Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho, a highly revered Buddhist monk, has given the public a precious dharma treasure “Viharn Thep Wittayakom” as a learning center of dharma and the Buddhist teachings which Luang Phor Koon has been preaching for many years. Today, an enjoyable and simple version of dharma is accessible to people of all ages to learn and absorb these noble guidelines for life.
Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at Central World Shopping Center, Bangkok – Phra Kru Sri Pariyatwisutthi, head of abbot in Dan Koon Tot district, Nakhon Ratchasima province, Mrs. Somradee Chanchai, executive director – northeastern market division of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mr. Panu Yamsri, Deputy Governor of Nakhon Ratchasima province, Mrs.Somsong Sachaphimukh, Vice President – Special Activity of the Tourism Council of Thailand and Mr. Kraingkrai Charutawee, vice chairman of Ban Rai Temple committee and director of the Dharma Learning Park project, along with Ms. Mayurin Pongpudpunth, actress and dharma practitioner joined the seminar “Dharma Legacy of Luang Phor Koon” to celebrate the great honor and prestige of Luang Phor Koon, to disseminate the principles of Buddhism and to share dharma practice experiences which would lead to the happiness and prosperity in life. These distinguished figures later opened the exhibition named “Dharma Legacy of Luang Phor Koon” displaying the knowledge and the essence of Buddhism which was also included in the “Viharn Thep Wittayakom” a virtuous legacy of Luang Phor Koon’s wish to establish an everlasting dharma learning place for Buddhism in Thailand.
Phra Kru Sri Pariyatwisutthi, head of abbot in Dan Koon Tot district, Nakhon Ratchasima province said that “one of the teachings of Luang Phor Koon that Korat people always keep in mind is that being a great person is easy, but accumulating good deeds to build up prestige is difficult… To achieve it, you must be a giver who possesses truly pure dharma. Luang Phor Koon is well-known as a religious teacher, an occultist, but he also excels in dharma. He puts emphasis on the importance of learning and meditating in order to be morally conscious and aware of any emotions that touch our mind. With a strong conscience, we will be ready to handle each emotion with wisdom and get rid of delusion. We will learn to accept the truth that everything is impermanent and full of suffering.”
Mr. Panu Yamsri, Deputy Governor of Nakhon Ratchasima province added that “Throughout 70 years that Luang Phor Koon has been ordained in Buddhism, he has performed great meritorious acts, renouncing his property to build public facilities, whether a place of worship, hospitals, schools and government centers, to help people in distress. In this auspicious occasion of 91st birthday and 70th year in Buddhism of Phra Thep Wittayakom, or Luang Phor Koon Paritsuttho, the abbot of Wat Ban Rai, Luang Phor Koon is committed to providing Viharn Thep Wittayakom for future generations, as an eternal heritage of Buddhism on 4th October, 2014”
Mrs. Somradee Chanchai, executive director – northeastern market division of the Tourism Authority of Thailand stated that “Viharn Thep Wittayakom, the dharma legacy from Luang Phor Koon, is regarded as one of the important resources and tourist attractions about Buddhism in northeastern Thailand. This new dharma center is also consistent with the policy of promoting dharma tourism by the Tourism Authority of Thailand because this kind of tourism has a story in it, does not require a very high expense, but gives pleasure and peace of mind to tourists. It helps people cultivate knowledge and understanding of religion, culture, tradition, and leads to the creation of a better society based on the concept of “virtuous society”. Young people will be encouraged to study Buddhism and understand that religion is the cultural foundation of the nation. In addition, money from tourists attracted to the center will become an economic stimulus and bring income to local people throughout the region.”
Mrs.Somsong Sachaphimukh, Vice President – Special Activity of the Tourism Council of Thailand mentioned that “The recent study by the Tourism Authority of Thailand on behaviors of Thai tourists found that the second most popular objective of Thai travelers is to visit temples to practice dharma. The first objective is to visit their relatives or friends. The interesting point is that religious activities such as worshiping, making merit, vipassana, and meditation, altogether ranked at the second place after general tourist activities like eating and shopping. Therefore, the development of religion-related tourism is the one to watch and should be supported and developed in a systematic and structured way. There is also a need to link major attractions along each popular path.”
Mr. Kraingkrai Charutawee, vice chairman of Ban Rai Temple committee and director of the Dharma Learning Park project said that “This Viharn Thep Wittayakom was built with the great determination of Luang Phor Koon who wants this place to keep all the code of monastic discipline in the Tripitaka (Buddhist Scriptures), in other words, a place that collects the history of Buddhism, Buddhist doctrine and all of the preaching of the Lord Buddha. Viharn Thep Wittayakom is going to be the first and only place in the world to display the Tripitaka to educate the general public just like what the Lord Buddha said before he stepped on the path to extinction that Buddhists must cherish the discipline of the Buddha as a prophet forever. The Tripitaka is presented in a way that is easy to understand, enjoyable to read, and beautiful to look at in a contemporary style and modern techniques. Another distinctive feature of this center is the mosaic art that was decorated by talented artists, and the faith of the local people towards Luang Phor Koon is the magic-like inspiration that attached over 20 million ceramic tiles to the edifice and makes it the largest ceramic temple that ever exists.”
Ms. Mayurin Pongpudpunth, actress and dharma practitioner shared her experiences of applying dharma to her life that “Religion keeps the mind calm and makes us realize that either a bad or a good result will always depend on the actions of our own. The old saying, “You reap what you sow.” Is true. Learning dharma has really made me realize how to lead my life, which direction I should go to have a peaceful life. Especially, the 38 principles toward decent life are easy to understand and implement. I encourage everyone to try it. I believe that anyone can learn and practice dharma if you have a strong determination.”
Viharn Thep Wittayakom is located at Baan Rai Temple or Luang Phor Koon Temple in Koot Pimarn district, Dan Koon Tot, Nakorn Ratchasima province. The temple is open to visitors from today onwards, between 8am-5pm. For more information or to book a visit, please call 081-617-2122 or www.watbaanrai.com.