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Wat Rong Khun, วัดร่องขุ่น ~ Thailand

20 Aug
Wat Rong Khun, วัดร่องขุ่น ~ Thailand

is known as White Temple is situated  about thirteen kilometers south of Chiang Rai, very near to Myanmar. Different from other temple. It is covered with combination of whitewash and tiny mirror chips that make it shine.

It  was built by artist, Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat. He  together with more than 60 followers devoted totally their effort and energy to make this structure their life work created this temple with his freedom, not under anybody’s influence or thought processes, so he did not accept donating from any sources including government

The artist used white color to represent Buddha’s purity while the mirrors symbolize Buddha’s dhamma, teaching men to observe their own mind and reflect kindness towards others.

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Before entering the temple grounds, morbid and spooky statues and hanging heads welcome the new visitor. Skeletons and Demons warn the visitor about the dangers of Alcohol and Smoking.DSC_6937 DSC_6935

 

The whole architecture as well as the statues all around have been carefully studied and are imbued with riddles, teachings and Buddhist philosophy.

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The Temple is surrounded by a pond with dozens of white and black fish guarded by dragons and fantastic mythological creatures.

surrounded by the pond

surrounded by the pond

Before crossing the bridge of the “Cycle of Rebirth”, we cannot prevent getting the chills gazing upon the hundreds of sculpted hands reaching up from “Hell”, symbolizing the way to happiness through overcoming cravings.

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Twisted demon faces observe and mock the visitor as he prepares to purge his soul from cravings.

After crossing the Bridge, the visitor reaches the temple, the Abode of Buddha.

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Although still unfinished, the paintings on the walls inside represent a mix of traditional Thai Buddhist art and contemporary scenes like a plane crashing into the twin towers, the war for Oil, many movie/comics characters like Neo, Batman, Doraemon, Kungfu Panda,  Superman and Star Wars droids. All superheroes painted to let people know that there really are no heroes in our world. so many morality declines , the world become ill , people lack moral standard. that is why Ajarn Chalermchai portray evil people as the demon with mouth opened encircled the entrance of the temple. Too bad photography inside the temple was not allowed . so I scan a view photos from guiding book.

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

scanned from white temple guiding book

When visitors walked out, they feel they leave the demon behind and going towards the highest level of dhamma, where people will not reborn, to meet the Lord Buddha at the edge of the universe.

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Next to the white temple, on the other side of the pond, is also a the “Gharavasa” (the layman quarters) where an Art gallery, a preaching hall and a “golden toilet” are located, I think that is the most beautiful public restroom, and free to enter and admire, many people took photo of themselves in front of this toilet.

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The temple-like building is supposed to represent the Body (as opposed to the white temple that represents the Mind). Charlemchai built the two bots (white and gold) in hope to teach people to let go and not cling to substance or money, and not to perceive the physical body as an assumed identity.

Ajarn Chalermchai builds this  temple is different from other temples that are golden. He believes that gold is suitable to people who lust for evil deeds. The Lord Buddha represent purity, and he use small mirrors throughout  the building is symbol of wisdom (Dharma) that shines throughout the universe.

“I want to build a heavenly garden (happiness) for humans to stroll in. I want all visitors of whatever religion to have feeling of peace, happiness and at the same time get to understand the meaning of Buddhism that can be seen all over the temple whether it’s in the architectural, the drawings , or the molding works” said Ajarn Chalermchai

Whether or not his message will reach visitors’ soul, Wat Rong Khun is scheduled to be completed by 2070 , remains one of the most unusual and interesting places of worship I have ever visited.

When it is completed, Wat Rong Khun will be a symbol to one man’s dedication to his country, his religion, and his present King, with a deep meaning behind every statue, corner or architectural design representing the wild creativity and vision. one day, it will also became a heritage of the world.

” I discipline the mind to train me toward being a good person with clear thinking, speaking well, and doing good deeds, We are all human, and I want to give goodness to people. If we have love and forgiveness in our hearts, it will come out naturally. You need to practice patience before you can control your own mind.” said Ajarn Chalermchai.

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