More recently, the image of Thai Buddhism has taken some hard hits. With modernization comes instant media and more instant karmic effects. When a monk in Northern Thailand (Phra Nikorn) was accused of being the father of a patron of his temple, the news spread quickly. When another charismatic figure (Phra Yantra) was suspected of plucking the strings of a new-age harpist while traveling through Europe, great disappointment followed.

While some events like this have always gone on, they do not remain local news any longer. Such publicity has resulted in increasing suspicion and fewer devotees. Some people have continued to criticize the monkhood for its inability to take a stand on pressing modern issues, some saying that monks are too concerned with rank and maintaining the comforts of their own bureaucracy.

Starting with the biography of the Buddha, the spiritual quest has involved a search for the right teacher. Fortunately, many excellent teachers can still be found.

Although the Thai Sangha may be presented as or appear to be a monolithic institution, there is a history of Buddhist movements and reformers who continue to test the boundaries of practices and beliefs in order to keep Buddhism relevant for the current times.

Here ends our introduction.

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