Phra Sanitwong Wuttiwangso, PR of the Mass Ordination Program for 100,000 Monks from Every Village throughout Thailand, announced that this was the sixth year and the 11th Summer Mass Ordination Program for 100,000 novices (March 14, 2015) to be held at Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani Province. The ordination began with the morning circumambulation and paying homage to the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya and followed by several ceremonies: requesting ordination, draping the monk’s vest, requesting the Triple Gem, and requesting the Ten Precepts and Dependence (Nissaya). Most Venerable Phra Maha Bhodiwongsajarn (Thongdee Suratecho, Pali 9, member of the Royal Institute), abbot of Ratchaorotsaram Temple, was the ordination preceptor. Many senior monks from all over Thailand also participated in the draping of the monk’s vest ceremony. After the novice ordination ceremony, all novices traveled to respective training centers in their province to complete the higher ordination starting from March 16th, 2015 onward.
The 100,000 Monks Mass Ordination Program from Every Village throughout Thailand is organized by the monastic community of Thailand in joint corporation with the National Office of Buddhism, World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, The International Buddhist Club under the patronage of His Holiness Somdejphramaharatchamangkalajahn, Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Dhammakaya Foundation, and over 40 cooperating organizations between March 7th – May 2nd, 2015 at various training centers throughout Thailand. The objectives of the ordination program are to create Dhamma-heirs to preserve Buddhism and foster in every village throughout the country. The curriculum is set in accordance with the Threefold Method of Training; morality, concentration and wisdom. Furthermore, during the training program, the participants will have many well-versed senior monks as their teacher and mentor. And at the end of the ordination program, an activity to revive Buddhism – the Dhammachai Dhutanga Pilgrimage – to restored abandoned temples into flourishing ones, will be held. This Buddhist activity will awaken faith in Buddhists in every village and motivate them to visit their local temples to practice Dhamma and meditation and to assist in preserving Buddhism.
“As of 2014, statistical figures from survey completed by the National Office of Buddhism indicate that there are over 6,000 abandoned temples in Thailand. This statistic reflects the worrisome situation of Buddhism. The issue of abandoned temples with no resident monks has resulted in a lack of places for mental support and moral training among Buddhists. And when people’s minds are far from morality, social issues are bound to follow. Therefore, the four Buddhist communities – monks, novice monks, male and female lay devotees – have joined hands in organizing ordination programs to solve the issue of abandoned temples and to increase the number of monks available to teach morality,” said Phra Sanitwong.