Monks on Horseback - Ordination of Novices.

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by Rod Page, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. WHEN: 19th April, 2011
    WHERE: Wat Tham Pa A Cha Thom (Golden Horse Temple) - Mae Chan
    WEATHER: Morning - fine; Afternoon - massive storm.
    ROUTE: UP - R118, H1; Return - H1, R1089, R107.

    How wonderful at this time of year are the early morning starts where the sun, reddened by the haze, permiates the denuded forests to reveal the new growth in all its splendour.

    A visit to Wat Tham Pa A Cha Thom is always inspiring as, although amused by recent comments on this site, Pra Kru ba Nua Chai does an enormous amount of good for the children of hill-tribes previously ravaged by the problems of drug addiction, human trafficking & prostitution. Many of the novices are orphans taken under care by the Monk on Horseback & his team of helpers.

    The man himself:



    Today's ordination involved children from a nearby Lahu hill-tribe & I arrived to find a number of them assembled in anticipation:


    The parade got under way with a procession up to a number of sacred objects up above a newly constructed Wat



    where those to be ordained circled the relics:


    before returning to the Wat for their ordination:

    Attached files 267295=2924-IMG_4636.
  2. (Continued............................)

    The novices to be were assembled before Buddah in prayer; some photos to give you a sense of the occasion:





    The boys were then presented with their robes:



    before stripping to be ceremoniously draped in the simple robes of a monk:




    (to be continued............)
  3. (Continued......................

    The novices move to dress fully in their new robes, the younger novices being assisted by monks:


    A very proud novice awaits his peer group under the watchful eye of Pra Kru Ba & the senior celebrating monk:



    Prayers continue for the newly robed novices:





    before they leave the Wat to be offered alms, have their photo taken & head off for a well deserved lunch:




    There is far more to The Golden Horse Temple & the Monk on Horseback - his childhood years, university days, time in the army, as a champion boxer, his skirmishes with druglords & the enormous social work he undertakes. I will post further details later as the true story is well worth telling. The temple covers a vast area to support those under the monk's care & provides a wonderful place to visit. Much of the complex is filmed in the award winning movie 'Buddah's Lost Children' but I furnish a couple of shots of some accommodation for visiting monks & of the substantial vegetable garden where a coffee shop is being built:



    Well worth a vist.
  4. An aside from the central issue of this post; something only too familiar to those 'farang' amongst us ill at ease with the Thai language.....

    At the conclusion of the ordination we were explaining to one of Pra Kru Ba's wonderful assistants, the nun Mae Pui who speaks Thai, English & French (self taught), that in the next few days we would be attending Anzac Day services in Kanchanaburi or more specifically at the Bridge over the River Kwai.

    She broke into great laughter as the following photo shows:


    'Kwai', of course is Thai for buffalo which signifies the most stupid, the most ignorant amongst us.

    In an endeavour to correct matters I quickly told her, no, we were heading to the Bridge over the River Kwuay......this left her in a totally uncontrollable state of laughter:


    There was no way a devout nun was going to translate this faux pas. I leave it to your imagination!

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