Monday, 31 March 2014

WAT DHAMMAKAYA - and my visit to the largest structure on EARTH ! Part 2



Main pagoda and towers for the roof.

I asked the tour guide whether there have been any nuns - and he responded no - not now - but you will find well over 1200 monks on-site housed in condo like structures and a number of them work in an enormous Buddha statue factory on the  temple site that has produced over a million Buddha statues up to now which comprises the outside and interior from the primary pagoda.

I also came across in addition a volunteer village , a medical facility along with a school for child monks and a monk dining hall using the familiar huge UFO dome that can house all 1200 monks in a single sitting.

 Initial meditation hall can house 100,000 people with underground car park. 

It should also be said that the original temple is a modest , ultra modern and chic Thai temple which is beautifully designed and executed and sits in verdant gardens and behind it lies a lake and a golden pyramid structure which houses the remains of Kuhn Yay Acariya.

Original white ultra modern temple begun in 1970 with just 3000 baht.

Their overarching concept of growing their religion is to set up modest 'branch offices' of Dhammakaya around Thailand and also the world these outlying 'temples' are relatively simple and modest structures and the energy and donations are channeled to the primary temple ,Wat Dhammakaya. The temple publicizes itself as a place designed for the whole world and a major centre for promoting world peace they hope it will remain for well over a 1000 years. Enthusiasts are urged to go to the primary temple as frequently they can and when they do should wear only white and modest clothing  The most important day of their year is Magha Puja day and when I visited in 2014 it fell on the 14th February  when they expected in excess of  500, 000 supporters to attend. I really wanted to see this (see the stunning video below) but my wife vetoes it and it was Valentine's day ......

 

Maha Puja day at Wat Dhammakaya - Official Video

Nevertheless everyone I met in the temple were very friendly and welcoming and there was no hustling for any money on this my first visit. I additionally discovered a semi-falling apart 3 story shopping mall of which just the first floor was occupied by Dhammakaya companies for example votive shops, a massage shop and many food shops. The massage shop that I  visited and had an excellent foot massage for 250 baht had their round-the-clock DMC TV channel on quietly in the background for the entire time. Also close by to the compound was a housing estate with houses available for sale known as 'Meditation City'.

   

Semi Moribund Wat Dhammakaya shopping mall

WAT DHAMMAKAYA - and my visit to the largest structure on EARTH is continued in Part 3.