THE SAPHA DHAMMAKAYA
The Sapha Dhammakaya is an assembly hall located just opposite to the Dhammakaya Cetiya. It was designed to be a multi-functional, two-storied building suitable for meditation, Dhamma lectures, religious activities, youth development training, and meeting venue for monks. The upper level was designed to accommodate 150,000 with the lower level used for parking. Once the number of attendants exceeds 150,000, the lower level can be converted to a gathering place for another 150,000 people. Parking is then moved to the surrounding open space.
Built in 2520 B.E. (1997) out of the necessity to find a roofed space for people attending temple activities, Sapha Dhammakaya covers an area of over 40 acres and is believed to be the largest assembly hall in the world.
Since 2513 B.E. (1970) when the temple was established, the number of followers has continuously grown from several hundreds to tens of thousands to a record high of more than 200,000 in the year 2543 B.E. (2000). The Hall has been used extensively until today.
There are people who travel hours to meditate and listen to Dhamma talks by Luang Por Dhammajayo, which is also broadcast live via satellite on the DMC Channel (www.dmc.tv). On Sundays, the temple organizes a full-day Dhamma program consisting of prayers, two meditation sessions, a ceremony of offering sustenance to monks, Dhamma talks, and paying respect to the Lord Buddha in front of the Dhammakaya Cetiya. About 5,000 to 25,000 people regularly attend the Sunday gatherings, and an average of 100,000-120,000 people join the temple’s religious activities on such important Buddhist days as the Maga Puja Day (The Light of Peace Ceremony) and the Kathina Robe Offering Day.
All, including non-Buddhists, are invited to join the Sunday gathering to attend no-charge, open-to-all meditation classes. Our only request for attendants is to dress politely, preferably in white, to show respect for the holy place.
They can also come to the temple on other days to attend the English-language meditation class via advance appointment / arrangement.