Architecture Rituals Essay

2012 words - 9 pages

In fact that Thailand has become a widely known today as a ‘Land of Smile’ due to the greatest cultural achievements of Thai society that was associated with religious beliefs; they all have been there for more than hundreds of years. One of the largest religious in Thailand is Buddhism. Buddhism is a system of beliefs and practices centered on the freedom from suffering and continuing rebirths by using the Buddha first teaching knowledge. This teaching is about the right practice lead to liberation, this path is known as ‘Middle way’. Furthermore, there are three different major forms of Buddhism include Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantrayana (Punyasingh, p.7). The major branch is accepted in Thailand is ‘Theravada Buddhism’, which means ‘teaching of the elders’. This following type of Buddhism has been studied through canonical literature as well as secular and religious way of living and a long history. In the life of Thai people, Buddhism played the most important part underpinning Thai culture by provides the stimulus to philosophy, socio-politic, artistic, and anthropologic (Thai Digital Monastery project). One of the most unique aspects of Thai culture has been fully demonstrated through the elaborate architecture style such as Buddhist temple. One of the finest examples is the temple of Emerald Buddha also known as Wat Pra Kaew. This temple is a great design that represents not only architecture, but it also includes Thai Buddhist culture.

In this essay, I will make a critical analysis of the temple of Emerald Buddha. It will begin with a general background of Thai architecture and brief information of the temple. The next section will examine the purpose by compare two temples situated in different part of South East Asia.

BACKGROUND
In Thailand, mostly architecture compositions not only a style of art, but it also shows innovative techniques and unique characteristic that have been duplicated over a centuries. The original Thai architecture was influenced by Chinese architecture, which spread over the East and South East Asia. One of the greatest traditional Thai architecture usually appeared in Ayutthaya Kingdom, This kingdom lasted 417 years and was ruled by 33 kings. In this period, Buddhism seems to reach its zenith of popularity and spread all over the kingdom (Punyasingh, p.10). This kingdom was all destroyed by Burma in 1767. As a result, Thai people arose new Kingdom, first in Thonburi, and then in 1782 the Rattanakosin, or Bangkok era began (Hoskin, p.15). Out of this devastation, however Buddhism never disappeared from the society, but still played the most important role in Thai’s life.

In addition, Thai people believe that the temple is a sacred structure and the repository of the spirit. As a result, there are records of traditional Buddhist temple construction inside the Royal Grand Palace has existed in Thailand from Sukhothai period (1240-c. to 1438 A.D)(Diskul, P.17). After Rattanakosin founded by King Rama I, and...

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