THE PROJECT OF DHAMMAYATRA

“THE PRESERVATION OF HOME, TEMPLE, SCHOOL & FIVE PRECEPTS OBSERVING”
A procession of Dhammayatra monks retracing the path significant to the life of the Great Master Phramongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro), the re-discoverer of the Dhammakaya Knowledge.

The life of a monk is the most noble life. It is an exemplary life of one who recognizes the dangers in the cycle of existence (Samsara) and understands the suffering that comes with the life of a layperson. The life of a layperson usually revolves around responsibilities of marriage, making it challenging to dedicate time to performing good deeds aimed at attaining Nirvana. Life as a monk, therefore, is a life of someone who abstains from the worldly ways, so he can free himself from worries and attachments. His actions, speech, and thoughts are dignified, serene, and polite. He focuses on cultivating his sila (moral discipline), samadhi (concentration), and panya (wisdom).

What is a Dhammayatra?

When a person ordains as a Buddhist monk, he must undergo training to cultivate discipline, respect, and tolerance. Dhammayatra is one of the exercises for newly ordained monk to train himself.

Dhammayatra derives from the words “Dhamma” and “Yatra.” “Dhamma” means goodness while “Yatra” means proceeding or progressing. Dhammayatra, therefore, means proceeding with Dhamma or departing with Dhamma. This essentially refers to the procession of a large group of Buddhist monks walking on foot to different areas to spread virtues, as a way for the monks to conquer their defilements with the teachings (Dhamma) of the Buddha. The 10th Dhammayatra Project takes place from January 2-31, 2022 and has Buddhist monks taking part in it. Throughout the Dhammayatra path, the lay public will have a chance to come pay their respect, as well as line the path with flower petals, as homage to the Triple Gem. The sight of a procession of a large group of monks walking peacefully in unison will inspire those without faith to develop faith and strengthen that of the faithfuls.

The act of paving the path with flowers by people with great faith in the Buddha also occurred during the time of the Buddha as recorded in the Tipitaka. One specific incident took place during a time when Vaishali city was experiencing great calamity. The people suffered severely and the death toll was exceptionally high. During that time, the Buddha was invited to visit Vaishali. As He and the 500 monks departed Rajgir, King Bimbisara prepared the path of about 80 kilometers with flags and banners, flowers of five different colors, tiered parasols, and other flowers. Even the residents came out to clean the road, decorate it with delicate garlands, and line it with flower petals of ten colors to welcome the Buddha.

Why is the Great Master Phramongkolthepmuni so important that the procession follows the path significant to his life?

Throughout this Dhammayatra Project, not only will the monks have a chance to train themselves, they will also have time to recollect the immense compassion of the Great Master Phramongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro), the re-discoverer of the Dhammakaya Meditation. The Great Master, overflowing with virtues and abilities, led his virtuous life in the footsteps of the Buddha. He continuously trained himself, gave Dhamma lessons, and taught people to meditate in order to attain Dhammakaya. Eventually, both Thais and foreigners who followed his teachings discovered for themselves the true goals of life and felt confident that Buddhism was the highest refuge.

Phramongkolthepmuni

Dhamma Teachings of the Great Masters

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The Dhammayatra Project includes seven locations significant
to the life of the Great Master.

1. His birthplace

At Lotus Land in Songpinong, Suphanburi province, is also the site where the Memorial Hall of Phramongkolthepmuni was constructed.

2. Place where he devoted his life for the lifelong ordination

At Khlong Bang Nang Tan, Sampran district, Nakhon-Pathom province.

3. His place of ordination

At Wat Songpinong along the songpinong waterway, in Tontan, Suphanburi province.

4. Place where he attained the Dhammakaya

At Wat Bote-Bon Bangkuvieng, along Bangkoknoi waterway, in Nonthaburi.

5. Place where the Dhammakaya Meditation Technique was first propagated

At Wat Bang-Pla in Banglen, Nakhon Pathom.

6. The Great Master's home base for the Dhammakaya Meditation Technique

At Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen in Bangkok.

7. World Center for Dhammakaya propagation

The location where the Great Master’s wish to propagate Buddhism and the Dhammakaya Meditation to the world at Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Khong Luang, Pathumthani.

These significant locations along the path of the Great Master are historical records of his pursuit of Perfections from youth, adulthood to his later years. Each location is enshrined with the gold statues of the Great Master casted by his loyal followers as a dedication to his immense compassion. By retracing the path, future generations will have a chance to study and appreciate the Great Master’s life and invaluable teachings. When his teachings are studied and practiced, wonderful things will occur in our society and nation, and within ourselves.