Buddhist Philosophy: A Study of Buddha Images for Perpetuating Buddhism in Isan Society
Thidarat Duangsin, Songkoon Chantachon and Khosit Paengsoi
DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2011.149.151
Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 7, Issue 2
Problem statement: Buddha image is a symbol which built for representing the Buddha. At present, the majority of people always misinterpret and misevaluate the real value of Buddha image. As a matter of fact, Buddha image enhances social solidarity and social networks of Northeast-Thai people. Appreciating value of Buddha image is necessary for next generation so a study of Buddhist Philosophy towards Buddha images and current problems concerning interpretation and evaluation is a serious study. This research aimed at investigating a body of knowledge of Buddhist Philosophy towards Buddha image and current problems concerning interpretation and evaluation of Buddha image according to Buddhist Philosophy. Approach: Research areas were Ubon Ratchathani Province, Yasothon Province and Maha Sarakham Province. A sample of 116 people consisted of a group of key informants, a group of casual informants and a group of general informants. Research instruments were an observation, a survey, an interview and a focus group interview. Research data were examined by means of a triangulation technique and research results were presented by means of a descriptive analysis. Results: Buddha images reflect Buddhist philosophy towards 7 postures of the Buddha, they are a Buddha image in a posture of overcoming temptations (Pang Mara Wichai), in a posture of sitting under the protection of the hood of the mythical serpent (Pang Nak Prok), in a posture of sitting in meditation (Pang Samati), in a posture of giving a sermon (Pang Prathan Porn), in a posture of sitting with an aureole around the body (Pang Ruean Kaew) and in a posture of displaying the Twin Miracles (Pang Yamok Patihan). A main current problem is people are more interested in the miracle power of Buddha image than the practice according to Buddhist Philosophy which conceals in it. Conclusion/Recommendation: Research result reveals the value of Buddhist Philosophy which conceals in Buddha image and point to the usefulness of Buddhist Philosophy for daily life and perpetuation of Buddhism in Isan society (Northeast society of Thailand).
© 2011 Thidarat Duangsin, Songkoon Chantachon and Khosit Paengsoi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.