Homes, Temple, and Samma Sikka School: The Construction of Asoka Moral Communities

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Bundit Siriraksophon

Abstract

         Began under the leadership of Samana Bodiraksa, Asoka, a modern reform Buddhist movement in Thailand, declared independence from the Ecclesiastic Council in 1975 and established a number of moral communities and networks of outside members called ‘Yati-dharma’ or dharma relatives throughout the country. Asoka communities observe Buddha’s teachings and rules or Dharma-vinaya defined in its own ways.


         The purpose of this article is to investigate the construction of Asoka moral communities from homes, temple and Samma Sikka School. A fieldwork was done in Pathama Asoka, a major community in Nakon Pathom province in Central Thailand. Findings show that the three major components enable Asoka members to attain Nirvana through the collective practice of moral virtue in their daily lives. Those components also enable Asoka to identify itself a model of strict dharma practice and food production for self consumption while sharing one’s surplus with the rest of society.

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Interviewees
Aek (alias). The director of Summa Sikkha School at Pathama - asoka. 2 May 2016.

Chondi (alias). A Pathama - asoka villager. 20 July 2016.

Cola (alias). A Matthayom 3 student of Summa Sikkha School at Pathama - asoka. 8 January 2016.

Pafanuan (alias). A Pathama - asoka villager. 16 June 2016.

Praew (alias). A Matthayom 6 student of Summa Sikkha School at Pathama - asoka. 6 May 2016.

Rakbun (alias). A Pathama - asoka villager. 2 January 2016.

Samana Bodhirak (Phothirak). The head master of the Asoka congregation. 19 May 2016.

Satang (alias). A Matthayom 3 student of Summa Sikkha School at Pathama - asoka. 8 January 2016.

Tem (alias). A student’s parent. 2 April 2016.