Category: Buddhism

An Enlightened Buddha Day to All

Whoever sees me sees the teaching.
– Buddha

buddha

Snails on Buddha’s head, Photo by PH Morton

Buddhists celebrate their most important festival of Vesak, known as Buddha Day, today. Many Buddhists will be giving gifts to the needy and doing charity work. From donating blood at hospitals to visiting orphanages and care-homes, they’ll make a special effort to bring happiness to those most in need.

Buddha Day is celebrated annually on the full moon of the ancient lunar month of Vesakha, which usually falls in May or June. The day commemorates the birth of the Buddha-to-be, his enlightenment and his final “passing” into nirvana; marking the end of the reincarnation cycle. This is the point at which a person sees and understands the true nature of things and where their desires end.

An Enlightened Buddha Day to All

ivory-happy-buddha_39Some Buddhists will visit the temple to meditate, reflect on their life and make offerings to monks; many taking time out to chant and listen to sermons. The day usually involves bringing food to offer and share, as well as supplies for the temple and symbolic offerings for the shrine. The traditional Bathing the Buddha also takes place which involves pouring water over the shoulders of statues of the Buddha to purify the mind from greed and hatred.
While celebrations vary from house to house, it’s common to release caged birds as a symbolic act of freedom, construct wooden lanterns for processions, and dress in pure white. A traditional sweet porridge dish called kheer is often eaten as well.
GlobalGranary wishes you a HAPPY BUDDHA DAY!
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16 August 2015
Legend of the Snails on Buddha’s head
Nathan, my 6 years old grandson said to me that those swirly bits on top of the head of the Buddha (see above photo) were snails.   He further clarified that the snails were there to keep the Buddha cool whilst meditating.  I must admit I have never heard of that before so I googled it and found that Nathan was right.
The legend has it that the Buddha was so deep in meditation that he was unaware of the bright sun.  A snail realised what would happen so he slowly climbed on the robe of the Buddha and up his head.  He was followed by another 107 other snails, which covered the Buddha’s head in rather symmetrically aesthetic way.  When the Buddha came out of his trance, he noticed what had happened and became eternally grateful for the selflessness of the snails, who gave their lives so the Buddha did not get sunburn, thus, many of Buddha’s statues show the honoured snail martyrs.

Buddha Versus Evil (& Wrong Doings)

Buddha’s Advice Against Evil, Mistakes & Errors

Buddha By PH Morton

Buddha
By PH Morton

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may would your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.
– Buddha

Overcome anger by love, evil by good, the greedy by generosity, and the liar by truth.
– Buddha
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The evildoer suffers in this world, and he suffers in the next; he suffers in both. He suffers when he thinks of the evil he has done; he suffers more when going on the evil path.
– The Buddha
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There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.
– The Buddha

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When you know in yourself that something is bad, then give it up, and accept the good and follow it.
– Buddha
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Work out your own salvation with diligence.
– Buddha
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You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
– Buddha

Hydrangea Also Known As Hortensia

I have been reading about Hydrangea and I must say it is a very interesting plant. It is not only a beautiful shrub with verdant leaves but provide a long lasting bouquets of little flowers in a huge flowerhead.

We have got a few in our garden, we have got the pink variety. Apparently the pink variety has a very romantic meaning which I really love, so much so that I think I or we shall only have pink hydrangea in our garden (unless other colours of hydrangeas have equally romantic meaning, 😉 lol). The pink hydrangea means “You are the beat of my heart,”. Awww

Hydrangea Also Known As Hortensia, The Facts:

It belongs to a genus of between 70-75 species

It originated from southern and eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and the Americas. 

Hydrangea flowers from early spring to late autumn.

Hydrangea has at least 600 known cultivars, meaning there are 600 plant varieties that have been produced in cultivation by selective breeding. 

Hydrangea usual flowers are coloured white, but the PH of the soil changes their colour.

Hydrangea can be moderately toxic, so be careful with young children and pets.

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Despite its mild toxicity, some varieties of teas are made from hydrangea, specifically the hydrangea serrata.  This species produce phyllodulcin, a natural sweetener.  Japan make Ama-Cha, literally means sweet tea from the hydrangea serrata.  Ama-cha is then used in a festival celebrating Buddha’s birth, which is thought in Japan to be  8 April.  The ama-cha is poured over the statue of the Buddha to commemorate his birth, re-enacting the acts of  the 9 dragons pouring amrita over him.  Japan use ama-cha as a substitute for amrita.

Korea also make herbal tea from the hydrangea serrata but a more prosaic version without dragons and bathing buddha.  It is called sugukcha  or ilsulcha.

From our photo above, I noticed that the hydrangea planted directly on the ground flowers first than the one on the pot.  I remember buying an identical cultivar, but the one in the pot has turned lighter in pigmentation compared to the more verdant ground dwelling hydrangea.

Buddha’s Birthplace

This is really an interesting find.

According to a book I read about Buddhism, everyone can become a buddha.  It is not really a religion but one of enlightenment.  Everyone is capable of enlightenment as long as they follow some precepts.  The Buddha was not a god but rather one who was enlightened. By following the path he’d taken, one can be like him too.

Since it was not really a religion, i.e. believing in a god, so can a Christian in some way a Buddhist Christian?

hmmmm,  well the only way is to find out…  is to become and englightened Christian.  Be a Buddha for Jesus!

awww  headache …..

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Gautama:

 

THE LOVER OF MEN

In the Far East there was once a prince whose name was Gautama. He lived in a splendid palace where there was everything that could give delight. It was the wish of his father and mother that every day of his life should be a day of perfect happiness.

So this prince grew up to be a young man, tall and fair and graceful. He had never gone beyond the beautiful gardens that surrounded his father’s palace. He had never seen nor heard of sorrow or sickness or poverty. Everything that was evil or disagreeable had been carefully kept out of his sight. He knew only of those things that give joy and health and peace.

But one day after he had become a man, he said: “Tell me about the great world which, you say, lies outside of these palace walls. It must be a beautiful and happy place; and I wish to know all about it.” “Yes, it is a beautiful place,” was the answer. “In it there are numberless trees and flowers and rivers and waterfalls, and other things to make the heart glad.”

“Then to-morrow I will go out and see some of those things,” he said.

His parents and friends begged him not to go. They told him that there were beautiful things at home—why go away to see other things less beautiful? But when they saw that his mind was set on going, they said no more.

The next morning, Gautama sat in his carriage and rode out from the palace into one of the streets of the city. He looked with wonder at the houses on either side, and at the faces of the children who stood in the doorways as he passed. At first he did not see anything that disturbed him; for word had gone before him to remove from sight everything that might be displeasing or painful.

Soon the carriage turned into another street—a street less carefully guarded. Here there were no children at the doors. But suddenly, at a narrow place, they met a very old man, hobbling slowly along over the stony way.

“Who is that man?” asked Gautama, “and why is his face so pinched and his hair so white? Why do his legs tremble under him as he walks, leaning upon a stick? He seems weak, and his eyes are dull. Is he some new kind of man?”

“Sir,” answered the coachman, “that is an old man. He has lived more than eighty years. All who reach old age must lose their strength and become like him, feeble and gray.”

“Alas!” said the prince. “Is this the condition to which I must come?”

“If you live long enough,” was the answer.

“What do you mean by that? Do not all persons live eighty years—yes, many times eighty years?”

The coachman made no answer, but drove onward.

They passed out into the open country and saw the cottages of the poor people. By the door of one of these a sick man was lying upon a couch, helpless and pale.

“Why is that man lying there at this time of day?” asked the prince.
“His face is white, and he seems very weak. Is he also an old man?”

“Oh, no! He is sick,” answered the coachman. “Poor people are often sick.” “What does that mean?” asked the prince. “Why are they sick?”

The coachman explained as well as he was able; and they rode onward.

Soon they saw a company of men toiling by the roadside. Their faces were browned by the sun; their hands were hard and gnarly; their backs were bent by much heavy lifting; their clothing was in tatters.

“Who are those men, and why do their faces look so joyless?” asked the prince. “What are they doing by the roadside?”

“They are poor men, and they are working to improve the king’s highway,” was the answer.

“Poor men? What does that mean?”

“Most of the people in the world are poor,” said the coachman. “Their lives are spent in toiling for the rich. Their joys are few; their sorrows are many.”

“And is this the great, beautiful, happy world that I have been told about?” cried the prince. “How weak and foolish I have been to live in idleness and ease while there is so much sadness and trouble around me. Turn the carriage quickly, coachman, and drive home. Henceforth, I will never again seek my own pleasure. I will spend all my life, and give all that I have, to lessen the distress and sorrow with which this world seems filled.”

This the prince did. One night he left the beautiful palace which his father had given to him and went out into the world to do good and to help his fellow men. And to this day, millions of people remember and honor the name of Gautama, as that of the great lover of men.


‘Exciting’ Discovery At Buddha’s Birthplace

Sky NewsSky News – 36 minutes ago

'Exciting' Discovery At Buddha's Birthplace

‘Exciting’ Discovery At Buddha’s Birthplace

The Buddha may have lived centuries later than some historians have suggested, a dig at his birthplace has revealed.

Archaeologists made the discovery during excavations of an ancient shrine at the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal.

The Unesco world heritage site has long been identified as the birthplace of the Buddha but the dig has revealed artefacts that pinpoint his life to a specific century for the first time.

As well as narrowing down his birthday, archaeologists believe they may also have located his exact birthplace.

His mother, Queen Maya Devi, is thought to have given birth while holding on to the branch of a tree in the Lumbini garden, midway between the kingdoms of her husband and parents.

It is thought the tree may have been situated in an open space at the centre of the newly-excavated shrine.

Professor Robin Coningham, of Durham University, led a team of 15 British historians who had to go barefoot or wear slippers during the excavation because shoes are forbidden in the sacred temple.

“(This) is one of the most exciting discoveries in terms of Buddhist archaeology since the early discoveries of the sites because we now have an idea of what the earliest Buddhist shrine looked like,” he said.

“The significance for us is that the shrine is built around a tree and the fact that the Buddhist birth story is connected with a tree.

“It is one of those really rare occasions when belief, tradition, archaeology and excavation actually come together.”

Experts have disagreed on precisely when the Buddha was born, placing the date anywhere between the early 400s BC and up to three centuries earlier.

The archaeologists, who spent three winters at the site, digging only when the water table was at its lowest, now believe he lived during the sixth century BC.

Buddhism is based largely on the teachings of the Buddha, or Siddhartha Gautama, and is one of the world’s oldest religions.

Many hundreds of thousands of Buddhists from around the world make the pilgrimage to Lumbini every year.

The Art of Zen

Zen – School of Enlightenment

 

IMG_0828Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
– His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso
(14th Dalai Lama)
…..

ALL that we are is made up of our thoughts; it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with a pure thought, happiness will follow him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
~ Dhammapada.
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Before enlightenment – chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment – chop wood, carry water.
~Zen Buddhist Proverb
….

Before they become a tangible reality, all phenomena are seeds.  The wise man takes great care of seeds.
– Han Fei Zi

Being conscious of what we really are, that is what we call enlightenment.
– Zen saying

Buddhist Monk reflection in the water - Photo by PH Morton

Buddhist Monk reflection in the water – Photo by PH Morton

Creeds and doctrines are like a raft to carry one to the other shore, and then to relinquish. Neither cling to the raft forever, or reject it when drowning. Even better, become a strong swimmer.
– Diamond Sutra
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Faith is a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark.
– Rabindranath Tagore
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Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.
~ Sheng-Yen
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Gratitude is not a mere word; it is not a mere concept. It is the living breath of your real existence on earth.
– Sri Chinmoy
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HE who formerly was reckless and afterwards became sober brightens up this world like the moon when freed from clouds.
~ Dhammapada.
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I breathe in, and I am a flower.  I breathe out, and I have its freshness.
– Zen Meditation
….

If I know that love is myself and that pain is also myself, that understanding is myself and suffering too, then I will be mindful.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
– Rabindranath Tagore
….
It is within ourselves that yesterday is distinguished from tomorrow.
– Zen Saying
….

It is our way of seeing the world that determines the nature or our feelings.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

It is virtue which maintains the soundness of mind, the one essential condition for right development.
– Swami Satprakashananda

Knock on the sky and listen to the sound.
~Zen Saying
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Letting go means accepting life just as it is: elusive, free, spontaneous, and without limits.
– Zen

Life is movement and rest.
– Zen saying

zen

 

 

 

Move always toward greater simplicity.
– Zen Practice
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No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.
~Zen
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One who returns to his nature and adheres to it is worthy.
– Chou Tun-i
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One’s truly basic act is to sit on the ground, assume a correct posture and cultivate the feeling of having one’s own space.
– Chogyam Trungpa

….
zen 1
Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
– Zen Saying
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Strive for detachment, concentrate in silence, conform to the nature of things, be without ego. Then mankind will be at peace.
– Chuang Tzu
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The cosmos is everything: the stones, the mountains, the trees, the flowers, the grasses, the stars… all that is nature and all that is not nature, the artificial and all products that are human, material and spiritual, and space and time.
– Dogen Zenji
…..
The One and the All.
Mingle and move without discriminating. Live in this awareness and you’ll stop worrying about not being perfect.
– Seng Tsan
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The dark thought, the shame, the malice meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
– Djalal Ad-Din Rumi
….
The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.
~Zen Saying

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The Nature of Buddha, Photo by PH Morton

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The source of human suffering is that everyone chooses one side and refuses to see the other side.
~ Liou Kia-Hway
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The essence of love and compassion is understanding.
– Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Buddhist monk)

The obstacle is the path.
~Zen Proverb

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There is nothing else you can do but burst out laughing.
– Zen Saying

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Think of the places, where you plant your feet.
– Zen Dojos
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True enlightenment means rejoicing in the happiness of others:  compassion appears.
– Taisen Deshimaru

DSCN1625

Graceful of Weeping Willow, Photo by PH Morton

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Through meditation, we practice resurrection in every moment.  This is the practice of living in the everyday.  We must not lose ourselves in the past or in the future.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
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To know the Way is to know where to go and how to get there.
– Tseng Tzu
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Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.
– Patanjali
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Walking is Zen.
Sitting, too, is Zen.
If I speak or am silent, tarry or hasten:
Everything, in its true nature,
Is stillness,
– The Shodoka
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We have two eyes to see two sides of things, but there must be a third eye which see everything at the same time and yet not see anything.  That is to understand Zen.
– D T Suzuki
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Wisdom, indeed, is the highest ornament that a man possesses. It is a valuable to be carefully guarded.
– Bhartrihari
….
zen 3
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind.
– Shakyamuni
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When one who is lost understands that he must turn back, he is not far from having found the Way.
– Zen Saying
….

When the student is ready, the master appears.
~Buddhist Proverb
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When you get there, there isn’t any there there.
~Zen Proverb
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When you have a problem, see if you can find out for yourself why you have a problem.
– Shunryu Suzuki
imagesCAKEP8L4……
when the body is kept bustling about without stop, it becomes fatigued.
When the mind is overworked without stop, it becomes worried, and worry causes exhaustion.
The nature of water is that it becomes clear when left alone and become still when undisturbed.
It is the symbol of heavenly virtue.
Chuang Tse
……

When you hear the splash of the water drops that fall into the stone bowl, You will feel that all the dust of your mind is washed away.
– Sen No Rikyu
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Wherever you choose to be mindful, you may acquire wisdom.
– Ajahn Chah
….
We must learn to love the man who differs from us in opinion.
– Swami Vivekananda
….
We need to recognize that everybody in the world is the benefactor of everybody else.
– Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
….
You’re bound to become a Buddha if you practice. If water drips long enough even rocks wear through.
~ Shih-Wu

The Now Buddha

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
– The Buddha

Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.
– The Buddha

The Now Buddha

buddha
01/09/2013
This sagely advice by the Buddha should be complied with.

I think this might be the secret to happiness or at least peace of mind, body and soul.

We  live in an ever-changing world, everything is hectic, a non-stop process;  nothing remains the same. Even the most trustworthy of beings can change and therefore for us to be able to live in peace and harmony is to live each day as it comes. No expectations!

It  is easier said than done that  what happened in the past, no matter how cruel or painful should stay in the past.  But there is really no other choice but come to terms with it.  Don’t sabotage your present with your own making.  Wallowing in self-pity is just a stage of hurt and betrayal.  Sooner or later we must move up a scale of healing.  I know for fact that it is  excruciatingly hard to forgive and forget wrongs done to you especially from someone you trusted with your life.  But don’t let your life be dictated by the hurt.  Otherwise bitterness will eat you up from inside out.  Being bitter has a time limit, brush yourself off of negativity and move on.

We must make the most of our present, because sooner or later it becomes a past. As I am typing this, I can see life passing me by 🙁 I should be in my husband warm embrace  right now as we drift off to sleep.;)  But another 5 minutes to blog. 😉

The Buddha also imply that worrying about the future is really a waste of time.  Do not over think what could happen in the future.  Do not spend your time worrying about the future that is yet to happen when you should be living NOW the best you can.

I used to worry and worry about problems.  Sometimes it felt like there was no escape from it all and only to wake up the next morning realising that I was worrying about nothing.

Forget what if….. Think I am

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No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.
– Buddha

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow, our life is the creation of our mind.
– Buddha

Purposeful Buddha Shows The Way

The Way of the Buddha

ivory-happy-buddha_39

Purposeful Buddha Shows The Way

Purposeful Buddha Shows The Way

“ As a solid rock is not shaken by a strong gale, so wise persons remain unaffected by praise or censure.”
— Buddha

It is better to travel well than to arrive.
– Buddha

Purity or impurity depends on oneself, no one can purify another.
– Buddha

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.
– Buddha

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”
~Buddha

Louis Vuitton and the Monks

Wow, these monks have very expensive taste and living the life of Riley. Private jets? Sunglasses? LV bags? Aren’t they supposed to live in a permanent existence of frugality?

Time has indeed changed!

JXXX
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Thai monks rebuked over ‘ostentatious’ jet ride

AFPBy AFP | AFP – 3 hours ago

 

This file photo shows Buddhist monks praying in Bangkok on May 16, 2010. The behaviour of Thailand's Buddhist clergy has been thrust under the spotlight after footage emerged of three monks flying in a private jet, wearing earphones and sunglasses and travelling with a Louis Vuitton luxury bag

AFP/AFP/File – This file photo shows Buddhist monks praying in Bangkok on May 16, 2010.

The behaviour of Thailand’s Buddhist clergy has been thrust under the spotlight after footage emerged of three monks flying in a private jet, wearing earphones and sunglasses and travelling with a Louis Vuitton luxury bag.

The video, which has been viewed nearly 200,000 times on YouTube, has prompted fevered debate in the Buddhist-dominated kingdom over monks’ adherence to austere principles which include living without possessions, beyond a handful of robes.

According to one of the monks, who has since been “reprimanded”, the jet was chartered by a devotee to fly them home to northeast Si Sa Ket from Bangkok after performing duties in November, said Nopparat Benjawattantnun, director of the National Office of Buddhism.

“His behaviour — wearing sunglasses and carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag — amounts to an ostentatious display that will provoke criticism from laymen,” Nopparat said.

Virood Chaipanna, director of Si Sa Ket’s Office of Buddhism, named the monk as Luang Pu Nenkham Chattigo, 34, from Wat Pa Khantitham.

“Yesterday I went to the temple but he was not there. They said he is in France,” Virood said.

Buddhism is Thailand’s state religion and around 95 percent of the population is believed to follow it — the highest percentage in the world.

Figures last year from the National Office of Buddhism showed Thailand had more than 61,000 monks.

Their behaviour frequently falls under the spotlight with media reports uncovering cases of clergy taking drugs, drinking, gambling and visiting prostitutes.

“To be in the monkhood one should be isolated and content with what one has,” said Pra Khru Vinaithorn Teerawit, of the Buddhism Protection Center of Thailand, adding complaints are most commonly made against newly ordained monks.

Referring to the video, he said the public reaction should depend on whether the monks chose to travel by private jet or if it was organised by followers.

“If monks chose to travel by jet then it’s not suitable,” he said.