Buddhism In Thailand
| The Thai are highly religious people. Most Thais are Buddhist and as a result Buddhism plays a predominant role in their lives.
There are two sets of Buddhist monks in Thailand, the orange robed monks called the Mahanikai and the red-brown robed monks called the Thammayut, who can eat just one meal a day before noon. The Thammayut monks eat food only when someone offers them as a merit making event. They cannot touch money.
Buddhism started with the teachings of King Siddhartha who lived in India some 2500 years ago. Once he attained nirvana, he was re-christened as Buddha. The main teachings of Lord Buddha is that happiness does not come with luxurious life or hardships, people can prosper only when they move in between these two. He also taught five precepts namely do not to harm, do not steal, having control over sexual desire, do not to lie, and do not to drink alcohol. The Buddhists in Thailand and the world over strictly follow all the five precepts of Lord Buddha.
Buddhism was first brought to Thailand during the third century B.C. Once it was introduced in Thailand, people widely accepted Buddhism and its teaching. Gradually the religion gained permanent ground in the country. Buddhism was wide spread during the reign of the King Li Thai of Sukhothai. During his reign the great work of Buddhist literature the ''Tribhumikatha'' came into existence. From then on Buddhism has played a major role in all the activities in Thailand and in the lives of Thai people. There are approximately 27,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand. All the Buddhist holy days are declared public holidays by the Thai government so that people can spend more time in performing religious and spiritual activities.