Press Conference of the 2012 Nationwide Rain Retreat Ordination Program of 100,000 Monks to celebrate the 2,600th Anniversary of the Enlightenment Day of the Lord Buddha
On June 6th, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. at the Conference Room in the 1st Building, the House of Representative, the Committee of Religion, Art, and Culture of the House of Representatives, and the National Office of Buddhism, the Head of Village Association of Thailand, the International Buddhist Society under the patronage of the Most Ven. Somdejphramaharatchamangkalajarn, the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth (WFBY), Dhammakaya Temple and Foundation, and over 40 Associate Organizations arranged the press conference of the 2012 Nationwide Rain Retreat Ordination Program of 100,000 Monks.
Mr. Sansak Charoon Ngampichet, Chairman of the Committee of Religion, Art, and Culture of the House of Representatives, unveiled that the objectives of the mass ordination program come from the current statistical data surveyed by the National Office of Buddhism on June 1st, 2009 that there are over 5,000 abandoned temples in Thailand now. This figure reflects the anxious condition of Buddhism in this time. Having a lot of abandoned temples and no monks staying in any temples have caused the Buddhists lack of the mental refuges and the morality cultivation. When people do not have enough morality in their minds, the social problems increase and the basic Buddhist Activities such as the morning alms round are decreasing.
Another reason of the abandoned temples is the popularity of Thai men’s ordination is less. In addition, some men were ordained but did not study Dhamma of the Lord Buddha thoroughly, so they have not been impressed and realized in the value of the monkhood. So, the new trend is the short-period ordination except the 2009 Nationwide Ordination Program of 7,000 Monks on August 31st, 2009 and the 2010-2011 Nationwide Ordination Program of 100,000 Monks. There mass ordination programs were held to train the participants both Pariyati (academic study of Buddhism) and practice. During the final period of this program, there was an activity to restore Buddhism – the Dhutanga – to develop abandoned temples to be the active temples. The dhutanga was another way to wake Buddhists’ believes to come back again.
Mr. Kanok Sanprasert, Deputy Director General of the National Office of Buddhism, also added that for the 2012 Nationwide Rain Retreat Ordination Program of 100,000 Monks, the National Office of Buddhism becomes an associate organization and supports this project for the achievement. This year is also the 2,600th Anniversary of the Enlightenment Day of the Lord Buddha, so it was the good occasion for Buddhists to realize the importance and arrange activities to recall the Great Kindness of the Lord Buddha. This project is not easy and the important factor depends on the power of Buddhists’ believes. Let’s do it together.
Translated by Chadawee Chaipooripat