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WAT RONG KHUN (THE WHITE TEMPLE) OF CHIANG RAI THAILAND

August 1, 2011

Haiku’s or Poetry of Zen Master Basho

•    Moonlit plum tree —

Wait,

Spring will come.

•    Dying cricket —

How full of

Life,

his song.

•    Yellow rose petals

Thunder —

A waterfall.

•    Moor:

Point my horse where birds sing.

•    The passing days and months

Are eternal travelers in time.

•    Early spring

A nameless hill knee deep

In the gauze of morning stillness.

•    Harvest moon:

Around the pond i wander

And the night is gone.

•    Along the mountain road

Somehow it tugs at my heart:

A wild violet.

•    Sitting silently,

Doing nothing

And the grass grows by itself.

•    For his morning tea

A monk sits down in utter silence —

Confronted by chrysanthemums. – Basho

•    The evening haze.

Thinking of past things —

How far off they are.

 

WAT RONG KHUN  (THE WHITE TEMPLE)  OF CHIANG RAI  THAILAND

Wat Rong Khun, known as the White Temple, is the most stunningly beautiful example of modern Buddhist art in Thailand. The White Temple, Wat Rong Khun is in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand and is the work of the renowned Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who not only was responsible for the design and building of the White Temple but has personally contributed most of the funds for the project. The White Temple was designed by national artist Mr. Chalermchai Kositpipat. He states “It was my strong intention to build a temple in imitation of heaven. I wanted it to be a heaven on earth. I built a main building in the Buddhist monastery. I wanted it to be like a house of the Buddha with white color representing His purity and white glass representing His wisdom shining all over the earth and the universe.”

The story behind the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun is as amazing as its architecture. The original Wat Rong Khun was in a very bad condition and in 1996 work commenced to build a new Ubosot. However, work was slow and the Temple was running out of money. Chalermchai Kositpipat, who was born in the village of Ban Rong Khun offered to take over the building of the Ubosot and to pay for it out of his own pocket as a personal offering to The Lord Buddha. Construction of the Ubosot began again in 1997 and the work received so much acclaim that Chalermchai Kositpipat decided to rebuild the entire Temple as a tribute to His Majesty The King and for the greater glory of Thailand and its people.

The White Temple consists of 9 buildings:

The Ubosot, Hall containing relics of The Lord Buddha, Hall to house Buddha images, Preaching Hall, Meditation Hall, Monk’s Cells, Art Gallery, Door facade of the Buddhavasa and Golden Toilets.

Work on these 9 buildings is not yet complete but by 2009, Wat Rong Khun has received over 5 million visitors making the White Temple the greatest tourist attraction in Chiang Rai.

You can visit

Mr. Chalermchai Kositpipat’swebsite to learn about the purpose behind each element of the design.

THE WHITE TEPLE

A DEMON STATUE

beautiful chapelsTHE PATH AROUND THE WHITE CHAPEL

BUDDHA STATUE

This 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.

THE WHITE TEMPLE

BEAUTIFUL REFLECTING POOLS AROUND THE WHITE TEMPLE

BEAUTIFU STATUE

BEAUTIFUL STATUE

BEAUTIFUL STATUE

PHOTOS BY:

LEONARD EPSTEIN

JANELLE BURGESS

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