Buddhism in Thailand

      Most people in the West have heard of the Dalai Lama, the head of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism. However, as with many world religions, Buddhism is made up of many branches or schools. In Thailand, nearly 95% of Thailand's population is Buddhist of the Theravada school, the oldest surviving school which means literally "the Teaching of the Elders" or "the Ancient Teaching". However, Thai Buddhism has become integrated with folk beliefs as well as Chinese religions from the large Thai-Chinese population. Our host's family came from China, and they had a shrine to the ancesters in their front hall.

      As compared with Bhutan where photographs are forbidden inside temples, we photographed several Buddhist statues during our visit to Thailand.

  

A Buddha in Ayutthya is in a traditional pose - sitting in the lotus position, eyes half open with his right hand pointing to the earth and the left cupped at the waist. At right is the same temple with worshippers.

don't forget your alt text!     

Another Buddha has the same pose,           The posture is ancient. These Buddhas have lost heads
although much larger (19 meters high).       & limbs but not the interests of insects.

  
        
  The reclining Buddha in Bangkok's Wat Pho is huge (46 meters long and 15 meters high). The soles of the   feet are engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration depicting the 108 auspicious characteristics of Buddha.