Buddhism in Thailand has flourished under patronage of the crown, with many members of the royalty entering the Order for a time. In the Sukhothai period, the Supreme Patriarch was appointed by the king and oversaw the monkhood or Sangha. The Sangha itself was hierarchically organized in rough correspondence to civil administration. In the early Thai Sangha, there appear to have been two main groups involved in different activities inherited from earlier Buddhist and Singhalese traditions, the gamavasi, or “city-dwelling” monks, and the araññavasi, or “forest-dwelling” monks. The two groups have become known for being involved in two different tendencies in Buddhist practice, namely gantha dhura, the study of books, and vipassana dhura, the practice of meditation.

Dig Deeper...
Move Along...