One dream for the inner peace of millions

Wat Phra Dhammakaya

The land that is now Wat Phra Dhammakaya was once a large rice field, stretching as far as the eyes could see. The water glistened with the rays from the hot sun with not a single tree or building to shade the heat, and the nights were lit only by the stars.

The 77 acres was donated by Lady Prayad Pattayapongsavisuttatibodi to celebrate her birthday. On Magha Puja Day, February 20, 2513 B.E.(1970), Luang Por Dhammajayo, Master Nun Chand Khonnokyoong (61 years old at the time), and their followers came together to begin the construction of a meditation center. The meditation center then became Wat Phra Dhammakaya on April 29, 2524 B.E.(1981)

With only 3,200 baht (US$160 in 1970) as the budget, the followers felt as if they were building the meditation centre with their bare hands, so they expressed doubt to the Master Nun, to which she asked back, “What is the cost of raising just one truly good person with morals and dedication to Buddhism?” The follower replied, “If you spent 100 million, there may be a small chance to get one that good…” So, the Master Nun said,“I have 11 truly good people sitting in front of me today, so I now have at least 1,000 million baht in budget. I will build this place.”

The meditation center was built along with meditation teaching. More and more followers searching for peace and happiness came to learn meditation with the Master Nun and Luang Por Dhammajayo. They donated money after meditating and finding true happiness within themselves, so the temple received more and more monetary support from every follower that it was successfully built.

After the temple was established, more and more people came to learn the Dhamma of the Lord Buddha and practice meditation. From hundreds of people, to thousands, to ten thousands in 2527 B.E.(1984), the 77 acres became too small to accommodate everyone seeking to meditate at the temple. Thus, it was necessary to acquire and develop additional plots of land and to extend the infrastructure to serve the congregation. Every building at Wat Phra Dhammakaya was designed to be simple, strong and non-luxurious while saving costs of construction and maintenance in order to maximize the benefits of usage in promoting peace and harmony to humankind.

Every atom of this land, every building, every ceremonies, and everything good that has happened inside this temple is not any one person’s achievement. It is the collective achievement of the monks, novices, and devotees who fought against the odds together time in time out. Especially, the group of people from the beginning who must have great faith, determination, and patience in order to transform a dream of a temple into an actually sanctuary, the Wat Phra Dhammakaya, that we can now see today.

From nothing… to a large tract of land

From a large desolate field… to a graceful Buddhist temple

From one monk… to tens, to hundreds, to thousands and counting

From a hundred followers… to thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands, and millions in the future

The concept in establishing the temple

Wat Phra Dhammakaya was built according to the four factors that contribute to the cultivation and development of virtues that were taught by the Lord Buddha. These include:

  1. Pleasant location
  2. Pleasant food
  3. Pleasant people
  4. Pleasant Dhamma

With the concept “building a true temple, training true monks and promoting people to be truly virtuous.”

Though the temple is located in the middle of an urban city, within our walls, it is peaceful and accommodating to everyone looking to find true inner peace. The temple is kept clean by everyone who lives inside, so the cleanliness from the environment may aid the purifying of the mind.

The monks who ordain at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya have orderly and simple quarters. In the original 77 acres of the temple, has an area partitioned as a monks residence. It is serene and peaceful with a forest atmosphere. The monks’ residence are little cottages large enough for meditation, sleep, and storage of very few necessities, and small enough to avoid being luxurious in any way. Thus, the monks may dedicate their time to their studies of Buddhist Scriptures and to practice meditation without any distractions.

The kitchen at the temple was built and maintained to feed everyone who comes to the temple in order to learn about Buddhism and search for inner peace, so that at the very least no one has to worry about starving at this temple. The Master Nun had an intention that have passed on to all of her students at the temple that “If 100 people came to the temple, we will feed 100 people. If one million people came, we will feed one million people.”

Without worries and distractions in the mind, everyone at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya may cultivate inner peace and learn Dhamma of the Lord Buddha.