[Buddha-l] Bewildering temple in Bangkok

Jo ugg-5 at spro.net
Wed Feb 27 06:23:26 MST 2013

Searching online all I can find are links to an old Chinese-built "boat"

This is all that's on Wikipedia, a "stub" so to speak:
Did it look like this?

Here's another link:  http://www.chimburi.com/thai26.htm 

http://www.tour-bangkok-legacies.com/wat-yannawa.html did it look like this,
with a Chinese junk supporting 2 chedis? Scroll down......

-----Original Message-----
From: buddha-l-bounces at mailman.swcp.com
[mailto:buddha-l-bounces at mailman.swcp.com] On Behalf Of Chris Fynn
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 2:42 AM
To: Buddhist discussion forum
Subject: [Buddha-l] Bewildering temple in Bangkok

I'm in Bangkok for a medical check up.

The other evening being full-moon a nice Thai lady dragged me to a large
Thai temple (Wat Yan Nawa) near Saphan Taksin BTS station. I must say what I
saw there rather shattered all my notions of Thai- Theravada Buddhism.

I was taken into a large hall the centre filled with about 100 crystal
stupas - and probably a couple of hundred  of other gold and crystal
reliquaries of various sorts all of them filled with various types of what
Tibetans would call rinsel.
A crowd of people were circumambulating the hall  holding flowers incense
and candles all chanting the three refuges and other prayers (which they
were reading from cards) in Pali.  At one end was seated a very orthodox
looking Theravadin monk teaching something to about a dozen people.
In the background a CD was playing OM MANI PADME HUM. At the sides of the
hall were various shrines - including (next to the monk) a huge golden
Ganesh with hundreds of little model rats people had left as offerings.
On the other side of that statues of Shiva and Parvati.
At the other end of the hall were statues of Kwan Yin, Avalokiteshvara,
Tara, Confucius. and a large white statue of some bearded fellow with a
couple of rudraksha malas around his neck - supposed to be some great
physician - and I was assured
that if I made offerings and prayed all my ailments would be gone. There was
another cabinet filled with crystals of semi-precious stones and weird rock
formations - and people were placing their hands in front of these to get
energy. Another shrine was surrounded by children's toys - including a huge
stuffed Winne the Pooh.
On the sides were glass cabinets with lifelike waxwork  figures of monks, a
"bodhi tree" where you could write your name and a prayer on golden bodhi
leaves,  and numerous other shrines - all heaped with offerings and flowers.
Right at the centre was a large black image of (I think) Rudra surmounted by
a golden Garuda and figure of Vishnu or Rama - in front of this, people were
offering black candles.

Upstairs was another large temple with regular Thai Buddhas and an very
large image of the Thai King - next to this was another large hall with many
monks and lay people listening to a Dharma talk.

I must say I was very bewildered by all this - but nobody there spoke

Perhaps someone here familiar with Thai Buddhism could enlighten me.
- Chris

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