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Photography - Arhats - Wat Bang Phli Yai Klang 003

Arhats :

Theravada Buddhism defines arhat (or arhats) as one (or a group of people) who has gained insight into the true nature of existence and has achieved nirvana. Other Buddhist traditions have used the term for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood.

The understanding of the concept has changed over the centuries, and varies between different schools of Buddhism and different regions. A range of views on the attainment of arhats existed in the early Buddhist schools. The Sarvāstivāda, Kāśyapīya, Mahāsāṃghika, Ekavyāvahārika, Lokottaravāda, Bahuśrutīya, Prajñaptivāda, and Caitika schools all regarded arhats as imperfect in their attainments compared to buddhas.

Mahayana Buddhist teachings urge followers to take up the path of a bodhisattva, and to not fall back to the level of arhats and śrāvakas. The arhats, or at least the senior arhats, came to be widely regarded as “moving beyond the state of personal freedom to join the Bodhisattva enterprise in their own way”.

Mahayana Buddhism regarded a group of Eighteen Arhats (with names and personalities) as awaiting the return of the Buddha as Maitreya, and other groupings of 6, 8, 16, 100, and 500 also appear in tradition and Buddhist art, especially in East Asia. They can be seen as the Buddhist equivalents of the Christian saints, apostles or early disciples and leaders of the faith.

Wat Bang Phli Yai Klang (Khlong Samrong) :

The temple is located on the northern bank of Khlong Samrong, in Tambon Bang Phli Yai, Bangkok – Thailand. The temple was built around the year 1824 and it’s name have been changed several times. This temple was previously named Wat Klang before changing to Wat Rat Sattha Tham and eventually to Wat Bang Phli Yai Klang

The highlight of the temple remains at the huge reclining Buddha image, known as Somdet Phra Sakayamuni Si Sumet Bophit, which is approximately 53-meter long. There are four-story inside the image; the 1st floor houses the meditation cells, the 2nd floor has impressive images of 500 Arhats and murals depicting the hell and heaven, the 3rd floor includes paintings of other sacred Buddha images and the 4th floor houses the Buddha’s relic taken from Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1987.

Not much is known about this temple and it’s not a common tourist attraction site in travel agents brochures. Nevertheless, it’s a very beautiful temple not only it has the reclining Buddha but it also has the beautiful temple surrounded by pond within it’s compound.

More photos here.

Our group trip photos in Instagram.

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