Thailand - "Buddha" carrying iPad

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Thailand - "Buddha" carrying iPad

Postby forestmat » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:56 am

Apart from the title typo error and the fact that the article refers to the statue as a Buddha, now we will soon see a statue made of Phra Sivali carrying an iPad...

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/320419/tablet-has-a-place-in-buddha-statute
User avatar
forestmat
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:50 am
Location: Northeastern Thailand

Re: Thailand - "Buddha" carrying iPad

Postby gavesako » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:24 pm

IPAD GOD

Da Real iPad God

The goal: The abbot of Wat Sampasiew in Suphan Buri wants to remind people to save money for a rainy day. That sounds like a good idea we all should get behind, right?

The plan: To raise awareness on saving, according to a Kao Sod report published earlier this month, the abbot said he wants to build what has been coined the thep iPad. It's basically a sculpture of a male deity holding an oversized version of the tablet device. While he didn't say if the deity would look like Steve Jobs (who's now surely in heaven because he gave the world the iPhone), he's confident that it will be the world's first and only. The message here is that the device is actually an expensive toy rather than a necessity in life.

If the name of the temple rings a holy bell, it's because it's known for using images of Doraemon in murals and on badges given away to children who are able to answer questions regarding Buddhism.

Wait... what?: It sounds like a decent plan until we read that the statue in question, if realised, would feature the oversized iPad through which good Buddhists can put their donations. Yep, you read that right. The temple wants to encourage people to save more money by parting with their money. That is like promoting vegetarianism by holding a barbecue.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/print/317652/

:coffee:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
User avatar
gavesako
 
Posts: 1346
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:16 pm
Location: England

Re: Thailand - "Buddha" carrying iPad

Postby appicchato » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:03 pm

Just one of the (many) reasons I love Thailand...it's out there, every day, in every way...

Thirty five years, and counting...boredom is not in the dictionary... :thumbsup:
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1560
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: Thailand - "Buddha" carrying iPad

Postby gavesako » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:35 pm

This could be titled "Buddhism and Polytheism" :P

Doraemon's Buddhist journey
SUPHAN BURI : The mural on the walls of an ancient temple has been aesthetically infused with the contemporary _ the Doraemon cartoon character appearing in scenes of the Lord Buddha's past lives and the wisdom tied to the afterlife.

Rakkiat Lertjitsakul, 34, tends to the finest details of his painting on the walls of the almost 700-year-old Wat Sampa Siw in Muang district.

The mural has attracted crowds, some amazed and others bewildered by incongruous sights such as Doraemon swimming in an oversized pan of boiling water in hell.

Photos: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/2 ... st-journey


An artist has inserted images of Doraemon, among other pop-culture references, to murals in a temple in Suphan Buri. Can you spot the blue cat in this photo?
Doraemon, iPad and Angry Birds appear in Thai temple murals
A temple once used by the legendary King of Siam Naresuan the Great as a staging ground for troops is now home to a range of a new, modern-day cast of heroic characters, with the likes of television’s Doraemon, Masked Rider and Ben 10 making appearances in murals throughout the ancient wat. The abbot of the temple, Phra Anand Gussalalanggaro, said that the murals are a good way to get people’s attention, especially children. They will, through the murals, learn about the law of Karma and better understand that “what goes around, comes around,” which can be illustrated in many ways, including with Doraemon, Phra Anand said.
A representative of Sam Pa Siew temple said that these characters, used to illustrate Buddhist principles, are called “tua kang” in Thai. The murals must depict one of Buddha’s lives or scenes from folk tales. An artist has freedom to paint anything reflecting people’s lifestyles, as long as it contains moral or ethical messages, the representative said.

On the temple grounds, visitors may also come across four Doraemon statues embodying the principles of “see no evil, here no evil, speak no evil,” originally depicted by statues of monkeys.

http://www.coconutsbangkok.com/random/d ... le-murals/



Doraemon at Thailand’s Wat Sampa Siw
In the video, except for the obvious Doraemon shouting ห้ามจับภาพ /hâam jàp pâap/ (heh hehhhh), the cat cartoons can’t be seen. And even though I had my face right close to the mural, I still had difficulties locating the cartoons. Everyone did. But soon a novice monk stepped in to point out the hidden Doraemons.

Read more: http://womenlearnthai.com/index.php/dor ... z2BjZ2vy1q



Buddhism discovers Doraemon
Like it or hate it, it’s something different

A mural at 700-year-old Wat Sampa Siw in Muang district of Suphan Buri has been attracting crowds recently. It is probably the only temple in Thailand where you can see the popular Doraemon cartoon character appearing in scenes of the Lord Buddha's past lives and the afterlife.
Some onlookers are amazed, others pleased and still others bewildered by incongruous sights such as Doraemon swimming in an oversized pan of boiling water in hell.
Some approve, saying the paintings have tackled serious subjects with hidden religious messages of virtue prevailingover evil. The depiction of Doraemon also provides an entertaining break from tradition, according to some temple visitors.

But others, such as Suphan Buri resident Sarawut Pathumsut, do not find the mural amusing. He says Doraemon is totally foreign to traditional Buddhist belief.
The artist, Rakkiat Lertjitsakul, 34, says his sole intent was to entertain.
"It's to express my sense of humour. When I was in a fun mood, I painted Doraemon on the mural," he said.
He added that the Japanese cartoon character did not play a conspicuous part in the mural. "Unless you look hard, you can barely see it," he said.
Doraemon pops up in scenes where he meets angels in heaven, swims in the ocean, hides behind a Buddha image in a chapel, and struggles in a pan of boiling water in hell.
An avid fan of Doraemon since childhood, Mr Rakkiat said the round physical shape of the character appealed to him.
He said Doraemon's presence in the mural could represent human spirit and greed as well as good and evil. It was up to one's imagination, he said.
"The Doraemon [images] should draw children to the temple. At first, they might come to see the cartoon but once they are here, they will be immersed in something virtuous," he said.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/eas ... s-buddhism


:thinking:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
User avatar
gavesako
 
Posts: 1346
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:16 pm
Location: England

Re: Thailand - "Buddha" carrying iPad

Postby Sambojjhanga » Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:12 pm

appicchato wrote:Just one of the (many) reasons I love Thailand...it's out there, every day, in every way...

Thirty five years, and counting...boredom is not in the dictionary... :thumbsup:


I would LOVE to visit Thailand someday!

Metta!

:anjali:
Sabba rasam dhammaraso jinati
The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors
User avatar
Sambojjhanga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:51 pm
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Re: Thailand - "Buddha" carrying iPad

Postby Raksha » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:02 am

Sambojjhanga wrote:I would LOVE to visit Thailand someday

You will need a new word when you go there for being simultaneously completely charmed and completely exasperated, perhaps 'charm-erated' ;)
Raksha
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:30 pm

Re: Thailand - "Buddha" carrying iPad

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:56 am

Raksha wrote:
Sambojjhanga wrote:I would LOVE to visit Thailand someday

You will need a new word when you go there for being simultaneously completely charmed and completely exasperated, perhaps 'charm-erated' ;)

In my limited experience of the place, exasperation is only a hazard when your views on what *should* happen are too rigid.
Relax, and you will enjoy it. :smile:

:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3002
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Thailand - "Buddha" carrying iPad

Postby gavesako » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:53 pm

Regarding the symbolism of iPad:

When something is new and not traditional, it will always arouse suspicion and seen as a cause of decline. That's the way it's been ever since "progress" started. For example, although some form of writing has been in use in Buddhism for at least 2000 years, there is still resistance to change the way we recite the Patimokkha: traditionally it has to be done by memorizing the text and repeating it from memory (which requires a lot of training and time and not everyone can do it). In Sri Lanka and Burma, apparently, they do read it from the book or palm leaves.
The ancient cultures were steeped in oral transmission, learning by listening to a teacher and then repeating after him (the old Veda method). Then later people relied on written texts more, which changed the way they approached learning and memorizing (but still learning by rote and simple repetition was the norm). Nowadays the trend is changing towards using a more dynamic form of knowledge: it it not necessary anymore to store all the information in your brain because we have digital devices at hand which can be used to find the information very quickly, so the important thing now is how to apply this knowledge (which saves a lot of time previously spent on the boring task of learning by heart). But this of course requires a new set of skills which have to be actively developed, just like when we learnt how to read and write with a pen, so now we need to learn how to use computers and tablets in a truly efficient way, not just like toys.
Some 40 years ago, when things like tape recorders and modern cameras were being introduced to Thailand, some of the Kruba Ajahns were very keen on those new gadgets and enjoyed playing with them. Have you seen the photos of Ajahn Buddhadasa with the typewriter or tape recorder? Or Ajahn Chah recording and playing back his own talks? Or Ajahn Lee who was so keen on anything mechanical? Or even LP Reusi Lingdam walking around with a big camera taking photos at his temple?

But what the abbot of Wat Sampasiew is doing is something different, I think. They organized a big Brahman ceremony to pour the Sivali statue, and the billboard proclaims what it is all about: "Mahalabho" (great wealth). So the iPad is basically seen as a sign or token of wealthy people (whatever they actually do with it, whether they can really use it for anything or not) and the rest of society admires them for having one. By praying to the Sivali statue they hope to gain some merit which will magically bring the desired wealth and prosperity to them. This is not what the Buddha taught, obviously, but as one Western scholar described it: "Modern Thai Buddhism is primarily a religion of worldly prosperity." If you have a national religion, then it will conform to the prevailing values in that society and be gradually distorted by them. The small group of "serious practitioners" will always remain a minority somewhere on the edges, and the rest of the worldly people will perceive them through their own lens, such as "source of great blessings and protection" (which is not too bad) or "source of magical powers and amulets" (which is the more common case).

Ajahn Paisal Visalo said that these days, the most wide-spread and truly global religion is that of "consumerism". He mentioned that if the Sangharaja or the Archbishop do something, hardly anyone cares, but if Apple releases a new model of IPhone, it is a major event, almost like the arrival of a new Avatar on Earth! ;-)

By the way, do you know what Apple has in common with Bart Simpson and the history of it all?

http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... nyway.html

:coffee:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
User avatar
gavesako
 
Posts: 1346
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:16 pm
Location: England


Return to Theravāda for the modern world

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 5 guests