Wat Phrathat Phasornkaew, Petchabun

high-definition creative commons photographs from this modern temple in Petchabun, together with further information.

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The Five Buddha Statue

This is a unique statue, which I haven’t seen represented anywhere else before, excellently visioned and carried out and which marks out this temple as special. It is meant to be the five Buddhas of the Bhadda (Fortunate) Aeon, with the fifth, at the back, being Metteyya, who is crowned as the Buddha-to-be. That makes the fourth one our Gotama Buddha, and the middle one Kassapa. The other two would then be Koṇāgamana and Kakusandha. See the Introduction below for more information.

001 Five Buddhas seen from in Front

001 Five Buddhas seen from in Front

002 In Front with Staircase

002 In Front with Staircase

003 Profile

003 Profile

004 Profile Close Up

004 Profile Close Up

005 From the Side

005 From the Side

006 Seen from the Chedi

006 Seen from the Chedi

007 Seen from the Chedi

007 Seen from the Chedi

008 Stairway and Buddhas

008 Stairway and Buddhas

009 Protective God

009 Protective God

010 Buddhas in the Evening Light

010 Buddhas in the Evening Light

011 From in Front with Clouds

011 From in Front with Clouds

012 Perspective on Size

012 Perspective on Size

013 Standing behind Indra’s Net

013 Standing behind Indra’s Net

014 Seen through Indra’s Net

014 Seen through Indra’s Net

The Shrine Rooms

Underneath the Buddha statue are various levels, each with their own shrine rooms and their own unique characteristics.

015 Reclining Buddha

015 Reclining Buddha

016 Profile of Reclining Buddha

016 Profile of Reclining Buddha

017 Shrine Elephants and Peacocks

017 Shrine Elephants and Peacocks

018 Shrine and Peacocks

018 Shrine and Peacocks

019 Golden Money Tree

019 Golden Money Tree

020 Decorative Carpet

020 Decorative Carpet

021 Villa and Viewpoint

021 Villa and Viewpoint

The Chedi

On the hill opposite to the 5-Buddha statue stands another interesting construction, the Chedi. The tower or spire is unusually shaped like a lotus, and the building again has many shrines in it. One of the most interesting things about it, however, is the decoration which is made of approx. 5 million pieces of ceramics, and other materials.

022 Chedi

022 Chedi

023 Chedi and Sun

023 Chedi and Sun

024 Gateway and Spire

024 Gateway and Spire

025 Lotus Spire

025 Lotus Spire

026 Pavillions

026 Pavillions

027 Looking up the Spire

027 Looking up the Spire

028 Hanumān Shrine

028 Hanumān Shrine

029 Pavillion Spire

029 Pavillion Spire

030 Emerald Buddha

030 Emerald Buddha

031 Doorway to Gallery

031 Doorway to Gallery

032 Doorway Decoration

032 Doorway Decoration

033 Pavillion and Spire

033 Pavillion and Spire

Buddha Statues and Shrines

Outside the shrine rooms stand a number of very finely wrought Buddha statues, and inside are even more, and some other very interesting work, including nāgas which, on close inspection, turned out to be made of dried leaves, and some very fine stained glass windows.

034 Fearless Buddha

034 Fearless Buddha

035 Before the Fearless Buddha

035 Before the Fearless Buddha

036 Meditating on a Lotus Stand

036 Meditating on a Lotus Stand

037 Blessing Buddha

037 Blessing Buddha

038 Subduing Māra

038 Subduing Māra

039 Reclining Buddha

039 Reclining Buddha

040 Luang Boo Thep Lok Udon

040 Luang Boo Thep Lok Udon

041 Various Buddha Statues

041 Various Buddha Statues

042 Shrine to Siripāda

042 Shrine to Siripāda

043 Siripāda

043 Siripāda

044 Leaf-Made Nāgas

044 Leaf-Made Nāgas

045 Many-Headed Nāgas

045 Many-Headed Nāgas

046 Chinese-Style Buddhas

046 Chinese-Style Buddhas

047 Dhammacakka

047 Dhammacakka

048 Floral Decoration

048 Floral Decoration

049 The Seas

049 The Seas

050 The Seas

050 The Seas

Ceramic Decoration

One of the most outstanding features of this temple is the ceramic decoration which is found on the walls and staircases. It appears there are over 5 million pieces of ceramic decorating the Chedi and its surroundings.

051 Before the Wall

051 Before the Wall

052 Decorated Wall

052 Decorated Wall

053 Elaborate Decorations

053 Elaborate Decorations

054 Ceramics

054 Ceramics

055 Encrusted Pillar

055 Encrusted Pillar

056 Shards of Ceramics

056 Shards of Ceramics

057 Elephant Design

057 Elephant Design

058 Decorative Stairway

058 Decorative Stairway

059 Encrusted Pottery

059 Encrusted Pottery

060 Pottery Designs

060 Pottery Designs

061 Different Designs

061 Different Designs

062 Shard Decoration

062 Shard Decoration

063 Decorated Wall

063 Decorated Wall

064 Metallic Decorations

064 Metallic Decorations

Syncretic Shrines

There are numerous protective gods, nāgas and other divine beings found in the grounds of this temple, which is quite syncretic in its outlook. We saw above a shrine to Hanumān, and here, to close, we see the prominent shrine to Śiva.

065 Śiva Shrine

065 Śiva Shrine

066 Śiva Shrine

066 Śiva Shrine

067 Śiva holding Trident

067 Śiva holding Trident

Wat Phrathat Phasornkaew
Introduction written by the Abbot

Wat Phrathat Phasornkaew was established in 2004 under the name ‘Phutthatham Sathan Pha Sorn Kaew’. Approval was given to establish a temple called ‘Wat Phrathat Phakaew’ on July 1, 2010. The name of the temple was later changed to ‘Wat Phrathat Phasornkaew’ on 30 May 2013, to be consistent with the location. Originally, the villagers called it ‘Phasornkaew’.

Wat Phrathat Phasornkaew is located in Chaiyaphum Tham, on the hillside near the village of Tang Daeng, Khamp Son Subdistrict, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun Province in northeastern Thailand. There are about 10 acres of land purchased to construct a place for meditation retreats for monks and lay people. At present people are making offerings to buy additional land, totalling around 35 more acres.

In the year 2011 Phra Ajarn Parami Surayutho was appointed the Abbot of Wat Phrathat Phasornkaew. His intention was to create something new for Buddhism, so it would flourish in the province of Khao Kho, and to make it interesting for people who come to visit the temple in the future. Therefore, Phra Ajarn studied the Tripitaka until the idea crystallized of ​​creating a memorial about the Buddha for people to worship.

He found in the Tripitaka texts, the Buddhavaṁsa & Cariyapiṭaka, that in this Bhadda Kappa that there were three Buddhas: Kakusandha, Koṇāgamana, and Kassapa, and now we are in Lord Buddha Gotama’s time, and there will be a future Buddha, Metteyya. These five Lord Buddhas are teachers who help the world of humans and devas, and will lead their disciples to Nirvāṇa.

For this reason Phra Ajarn Parami Surayutho had the idea of ​​creating five Buddha images as a stimulus to make the people question the reason for the creation of the statues, which are stacked in a row one behind the other. If people have curiosity, they will ask questions and this will lead them to listening to Dhamma, and it therefore helps with the establishment and stability of Buddhism in Thailand.

The base of the Vihāra of the Five Buddhas measures 41 meters in width, 72 meters in length and 45 meters in height. Kakusandha Buddha has a lap size of 5 meters; Koṇāgamana Buddha has a lap size of 8 meters; Kassapa Buddha has a lap size of 11 meters; Shakyamuni Gotama Buddhahas a lap size of 14 meters; Metteyya has a lap size of 22 meters, 82 centimeters.

The temple to the five Lord Buddhas is divided into seven floors, with the 1st to 3rd floors set aside for the accommodation of the practitioner. As for the other areas they are used as a place for religious activities such as prayer, listening to Dhamma, meditation practice and being a place to study the teachings of the Lord Buddha.

 

Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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