (in Thai). 28 April 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2016. Lay summary – Dhammakaya Uncovered (21 April 2016).
- ธรรมกายคืนผู้เสียหายเงินสหกรณ์หมดจริงหรือไม่ [Did Dhammakaya really return all the credit union money to those affected?]. Bright TV (in Thai). 6 May 2016. Event occurs at 3:12. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
- "Thai abbot to be probed over massive donations". AsiaOne. 10 May 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
- Dantamano, Phra Pasura (3 May 2016). "Press Release" (PDF). Dhammakaya Foundation. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Devotees of Wat Phra Dhammakaya (9 December 2016). "Petition to HM The King from devotees of Wat Phra Dhammakaya" (PDF). Dhammakaya Foundation. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Wuttiwangso, Phra Sanitwong (14 June 2016). "Wat Phra Dhammakaya Press Release" (PDF). Translated by Dantamano, Phra Pasura. Dhammakaya Foundation. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "Police raid Thai temple in search of wanted monk". Thai PBS. 16 June 2016 – via Associated Press.
- Thana, CS; Constant, Max. "Thai police blocked from arresting controversial abbot". Anadolu Agency. Bangkok. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Yee, Tan Hui (28 May 2016). The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 11 November 2016..
- ธัมมชโย (ไม่) ผิด? [Is Dhammajayo at fault?]. Spring News (in Thai). 6 May 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- Ekmahasawat, Danai (5 June 2016). ธรรมกาย...ปัดรับ ความปราถนา (ดี) DSI? [Does Dhammakaya deny DSI's (good) intentions?]. Spring News (in Thai). Event occurs at 5:50. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- Cochrane, Liam (4 June 2016). "Thailand standoff: a monk's refusal to explain police questions about money laundering". ABC News. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Chimmani, Worawit (16 May 2016). จบเกมสู้คดีพระธัมมชโย เคลียร์ข้อข้องใจ บิดเบือน...? [The end of Phra Dhammajayo's lawsuit: Clearing up the question whether [teachings are] distorted]. Thai PBS (in Thai). Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- Aphiwan, Phuttha (25 May 2016). ธัมมชโย เส้นตาย...มอบตัว [Dhammajayo at the finish line... surrendering]. Amarin (in Thai). Retrieved 17 November 2016.
- ทุจริต อผศ.และกรณีพระธัมมชโย [The illegal practices of the War Veterans Organization of Thailand and Phra Dhammajayo's case]. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
- "เสรีพิศุทธ์ให้สัมภาษณ์คดี โจ ด่านช้าง กรณีวิสามัญ_ฆาตกรรม ฉบับเต็ม 32 นาที" [Seripisut has an interview about Cho Danchang's lawsuit, the problem of legal killing]. Seree Voice. subtitled here. 24 June 2016. Event occurs at 26:42. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
- ย้อนหลัง สนง.คดีอาญาเผย DSI จะส่งพระธัมมชโยฟ้องศาลไม่ได้หากคดีไม่มีมูล [Review: Office of Criminal Law states DSI cannot charge Phra Dhammajayo if lawsuit is baseless]. TNN24 (in Thai). subtitled here. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016 – via Bright TV.
- Chatmontri, Winyat (23 May 2016). หมายจับพระธัมมชโย กับความชอบธรรมของดีเอสไอ [Arrest warrant of Phra Dhammajayo and DSI's justice]. Prachatai. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- Wiriyaphanphongsa, Satian (30 May 2016). หมายจับบนศรัทธา "พระธัมมชโย" [Arrest warrants and faith: Phra Dhammajayo]. PPTV (Thailand) (in Thai). Bangkok Media and Broadcasting.
- Kayasit, Chanchai; Khumthamphinit, Parinda (18 November 2016). หมายจับ “พระธัมมชโย” บทพิสูจน์ กฎหมาย–ศรัทธา [Arrest warrant Dhammajayo: law versus faith put to the test]. PPTV (Thailand) (in Thai). Bangkok Media and Broadcasting.
- Wijitpracha, Anan; Th, Piyanuch (23 June 2016). "Phra Dhammachayo's disciples accuse DSI of double standards". The Nation (Thailand).
- Deng, Shasha (12 July 2010). "Thai special investigation team must politically [be] freed: Senior official [says]". Xinhua. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- Apiwan, Puttha (16 December 2016). เรา(ไม่)เชื่อมั่นในความบริสุทธิ์ ของหลวงพ่อธัมมชโย [We are (not) confident about Luang Por Dhammajayo's innocence]. Amarin (in Thai). Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Laopet, Jomquan (16 December 2016). จากใจศิษย์วัดพระธรรมกาย [Wat Phra Dhammakaya's students speak from their heart]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Rojanaphruk, Pravit (18 December 2016). "A Look Inside the Besieged Wat Dhammakaya". Khao Sod English. Matichon Publishing. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- "Meditating devotees shield scandal-hit abbot from Thai police". Channel News Asia. Mediacorp. Reuters. 16 June 2016. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016.
- Ekmahasawat, Danai; Mahitthiruk, Omonrat (16 June 2016). เปิด! 5 แกนนำ "ธรรมกาย" [The 5 leaders of Dhammakaya revealed]. Spring News (in Thai). Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- Chimmani, Worawit (27 June 2016). ศิษย์ธรรมกาย "เคลียร์" ข้อครหา "สหกรณ์ฯ คลองจั่น-กำแพงมนุษย์" [Dhammakaya's followers clear up the accusations about the Klongchan Credit Union and the human shield]. Thai PBS (in Thai). Retrieved 12 November 2016.
- Aphiwan, Phuttha (16 June 2016). มองปรากฏการณ์ยุติจับธัมมชโย เพราะโล่มนุษย์ [A perspective on the ending of the arrest of Dhammajayo, because of a row of people]. Amarin (in Thai). Retrieved 12 November 2016.
- "Thai police prepare to raid scandal-hit temple". Otago Daily Times. Allied Press. Reuters. 16 June 2016.
- Klikrajai, Suphap (16 June 2016). ขีดเส้นใต้เมืองไทย: วิเคราะห์ปฏิบัติการ กบิล 59 [Underlining Thailand: analysis of the ฺBill 59 Mission]. The Nation (Thailand) (in Thai). Event occurs at 3:55. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- Taengkhieo, Kesinee; Tamnukasetchai, Piyanuch (8 November 2016). "Public prosecutors to delay Dhammachayo indictment decision again to Nov 30". The Nation (Thailand). Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing..
- ธรรมกายแถลง อ้างสมัชชาสงฆ์โลกร้องนายกฯให้ความเป็นธรรม [Dhammakaya announces to ask the Theravada Buddhist Sangha Council to insist the Prime Minister acts fairly]. NOW 26 (in Thai). 31 May 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- รายงานสด บรรยากาศสดจากวัดพระธรรมกาย [Live: The atmosphere at Wat Phra Dhammakaya]. New TV (in Thai). 31 May 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- ตั้งรักษาการเจ้าอาวาสธรรมกาย [Acting abbot Dhammakaya appointed]. The Nation (Thailand) (in Thai). 9 July 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- Kanha, Wiranan (11 July 2016). ไม่ใช่ครั้งแรก! ตั้งรักษาการแทนเจ้าอาวาสวัดพระธรรมกาย [Not the first time! Acting abbot Wat Phra Dhammakaya appointed]. Voice TV (in Thai). Digital TV Network. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- . Retrieved 10 December 2016.. Post Today (in Thai). The Post Publishing. 9 December 2016
- Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. 6 July 2016..
- Tamnukasetchai, Piyanuch (23 August 2016). "Dhammakaya lawyer, M-home board members hear charges". The Nation (Thailand). Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Ekmahasawat, Danai (28 June 2016). เจ้าสัวบุญชัย + เสรีพิศุทธ์ "ศึกธรรมกายยกระดับ" [Bunchai and Seriput: the Dhammakaya battle is taken to a new level]. Spring News (in Thai). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- ตรวจสอบสาขาวัดพระธรรมกาย มาตรการกดดัน "พระธัมมชโย" [Checking Wat Phra Dhammakaya's branches: A judicial way to pressurize Phra Dhammajayo]. Thai PBS (in Thai). 18 July 2016.
- Ekmahasawat, Danai; Mahitthiruk, Amonrat. เปิด 3 หมายจับ "ธัมมชโย" [3 arrest warrants for Dhammajayo explained]. Spring News (in Thai). Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- “ศรีวราห์”จัดทัพ บุกธรรมกาย เส้นตาย10ธันวามอบตัว [Sirawa organizes police force to enter Dhammakaya, 10 December deadline to surrender]. Banmuang (in Thai). 3 December 2016. Archived from the original on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Dhammachayo agrees to surrender provided he is granted bail". Thai PBS. 3 December 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016 – via Pattaya Mail.
- Wongyala, Pongpat (4 December 2016). Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. Retrieved 4 December 2016..
- Wongyala, Pongpat (19 December 2016). "Police demand cooperation from abbot". Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- ถอดผังวัดพระธรรมกาย ย้ายมวลชน เตรียมรับมือการตรวจค้น [Analyzing a map of Wat Phra Dhammakaya: moving people, preparing for searches]. PPTV (in Thai). Bangkok Media and Broadcasting. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Prateepchaikul, Veera (19 December 2016). "Temple drama a tale of ineptness". Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Macan-Markar, Marwaan (25 Jan 2017). "Thai junta in showdown at Buddhist temple gates". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 29 Jan 2017.
- "Thai temple says not resisting legal process of abbot". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- The Nation. 17 December 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2016..
- Wiriyapongsa, Satian (16 December 2016). ตัดแขนขาวัดพระธรรมกาย [Removing Wat Phra Dhammakaya's limbs]. PPTV (in Thai). Bangkok Media and Broadcasting. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Murdoch, Lindsay (2016-12-27). "Police delay raid on Thailand's largest temple after stand-off with monks". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "308 criminal cases filed against Dhammakaya Temple". The Nation. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Paka, Kham (20 February 2017). พุทธศาสนา: เลือกที่ใช่เลือกที่ชอบไม่ต้องทะเลาะกัน [Buddhism, choose your preference and don't fight about it]. Voice TV (in Thai). Digital TV Network. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- วัดพระธรรมกายสวดธัมจักรกัปปวัตนสูตร 1 ล้านจบ [Wat Phra Dhammakaya chants the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta one million times]. PPTV (Thailand) (in Thai). 19 July 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- Bechert, Heinz (2004). "Life of the Buddha" (PDF). In Buswell, Robert E. Jr. Encyclopedia of Buddhism. 1. Farmington Hills: Thomson-Gale. p. 84. ISBN 0-02-865719-5.
- Chotsiripornrit, Natchapan. ปิดทีวีธรรมกาย ชนวนเหตุระดมพล [Closing down channel Dhammakaya, reason used for mobilizing]. VoiceTV (in Thai). Digital TV Network. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. 8 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016..
- Rojanaphruk, Pravit (16 February 2017). "Dhammakaya Says Govt Siege Not "Buddhist Way"". Khao Sod English. Matichon Publishing. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Laohong, King-oua (16 February 2017). "Assault on Dhammakaya temple 'imminent'". Bangkok Post. Post Publishing. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Police enter temple, search for Phra Dhammajayo begins". Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Special investigation department summons top temple monks". Asia One. Singapore Press Holdings. Asia News Network. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Kaewjinda, Dow (17 February 2017). "Thai police empty-handed so far in search for prominent monk". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Thousands of Thais obstruct search for wanted monk". Al Jazeera. 19 February 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Special investigation department summons top temple monks". Asia One. Singapore Press Holdings. Asia News Network. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Charuvastra, Teeranai (19 February 2017). "Dhammakaya Supporters Defy Order to Leave; DSI to Withdraw Forces". Khao Sod English. Matichon Publishing. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Thousands of Thais obstruct search for wanted monk". Al Jazeera. 19 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Dhammakaya temple monks to see help from UN". Asia One. Singapore Press Holdings. Asia News Network. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- สุวพันธุ์ ยันค้นธรรมกายไม่มีเส้นตาย จะทำให้ธรรมกายเหมือนวัดปกติทั่วไป [Suwapan confirms to set no deadline for search Dhammakaya, will change Dhammakaya into a normal temple]. The Nation TV (in Thai). The Nation Group. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- 9.00 INDEX มาตรา 44 กับสถานการณ์ธรรมกาย ยกระดับการเมืองเข้าไปสู่การทหาร [Level 9 on the Section 44 Index in the Dhammakaya situation: from politics to military action]. Matichon Online (in Thai). 17 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- คนตั้งตัวเป็นพุทธแท้ ไม่แน่ว่าจะเป็นพุทธแท้จริง [If someone establishes himself as a true Buddhist, he may not always be one]. Voice TV (in Thai). Digital TV Network. February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
- Palatino, Mong. "Thailand's New Constitution: A Threat to Religious Freedom?". The Diplomat. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Can Thailand tolerate more than one form of Buddhism?". New Mandala. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Yee, Tan Hui (28 February 2017). "A gruelling, surreal and potentially sinister stand-off". The Straits Times. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- ดีเอสไอตัดสัญญาณโทรศัพท์วัดพระธรรมกาย [DSI cuts off Wat Phra Dhammakaya's telephone signal]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Holmes, Oliver (10 March 2017). "Thai authorities seek to defrock scandal-hit Buddhist abbot". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- Rojanaphruk, Pravit (4 March 2017). "Al Jazeera's Report on Dhammakaya Chopped by TrueVisions". Khao Sod English. Matichon Publishing. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "Dhammakaya follower dies of asthma after ambulance stopped by troops: monk spokesman". The Nation. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- Mokkhasen, Sasiwan (25 February 2017). "Protester Commits Suicide Outside Wat Dhammakaya". Khao Sod English. Matichon Publishing. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Bangkok Post. Post Publishing. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2017..
- "Temple search ends with no signs of Phra Dhammajayo". Bangkok Post. Post Publishing. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- "Thai police end search of temple without finding monk". Reuters. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- "DSI prepares for "full scale" raid after talks break down". The Nation. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- รุมจวกรัฐบาลทหาร เผด็จการ คสช.เกินเหตุ ม.44 กวาดล้างวัดพระธรรมกาย [Many criticizing junta, NCPO too authoritarian, using Section 44 to eradicate Wat Phra Dhammakaya]. Peace TV (in Thai). 20 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017 – via Freedom Thailand.
- "Thai PM not to revoke order over controversial temple until ex-abbot surrenders". Xinhua. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017 – via Global Times.
- Praiwan, Phra Maha (25 February 2017). คณะสงฆ์ยังอยู่ภายใต้อำนาจรัฐ [The Sangha is still under the state's control]. Lok Wannee (in Thai). Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Petchpradap, Jom (24 February 2017). กำจัดธรรมกายทำลายพุทธศาสนา หนทางสร้างอำนาจควบคุมคนไทย [Removing Dhammakaya and destroying Buddhism: the path to gaining power to control Thai people]. Jom Voice (in Thai). Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Thailand's junta feuds with an influential Buddhist sect". The Economist. Patumthani. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Hay, Wayne (22 February 2017). "Dhammakaya temple and Thailand's saffron resistance". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- McCready, Alastair (23 February 2017). "Monks in standoff with Thai military junta". The World Weekly. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Corben, Ron. "Thai Authorities Continue Standoff at Buddhist Temple". VOA. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Misguided Section 44 use". Bangkok Post. Post Publishing. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Dhammakaya saga's cost is too high". Bangkok Post. Post Publishing. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- Charuvastra, Teeranai. "HM King strips dhammajayo of monk title". Khao Sod English. Matichon Publishing.
- "Thai king strips monastic title from wanted Buddhist abbot". Star Tribune. Associated Press. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- รัฐบาลเผย เจอตัวพระธัมมชโยเมื่อไรจับสึกทันที [Thai government reveals they will immediately defrock Phra Dhammajayo if they find him]. BBC Thai (in Thai). 6 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Arpon, Yasmin Lee (10 March 2017). "Thailand ends hunt for fugitive monk at temple, but continues search elsewhere". The Straits Times. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Temple money "invested in shares"". The Nation. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Thailand seeks new abbot for scandal-hit Buddhist temple". Reuters. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Thai police say they have found plot to kill prime minister". Reuters. 19 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- Petchpradap, Jom (19 March 2017), "โกตี๋ โต้ทหารไทยขาย "โง่" จัดฉากไม่เนียน เผยแผนสร้างสหพันธรัฐไทย" [Kotee replies Thai army is "stupid", sets up implausible scene, and Kotee reveals plan to start Federal State of Thailand], Jomvoice (in Thai), retrieved 24 March 2017
- "Thai junta replaces director of Buddhism department with policeman". Reuters India. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- Chalermsripinyorat, Rungrawee (2002). "Doing the Business of Faith: The Capitalistic Dhammakaya Movement and the Spiritually-thirsty Thai Middle Class" (PDF). Manusya: Journal of Humanities. 5 (1): 14–20.
- Scott 2009, p. 3.
- Jackson, Peter A. (11 January 1999). "Royal spirits, Chinese gods, and magic monks: Thailand's boom-time religions of prosperity". South East Asia Research. IP Publishing. 7 (3): 246. JSTOR 23746841.
- Scott 2009, pp. 3, 13, 132.
- McCargo, Duncan (2001). Reforming Thai politics. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. p. 6. ISBN 8787062941.
- ปมวัดธรรมกาย-สะเทือนรัฐบาล? [The issue of Wat Dhammakaya: is the government shocked?]. Khao Sod (in Thai) (9581). Matichon Publishing. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Scott, Rachelle M. (2014). "Merit and the Search for Inner Peace: The Discourses and Technologies of Dhammakaya Proselytization.". In Hackett, Rosalind I.J. Proselytization Revisited: Rights Talk, Free Markets and Culture Wars. Routledge. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-317-49109-5.
- Kao, Grace Y.M. (2014). "The logic of anti-proselytization, revisited". In Hackett, Rosalind I.J. Proselytization Revisited: Rights Talk, Free Markets and Culture Wars. Routledge. pp. 79–82, 87–91. ISBN 978-1-317-49109-5.
- Zehner 2013, p. 192.
- Taylor 2007, pp. 8–9.
- Vasi 1998, p. 29.
- Scott 2009, pp. passim.
- Goodman, Charles (2009). Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-988845-0.
- Davis, Winston (1987). "Wealth" (PDF). In Jones, Lindsay. Encyclopedia of Religion. 14 (2 ed.). Detroit: Thomson Gale. p. 9708. ISBN 0-02-865983-X.
- Scott 2009, pp. 30–2, 97.
- Scott 2009, pp. 90–1, 126.
- Skilling 2005, p. 9833.
- Kittiwongsakul, Pornchai (7 March 2016). Stratfor. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 25 December 2016 – via The Manila Times..
- Cousins, L.S. (1996). Skorupski, T., ed. The Origins of Insight Meditation. The Buddhist Forum: Seminar Papers, 1994–1996. London: University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. p. 39.
- Cousins, L.S. (1997). "Aspects of Esoteric Southern Buddhism". In Connolly, Peter; Hamilton, Sue. Indian insights: Buddhism, Brahamanism and bhakti (PDF). London: Luzac Oriental. p. 188. ISBN 1-898942-15-3.
- McCargo, Duncan (2016). Haynes, Jeff, ed. The politics of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. Religion, Globalization and Political Culture in the Third World. Springer. p. 219. ISBN 978-1-349-27038-5.
- Aglionby, John (26 March 1999). "A case of greed or bad karma?". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Scott 2009.
- Tanakasempipat, Patpicha; Kittisilpa, Juarawee; Thepgumpanat, Panarat (22 April 2016). Lefevre, Amy Sawitta, ed. "Devotees at Thai temple give alms to tens of thousands of Buddhist monks". Reuters. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
- "Men-at-alms". The Economist. Patumthani. 2 April 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
- Mérieau, Eugénie (4 April 2015). "De la récupération politique du bouddhisme" [About the political recovery of Buddhism]. Gavroche (in French) – via Alter Asia.
- McCargo 2012, p. 638.
- "Why the DSI want Dhammakaya Abbot (English Subs)", Thai Rath, 25 February 2017, retrieved 9 March 2017
- "Thai police pursue Buddhist monk with new arrest warrant". Reuters. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- Scott 2009, p. 39–41.
- Newell 2008.
- Litalien 2010, pp. 121, 124.
- McCargo, Duncan (August 2004). "Buddhism, democracy and identity in Thailand" (PDF). Democratization. 11 (4): 165. doi:10.1080/1351034042000234576.
- McCargo, Duncan (7 January 2009). "Thai Buddhism, Thai Buddhists and the southern conflict". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 40 (1): 7. doi:10.1017/S0022463409000010.
- สปช.บี้สอบมหาเถร ส่อบาน สงฆ์นัดระดมโต้ ระบุการเมืองก้าวก่ายศาสนา [NRC pushes to investigate Sangha Council, in meantime, Sangha comes together and points out politics involved in religion]. Khao Sod (in Thai). Matichon Publishing. 22 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- Heikkilä-Horn 1996, p. 97.
- Snodgrass 2003, pp. 180–1.
- Litalien 2010, p. 145 n.39.
- Scott 2009, pp. 48, 53–6, 87.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 67, 194–5.
- Scott 2006, pp. 216, 222.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 127.
- Scott 2009, p. 65.
- Scott 2009, pp. 57–8.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 37–8.
- . Retrieved 2 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Naew Na (in Thai). 22 March 2014. p. 21
- . Retrieved 12 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Dokbia Thurakit (in Thai). 15 March 1999. pp. 5–6
- Irons 2008, p. 500.
- Buaban, Jesada (August 2016). (pdf). The science of remembering and the art of forgetting 2nd conference (in Thai). Songkhla-Nakharin University, Songkhla: Southeast Asian Studies Program, Walailak University.
- Petchpradap, Jom (20 February 2016). "สุรพศ ทวีศักดิ์ วิเคราะห์ อิทธิพลธรรมกายเป็นภัยจริงหรือ?" [Surapot Taweesak analyzes if Dhammakaya's influence is truly dangerous]. Jomvoice (in Thai). Retrieved 17 March 2017.
- Newell 2008, p. 82.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 76.
- Scott 2009, pp. 66, 79.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 82–4.
- Tanabe, Shigeharu (2016). "Resistance through Meditation: Hermits of King's Mountain in Northern Thailand". In Oscar Salemink. Scholarship and Engagement in Mainland Southeast Asia: A festschrift in honor of Achan Chayan Vaddhanaphuti. Silkworm Books. ISBN 9786162151187.
- Newell 2008, p. 256.
- Scott 2009, p. 80.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 84.
- Zehner 2005.
- Fuengfusakul 1993.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 103.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 88.
- Cheng, Tun-jen; Brown, Deborah A. (2015). Religious Organizations and Democratization: Case Studies from Contemporary Asia. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-46105-0.
- Scott, Rachelle M. (2016). "Contemporary Thai Buddhism". In Jerryson, Michael. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism. Oxford University Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-19-936238-7.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 32–3.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 99–101.
- Newell 2008, p. 235.
- Zehner 1990.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 31.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 173.
- Harvey 2013, p. 390.
- Thanavuddho, Phra Somchai (1999). นิพพานเป็นอัตตาหรืออนัตตา [Is Nibbana atta or anatta?]. Bangkok: Pradipat. ISBN 974-7308-18-5.
- Scott 2009, p. 77.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 95–6.
- Harvey 2013, p. 389.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 171.
- McDaniel 2010, p. 662.
- Zehner 1990, p. 416.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 172.
- Litalien 2010, p. 133.
- Scott 2009, p. 56.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 101–3.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 103–4.
- Taylor 1989, p. 124.
- Litalien 2010, p. 110.
- Taylor 1989, p. 123.
- Scott 2009, pp. 55, 92.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 167.
- Scott 2009, pp. 17, 52, 103.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 74.
- Seeger 2006, pp. 1, 6.
- Harvey 2013, pp. 390–1.
- Satha-Anand 1990, p. 400.
- Mackenzie 2007, p. 88.
- Scott 2009, p. 55.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 70–7.
- เจาะโครงสร้างอำนาจอาณาจักรธรรมกาย [The Dhammakaya world's structure in depth]. Now 26 (in Thai). Bangkok Business Broadcasting, The Nation Group. 24 February 2017. Event occurs at 1:10. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 69, 89, 96.
- Aphiwan, Phuttha (2 June 2016). สอนธรรมโดยธัมมชโย อวดอุตริ? [Dhammachayo's Dhamma teaching: claiming superior human states?]. Amarin TV (in Thai). Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- ไขเสียงสวรรค์ธรรมกาย วลีเด็"ชิตัง เม โป้งรวย" [Deciphering Dhammakaya's one-liner "Cittam me, bang, rich!"]. Daily News (Thailand) (in Thai). Sri Phrayakarn Pim. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Rhys Davids, Thomas W.; Stede, William (1921). The Pali-English Dictionary (1 ed.). Chipstead: Pali Text Society. pp. 76–7. ISBN 9788120811447.
- Sritong-on 2004, p. 40, 43–4, 160.
- Sritong-on 2004, pp. passim.
- Sritong-on 2004, p. 54.
- Matichon, 10 January 1999, p. 3.
- Scott 2009, pp. 83, 103.
- Speece, Mark (13 July 2015). Urban Middle-Class Buddhist Reform Movements in Thailand: Economic Systems and Business Ethics. Proceedings of the 41st Annual Macromarketing Conference. Berlin: Social Science Research Network. pp. 287–8. SSRN . Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- Litalien 2010, pp. 141, 147.
- Bhumi-anand, Petchara. Buddhism and Economy : A Case Study on Economic ideas of Buddhist Devotees of Wat Phradhammakaya and Santi Asoke Buddhist Center (M.A. thesis). Mahidol University, Comparative Religion.
- Zehner 1990, p. 417.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 44, 46, 87–8.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 181.
- Scott 2009, p. 82.
- Zehner 2013, p. 196.
- Taylor 2007, p. 8.
- Thammachayō, Thattachīwō & Tawandhamma Foundation 2007, p. 53.
- . Retrieved 15 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Matichon (in Thai). 27 December 1999. p. 20
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 48, 59.
- Sritong-on 2004, pp. 56–7, 160, 194.
- Taylor 1989, p. 122.
- Seeger 2006, p. 9.
- Litalien 2010, p. 124.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 61, 92.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 95–8.
- Newell 2008, p. 17.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 40–1, 132.
- แกะรอยคดี 'พระธัมมชโย' ฟอกเงินรับของโจร [Analysis of Phra Dhammajayo's lawsuit of money laundering and ill-gotten gains]. Voice TV (in Thai). Digital TV Network. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- Litalien 2010, p. 134.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, pp. 154, 160.
- Litalien 2010, p. 128.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 155.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 41.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, pp. 155–8.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 38.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 45.
- "Objectives". Dhammakaya Foundation. Archived from the original on 4 January 2001.
- Scott 2009, p. 102.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 76.
- Sritong-on 2004, pp. 39–40, 180.
- Zehner 1990, pp. 416–7.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, pp. 31–2.
- "Architectural Design Awards". Archived from the original on 24 September 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Dhammakaya Foundation (2015). Main Chapel (Uposatha Hall) (plaque outside Ubosot). Wat Phra Dhammakaya.
- Seeger 2006, p. 11.
- Taylor 2007, pp. 11–2.
- Dhammakaya Foundation 2005, pp. 132–3.
- Walsh, John (2013). "Management of Foreign Teachers in International Educational Institutes in Thailand". Journal of Education and Vocational Research. 4 (8): 233–4.
- ภาพมุมสูงของวัดพระธรรมกาย [Top view of Wat Phra Dhammakaya]. TNN24 (in Thai). 27 May 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- . Retrieved 5 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library.. Dokbia Thurakit (in Thai). 10 September 2001. p. 11
- "Visitor's Zone". Dhammakaya Foundation. Archived from the original on December 7, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2006.
- Fuengfusakul 1998, p. 56.
- "Visitor's Zone". Dhammakaya Foundation. 19 October 2006. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016.
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 41–2, 46–7.
- Snodgrass 2003, p. 177.
- Scott 2009, p. 1.
- Taylor 2007, p. 11.
- Hutter, Manfred; Loseries, Andrea; Linder, Julia; Frasch, Tilman; Schicklgruber, Christian (2016). Theravāda-Buddhismus und Tibetischer Buddhismus [Theravāda Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism]. Buddhism (in German). II. Kohlhammer. ISBN 3-17-028499-1.
- "Visitor's Zone". Dhammakaya Foundation. Archived from the original on 11 January 2007.
- "Visitor's Zone". Dhammakaya Foundation. Archived from the original on 11 January 2007.
- "The Visitor's Zone". Dhammakaya Foundation. Archived from the original on 7 December 2006.
- "The Visitor's Zone". Dhammakaya Foundation. Archived from the original on 6 October 2006.
- Seeger, Martin (September 2009). "The Changing Roles of Thai Buddhist Women: Obscuring Identities and Increasing Charisma". Religion Compass. 3 (5): 811. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8171.2009 (inactive 2017-03-23).
- Mackenzie 2007, pp. 62–3.
- คอนเนคชั่นธรรมกาย [Dhammakaya's Connections]. The Dhammakaya Epic. Episode 5 (in Thai). 31 May 2016. Event occurs at 0:15. Channel 8 (Thailand). Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Srirueanthong, Man (2015). "เทคโนโลยีการก่อสร้างอาคารทรงกลมโครงสร้างถักสานด้วยเทคโนโลยีคอนกรีตสำเร็จรูป" [Construction of a Spherical Skeleton Frame Structure by Precast Concrete Technology]. Journal of Thailand Concrete Association (in Thai). 3 (1).
- ธรรมกายร้องทบทวนใช้มาตรา 44 [Dhammakaya asks to evaluate Section 44]. Thai Rath (in Thai). Wacharapol. 17 February 2017. Event occurs at 4:38. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Chua, Lawrence (2016). "Contemporary Buddhist Architecture". In Jerryson, Michael. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism. Oxford University Press. pp. 441–2, 449. ISBN 978-0-19-936238-7.
- Fuengfusakul 1993, p. 154.
- Bechert, Heinz (1997), "Der moderne Theravada-Buddhismus in Sri Lanka und Südostasien" [Modern Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia] (PDF), in Mathes, Klaus-Dieter; Freese, Harald, Buddhism in the Past and Present (in German), 2, Asia–Africa Institute, (University of Hamburg)
- Crosby, Kate (2000), "Tantric Theravada: A Bibliographic Essay on the Writings of Francois Bizot and others on the Yogavacara Tradition" (PDF), Contemporary Buddhism, 1 (2)
- Dhammakaya Foundation (2005), Second to None: The Biography of Khun Yay Maharatana Upasika Chandra Khonnokyoong (PDF), Bangkok
- Fuengfusakul, Apinya (1 January 1993), "Empire of Crystal and Utopian Commune: Two Types of Contemporary Theravada Reform in Thailand", Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 8 (1), JSTOR 41035731
- Fuengfusakul, Apinya (1998), ศาสนาทัศน์ของชุมชนเมืองสมัยใหม่: ศึกษากรณีวัดพระธรรมกาย [Religious Propensity of Urban Communities: A Case Study of Phra Dhammakaya Temple] (PDF) (in Thai), Buddhist Studies Center, Chulalongkorn University
- Gutschow, Kim (2004), Being a Buddhist nun: The struggle for enlightenment in the Himalayas (PDF) (online ed.), Cambridge (Massachusetts): Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-01287-9
- Harvey, Peter (2013), An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (PDF), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-85942-4
- Heikkilä-Horn, M-J (1996), "Two Paths to Revivalism in Thai Buddhism: The Dhammakaya and Santi Asoke Movements", Temenos (32)
- Heikkilä-Horn, Marja-Leena (2015), Athyal, Jesudas M., ed., "Dhammakaya", Religion in Southeast Asia: An Encyclopedia of Faiths and Cultures, ABC-CLIO, ISBN 978-1-61069-250-2
- Irons, Edward A. (2008), Encyclopedia of Buddhism (PDF), Encyclopedia of World Religions, New York: Facts on File, ISBN 978-0-8160-5459-6
- Kom Chad Luek (in Thai), 24 February 2010, retrieved 2 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library ,
- Litalien, Manuel (January 2010), Développement social et régime providentiel en thaïlande: La philanthropie religieuse en tant que nouveau capital démocratique [Social development and a providential regime in Thailand: Religious philanthropy as a new form of democratic capital] (PDF) (Ph.D. Thesis, published as a monograph in 2016) (in French), Université du Québec à Montréal
- Mackenzie, Rory (2007), New Buddhist Movements in Thailand: Towards an understanding of Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Santi Asoke (PDF), Abingdon: Routledge, ISBN 0-203-96646-5
- , retrieved 5 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library , Matichon (in Thai), 10 January 1999
- McCargo, Duncan (2012), "The Changing Politics of Thailand's Buddhist Order", Critical Asian Studies, Routledge, 44 (4): 627, doi:10.1080/14672715.2012.738544, ISSN 1467-2715
- McDaniel, Justin (2010), "Buddhists in Modern Southeast Asia", Religion Compass, Blackwell Publishing, 4 (11): 657, doi:10.1111/j.1749-8171.2010.00247.x
- , retrieved 19 December 2016 – via Matichon E-library , Naew Na (in Thai), 8 December 1999
- Newell, Catherine Sarah (1 April 2008), Monks, meditation and missing links: continuity, "orthodoxy" and the vijja dhammakaya in Thai Buddhism (Ph.D.), London: Department of the Study of Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
- Satha-Anand, Suwanna (1 January 1990), "Religious Movements in Contemporary Thailand: Buddhist Struggles for Modern Relevance", Asian Survey, 30 (4): 395, doi:10.2307/2644715, JSTOR 2644715
- Scott, Rachelle M. (December 2006), "A new Buddhist sect?: The Dhammakāya temple and the politics of religious difference", Religion, 36 (4): 215, doi:10.1016/j.religion.2006.10.001
- Scott, Rachelle M. (2009), Nirvana for Sale? Buddhism, Wealth, and the Dhammakāya Temple in Contemporary Thailand (PDF), Albany: State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-1-4416-2410-9
- Seeger, Martin (2006), "Die thailändische Wat Phra Thammakai-Bewegung" [The Thai Wat Phra Dhammakaya Movement] (PDF), in Mathes, Klaus-Dieter; Freese, Harald, Buddhism in the Past and Present (in German), 9, Asia-Africa Institute, University of Hamburg
- Sirikanchana, Pataraporn (2010), "Dhammakaya Foundation" (PDF), in Melton, J. Gordon; Baumann, Martin, Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices (2 ed.), ABC-CLIO
- Sivaraksa, Sulak (1987), "Thai Spirituality" (PDF), Journal of the Siam Society, Siam Society, 75
- Skilling, Peter (2005), "Worship and devotional life: Buddhist devotional life in East Asia" (PDF), in Jones, Lindsay, Encyclopedia of Religion, 14 (2 ed.), Detroit: Thomson Gale, ISBN 0-02-865983-X
- Snodgrass, Judith (2003), "Building Thai Modernity: The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya", Architectural Theory Review, 8 (2): 173, doi:10.1080/13264820309478494
- Sritong-on, Sorakarn (2004), คำสอนเรื่องการสร้างบารมีของวัดพระธรรมกาย [Wat Phra Dhammakaya's teachings on parami fulfilment] (Published M.A. Thesis) (in Thai), Bangkok: Dhammakaya Foundation, ISBN 974-17-7184-3
- Swearer, Donald K. (1991), "Fundamentalistic Movements in Theravada Buddhism", in Marty, M.E.; Appleby, R.S., Fundamentalisms Observed, The Fundamentalism Project, 1, Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 9780226508788
- Swearer, Donald K. (2010), The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia (PDF) (2 ed.), SUNY Press
- Taylor, J. L. (1989), "Contemporary Urban Buddhist "Cults" and the Socio-Political Order in Thailand", Mankind, 19 (2): 112, doi:10.1111/j.1835-9310.1989.tb00100.x
- Taylor, Jim (2007), "Buddhism, Copying, and the Art of the Imagination in Thailand", Journal of Global Buddhism, 8
- Thammachayō, Phikkhu; Thattachīwō, Phikkhu; Tawandhamma Foundation (2007), The Sun of Peace, Tawandhamma Foundation
- Vasi, Prawase (1998), สวนโมกข์ ธรรมกาย สันติอโศก [Suan Mokh, Thammakai, Santi Asok] (online ed.), Bangkok: Mo Chaoban Publishing
- Williams, Paul (2008), Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations (PDF) (2 ed.), Taylor & Francis e-Library., ISBN 0-203-42847-1
- Zehner, Edwin (1990), "Reform Symbolism of a Thai Middle–Class Sect: The Growth and Appeal of the Thammakai Movement", Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Cambridge University Press on behalf of Department of History, National University of Singapore, 21 (2): 402, doi:10.1017/S0022463400003301, JSTOR 20071200
- Zehner, Edwin (2005), "Dhammakāya Movement" (PDF), in Jones, Lindsay, Encyclopedia of Religion, 4 (2 ed.), Farmington Hills: Thomson Gale
- Zehner, Edwin (June 2013), "The church, the monastery and the politician: Perils of entrepreneurial leadership in post-1970s Thailand", Culture and Religion, 14 (2): 185, doi:10.1080/14755610.2012.758646
- Rohonyi, Réka (1996). Wat Phra Dhammakaya: A Refuge in the Midst of a Turbulent World – Analysis of a Contemporary Thai Buddhist Movement (senior thesis). Harvard University.
- Wiktorin, Pierre (2005). De Villkorligt Frigivna: Relationen mellan munkar och lekfolk i ett nutida Thailand [The parole: The relationship between monks and lay people in contemporary Thailand] (PDF). Lund Studies in African and Asian Religions (in Swedish). 15. Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell International. ISBN 91-22-02118-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wat Phra Dhammakaya.|
- Dhammakaya Foundation (official website)
- Dhammakaya Media Channel
- Inside the Controversy: Dhammakaya Uncovered
- White Lotus - A documentary film by Somchay Phakonkham
- Temple of Profit. ABC Australia