Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram
Damnoen Saduak District, Rajburi Province, Thailand
Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram Temple is located on the beautifully landscaped campus of the Dhammakaya Buddhist Meditation Institute at kilometer 14 of the Damnoen Saduak - Bangpae Road, in Damnoen Saduak District of Rajburi Province, 93 kilometers from Bangkok.
It encompasses 244 rais. The 74 rais surrounding the main monastery were registered in 1991 as Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram, in loving memory of Luang Phor Wat Paknam, Phra Mongkol Thepmuni (Sodh Candasaro). Here is a brief Profile:
1. Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram
2. Dhammakaya Buddhist Meditation Institute
His Holiness Somdej Phra Buddhajahn: Abbot, Wat Sakesa, Sangha Council & Chairman, Acting Sangharaja Committee.
His Holiness Somdej Phra Maha Ratchamangkalajahn: Abbot, Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen & Sangha Council Member.
3. General Manager and Meditation Master
Phra Rajyanvisith: Abbot, Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram & Coordinator, Provincial Meditation Institutes.
4. Financial and Property Management
Dhammakaya Buddhist Meditation Foundation.
21 May 1991 Registered as a Wat by the Ministry of Education and recognized by the Sangha body
2 May 1992 Consecrated as a Temple by His Holiness Somdej Phra Buddhaghosajahn, Former Abbot of Wat Sampaya, Bangkok, and Sangha Council Member.
4. Recognized Excellence
1999 Recognized by the Sangha Body as Rajburi Provincial Pali Studies Center.
2004 Recognized by the Sangha Body as Rajburi Provincial Meditation Institute.
2005 Designated by the Sangha Body as an “Exemplary Development Temple with Noteworthy Success.”
2006 Established as Sangha Ecclesiastical Region 15 Academic Services Unit for Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (for four provinces).
2006 Wat Luang Phor Sodh Buddhist Meditation Institute established as an Associated Institution of the World Buddhist University.
2008 Elected the National Coordination Center of Provincial Meditation Institutes of Thailand.
2009 Established by the Sangha Body as the Center for Development of Virtues and Ethics for the Security of the Nation, Religion and Monarchy
1. To help humans rid themselves of suffering and penetrate Nibbana.
2. To educate laity and monks to become knowledgable, virtuous instructors spreading Lord Buddha’s teachings.
3. To become a center of virtue supporting peace for all world beings.
4. To become a pilgrimage center for the faithful:
• Displaying sacred objects worthy of veneration.
• Providing a clean, beautiful, serene environment for peaceful meditation and introspection.
5. To faultlessly manage and preserve the sacred treasures and offerings of the faithful.
6. Buildings and Grounds
|1. The Ubosota Hall
is a three-story building located on its own island, surrounded by
trees. Like most Wat Luang Phor Sodh buildings, it is all white, with a
white roof to indicate purity. Designed by the king’s architect in the
late Ayuthia style, it won the award for Outstanding Preservation of
Architecture in 1996. The building features Buddha Relics and over
forty Buddha images made of semi-precious gemstones or valuable metals,
located at the front of the main assembly hall on the third floor. The
second floor displays a large plaque listing major donors. The first
floor, which can hold approximately one hundred people, has the history
and rules of the wat displayed on the wall. Surrounding the main
assembly hall are six small viharas or chapels, three on each side. The
two middle viharas contain rare Buddha images and an image of Luang
Phor Sodh. The others are used for breakout meditation groups.
|2. The Information Center,
situated at the central fork as the first building to receive visitors,
is a white two-story enclosed pavilion with an extremely steep white
roof. Its main Buddha image is in blessing position. There is also an
image of Luang Phor Sodh where the laity can pay homage. Originally,
this was a multipurpose hall for all temple activities. It has now
become a museum filled with Buddha relics, Buddha statues, and related
|3. The Vihara of Luang Phor Sodh
is located at the center of its own sacred island right by the central
fork. It is surrounded by rare trees with historical significance for
Buddhism. There are two images of Luang Phor Sodh, a large, ferocious
standing image and a relatively small, approachable sitting statue that
devotees love to honor with gold leaf and offerings.
4. The Two Twin School Buildings
are three-stories high and constructed of red brick. They are located
at the back, left of the campus, by the Dining Hall. These buildings
get heavy use. Monks study Dhamma and Pali for the national exams. For
Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, the wat teaches Bachelors
and Masters Degree programs in Buddhism. The buildings also service a
continual stream of grade school and high school students coming for
brief retreats. Most popular is the library with its internet
||5. Sala Somdej Dining Hall is
a three-story white building which can serve up to 500 monks and
novices on the second level. The first level provides both dining hall
and sleeping quarters for large numbers of Laity. The top floor is an
assembly hall for up to 500 persons, used for morning and evening
chanting, Sunday Dhamma practice, and major special events.
|6. The Meditation Vihara,
located in the lake, near the Abbot’s residence, is the wat’s most
beautiful building. Four equal wings join in sweeping upward curves
into a tall central tower with an onion-shaped cap. Inside, one wing is
devoted to Buddha statues and another to Buddha relics. The remainder
seats about 130 meditators sitting cross-legged. Accessible from both
banks of the lake by two bridges, the hall is occupied twenty-four
hours a day by shifts of advanced meditators cultivating world peace.
It is open on weekends for visitors to pay homage to the large golden
Buddha statue and Buddha Relics.
|7. Phra Maha Jediya Somdej,
under construction, will be a huge, four-story jediya-shaped pilgrimage
and conference center displaying the wat’s exceptional collection of
Buddha relics. Four wings and connecting stairways come together to
form a jediya shape. The first floor will provide space for up to 2,000
lay persons to attend conferences or meditate. It will also contain the
administrative offices. The second floor will provide space for up to
2,000 monks to meditate. The third floor will be a museum exhibiting
Buddha statues demonstrating all the various poses as well as samples
of meditation practices. The smaller fourth floor at the neck of the
jediya is where the Buddha Relics will be displayed.
the grounds of the wat and institute campus are noteworthy in
themselves. The first five years of site development were devoted to
constructing the lake, rivers, forests and islands and planting rare
and special trees from around the world. This effort won a royal award
for turning the worn-out rice land back to nature. Most of the trees
under which various Buddhas have become enlightened are represented.
Story and pictures courtesy of Wat Luang Phor Sodh Buddhist Meditation Institute, http://dhammacenter.org/index.html